Say I Love You.
Normally, I think I'd want to tell the whole story in order, but since we haven't said a word about this assignment on LJ yet, I feel like I should explain why. We didn't mean to keep it a secret this long; we're just insecure. We weren't entirely convinced we had the whole assignment. I'm not sure why; I think it's just a conclusion we like to jump to for some reason. But what happened was, when we got the assignment, our editor said they wouldn't be publishing it for a long time, but he wanted to get it translated as soon as possible anyway. We were down with that, but we had some other stuff going on, so we only got volume one in, like, a few days ahead of deadline instead of a couple of weeks. Then we didn't hear about it again until after we moved to our current apartment (the assignment came before the fire), so we weren't sure what was going on with the whole thing, and we wanted to make sure we were still working on it--or have confirmation that we weren't--before we went around telling people about it. Then we thought we might wait until volume one came out to say anything, but then it turned out to be coming out later than we thought.
(Soon after the assignment, Kodansha announced that they were going to speed up the release dates of Attack on Titan, and since it's the same editor, we think that's probably where the delay came from.)
Anyway, as for our history with Say I Love You. There are some titles that we kind of feel a connection with from the beginning. We kept seeing the title "Say I Love You." popping up at Anime News Network and similar places, and we kept thinking, "Oh, we should watch that." We didn't until we saw that lyschan was watching it (we're more of trend-followers than we like to let on sometimes--we like to think of it as liking to know what all the fuss is about), and then we only watched three episodes. A bunch of the characters seemed to have their minds in the gutter all the time, the cinematography (or whatever it's called in something animated) seemed to be trying to be dark and edgy, and at the end of the third episode they started talking about sex.
See, we think that chastity is very important, and sex is something very special (it sounds cheesy but that's how it is), so we're very turned off by entertainment that treats sex very casually. We don't need to watch a show about teenagers sleeping around. We figured the next episode would tell us whether we loved the series or hated it based on its treatment of sex...but then we got distracted and stopped watching.
A few months later, we got an email from the same new editor that asked us to step in on Fairy Tail. Turns out it paid off to lend a helping hand. The funny thing about the email is that it didn't actually tell us what the assignment was. He said (and I'm paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to pull up the email), "I have a new shoujo drama I want you to translate. You in?" Shoujo manga? Yes, please!
Despite our editor not actually telling us the title, we had a pretty strong feeling we knew what it was, but we didn't think too hard about it and we said yes anyway. Then our editor confirmed our suspicions, and we were like, "Oh, shoot, we better check more of the anime to make sure we're not getting ourselves into a series with morals we disagree with." So we watched the next episode...and we weren't really sure, but then we watched another episode and they started focusing on things other than sex, and we were like, "Okay, I think this will be okay. I hope."
And that's how we started translating Say I Love You. At the end of volume one, Kanae Hazuki has an afterword explaining her motivation in writing this series, which we probably shouldn't go into too much, because you all might want to read it for yourselves, but the significance of it to us is that we like what she's going for, and we like the idea of being involved in her cause.
...Then we translated volume two. Uuuuuugh, volume two. The problem with volume two is Hayakawa, but it's actually kind of funny, because he's the only character whose name I remembered from the anime. It was a little hilarious, because we must have gotten the Say I Love You assignment soon after we got the third Koe no Ouji-sama CD--the one with Yuuki Kaji singing "Part of That World." We wrote a whole blog post about how adorable the voice actor is--he plays Thumbelina in Ouji to Majo to Himegimi to, he plays Ryuichi in Gakuen Babysitters, he plays Shiodome in Miracle Train...and just a few days later (or maybe a couple of weeks, I don't know), we watch this episode of Say I Love You where he's playing the sleaziest sleazeball of all time. ...Okay, maybe not that bad, but he's really sleazy. When we were translating his story in the manga, Athena said of him, "Some men deserve to be castrated." But when we watched the episode, we were like, "Wow, Kaji-kun is such a good actor!" (He's not in the anime as much as he is in the manga.)
Right, I'm totally all over the place with this.
Translation challenges. Well, there's the utter revulsion at Hayakawa, which is a challenge. But even before that, this series made us realize that we are old. We're not up with the lingo that the kids use these days. In our defense, some of that lingo is stuff we didn't talk about much because we had other things to do with our time than sleep around, but there's other stuff, too. It's like...okay, so in our little bubble of a world, people talk like they do in Disney Channel shows. They go to high school and stuff, but it's the cleaned-up pretty version of high school. In this series, it seems like they'd be talking like real high school kids. Of course, it would have to be cleaned up a little, because there's just not that much swearing in print...that we know of? I don't know, maybe the series will end up with a mature rating, because swearing or not...there's content.
See? I'm so unfamiliar with this type of topic I have no idea how to talk about it. And so it's a bit of a challenge. But the point is, when we were in high school, kids used slang that didn't make any sense to us, like "bad" meaning "good." And the kids in this manga seem like they might be up on that kind of slang. Except for Mei, thankfully, since she's the main character. We did consider asking our high school teaching sister for tips, but we're terrible at calling people for stuff like that. We'd need to find specific examples of where we want it, and then she might be like, "Uh, they don't have slang for that kind of thing," and trying to get everything to mesh would just be such a pain.
Anyway. The scene from Danny Phantom just crossed my mind where Mr. Lancer was walking down the hall carrying a reference book on modern teenage slang. Something about "dropping trou," because Danny's pants fell down. Ah...ha...ha...
Other than that, the dialogue is fairly easy to translate, so that's good. On the translation difficulty scale, I think I'll give it a six.
We haven't met all the characters yet. We stopped watching the anime because we thought we'd be working on more of the series very soon, and we didn't want to accidentally steal translations from the subtitles. Our editor asked us to translate an interview for a bonus feature in one of the upcoming volumes, and in it they referred to at least two characters we haven't met yet. And it said that when the series starts up again (in Japan), there will be even more new characters. But so far, we can see why Yamato is so popular (even if his hair doesn't make any sense). Also, we got one of the Say I Love You. soundtracks to listen to while we work, and they have great little audio dramas featuring Marshmallow the cat, who is played by the same voice actor as Yamato, our perpetual seiyuu crush, Takahiro Sakurai. So Marshmallow's a pretty big favorite, but I don't think that counts, because it's not technically a manga thing (although they did get Hazuki-sensei's comments for the CD booklet--but she didn't say anything about the mini-dramas).
Okay, so that turned out to be a lot less coherent than I had planned, but there it is. That was the last assignment we got before our tenth anniversary, so now it's just a question of whether or not to keep going until we've covered all the manga we're allowed to talk about, which would probably just be Tokyo Mew Mew and UQ Holder!.
Today I'm thankful for the super yummy cookies we had last night, getting to talk to Celeste and Mom last night, having super yummy maple creme cookies, the Marshmallow mini-dramas on the Say I Love You. soundtrack, and Page hanging out with us all day (and also not being on the laptop the whole time).