As I've mentioned before, a couple years ago, we realized we weren't translating enough books to really make a living, because we were catching up with Japan on all the on-going serieses we were working on, and the release schedules were slowing down. So we kept bugging our boss at TokyoPop for more stuff to translate. She finally got a couple things, and sent us an e-mail asking if we wanted to do Moon Phase or Sengoku Nights. We asked if we could do both, but she said there were other translators needing projects, so we could only have one.
We were more familiar with Moon Phase, because we'd seen some of the anime. The first three or so episodes were pretty entertaining, and I really like the idea of someone being the main character specifically because they don't have any powers. Also, it had Takahiro Sakurai playing an Onmyouji, and we were going through another Sakurai-san phase. Not that that would have mattered for the manga, and, as is actually fairly common for Sakurai-san, his character wasn't in it a whole lot. But the main thing about this series that we liked is that there were eight volumes out and it was still going on, as opposed to Sengoku Nights, which only had two volumes forever and always. So we chose Moon Phase.
But before we got the books, we got the order for Scrapped Princess. We really wanted to do Scrapped Princess, and then we felt bad for taking the long series and Scrapped Princess, so we told our boss that we'd take the short series instead. We always wondered who translated Moon Phase. We looked it up once, but now we forget.
The problem we had with Sengoku Nights is that, based on the summary (and this is a little part of why we went with Moon Phase), it's reeeeeeeally hard to tell if it's yaoi or not. We like to stay away from yaoi because of our own personal beliefs, and while everyone is entitled to like yaoi if they want to, we'd rather not be involved with it. Not that Moon Phase would have been much better, since it's in Gum Comics, which has some pretty crazy stuff going on fan-service-wise (see: Ikki Tousen (or Battle Vixens), Mahoromatic). But since it's all reincarnation stuff, and according to some religions that believe in reincarnation, it's actually a sign of virtue or something that a woman is reincarnated as a man, we figured it might be okay. I'd go into more detail, but I think I may have spoiled it enough. This is one series where it takes some of the fun out of it to know the story beforehand.
(But since it's probably out of print now, we might as well tell you. It's about this boy who finds out he's the reincarnation of some princess from the Sengoku (Warring States) Era, and there's some oni or youkai or something that was in love with her, who's come back to help her (him?) fight her evil warlord father, who has also come back and now is threatening Japan with zombie warriors.)
So we started translating, and we ended up liking it a lot. But since it was only two volumes long, and the first volume had some things that were kind of confusing and foreshadowy, we thought it would be better to translate the second volume before turning the first translation in. And that's where it got to be even more yaoi. Only... not? But there was a while in which I was berating myself for not realizing that any time a series has a chance of being yaoi, and it's written by women, chances are it is, and we should have known better.
Fortunately for our own peace of mind, everyone who ended up with somebody ended up with somebody of the opposite gender.
Ironically, our favorite character is Mizuki (at least, we seem to remember that being the name he went by), who was the one who called another character his boy toy. He has kind of a Xellos type personality and is very fun. Masayoshi and Yoshino are both up there, too, but mostly Masayoshi. But Yoshino's attitude is very fun as well.
On the translation difficulty scale, we remember it giving us kind of a hard time in some places, so I'm going to give it a seven. There were a lot of terms they kept repeating that we just couldn't settle on good translations for.
Overall, it was a pretty fun series. We'd definitely recommend it, though we do have strange taste sometimes.
I think that about sums it all up. It was a pretty fun series, even if it was short. If I had one thing to add, it would probably be that working on this series is when I realized how attractive men can be in traditional Japanese clothing.
Today I'm thankful for getting to watch Mulan last night, finally beating the Large Armor in Kingdom Hearts [chi], getting a shiny new Sora card, having more Mako Mermaids to watch tonight, and getting a little bit of work done despite an unusual schedule today.