August 19th, 2005


Minor rantage

You know, every time I read a manga review at AnimeOnDVD, I have to come over here and rant about why the reviewers don't seem quite as smart as they think they are. One of these days, I probably ought to gather up the courage to go tell them to their face on the forums, but currently, I don't think I'd get a whole lot of credit if this random girl showed up and started criticizing things.

Sound effects!! Man, I don't understand why people have so much of a problem. It only seems especially ironic, because, as far as we know, the reason TokyoPop leaves the SFX untranslated is that it would affect the artwork otherwise. And the people complaining about the lack of translation are the very same people who are so infuriated when they see their manga flipped, "because it hurts the artwork." They're contradicting themselves. I really think the SFX glossary they had in Saiyuki was an excellent compromise.

Of course, we might not be the ones to talk on this matter, because we know how to read the sound effects. But we never did until we became translators.

And I know we've said it before, but we'll say it again, "honorifics" is not the term for name-suffixes like "san," "kun," "chan," etc. Honorifics refers to a different use of the language to show respect to the addressee and the subject of conversation, and to humble the speaker. But that's one I know they're never going to learn if someone doesn't say anything to them directly.

But other than the sound effects thing, the Rizelmine text got a good review, so really I don't know if we have a right to complain.

More rantage.

I got an email from Disney Insider informing me that Valiant comes out today. I'm not sure what I think about Valiant, although Athena pointed out something in the commercial that lowers my opinion of the movie everytime I see it. The commercial, not the movie; I haven't seen that yet, so I really am not that qualified to judge. But here are my pre-viewing thoughts.

We actually saw a poster for Valiant back... some time when we were at a movie. Maybe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And of course, it prominently displayed the words, "From the producers of Shrek and Shrek 2." This makes a lot of sense, since those movies are very popular, and are quite possibly drawing a lot of people in to see it. Personally, we didn't much care for Shrek (never saw Shrek 2, but we believe people when they tell us it's better than the first one), so I'm kind of sad that Disney seems to be resorting to using a mediocre movie to draw in an audience.

Admittedly, Home on the Range was not that great a movie (I liked it though), so I guess I can see where they'd want some extra help. It doesn't matter how good a movie is--if no one comes to see it, no one will realize that anyone's working harder to improve the quality of their films. They'll just be like, "Well, that last movie was lame; this one won't be any better." And since we heard things about Pixar leaving Disney, Disney's going to need a lot of help with publicity if the things we hear are true.

To tell the truth, I'm sad that everyone is so obsessed with Pixar films (not that they don't deserve it). It's just that we love the classical animation style so much, and people seem to think that those aren't worth seeing at all anymore. But if something's all CGI, then obviously it's a spectacular film. Or at least, the actions of our mother and her husband have led us to believe that these are common theories.

So anyway, it's one thing to give up on classical animation. But man, if you're going to go all CGI, at least keep up the quality. The problem is this: In the commercial, they keep showing this clip where Valiant (at least, I think it's Valiant) flies out the window, only his foot is stuck on some gum, which pulls him back, causing him to crash into the wall. So far, no problems. He crashes into the wall so hard that he leaves an indent, and then slides straight down the wall.

The problem is, if the wall has an indent in it, you can't slide straight down it. He should have either stayed stuck in the wall, fallen forward (or backward; I can never see if he was turned around or not), or not made an indent. This defies the laws of physics.

And I know it's a cartoon, and the laws of physics don't always apply. But if you're going to break the laws of physics, at least make it less obvious. I have a much easier time believing that fish would evolve to a state where they can carry things above their heads than I do watching that scene in Valiant.

The other problem is this: when you do computer animation, to create an indent in the wall, you have to transform the wall. Obviously, that wasn't a problem. But if Valiant was sliding down the wall after it was transformed, they would have had to do something to prevent his body from coming ghost-like through the non-indented part of the wall. Watching the commercial, it looks like they got around that by not having Valiant actually go into the indent in the wall. He stopped right outside where the wall would have been, if it hadn't been indented, and slid down a straight wall. So apparently the force of his crash created a lump on the other side of the wall in his shape. This defies the law of conservation of matter.

So basically, it looks like they're not only telling a bad joke, but they're using poor animation to do it. Now, this might just be me and my Nazi perfectionism talking, but I read that whole book on animation by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, and there's a reason there are twelve principles of animation. And a lot of those principles (squash & stretch, secondary motion, arches, etc.) are there to make the animation look realistic, or as realistic as it could.

All I'm saying is, it's the little details that make the difference. Never say, "Oh, no one will notice." Because there are crazy people like me and Athena who will. They're just lucky so few people read this. And aside from that, it could be an awesome movie, for all we know.

More thoughts on DN 11

I have to update several times throughout the translation process, because it's more fun that way. Although, for the record, I would like to point out that, had we worked non-stop, this book would have been finished three days ago, which is impressive because we only got it the day before yesterday. Okay, so I shouldn't exaggerate like that. It really could have taken up to six hours (Athena suspects it would have been four and a half).

There seems to be an inordinate amount of ellipses in this volume. Before this, the only time we'd seen so many ellipses was in Ai Yori Aoshi, and Fumizuki-sensei's really cut back since the early days of that series.

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And so we put off the translating of the next chapter (the last one in volume 11) until tomorrow, so that we'll still have more DN Angel to look forward to in the near future. We also got to listen to Radio DN Angel today, which was highly amusing, as usual. And this time, Irino-kun and Ishida-san performed a little excerpt of "Ice and Snow - Dark version." It was awesome. We do think that Irino-kun could have used some tips (perhaps from Ishida-san!) on how to play that type of role.

I think it would be awesome to perform "Ice and Snow - Dark version," or any version, really. Maybe at AX or something. Because really, it wouldn't be much good if people didn't appreciate its origins. Although, if we could do it well enough, we might get complete anime-phobes to show some interest in DN Angel. That would be awesome, too.