This review represents the end of one of the most intense weeks we have had to date. It's kind of weird, though, because I'm pretty sure we've had weeks where we had to work about the same amount, but this week felt so much harder. Maybe because we were dying on Saturday from a combination of things, possibly including the accumulated stress of having intense work weeks for so long consecutively without proper relaxation inbetween. I don't know. The point is, when we finish this review, we'll be done for the week! ...Next week might not be much better, but it might be a lot better! We won't know until next week.
Anyway, My Monster Secret. I feel a little bad for this volume because of our attitude toward it. It wasn't its fault, and it wasn't even as bad as how our attitude will be for the thing we do next week. We're just getting super super super tired of being rushed to turn in translations for books that won't be released to the public until at least nine months after we turn them in. I'm pretty sure it doesn't take that long to go through the rest of the process, especially when it's a digital only release...which this is not. But the next thing is. And this one probably won't actually come out for fifteen months, a year at the soonest. But we're not as mad at it, because we feel like we could have asked for more time if we needed to (although we did have the deadline get moved up, which was annoying), whereas for the other one, our boss did ask us when we could get it in by, and we gave him the soonest realistic deadline we could manage (and still keep our sanity), and he said, "Umm, how about a week sooner?" And that's why this last week has been so ridiculous.
I like to think that our attitude did not affect our work on the book, but I do feel like there might have been some dialogue that could have been funnier with a little more effort. But in this case, the lack of effort came more from utter exhaustion than from our annoyance. Well, exhaustion and the reassurance that whatever we wrote had a good chance of being changed anyway, regardless of how good or bad it was. Yes, we still have a bad attitude about English adaptation writers, and it gets a lot harder to keep it to ourselves when we're exhausted like we are now. (Then why don't we save this review for later? Because it's the last thing we need to cross off our list before we can erase the whiteboard and write up a new one, and we want to write up a new list, goshdarnit!!!)
So what happened again? Oh right, Shiho. This volume was very Shiho-centric. There was other stuff, too, though. What was it? Oh yeah, curry. I could have sworn there was already a "Let's Make Curry" chapter much earlier on in the series, and we would have checked, but our mindset was more, "Forget about it, let's get this done!" It wouldn't have affected the translation anyway, because it's not like there are that many different ways to say "let's make curry" in English or Japanese. That chapter gave us trouble because of Saki, and we were in no state of mind to perfect dialects. Fortunately, we had watched Beverly Hillbillies, and then we said to ourselves, "You know what? She can just talk like Apple Jack from My Little Pony." And there you have it. I have no idea what the rewriter is going to do with it.
But the main thing is that Mikan is trying to figure out more of the future, and even she has to admit later that it's a pointless thing to do. But she wouldn't even be bothering if not for the mysterious box woman, who has yet to be seen again. She really is a big mystery. But the important thing is that she discovers that she [Yuka?], too, is Asahi's granddaughter. This part was weird, because Fuku-chan was like, "What? But she and Rin have different last names!" and we're like, "Does nobody know how family structures work anymore?" We're really glad that Mikan remembered that all people (barring incest) have two biological grandmothers. Seriously, people, it's not rocket surgery.
But then the shift switches over to Shiho. Well, Nagisa first, but Shiho is really where it ends up. The hints that she really does have feelings get bigger and stronger, until the end of the zoo chapter. And by the way, I want to say again how glad I am that people are not entirely oblivious in this series. Nagisa's a good friend, not making Shiho state it outright. Oh, but that zoo chapter. It was ridiculous. We're starting to think that the Nympho Icon has been coming around to goad Shiho because she senses that Shiho is in love and she wants Shiho to admit it.
The filler chapters...in retrospect, I think they were probably really funny, but in our current state of mind, lack of sleep is too close to home. The nagashi somen chapter was utter ridiculousness, which I probably would have appreciated a lot more if I weren't so rushed. But I was rushed, so my attitude was more like, "Why are you wasting my time on filler!? AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!" Seriously, though, it has some solid jokes. The imaginary nagashi somen manga was classic. Incidentally, I don't know if we'll be asked to change this (someone will have to catch on first), but when Nagisa first says the title, it's different than the title she mentions later in the chapter. We don't know if that was an honest typo, or if they decided to leave it that way to make it even funnier. The change was hard to translate, though, so we didn't really bother. If anybody wants to know details, maybe we'll be better prepared to think about it by the time we post this review...a year or so from now. [Incidentally, we wrote this review Feb.10, 2018.]
And then there's the...oh my goodness, I don't even know what to call it. Mikan finally manages to get Yuka and convince her to tell them everything she knows about the future. And she's all, "Grandma Shiho is always so sad when I ask her about Grandpa..." and Shiho's all, "No! It can't be true! I would never steal Kuromine-kun from Youko!" I have to say, it was this volume that had us thinking maybe Shiho isn't Nympho Icon II. I thought, "Maybe Asahi marries Shiho, and some weird changes happens in Youko or Nagisa and she becomes Nympho Icon II." My strongest theory is still that Youko somehow becomes Nympho Icon II, since there are hints that Yuka is also related to Nagisa, and if Youko doesn't marry Asahi, either it means she died or something else tragic happened to her. But anyway, Shiho was all, "No! It can't be true! I would never steal Kuromine-kun from Youko!" and Yuka's like, "Why are we talking about Asahi? I was talking about Grandpa Utah."
I should explain that Yuka isn't really Asahi's granddaughter, she just calls him Grandpa, because everyone in the Resistance does. Also, her super power for fighting nymphos is hilarious. "I dress like this in the winter, too!"
Then everyone's like, "Oh, that's a relief. Who's Yuuta, anyway?" except for Nagisa, who has been scared stiff. As Class Representative, she knows the names of everyone in their class, including Shimada. (Athena thinks they may have mentioned this before.) That's right, Shiho is destined to have a child with Asahi's worthless friend Shimada. And so they all decide that the only thing to do is to change the future. I do wonder about Yuka, though. I mean, I can understand her maybe not wanting to be related to Shimada, but changing Shiho's future could result in erasing herself from existence... I guess she's optimistic enough that she figures she'll just have a different grandpa.
Also, you may have noticed that I called him Grandpa Utah. Why? Because when I found out (or was reminded) that his name was Yuuta, I remembered that he said he wanted to be polygamy when he grows up. I don't know if Masuda-sensei did any research on polygamy, or maybe is familiar with TV shows like Big Love or Sister Wives, but I do know that Utah is a state where polygamy was a thing. (I guess it still is a thing, but it's not really legal, and in case anyone is wondering, it's not sanctioned by the LDS Church anymore.) And I thought the connection was amusing.
Anyway, it was a nice dramatic ending to the volume. The best was Rin, trying to stop Yuka from telling them. "You'll only make them sad." And then they all find out, and Rin is like, "See? I told you." It was very well done, and I do sort of wish a little bit that I'd had more brain power to appreciate it. But I am glad that we met our deadlines! And we hope you enjoy(ed) this volume, too!
Wow, this review does not give any details on what happened! I'm guessing that was because we were so tired when we wrote it. Anyway, reading the volume to figure out what the heck I'm talking about doesn't seem like a terrible idea, because if this review is to be believed, there are some very solid jokes in this volume.
Anyway, this was another week with no new releases for us, but tune in next week for our review of Fire Force 13!
Today I'm thankful for getting to go outside today, getting to accomplish our dream of setting up shop at a cafe in the rain, finishing not one but two first drafts, having time to relax afterward, and not being kept up too late by our procrastination of finishing up this week's simulcast translation.