March 19th, 2010


Tweet tweet rar

I'm really not sure if Twitter is good for our health. It keeps linking us to reviews that make our blood pressure go up. On the other hand, it's important to learn to take criticism. But back to the first hand, even if they're right in their complaints, it's not like we can fix the problem when the book has already been published. So then we're just sitting there like, "Oooohhhh noooooo!!! We have made a terrible, horrible, awful, no good, very bad mistake and it's out there for the entire world to see and we can't erase it! And they're all going to think we're stupid and we know we're not, but what if we are, really!? Ooooohhhhhhh nooooooooooooo!!!!"

I would like to point out here that I am purposely being overly dramatic; I am not fishing for compliments or consolation or comfort or any of those nice C words. Just leading up to what happened today.

There was a review of Happy Cafe 2. We were like, "Oooh, yay! That's the one we worked on!" And off we went to read it! And it was the typical cookie-cutter review with the summary and the, "yeah it's a cookie-cutter shojo manga, but it's fun and I like it anyway," and it only had one complaint: the choice to use American Southern dialect to represent Kansai. The reasoning is that Osaka dialect is an urban dialect and therefore should have been represented by something like a Brooklyn or Boston dialect instead, and Southern is just not creative enough.

The way we deal with this criticism, since (as I said) there's nothing we can do to fix it, darn it!, is to convince ourselves that we were right after all. And in fact, we actually did have a logical line of reasoning leading up to our decision to use a Southern accent, which we actually did consider (we think) at the time we were first translating that volume. See, the Abekawa brothers (the characters with the dialect in question) make traditional Japanese confections. And so, since they're more traditional, we thought an accent that sounds more traditional would be appropriate. And maybe Southern isn't really a traditional dialect in America, but since we grew up with a mom from the south and watching Disney movies (I will cite Trusty from Lady and the Tramp as a kind of character who seems to keep with old traditions and uses a Southern accent), we thought it worked.

I'll admit we never would have thought of Brooklyn or Boston without help, but once the suggestion was made, it didn't take us long to think, "No, that doesn't quite work with our 'traditional' image, and besides, can you imagine Kashiwa using a Brooklyn accent? His look just screams evil plantation owner's playboy son." I will also admit that those opinions are obviously biased.

Incidentally, another aspect of the Abekawa brothers that is really emphasized by (or possibly came into being because of) their Osaka dialect is the mansai comedy thing, and we both seem to remember thinking, "Oh yeah! Blue collar comedy!" as a possible US comedy equivalent (though of course they are not the same).

And for those who insist that Osaka dialect is urban, we would like to point out the city of New Orleans.

So even if you hate the Southern accent thing, at least we have our reasons for choosing the less original option other than "must go to default." On the other hand, we weren't even thinking anything when we went straight to a Southern accent for a character that shows up in volume six of Maid-sama! (we may have been influenced by having just turned in a volume of Happy Cafe), so we'll definitely need to watch ourselves more on that in the future. Fortunately it works out for the guy in Maid-sama!, because he's a total hick.

Today I'm thankful for finally finally finally getting Heal Strike for Terra, the hope that we will someday be able to get 100% on Birth by Sleep, having more peanut butter filled pretzels, having a good time at the Relief Society activity last night (right, I kind of wanted to talk about that), and figuring out how to get the liquid soap dispenser to dispense.