Anyway. We've been spending a lot of time read Maid-sama lately, which brings up some thoughts.
We actually got the opportunity to read some of Maid-sama in English. We'd been thinking about the quality of writing in manga lately, and as I've said, we generally think the dialogue sounds kind of strange, but didn't feel qualified to talk about it, because we actually hadn't read much English manga. Of course, it's possible that our near shut-in lifestyle has skewed our sense of good dialogue, so maybe this is all invalid anyway, but so far we stand by our opinion. This also comes from reading volume one of Portrait of M & N in English.
badtzphoto asked us once if, when taking over a series, we read the English volumes in order to match the style. We answered that it probably wouldn't matter because ideally all translators would be maintaining the style of the author and, failing that, the rewriter would be maintaining some kind of consistent style anyway. The not-so-nice answer that was left untyped was this: From what we've read of English manga, we're pretty sure we want to improve the style rather than maintain it.
Now first, I want to make it clear that we don't think the dialogue is terrible. We just think it needs work. Remember our thoughts on The Princess and the Frog--very good movie, but we thought it should have been better.
Anyway. There's a character in Maid-sama who shows up in volume two named Tora Igarashi, and when we first met him, since we were reading the English version, he was talking like Ayame Sohma. But somehow to us, it didn't work. It didn't fit his look, it didn't fit his body language, and (and maybe this is just our own egos talking) it didn't seem to flow as well as Ayame's speech. On the other hand, he was obviously putting on some kind of an act, so maybe he really was talking that fancy. Later on, he suddenly has a personality change and his speech gets more rough, but in his big villain scene, the rough speech doesn't come across as much, so more likely the fancy speech was to create the contrast. Reading all his scenes, I was really curious to know how we talked in the Japanese version.
So finally we get to volume five, featuring the return of Hentiger (Tora's nickname). When he's not in "politically correct" mode, he uses Kansai dialect, and when he is in "politically correct" mode, he just uses normal polite Japanese.
Now, our personal opinion is that, instead of focusing on how to make the politeness stand out more, they should have made the dialect stand out more, or at least the breakdown of the polite language. In the Japanese version, in the scenes where he's using polite language, he's talking like a normal person anyway, and giving him some kind of rough speech (just takin' the Gs off of -ing forms, for example) probably would have been more dramatic. He would have more obviously been in villain mode.
At least, that's what we think, but maybe it came across just fine.
Our other big complaint is about font choices. Comic sans probably isn't the best way to go when presenting official(-looking) documents.
Nothing else exciting to report, except that Page could not contain herself last night, refused to just leave Oreo alone after he emerged from under the bed, and ended up spending another night in solitary. Sigh.
Today I'm thankful for body-switching episodes of anime where the voice stays with the body instead of the mind, still having some chocolate, getting to have little personal-sized pizzas for dinner tonight, not spending a million hours trying to figure out what evidence we're supposed to present in that one trial (because we will never forget that one part after last time we played Justice for All), and stand-up comics who can be funny without being dirty and/or mean to everyone.