Pick of the Litter
We're really not sure where they came up with this title, but apparently that's what it is now. It was originally Ikai Hanjouki: Hiyokoya Shouten (Tale of Prosperity in Another World: Hiyokoya General Store).
The first time we ever encountered this series was actually soon after we'd played Kingdom Hearts. We happened to have bought the issue of Asuka Magazine (there was a DN Angel extra thingie of some sort--don't remember which one) that had the first chapter, and that was the time we figured it would be good to actually read our manga magazines, so we could discover shiny new titles that we might want to collect. Since we didn't want to start in the middle, we mostly read stuff that we had the first or second chapter of, so Hiyokoya was In. The only thing I really remembered after reading it was that the main character was named Riku (this left an impression because of our Kingdom Hearts obsession), and that I liked it. I also remember there being some blurb in the magazine about it being a heartwarming family series, which seemed nice.
It was a couple years later, I think, that Marine started releasing CD dramas of the series. We mostly just check the Marine website every week because sometimes they post voice actor interviews, and even though we can't afford to buy all their CDs, we can look at the pretty pictures. So we were checking the Marine site, and there were Hiyokoya CD dramas, and I was like, "Oh hey, it's that series with Riku! I think I like that series!" And then we noticed the cast, which included Akira Ishida♥ and Masakazu Morita, who was our current seiyuu obsession. And so we're like, "Ishida-san and Morita-san!? We need to hear that! ...but we need to read the manga first. Too bad we are so poor and destitute (this was back when we were poor and destitute). Maybe TokyoPop will get the rights and we'll get to translate it. Yeah right."
We did try to order it with something one time, but it was on backorder or something and we didn't want to wait that long.
A few weeks or months later (I really don't remember), we got a mysterious work order. Normally, our boss would ask us if we wanted a series before sending work orders along for it. But this one came with no introduction. And it happened to be for this very series. We couldn't really believe it at first. We were actually pretty incredulous until we got the book. But then we got it and we were happy, until we started actually working on it, and realized it was trying to kill us!!!!
Okay, so not really, but it's crazy, man. So much text! Sooo much text!!! I mean, that's the be expected from a Hana to Yume series, but this is Asuka! Asuka is supposed to be our friend. (Though come to think of it, Lagoon Engine tries to kill us sometimes, too.) This one definitely gets a nine on the translation difficulty scale. We get stuck a lot, and there's like a million things to translate, so getting stuck with every other sentence makes for a lot of time working.
It's really hard to choose a favorite character, though. I mean dude, this guy comes from a family of six bishie brothers. And they're all really fun characters. You have Riku as the nice guy, and Satsuki as the punk kid, and Ichiya as the mature older brother, and Shii as the schemer, and Mikasa as the bad boy, and Futaba! Futaba is just the cuteness. Except when he's transformed, then he's the sexy.
This was another one that seemed like they had just given to us to translate the first volume and then decided whether or not they were actually gonna go on with it. We translated volume one over a year ago and it still hasn't come out. But it's listed at Rightstuf, and we've translated volume 2 since, so we figure it's still on, and that's happy. But we translated volume 2 at a very stressful time, so I still don't quite have a grasp on what's going on in this series. Alas. Maybe with volume 3.
Aww, that series was fun. We don't think it survived the TokyoPop restructure, so the series remained unfinished domestically, but we had already translated the last volume, so for us at least it wasn't so bad.
The series is about a boy named Riku (as already stated) who learns that oh hey, remember when you had amnesia and only spoke gibberish and didn't know who your family was or where you came from or anything? That's because you just got accidentally transported to another world. By the way, here's your family, they finally found you.
Come to think of it, I guess the title comes from the fact that Riku has five brothers.
The world Riku originally came from was a lot like Old Edo, so the language they speak is supposedly like Classical Japanese. (There was no new language invented; they just always indicated which language was being spoken.) This gave us a new reason to fall in love with Morita-oniisan♥, because in an interview related to the CD drama, he said he's a big fan of Japanese history, to the point where he can read the Tale of Genji without help. (If you know modern Japanese and have tried to read the Tale of Genji, you'll know how impressive that is.) So Morita-oniisan is good-looking, athletic, and smart? He's perfect! (Since then we've followed him on Twitter, and discovered he has a great sense of humor and is willing to drop what he's doing to help others. Seriously perfect. Except sometimes he does really bizarre things with his hair.)
Anyway. Where was I? Um...
Right, Pick of the Litter. Speaking of Morita-oniisan♥, his character is the one that isn't so good with languages. The family runs a general store (hence the Japanese title), and as merchants, they're all expected to have some proficiency in other languages, but Satsuki has trouble with it, which makes for some pretty funny scenes. I don't remember how we dealt with those scenes translation-wise, but it's entirely likely we just left a note and let the editors/adapters deal with it.
Today I'm thankful for getting to finish Hiyokoya before it got canceled, getting to play Ace Attorney today, getting to watch Master Chef, having time to read yesterday, and finishing editing our Kingdom Hearts translation today.