We first read Bus Gamer soon after AX 2004. We had known of its existence for a long time before that, but for some reason it wasn't until then that we got a hold of it. There was a lull in our work schedule, so we used that time to translate it, because, it being a Kazuya Minekura work, we didn't want to have to take turns reading it. After we translated and fell in love with it comes the story that I know I've posted on LJ before, so those of you who already know it, feel free to skip ahead.
We were actually a little ambitious about this one--comes with our delusions of grandeur. Bus Gamer was originally published in an Enix magazine that had gone out of print. One volume was published in book form, and there were a few chapters that were lost in the ether until Ichijinsha came along and printed the Pilot Edition, which is what most people know today. At the end of the Pilot Edition, Kazuya Minekura said she loves the story and the characters, and is was waiting eagerly for a chance to start it up again. As it so happens, she got to start Bus Gamer over again from the beginning when Ichijinsha started up their shounen magazine, Rex, but at the time, there was no sign of a continuation.
Also, we had just been shot down in our attempts to get in on translating Lagoon Engine Einsatz for Newtype USA (*shakes fist*). Maybe that had something to do with our idea that TokyoPop could license Bus Gamer, and then it would be popular enough in the States that we could continue it here (Lagoon Engine Einsatz was published in America before it was in Japan).
So, since we were still bugging our boss (original boss) about more work, we suggested TokyoPop look into it, and we would love to translate it for them. To our shock and dismay, we were told that TokyoPop was looking into it, but she had already promised it to another translator. ガーーーーン!!!, is really the best way to express how we felt. (That day turned out to suck even more, but that's not work related, so we'll leave it out of this story.)
Until about a year later. Now we're dealing with new boss, and one day we get an e-mail asking if we'd like to translate Bus Gamer. We're like, "Wha? Yes yes yes yes yes!!! But! wha...?" We wanted to jump on it and never let go, but we had been told that it had been promised to someone else. To be honest, there were some prayers asking that whoever that other translator was would become unable to do Bus Gamer in a good way--like they got rich enough that they didn't need the money or something.
So we sent new boss an e-mail saying, "We'd love to translate it, and we're afraid to ask, but wasn't Bus Gamer promised to someone else?" New boss sent an e-mail back saying that it was very honorable of us to ask, but before original boss left, we were the ones she told new boss to give Bus Gamer to. There were many exclamation points in our next e-mail agreeing to do it. And I posted about the whole thing on LJ, but I couldn't say which series all the excitement was about, so hopefully this version was a little less confusing.
Bus Gamer is a totally awesome series--we like it at least as much as we like Saiyuki, sometimes a little more. Our favorite character is Saito, and yes he's the cute one. But he's also the one that likes video games and Gundam models. Athena also has a thing for older twins, so she likes Toki a lot. I like him too--how can we not like any of them, really? Toki's like Sanzo and Hakkai combined, since there's only three guys in this one. That makes Nakajyo Gojyo, and he really is. Not that the characters are exactly the same. I don't think they are, anyway. For example, Nakajyo teaches Shogi. That's different. Right?
The interesting thing we noticed about Bus Gamer is that Nakajyo has the same birthday (and blood type, depending on which profile you're looking at) and smokes the same cigarettes as Kazuya Minekura. Toki has the same birthday (and blood type, depending on which profile you're looking at) as Jiro Suzuki, a long time assistant of Minekura-sensei, who was highly commended for drawing the piles of toys in the Kamisama arc of Saiyuki. It makes us very curious as to who Saito got his birthday from.
On the translation difficulty scale... hm... we liked it, so it must not have been too difficult. I think it's true that a lot of the time a series becomes someone's favorite because it's on the same wave length as that person, and so when translating a favorite series, it becomes a lot easier to understand and come up with good translations because of that. So even though Saiyuki volume 1 was incredibly hard to translate the first time through, now Saiyuki is one of the easiest titles for us to work on. And I figure Bus Gamer must have been pretty easy for that same reason, because it's by the same author.
I guess we can't leave without mentioning what we've heard about the final English version. Well, we probably could, actually. It's one of those things where I'm worried that if I warn people, they'll stay away from it, but if we don't they won't notice. It's rated mature, and it's probably all for language, because there's nothing in it that worse than anything in Saiyuki, which, last we checked, was rated older teen. Maybe it's because of all the guns? Eh, probably not. Guns aren't on the check list.
Speaking of guns! Kazuya Minekura recently posted a picture of all the model guns she uses as, well, models when she's drawing manga. It's pretty neat.
Aww, now I'm a little sad that Bus Gamer is on hiatus again. It's okay, though. From what we've read, Minekura-sensei needs her rest. Someday we'll get to read more. Someday.
I should probably confess that the subject line is a lie. I thought if anybody really did read it, it would take away from the drama if they knew ahead of time that it didn't really. My other confession is that it probably actually isn't nigh impossible to pay off your debt in the Host Club game. We were just curious to see what happens if you rest instead of entertaining guests one day, and we were foolish enough not to reset it when nothing happened. Alas.
Today I'm thankful for peanut butter squares with chocolate/peanut butter topping, my VT liking Princess Tutu (after the first episode, she asked if we could watch the next one!), having had time to read manga today, Bus Gamer, and having been allowed to translate Bus Gamer.