April 26th, 2014


Harlequin manga

Fortunately, today has been somewhat laid back. I feel a little bad about whining to everybody on LiveJournal yesterday. I was really more upset about the fact that we were working so late than anything else (except maybe those Grumpy Cat ads). It's true that we dislike babysitting immensely, but it's really only because we don't think the little girl's games are as fun as our own games, and while it's true we never asked, we're pretty sure she'd get bored with Kamigami no Asobi pretty quickly.

Anyway, last night we got another assignment that we almost sort of half turned down because the thought of next week stressed us out enough...not because we have so much to do (although we do), but because we're afraid we won't have time to do all of it without putting too much of a strain on ourselves, and/or skipping Disneyland (unacceptable). Also, it's the type of assignment that usually has us rolling our eyes over and over at the characters. But sometimes those assignments can be really fun anyway, and besides we really like our boss for them, so instead of sort of half turning it down, we said sure but it might be late. And our awesome boss moved the deadline back.

But the point is! we've been working on these projects for months and hadn't figured out where exactly they were ending up, so we determined to find out last night, and it turns out some of them have been published, so we can probably talk about them.

It all started when we were living at Mom's house, and we'd been working on UQ Holder! for a while. Since we did good work and did it quickly, our boss asked if we'd be willing to join in the massive Harlequin Manga translation thing that that company had been doing. We were a little worried about it, actually, because we knew that Mom used to read Harlequin novels but stopped because she decided they were kind of like a porn addiction. So we were like, "Uh..." Anyone who remembers how much we agonized over Say I Love You will probably not be surprised at our hesitance. So we asked Mom what she thought, and she said, "That's awesome! You should totally do it! Just remember, romance novels are like porn for women." And we were like, "And you WANT us to translate the manga!?" But then she said it wasn't that "adult," so we figured it was probably okay to at least give it a shot.

So we translated The Marriage Miracle and Marrying McCabe (you can find them here somewhere), and we were like, "Wow, these characters are kind of ridiculous." There was a lot of eye-rolling. So of course when our boss came back a month later and asked us to translate another one, we said yes. As may be indicated from yesterday's post, we have a very difficult time saying no. But we figured they can't all be that annoying, and in fact this next one was pretty cute. (We think it was Claiming His Christmas Bride.)

And so we've been doing them ever since, about one or two a month. And we've come to one main conclusion. We've done a lot of ranting about how people seem to think that Disney princesses are setting a bad precedent for girls in regards to relationships and what to look for in a guy and stuff. It's not Disney princesses. It's romance novels. They're ridiculous. So many of them are like, "Yeah, this guy's a jerk and stuff, but the power of our love will change him!" Not all of them are that bad. There are a lot of them where the guy is really decent. And the last one we did was super adorable. I heart it. (It's called Born to Wed, but it was kind of a double feature with The Christmas Eve Bride, which was argh. We're starting to wonder if these books are teaching girls, "Oh don't worry about chastity (or birth control, but we prefer chastity)--he'll only make you pregnant if he's The One.")

We've also learned that apparently Italians and men with lots of brothers get a lot of moe points.

And it's been an interesting challenge, because all of this manga is based on books that were originally written in English...and that means most of the Japanese is not technically normal Japanese. I mean, it might be normal Japanese, but it's not the type of phrasing you normally find in manga. And maybe it is normal--I mean, we have been warned that people in Japan don't really talk like they do in manga, but I kind of always thought that was more of a situational thing, as opposed to a turn-of-phrase thing. Or maybe it's just that the type of people who write manga don't talk like the type of people who read romance novels (as opposed to shoujo manga). I don't know; I'm starting to confuse myself.

Today I'm thankful for having a good time at the baptism today, having a mostly laid-back kind of day otherwise, finding out that our Harlequin Manga translations are in fact legit (whenever we'd Google "Harlequin manga" before, all we'd get would be scan sites; then we started getting smarter about it), having the presence of mind not to look to Harlequin heroines as role models, and getting to have a conversation with people today about our work that didn't involve their eyes glazing over.