Anyway, it's Reviewsday! And we have a review of Fire Force 12 just waiting to be posted! OH! And the series is getting an anime!!! WOOOOHOOOOOOO!! Anyway, spoilers ahead!
Once again writing reviews at a very busy time, and struggling to remember what book I'm supposed to be talking about, so trying to figure out what happened in it is just...
Right, this one is Fire Force...12? And this one is super awesome, because! The very first page of story is the one we saw somebody working on at the printing company the last time we went to Japan! We saw the page with zombie Shinra on it and said, "We translate that one!" and then they asked if it was hard fitting the name "Shinra" horizontally in a narrow bubble. Unfortunately, we weren't able to answer that question. But we were very curious about what kind of a turn of events would lead to a zombie Shinra carrying a strange girl on his back. We started to put the pieces together at the end of volume eleven.
This is also the volume where we got to really show our stuff for the splash page blurb. They sent us the Japanese version, and it was something about hitobashira, so when they made the request for the translation, there was a brief explanation of what that was (we already knew from Noragami, when Kazuma tried to turn Yato into one) and a special request that we try to get something like that, but with fire in it. So we did some research and discovered that the burnt offerings of old Jewish tradition were made for similar reasons to the hitobashira thing, and we don't know for sure, but I suspect that's what our editor might have been referring to one time when she said even the Japanese side of Kodansha is impressed with our translations.
Now as for the story. Oh my goodness. This is the one where we learn about Arthur's backstory. It's so sad and so Arthur and so... I don't even know. I'm glad that he's okay. I don't know if it's from his personality or from the way his parents raised him or what, but whatever it is about Arthur that made it so he was okay with his parents abandoning him, I'm happy for him. It does disprove Shinra's theory that he only called himself the Knight King to make it more obviously superior to heroes, but I'm okay with that, I think. And I kind of like Arthur's whole thing about how he and Shinra were basically equals as long as they both held to their convictions, but as soon as Shinra threw his out the window, Arthur was sure he could destroy him. I like to think that's true, but! we never found out, because Shinra never really did give up on his convictions. I was pretty impressed with the way he freed himself from the First Pillar's mind control.
Speaking of the First Pillar. We found out that the hitobashira thing was coming before Charon and Haumea started talking about a First Pillar, because we translated that splash page blurb. So you'd think maybe we would have translated First Pillar to something more obviously connected to burnt offerings, but there are several linguistic reasons why that wouldn't be practical. First, while we know that the pillar was probably a sacrifice, we don't have any definite information on that. Second of all, the Japanese word for pillar, hashira, has another meaning that might become significant later, so if we write it out entirely, it's going to be harder to write the note about it. And finally, since there are apparently eight of them, and as far as we know only one of them has already been sacrificed (if that), it's just easier to call these people pillars than sacrifices or offerings. Especially because the characters don't hear "hashira" and immediately think they're trying to kill these specific people.
And speaking of there being multiple pillars, the First Pillar (I'm guessing her name is something like Iris) informs Shinra that the fifth one is about to awaken! Dun dun DUN! So now it's a race between the Fire Force and the Evangelist to see who can win her to their side first! And of course, she's not really interested in joining either of them.
Now this is an interesting character. First, her name drove us nuts. We were like, インカ, so, like the Inca, okay, we'll go with that. Then there was a chapter cover page with kanji that "spelled" her name, so we were like, "Oookay, so like karma, but that's inga..." So we did some research when it came time to finalize it, and we discovered that the Inca people speak Quechua, and in Quechua, the name is spelled Inka with a K. Inca with a C is the Spanish version, and it's also what we'd been typing the whole time (we only finalize stuff after we finish a first draft), so we weren't sure we wanted to change it. And then we remembered that her sidekicks are an homage to Sancho Panza, so we figured the Spanish spelling was totally appropriate.
And speaking of Inca and her South American connections. Oh my goodness, this was one of the worst things we'd ever come across. Haumea was being Haumea, of course, and the only thing we could figure was that, since she was receiving all the thoughts in the city like a radio, she was also saying things out loud in snippets, like when you're changing the channel on a radio. And of course, if this was the case, nothing else she said could reasonably be taken as context. And even if it could, it made no sense. The snippet theory was the only way to make it make sense. First she says some random thing about extra water (there was absolutely nothing in the story to explain that, either), and then she hits us with "maita don." What. We thought it was probably some new net slang or something that would be solved with a quick Google search. It was not. We even hit up the translators' chat we recently joined to see if anybody could help us out. They could not. Or did not. One person tried, convinced that it was some variant of "maitta," which means "I give up," basically, but that didn't make sense in the context, either. She did help motivate us to keep searching, though, because we were thiiiiiiiiiiiis close to calling it quits and having a note saying, "Sorry, we just have no idea." But then we checked a page that had come up before but seemed irrelevant and/or too difficult to read to get any info out of. But as it was there on the screen staring at us, I looked at a section of the text and saw インカ (Inca/Inka), and thought, "Aha! Maybe!" A little more digging led to the discovery that a ruler of the Incan Empire was named Mayta. And that's the best guess we could come up with. When we turned in the script, we mentioned that panel to our editor and said if she could get any explanation from Kodansha, we might be able to provide a more accurate translation. She said she trusts our judgment, but she'll see what she can do.
Anyway, Inca is a fire thief. Not like someone who steals fire, which is why we didn't use that exact phrasing in the translation, even though it's the easiest to say. She can sniff out fires before they happen and make sure to be on the scene, ready to help anyone who might need to escape...for a hefty fee. Charon came along and killed one of her sidekicks, so I don't think she's too keen on the idea of joining them, especially because Charon said she'd get used to that kind of thing, and she seems to be a little bit worried about the prospect of her adrenaline addiction getting worse. She's an adrenaline junkie, you see. So of course she's not too interested in the Fire Force taking her into protective custody, either. So Shinra and Charon get into a big and possibly pointless fight over that, while Haumea's sent a bunch of goons out to use bugs on the citizenry, causing a massive fire, as well as Infernalization, throughout the town.
And this is where things seem to get a little silly. Captain Obi has already been to see the Fire Chief about searching for the fifth pillar, and the Chief is all, "Well, I can't get the other companies to help you," and that makes perfect sense. But then they go to get the fifth pillar, and this ginormous fire breaks out, and they're like, "And we can't count on help from other companies!" and we're like, "Why the heck not? They weren't going to help you with the search for the fifth pillar, but I'm preeeetty sure that big fires are an okay time to call for help from other companies." In fact, last time we went to Fresno, we saw a firetruck from Orange County driving its way up to LA to help with a fire there. On the other hand, it seemed like only Company 4 knew about the big fire two years ago, so maybe it's just a jurisdiction thing, and the fifth pillar and the giant fire both happened to be in Company 8's jurisdiction.
Well anyway, of course a bunch of companies turned up to help anyway. It was kind of heartwarming, but still puzzling when they were like, "But I thought we weren't going to get any help!" Why not!? It's a giant freakin' fire burning up the whole city, with about three bazillion Infernals running around. But that's okay, because it all worked out. I think the point was to show us how much the other companies respected Captain Obi, because he called them in to help as a personal favor. And it was nice to see that, and to see all the help arriving just in the nick of time.
And that's where this volume leaves off. Tune in next time to see what happens to Shinra and Inca!
Oh, but first, a little bit on the Incans. They worshipped a sun god, and their kings were thought to be descended from the sun god. So very appropriate for this series.
That reminds us that they're getting into the pillar thing a little bit more and we haven't remembered to keep in mind the possibility of burnt offerings... We'll have to remember it for volume fifteen. Oh but you guys, this series is so good (whatever I may have said about the end of this volume).
Anyway, we have approximately one new release this week! The fourth and final volume of Beasts of Abigaile! And tune in on Thursday for our review of The Voynich Hotel volume 2!
Today I'm thankful for having a lovely session at the temple, getting to walk around and see the grounds (we'd never actually done that before; it was always just in and out), having lots of time to play Kingdom Hearts, also managing to finish this week's simulpub, and Fire Force anime! Eeeeeee!