I've mentioned Elemental Gelade several times on LJ in the past, so I'm worried this might get a little redundant, but hopefully you'll all forgive me.
Our first encounter with Elemental Gelade was... when we saw it on the shelf at Kinokuniya. Okay, so our first relevant encounter with Elemental Gelade was when we saw the anime. Since we'd seen ads and stuff for the manga before, we knew it was published in the same magazine as The Mythical Detective Loki: Ragnarok, so we figured it was probably really good, and that ADV Manga would probably be the ones translating it. On the one hand, this was a little sad, because we noticed that the head writer for the anime was also the head writer for the animes DN Angel and Rizelmine, both of which, we felt, were rather poorly done, and we figured the manga was probably a lot better than the anime of Elemental Gelade, and that now we would be missing out, because if we didn't translate it, we'd probably never get around to reading it. (How's that for a run-on?)
So we were a little surprised one day (I think it was in January of last year (2006?)) to get an e-mail asking us to translate the manga. It's funny thinking back on it now, because when we got it, we were a little confused that it seemed a little apologetic. Kind of a, "I know it's not really your thing, but since you're good at working on the longer titles..." Also, they needed it really really fast, which we suspect is the main reason our boss came to us. She also gave us another series at the same time, which she almost seemed to do as a, "And here you can have this cute girly one too, to make it better." But anyway, as I mentioned, we were actually pretty curious about this manga, so we were happy to accept it.
(Again, I am amused at how translators seem(ed?) to get type-cast.)
And having actually translated it, our reaction is similar to our reaction to Code Geass. "Why would anyone think that this isn't cute? It's frickin' adorable!" Though it does have arm-sliceys and head-splodies. But the art style is very pretty, so the more cheerful characters come across as being very cute. And Coud, of course, is adorable. I've said it on numerous occasions, but he's like Zidane's stupid little brother. Somehow he just gives off a Zidane vibe (Athena thinks it's the hair and the sky-pirate-ness), and yet he's a complete moron.
And here's where that other hand comes in. Another thing we thought while watching the anime is, "Wow, I feel sorry for whoever has to translate this." Because they have songs. And the songs are written in a mix of modern and classical Japanese, using all sorts of crazy conjugations and archaic words, not to mention the constant use of double meanings that the Japanese love so much (chances are if something can mean more than one thing at a time, it does). So as we translated the first song we came across, we remembered that, and we laughed. And cried. And then we wrote an LJ entry about it! Remember? (You can read that post here!)
I think my favorite character is actually Kuea (another thing about this series is that the names have some of the most insane spellings we've ever heard, and we translated Candidate for Goddess--that name is pronounced "Kiia"). Normally I don't like the fanservice character that much, but she seems to be the sensible one of the group. Athena's favorite is Rowen, who is also very very awesome. Just the typical "nice guy" type. And apparently he worked at a host club for a bit... As far as we've translated, they haven't said for sure. But the problem is, because he's Super Nice Guy, he developed a crush on Psycho Girl just because she knows how to flirt. Boys can be so stupid.
On the translation difficulty scale, I'd give it a nine, but only because it's easy when there aren't any songs. The songs get an eleven, of course.
Oh! Here's another interesting thing about Elemental Gelade, but I'm not sure if I'm actually allowed to talk about it, so keep it under your hats. They gave us a list of all the names so that our spellings would be consistent with...I guess Geneon? I don't know, but if the name is officialized on the list, we're supposed to spell it that way. That's why we're calling it Elemental Gelade instead of Erementar Gerad, like it so clearly states on all the covers. The only frustrating thing about it is that we don't like a lot of the spellings. I mean, we can understand wanting it to be pronounced correctly, but you can get Americans to pronounce the name correctly and still have the letters look pretty. (We wanted to spell it Edyll Raid--they spell it Edel Raid. Come to find out later, it's officially Adil Raid, which should have been somewhat obvious considering that the organization to protect (or conserve) Adil Raids is called ARC Aile. But we only found that out from some character notes in the back of volume three, and not in the story, so we're not too broken up about it.)
The main girl's name is Reverie, but they call her Ren for short. That's the direct romanization of her nickname, so it works as far as pronunciation. But her whole gimmick is that she's sleeping all the time (probably where she got the name Reverie), so we wanted the nickname to be spelled with an M--Rem. Wouldn't that have been awesome!?
She has a lot of cute costumes. While we were watching the anime, the whole time it just seemed to be screaming at us to cosplay it, but we really don't know who we'd cosplay, so we mostly just ignore it. If we had a big group, it would be different, but yeah. On the other hand, it would also be awesome if we had costumes from every series we translate, so we might have to figure something out eventually. For the sister thing, we could do Rasati and Lilia, but we don't like them all that much.
Hey, this one is in print again! ...But not translated by us, boo. Well, the songs are somebody else's problem now. ...But on the other hand, I think we've grown a lot as translators since we stopped working on Elemental Gelade--I think we could do a better job and it might not be so insanely difficult. Now we'll never know, unless we buy a copy and translate it just for kicks. That seems extremely unlikely.
Anyway, it takes place in a world where there are girls that turn into weapons (kind of like Soul Eater, but with a different system), and there's a sky pirate who meets the most powerful one by accident, and he promises to take her to Adil Garden. So they go on a quest to find Adil Garden, and in the meantime they have to avoid the evil organization that wants to get her and use her for whatever it is they want to use her for. For the girls (Adil Raids) to turn into weapons and use their various special attacks, they sing a song with the person who wields them (I think there's a name for the wielder, too, but I forgot what it is). And yeah, the manga is totally better than the anime.
Today I'm thankful for Mom buying us more Snickers ice cream bars, having Pringles to look forward to, getting to take a day off, getting to read manga yesterday, our plans to not get any work done making it that much easier to rearrange visiting teaching schedules.