May 8th, 2006


Make it pink!

I'm not sure how many times I've explained this before, or if I even have at all, but today's events don't make a whole lot of sense unless I explain it again. See, to avoid the dangers of graphic designers who don't know Japanese placing the wrong text in the wrong bubble when changing a manga from Japanese to English, TokyoPop asks translators to number each translated item, and write the number next to that item in the actual book of manga. When we were told how it works, we were horrified to see the senior editor write in manga, but he noticed our shocked expressions and explained that it's okay--it's not our manga, it's okay to deface it. And so we do.

To make sure the numbers are clearly distinguishable from all the pretty pictures and tone and whatnot, we make sure (or rather, Athena makes sure, since she's the one in charge of numbering) to number each item using a metallic gel pen. She likes to use colors that match the manga, so when translating DN Angel, she'll use red (or purple if Dark is featured more prominently on the cover) and for Ai Yori Aoshi, she'll always use blue. For serieses like Fruits Basket, then each volume gets a color depending on whose on the cover and what color represents them best. Or sometimes it's just based on what color the cover is.

When she's feeling especially crazy, she'll change the color depending on the character most prominently featured in the chapter. This happens the most in Saiyuki, since chances are we know who the chapter is about before we do the translation for TokyoPop. Except with the Against the Stream arc, because we didn't have the copper gel pen, so Kougaiji had to be represented with pink. There was one time when she changed color based on who was talking. It helps with the drama, like when you think Sanzo is dead, but then he says something, except there's no picture of him on the page. And in volume 9, she would change the gel pen depending on who was winning at Mahjong.

And that brings us to today. We were supposed to work on +ANIMA. Nana is on the cover, and Nana is a cute girly girl, who likes to be all cute and adorable. She's ten, so we can't blame her. But, due to certain circumstances, she can't be as cute and girly and pink as she'd like to be. Her cover gets to be pink anyway, and it's very cute and happy for her, but our pink gel pen ran out of ink a long time ago, and the copper gel pen replaced pink in the set we bought later on. It was fine at the time, because back then we were translating stuff that was Not Cute. But it would be a shame to not let Nana have pink for her manga. And we have three other volumes for the future that really would be best with pink.

So I called Mom and asked her if we could get a ride somewhere to buy a pink gel pen. She said she might could handle it, but it would be more convenient for her if we could wait until she picked Sarah up from school. That was fine, we still had other things to do, like write to missionary boy, and watch anime. So I hang up with Mom, come back to the computer, and the monitor has blacked out because the weather was cooler for a bit so we forgot we need to turn it off when we're not using it. And that's why we haven't gotten anything done today. Although we did write to missionary boy, which took a lot longer than I thought it should have, but really not a whole lot longer than expected, now that I stop to think about it. And Mom called about half an hour ago to apologize for forgetting about us earlier, but she has to go to Scott's game, so we'll be asking our anime buddy to drive us instead. So hopefully we'll be more productive tomorrow.

Today I'm thankful for the satisfying crunch of Nestle's Crunch Bars, pads of lined paper, having a bit of spendable cash with which to buy gel pens, not having to deface our own manga, and pictures of Miyano-kun with his pets.