May 23rd, 2014


These aren't the books you're looking for

We ended up with another surprise day off today. We should have work materials on the way, but I guess we're still having delivery issues. So let's tell the story of our (soon-to-be) current project!

We've been expecting work-related emails from a client in Japan all week, so we make sure to check our email in the evenings (as if we didn't do that already). On Monday night, we got a work-related email we didn't expect. It was from Kodansha, which, last we checked, was based on the East Coast, so the fact that we got the email so late was pretty weird, but I guess that's not important. What is important is that we've been asked to take over a series, because the former translator is no longer available. The series is in current release and we've already signed a contract, so we could probably say what it is if we want, but we don't have materials yet, so we're just going to let people guess for a little while. We were a little amused at the assignment, but if I told you why, that would be a dead giveaway.

We didn't think about it much after that, because we had a Disneyland to go to, and then we had a couple of other things to take care of (a Harlequin manga and a chapter of UQ Holder, which, as I mentioned yesterday, turned out to be crazy hard), and besides, there wasn't much use thinking about it before we had any materials. We were supposed to get the books yesterday, and we had instructions to inform our editor if they didn't show up by today. We were really hoping they would show up this morning, because otherwise we'd have to leave our apartment to check if maybe they had been left in the management office.

So we were pretty happy to wake up to the sound of our gate being opened, and a package being left at our front door. But when I retrieved the package, it was from Seven Seas.

Surprise! We did work for Seven Seas a little while back, and I guess the books are being released soon or have been released recently, because now we have comp copies. This is the company that turned us down years ago because we didn't have enough experience working on novels, which is what they were focusing on at the time, so when they contacted us out of the blue and asked us to help them translate a novel, we were like, "...For real?" Then we saw what it was exactly that they wanted us to translate and it all made sense. They must be familiar with our work on the Negima! lexicons.

So what they wanted us to do was...okay, you may or may not know that they've been releasing the Dance in the Vampire Bund manga. (We were only vaguely aware of this fact at best.) We haven't actually read the whole thing or anything, but from what we translated, we gather that the creator of Dance in the Vampire Bund got together with a couple of friends/fanfic writers or something, and published Vampire Bund doujinshi at, like, Comic Market and stuff. The publications included manga as well as prose fic, and at least some of that has been compiled into this volume that Seven Seas is now releasing in English. Tadah!

As part of that doujinshi, one of the writers wrote a lexicon of sorts, explaining all the references (historical, cultural, pop cultural, etc.) that show up in the main Bund series. Our job was to translate that stuff. Most of that stuff was "the title of this chapter is from this movie/novel/short story which is about this thing." So we spent a lot of time at Wikipedia. It was pretty interesting stuff, and I bet it would be even more interesting for Dance in the Vampire Bund fans.

We skimmed through the comp copies a little bit and noticed the entry about "good night, sleep tight." Apparently it appeared in English in the original Japanese manga, so there was a note to explain it...and now there's a note to explain it in the English lexicon thing. Not sure how we feel about that. *shrug*

Anyway, now we're left with no materials and nothing else on our work to-do list. If we'd thought about it, maybe we would have remembered that we promised a friend we'd retranslate (because we lost our original) Saiyuki Gaiden 4. But we didn't, so instead we watched anime on Crunchyroll to kill time while we waited to hear back from our editor about the books' failure to arrive. We ended up watching No Game No Life, which we're enjoying immensely. It reminds us a little of Gokudo, only slightly less depraved.

But supposedly we have other things to do with ourselves, so we're going to save the latest three episodes for later. Maybe later today, maybe not. We'll see.

Today I'm thankful for getting to see a fun new anime, having a new series to work on from Kodansha, getting comp copies from Seven Seas, our apartment manager being very good at humoring us and checking for the package that didn't show up after all, and my phone still working.