Sailor Moon. When I think of that name, one of two melodies pops into my head. There's the transformation music (from S specifically), and there's a song that Sailor Moon and company sing before the first Sailor Moon musical. Oh, that brings back memories. We had a VHS copy of the very first Sailor Moon musical with Anza Oyama, and Yuta Mochizuki playing Kunzite instead of Mamoru. How weird is THAT? Then, when we were doing a note about the rabbit on the moon, we found out that the name Mochizuki is sometimes associated with the mochi-pounding rabbit on the moon, and so we were like, "Oh, of course he switched to Tuxedo Mask and ended up playing him forever!" Even with his really crooked teeth... Sorry, Mochizuki-san! We really don't mind if you're teeth are crooked. It's just that there was this really dramatic scene in the Sailor Moon SuperS musical where he was all dying in Usagi's arms, and giving this touching speech (we assume), but back when we were watching it, we didn't know enough Japanese to follow what he was saying, so instead we got distracted by things like his crooked teeth, which really just looked more crooked than usual because of the camera angle.
Anyway. So this is volume two of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Complete Edition [edit: we probably wrote this before we knew it was going to be called "eternal"], and boy is it sparkly! I have to say, though, that we didn't enjoy this volume quite as much as volume one, although I think that's due to the many extenuating circumstances. (Athena: I mean, volume one had its fair share of circumstances, but it wasn't nearly as bad.) Circumstance the first: We were just getting ready for this volume to be the next on our schedule when our editor asked if we could put it aside and instead do all the color pages...for the whole series. Something about approvals taking longer; it's a printing thing. We were okay with that, except that we had already translated volume one, which told us that our memories of the manga are such that, even with watching Sailor Moon Crystal, we really don't remember what happens in this series, and since we knew half of this arc from translating volume one, we didn't want to be spoiled by color pages. Okay, we didn't want to be spoiled for any of the arcs, but it was going to be inevitable, because we just did not have time to read through the entire series before turning in the color page translations. Nevertheless, we thought we could at least get a rough draft of volume two done before we cracked down on all the colored pages. I mean, come on, if we really wanted to nail down the dialogue for those pages, we were going to want the full context, right?
So we did that instead of working on In/Spectre, which is why our translation of In/Spectre 4 ended up being late, and why we felt so bad about it. And of course, that means we were rushed when we did it, so we didn't have time to look into everything and figure out all the intricate nuances, so basically our first reaction to this volume was, "Wow, this is as ridiculous as Sailor Moon Crystal!" Especially when Sailor Moon killed herself again. This is something I wouldn't have liked either way, because I always thought Romeo and Juliet were being silly. Where there's life, there's hope, people! So I can't say I'm entirely unsympathetic to the idea of losing the person you love most in all your born lives, but having never experienced it myself, I am a little unsympathetic to the "might as well kill myself" aspect of it. Especially when you still have a job to do saving the world, and you've been told repeatedly that you're the only one who can do it. I mean, I get that not only did she lose him, but she was faced with the guilt of having killed him herself, but she could have killed herself after saving the world. Priorities.
Circumstance the second: when we did finally get back to translating this volume for real...was it two months later? Well, that was a circumstance in and of itself. It may in fact be the reason that, once we got started on it, we realized it was going to take approximately a million years to finish, and we only had a week at best. And a week was much longer than we wanted to take on it, too. We wanted to get it done in two days, but we were allowing for three. It took...longer. We had eighty pages of script and somehow managed to get through an average of two of them per hour. So that may have soured our opinion a bit toward this volume.
Fortunately, things did pick up eventually. And this is when we did get into the nitty gritty details, and once we did that, everything started to make sense and I wasn't like, "This is dumb," nearly as much. After that, the only thing that really bugged me was Usagi killing herself. ...Oh, and Kunzite waking up to being a good guy in the Dark Kingdom, but then he was outside being a bad guy still, and then he was back in the Dark Kingdom being a good guy. We were a little confused on the continuity there, but I'm going to assume that his crystal body was in the Dark Kingdom and his human form was some kind of an astral projection. And do you know what line of his gave us so much trouble? He asks "Had we been put under a long sleep?" Does that sound as unnatural to you as it does to us? Because it sounded really weird. And we had the hardest time coming up with an alternative that got all the necessary information! We eventually went with "Had we been asleep all this time?", and left it to the readers to assume that "all this time" was a long time. You guys are smart; you figured it out, right?
And let me tell you, we were comparing it to the previous edition, because technically this isn't a new translation, it's an adaptation, but that one didn't sound much better. And we've been over this about the previous edition, so we should have expected it, but you never know. We actually did use quite a few of the translations from the previous edition. But speaking of that version! We think we realized another thing about it. The translation seems to be written just so that an adaptation writer has all the information she or he needs to make it sound good! So go, quick! Pick up the previous edition of volume three and start adapting Sailor Moon R to see if you can beat our version! We can make it a contest! I don't know what the prize would be, though. Plus we can't be the judges, because we're obviously biased. So someone else can make it a contest! We recuse ourselves. It's the only honorable thing to do.
Anyway. Did you notice? There was another line that gave us some trouble, because in the Japanese, Usagi basically says, "I love you, my only love." Okay, it's more accurately, "My beloved one and only person." If our editor didn't change it, you may have noticed that we shamelessly stole some lines from a song that was in the original Sailor Moon dub! Mwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! We couldn't resist. That dub is what got us started on anime, and it was the song the dub used when they got the Silver Crystal and found out Usagi was the princess, which is exactly what was happening in this scene, and the words fit, so why not use them, right? I like to call it a tribute. We did tweak them so they'd fit better in the context, though, of course.
And I just realized that I haven't given a summary of this volume. But everyone knows what happens in Sailor Moon, right? Let me just say it's the second half of the Dark Kingdom arc. That should be good enough, right?
So let's get back to what happened. I have to mention the Four Generals. Why? Because that picture when Kunzite talks about how they were reincarnated is so hilarious. They all look like they're on the cover of a Harlequin romance. It's great! I mean, they probably would have been male models if Beryl hadn't recruited them. I mean, look at them. And they are prone to selling their souls to the devil, so. But that brings up an interesting point--how did they live their new lives before Beryl found them? I can't imagine she recruited them as infants. Athena also pointed out the other day that it would be interesting to read a prequel about the days of the Silver Millennium, so we can get all the details on how everything went down, and all the love triangles and everything.
We also noticed in this version that Sailor Moon is pretty much a mashing together of every romantic fairy tale (except for Beauty and the Beast, but that comes later). Princess Serenity is from the moon, which makes her like Princess Kaguya. She's obsessed with another world, like the Little Mermaid. (And, as in both the Andersen version and the Disney version, she loved the Earth before she fell in love with the prince who happened to live there.) Then of course you have the Sleeping Beauty / Snow White element when Tuxedo Mask brings her back to life with a kiss, and the Cinderella element when she drops her handkerchief. The Snow Queen Metalia who lives in the north turns her beloved into an evil minion. ...I think those are the main ones. Let us know if you can think of more! Oh! I just got one. Princess Serenity has Rapunzel-length hair. Oh! and Endymion is blinded! Definitely has some Rapunzel elements.
I feel like I had something to say about Sailor Venus, but I can't remember what it was. It was really cute when Ami had her smashing diamonds and she was freaking out about it. Oh! Maybe it had something to do with when the guardians all gave up their transformation pens. That part seemed so silly to me at first. It was just like, "Uh, we're stumped. Let's just die." But then we started going over the details, and it made SO much more sense. She was like, "Okay, I know the crystal is waiting for its chance to get Metalia, so let's give it one!" That was something that didn't make much sense in the previous edition, either, so I hope it makes more sense to everyone now. (I can't blame the previous translator for that; there's a lot of wording in Sailor Moon that is hard to puzzle out at first.)
Anyway, I don't know if I mentioned this in my review of volume one, but there are some really neat trivia things that I never really realized until now. For example, and we mentioned this in one of the notes, since Serenity is Selene, she's the personification of the Moon. And since Luna is the Roman counterpart of Selene, then the part where Artemis was all, "You and Serenity were one!" makes perfect sense. It makes Luna's role in the whole thing seem a lot more important. And here I always wrote her off as just the feline sidekick. Sorry, Luna! (This is why she got her own movie.)
...Well, I think that's everything. We hope you're enjoying this new shiny edition of Sailor Moon!
Aww, this was so nice. It will help motivate us to get back to volume five! ...Except that motivation isn't exactly the problem on that one, it's timing. So much to translate, so little time, alas. We've been trying to finish this volume for like half a year now, it's ridiculous. I think we're about three-fourths done with the edit...
Anyway, we forgot to mention yesterday that we had a new release this week! It's My Monster Secret 14! And tomorrow we'll be racing to finish another volume of that series! Tadah!
And our release schedule is really starting to thin out, I think, but! we still have this backlog to work through, so we're going to keep going with two reviews a week. So tune in on Tuesday for our review of Waiting for Spring 9!
Today I'm thankful for work going pretty well today, having time to relax and watch some TV, getting to look back at our work on Sailor Moon 2, the super awesome finale of Gakuen Basara, and getting a short break from our weekly assignments.