Fortunately, we managed to make good progress on each, so we still had time to go to the store. We needed to pick up some hydrogen peroxide, because at the moment it's the only thing we can think of that might help Page's chin a little. She's got some kind of scab on it, and she keeps scratching at it, so at the very least, we can try to prevent infection so it heals less itchily. Or something.
But anyway, I think it's time to continue our Commemorative Multi-Part Series. (Speaking of manga, go vote at the Manga Translation Battle!)
We were a little disappointed when we found out we officially were not assigned the Love Hina omnibuses. I mean, we were the most dedicated Negima! translators Del Rey/Kodansha USA had ever had, and Love Hina was the first anime we pirated! ...Maybe that's the karmic reason we didn't get the assignment at first. I'm guessing the practical reason is that Ken Akamatsu stuff is demanding enough without being omnibuses, and our editor probably figured we had our hands more than full enough working on Negima! (and the Negima! omnibuses).
We found out we didn't get the assignment when our editor told us the person who did get the assignment would be emailing us. As long-time Akamatsu fans know, the sword style Setsuna uses actually originated in Love Hina (or maybe even a previous Akamatsu work--we're actually not that expert about his early years), and everybody wanted to make sure the attack names were consistent.
Later, the Love Hina translator had some stuff come up and was having trouble getting Omnibus 3 finished on time, so we were asked to step in and translate the third part of it (volume 9). Now, as I said earlier, Love Hina was the first anime we pirated, and I think it was one of the first animes to be widely pirated, so anybody who was downloading anime at the time (or at least anyone who was downloading anime among our college acquaintances) had seen it. It was like the anime that everybody was talking about, so if you wanted to know anything about anything, you found out as much as you could about Love Hina.
Despite that, and despite "our thing" being the fact that we could go to Kinokuniya over the summer and buy and read any manga we wanted (within our budget), we had only read two volumes of Love Hina. I think by the time we got them, everybody was already over the series and had moved on to Trigun or something. We liked the anime well enough, but our Japanese wasn't good enough at the time for us to really be interested in following any manga that we didn't really love. But the point is, when we were actually assigned Love Hina manga, we realized, "Oh wait, we need to, like, figure out what's going on in the series!"
Fortunately, Ken Akamatsu had recently started his site for free digital manga, so we were able to easily access all the volume of Love Hina, and try out J-Comi. Tadah!
At the time, we really did think we were going to end up reading the rest of the series (after volume 9) on J-Comi, despite all our experience taking over Hana to Yume titles. (And Ken Akamatsu puts any Hana to Yume artist to shame as far as text density.) It wasn't long before we were asked to take over and translate the last two omnibi, and so we finished out the series. Tadah!
Translation issues of note mostly include dealing with Kitsune's Kansai dialect. Our editor told us he's just been having her use ya instead of you occasionally. He disagreed with the use of the American Southern dialect, because Southerners are known for talkin' slow, and he'd been to Osaka, and some of the people there talk reeeeeally fast. We were like, "Southerners talk slow? But our mom's from the South, and she talks fast, just like all the other girls in our family." We also cited Joy from "My Name Is Earl" as a fast-talking Southerner. We asked Mom about it later: "Mom, do you think Southerners talk slow?" "Of course they do!" "But--you don't talk slow!" "Yeah, my momma always told me I talk like a Yank." XD
So for Kitsune, to maintain consistency, we just did what our editor had been doing, and dropped a few Gs here and there.
As for the translation difficulty level...I'm pretty sure there were some parts that were really hard, but I don't remember any specifics. Of course, there are the parts where they're being all archaeological so there's a lot of exposition. Those are always difficult. And the text was really dense. Oh my goodness, all the text. So I'll give it an eight.
Favorite character is Keitaro, of course. As a matter of fact, the main reason we downloaded Love Hina is that Keitaro was played by our favorite voice actor of the time. His sincere devotion to Naru is just so adorable. It was so cute when they were on the train, and Naru was going to get off, possibly to leave him forever, and as she walks away, he shouts, "Narusegawa!" So she turns to see what he wants, and the door closes so she can't get off the train.
...I feel like I have more to say, like maybe about Ken Akamatsu's treatment of female characters or something... I can totally understand why people think he's the king of the objectification of women in manga, especially after the first three volumes of Negima! (which are not quite so bad with a more accurate translation), but on the other hand, he's so good at coming up with strong personalities for women. And every series we've read of his passes the Bechdel Test several times over. And he has so many different strong traits represented. Some girls are smart, some girls are fighters, some girls are brave, etc. etc. etc. So in conclusion, we understand if you don't want to deal with all the nudity, but we hardly think Ken Akamatsu is sexist. (Added note: when Ken Akamatsu gives Ran Ayanaga credit for her character designs in Negima!, he says only a woman could have designed the characters so well. And the translators he specifically requested for his latest series are female.)
Today I'm thankful for the one project going quicker than we thought it might, getting to go to the local donut shop, having lots of work to do, getting to watch Despicable Me last night, and getting to work on Love Hina.