Anyway, we finally made it to the new portion of our manga reminiscence series, and through the whole thing I was sure we would come across Million Tears...but we didn't. Based on when we turned the translation in, our guess is that it was still confidential (or we didn't know whether it was or not) by the time we finished our first series. And it looks like we didn't talk about it after that, either, unless we forgot to tag that entry. So let's talk about it now!
This is another one of those two-volume series that we have such a hard time remembering. Looking through our email to see if we could find out the circumstances of the assignment, it looks like it was our consolation prize for not getting to translate Kilala Princess...and since Kilala Princess was the last entry of our multi-part series, the confidentiality theory makes sense. Either that, or we were going to talk about it next, and then forgot about the series because we got distracted, like with work from other companies or something.
Anyway, for those of you who don't want to go back and find our Kilala Princess entry, the short version is our boss at TokyoPop offered us Kilala Princess, which we wanted to do sooooooo very badly because it's a shoujo manga with Disney princesses! Disney shoujo manga! Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!! ...But Disney decided they wanted their own translators to do it after all, so we lost the assignment. It's not the only title we were officially assigned before it got canceled. We were also assigned Natsuki Takaya's Hoshi wa Utau. If TokyoPop had ever successfully finished the licensing process, it would have been us translating it. But alas, it wasn't to be.
So what happened was this. We had agreed to translate Kilala Princess, but a little while later (apparently right after we turned in our translation of Nosatsu Junkie 2), our boss emailed to say that Disney had already supplied translations for that one, but here's another thing to translate if you want! She gave us a summary, too, but I think we probably would have taken it anyway.
Basically the series is about these people who feed off of people's existences? I remember trying a little extra hard to come up with the name we should call these people, and I vaguely remember ending up with Times Collectors. Athena says she knows they changed it. But here's the note we left in our script (I just remembered that since we have the script, we can check things!):
"The Japanese term is 'nikki shuushuuka.' A 'shuushuuka' is someone who collects things for a hobby or research, and a 'nikki' is a journal. It almost sounds like a normal profession, which could be what the author is going for, but we thought 'journal collector' sounded too mundane, so we used 'times' instead of 'journal.'"
"Times" also seems to work better, because if you collect journals, you might just go around finding people's written journals and stockpiling them, but "times" seems like more of an abstract concept--if you collect someone's "time," it's more like you're collecting their being. Anyway, they're kind of like vampires, only their victims cease to have ever existed. Then one day, a boy remembers a friend of his who was erased, and that's how he encounters the Times Collectors...and stuff happens after that.
I remember there was one scene where the art reminded me of the atmosphere on those days when I was young and felt mujoukan. At the time, I had no idea what mujoukan was, but I'm pretty sure that's what it was. In our Japanese history classes, we learned that mujoukan was a "smart person" thing back in the Heian Era, where people would feel the ennui of the ephemerality of existence. So that feeling was probably very fitting for the series. It was in a scene where the main guy's girlfriend was talking about...something that may or may not have been in the vein of mujoukan. I always hated getting struck by mujoukan, but I didn't hate this series, so I think it probably turned things around and was more optimistic.
We translated this series so long ago that I have no idea how difficult it was. I do remember Valeriana's last question to Vermilion, and thinking it sounded weird but that's what she said. Something like, "Are you lonely?" I also don't remember enough of the characters to pick a favorite. We both remember liking Vermilion, because we always like the mysterious ambiguously villainous characters. And I seem to remember that Valeriana is pretty awesome (but I didn't even remember her name until I read our boss's summary of the series).
So...that's all. Maybe we'll find it in a library someday, and sigh in exasperation at how bad the translations are, being especially frustrated because we won't know if it was our fault or not. Unless we bring it home and compare it to our scripts... Yeah, that's just way too much effort.
Today I'm thankful for knowing that Logan can tell us apart, being able to easily find our old translation scripts, getting a ton of Lux in Kingdom Hearts [chi] today, getting to go to the post office and the bank, and Page being so cute on the couch right now.