On the bright side, we really do love Noragami. And oh my goodness, it's another manga with a chapter about people working too hard! And I think this is the last chapter before the series went on hiatus, apparently (based on the cover flap) because the artist wasn't taking proper care of herself. But here we are having to push ourselves on it because our September schedule is the madness. We need to tread carefully.
And now we have a Review Rednesday! Woohoo! And it's Fire Force 11! Yay! Let's get to it! Spoilers ahead!
This volume had some extra fun surrounding it, in that we totally forgot to put it on our calendar. So one day, after we hadn't heard from any of our editors and we'd made it through all of our known soon deadlines, we were wondering what to do with ourselves and realizing that we should have translated a Fire Force by now, so we decided to get to work on it. We finished the first draft and still didn't hear anything, so we got back to work on Sailor Moon (which was also later than we said it would be) and continued on our merry way. This included doing a first draft of Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight, because it was our next known deadline and by now it was coming up. But then! our editor emailed and said, "So...I had this on my calendar for a month ago. Any word on that?" And we were like, "What! No! It's not possible!" So we checked our calendar and it wasn't there, but then we checked our emails and found out that, sure enough, we had agreed to get it done a month ago. Well darn. Fortunately, we already had a first draft, so we didn't make our editor wait too long for it, but less fortunately, it turned out to be a tricky volume (but what doesn't these days?), so we didn't finish it as quickly as we'd hoped.
And now! we've been so busy working on other things that I barely even remember that we worked on Fire Force at all, let alone what happened or how I feel about it. Let me think...
Right! Captain Burns has come to reveal the truth about the fire twelve years ago! And oh my goodness, this is some pretty serious stuff. I mean, the first part was not surprising in the least, and neither was the fact that the Evangelist was involved, but then when it turned out that the demon Shinra saw was actually his mom? Oh man, that was intense. And then when she pulled her horns down to cover her eyes, that was kind of disturbing. The whole scene made us wonder if Shinra's mother always had pointy teeth like his, or if it was just a temporary thing while she was transforming. But anyway, it's nice to know she's still alive. Unless she's in excruciating torment, because that would be a big bummer. Still, it's probably better that she's still alive.
Oh, but before Burns told us all this, he made Shinra fight him, and this is where I really appreciate the self-awareness you tend to get in Japanese comedy. Burns is all, "I can't tell you the truth unless you defeat me," and we were like, "But you said that's the whole reason you're here, is to tell him the truth," and then Shinra was like, "But that's the whole reason you came here!" And we were glad that we weren't the only ones thinking that.
So now after having a pretty serious and kind of depressing reveal about Shinra's even-more-tragic-than-we-thought (but actually also not that surprising--one of those, "Oh, I guess I should have seen that coming," but also, "Wow, that sucks" kind of things) past, they decide to lighten the mood with two absolutely ridiculous filler stories. And my goodness, when Ohkubo-sensei decides to goof off, he does not go halfway. First, there's a whole chapter dedicated to a nude fireman's calendar photo shoot. And when they say nude, they're not kidding. We thought we might need to have a note about how "naked" doesn't necessarily mean "completely naked," like you can have a naked chest and still be considered naked, but as it turns out, they did mean 100% nude. ...I mean, with strategically placed props, but still. We remembered reading in an interview somewhere that Ohkubo-sensei wanted to do it, and...well, he did. And there you have it. I mean, I don't think I need to say much else. It's pretty hilarious, so I recommend it. We will apologize for the stupid, stupid, stupid pun. I don't even know if it counts as a pun. But the beauty of it is, after we did the best we could to somehow combine terms for "flexed muscle" and "cobra" (we looked through a whole list of common names for snakes) we read through it one last time, and when we got to that part, I busted up laughing at how utterly ridiculous it was, so at least for me, the translation served the right purpose. Because it was supposed to be completely stupid.
Next was a chapter about helping Lieutenant Hinawa with his challenged fashion sense. Again, all I can say is you should read it, because it's hilarious. I don't want to give anything away. I mean, I would if I had more to say about it other than that I really enjoyed reading it, but I don't, so there's no point in giving anything away.
And then it's time to get back to the story. Now that Shinra knows the demon he's been searching for might be his mother, he's anxious to see it again, and since he saw Captain Hague of Company 4 in the same adolla link where he saw that demon, he figures Captain Hague might be able to help him. So he goes to visit the captain, and it turns out Hague has kind of lost some of his marbles. But I really like how he's portrayed, because he still has most of his normal faculties, and he's only super creepy when it serves dramatic or comedic purposes. He just has this abnormal fixation with Adolla. I especially appreciate that he still cares about the soldiers that work under him.
This is also where we really realize that Ohkubo-sensei knows a lot about Greek mythology. It seemed like he was trying to branch out some when he named a character Haumea, but now we have Charon (the name doesn't have anything to do with fire, as far as we know, but it does have to do with the afterlife, and by extension hell), and Pan, whose name also doesn't have anything to do with fire, but everything to do with playing the flute. Or in this case, the whistle. Again, when Ohkubo-sensei gives his characters quirks, he does not go halfway (although he may forget about them later). So instead of talking, he blows his whistle as if people are supposed to know what he means. Suddenly it occurs to me that he might have been using a real code, but we didn't bother looking it up. Oh well; our translations of the whistle blows should be consistent with the Japanese in length, so it should match if it is a code.
Anyway, a lot of stuff happens, but the upshot of it is that Shinra ends up getting possessed by a crazy girl who looks a lot like Iris, and who so far has only been named as "the first pillar." We think we know what "pillar" comes from, because we translated a splash page for a later volume that seems related, which is fortunate, because now we know how that ended up and we know it's okay to use pillar and not have to worry too much about consistency (because in that case "pillar" was translated to something completely different, but something that doesn't necessarily exclude pillars). The Japanese word for pillar is interesting, because it can also be a counter for deities. Like with mortals, you would say "two people," but with gods you say "two pillars." We don't know how that's going to play out. And it may be that our editor emails us about it later and we end up changing it. We will find out.
Anyway, whoever this girl is, she apparently really hates, like, everyone, so she's now using Shinra to basically destroy everyone and everything. Fortunately, Arthur has been tailing Shinra (under orders from Obi, who rightly suspected Shinra might be targeted by the Evangelist), and he and their old friend from the academy are there to hopefully knock some sense back into Shinra. And thus we begin another hilarious Arthur battle, where we got to have fun with similar-sounding words. I hope it's fairly obvious where we would have come up with the Shield of Mass Oakism. I also hope our editor doesn't change it. Did we ever talk about Sputt Sputt and Flay Flay? They will always be Sputt Sputt and Flay Flay to us.
And that's pretty much where the volume leaves off. It's hard commenting on shonen manga sometimes. All I can say is, "It's good! Read it!"
...Oh, but I just remembered one more thing I can comment on. We could totally relate with Hibana on how she felt about Shinra's picture in the fireman calendar. It might not be exactly the same, because part of our problem is that we want to share the things we love. But then we're worried, like she is, about them not belonging to us anymore. Fortunately for her, I don't think she has too much to worry about.
Aww, Fire Force. What a good series.
It looks like we don't have any new releases this week, so I think we might be going back to just Review Rednesdays for a little while and see how that goes. But next week! We're going to have to post on Tuesday or Thursday anyway, because we have all-day plans on Wednesday. And! AND! AND!!!! we're going to go out of order and post our review of... *drumroll* Sailor Moon!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!! So tune in!
Today I'm thankful for an excuse to read more Noragami, also finishing our original work quota for the day (it was very small), having a lovely time visiting with all the people over the weekend, another super cute Spirit in Kingdom Hearts, and fireman calendars.