And speaking of things where Yuuki Kaji and Hiroshi Kamiya play best/worst friends, we still have one more segment in our Final Fantasy Type-0 series.
Part 4: The Secret
This was probably the hardest part of the whole process. ...Okay, I take that back. I still think seeing all the changes was the hardest part. But I think we're still learning and growing, and maybe getting to a point where we can look at the changes and not take it personally, so it should be a little bit easier (Artistic Differences will probably never go away).
But anyway, keeping it a secret was tough, except that it's also kind of fun for us to keep secrets. We like to prove that we can do it, although that's not to say that there wasn't temptation. Usually, when we have to keep a manga project secret, it's no big deal, because when we're talking on line it only comes up if we want it to, and when we're talking in real life, nobody cares, so there's no benefit in telling the people we know in real life. That's what made Type-0 so hard to keep secret. There are people in real life who care about Final Fantasy. In fact, at some point after we started working on it, we talked to the cousin who got us back into Final Fantasy. It was really hard preventing ourselves from blurting it out.
Also, people tend to be more familiar with video games in general, so if we say, "We translate video games!" then people are usually a little more interested than if we say, "We translate Japanese comic books!" Although there was a time toward the beginning of our video game translation career that we felt it was safe to say we translate video games, so we'd tell people, and for some reason multiple people would be like, "Oh, like, 'All your base are belong to us'?" And we'd be like, "...No." I mean, really? Surely you've played Super Mario Bros. and the Legend of Zelda! I guess it says something about video game translation that people don't seem to notice that it's a thing until somebody gets it wrong. I'm not sure what that something is, though.
Anyway, it was a little bit tough keeping the secret in real life, because we knew just enough people who were just interested enough in video games that we suspected they'd be a little bit interested in this one, so we would hint at it, and say it was something they might be interested in playing. But we also know that people get accused of making up stories to get attention, and confidentiality meant we couldn't prove our story. The fact that we had been saying, "We thiiiink we might be going to Japan for a little while," and then never did certainly would not have helped our cause. I dreamed of the day we could finally tell people, and I considered posting on Facebook, "See? I promised we weren't making it up!" or something along those lines, but by the time the game actually came out, we had lost touch with everyone we'd mentioned it to.
Someone at Anime News Network was very interested in everything that was going on with Type-0, so there kept being news posts about it. At first it was, like, the cast list, and we were like, "We thought everybody knew that." Then one time it was that it got "leaked" that the game was being localized for North America. We thought that was kind of a given, too, because it's Final Fantasy, and most of those make their way over here eventually. But despite our, "You didn't know that?" attitude, we were also a little excited, like, "That's us! That's us they're talking about! We got mentioned in a Final Fantasy book!" (The "leak" was an interview in the Final Fantasy Type-0 Ultimania book, where the director mentioned the localization team.)
Then there was another time when a friend of ours *coughlyschancough* was trying to get her friends to share her interest in Bump of Chicken, and she mentioned a new single they had coming out, which happened to be for the Type-0 theme song. She said, and I quote, "Apparently it's from a Final Fantasy thing. That should interest some of you, right?" And we were like, "!!!!!" and "You have no idea how much that interests us." But we played it cool. Sort of.
And then the project went on hiatus and new games came out and everyone forgot about it and it all just started to fade away. Until! they announced a Type-0 spin-off, which of course was reported by Anime News Network. We were curious about what people would say about the spin-off, and some people commented with things like, "Please, if we can't have Type-0, at least let us have this one!" and some people commented with things like, "Yeah, right. I heard so many rumors about how they were localizing Type-0, and I bet they were all lies." And we were like, "No! They weren't lies! We translated it! We translated i-i-iiit!" (Hyphens to indicate glottal stops made by sobbing.)
And then, finally, they announced that Final Fantasy Type-0 was coming to North America, and that it would be for PS4! It was a miracle! We went to Anime Expo, and there was a booth where all the people working there were dressed as members of Class Zero! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!! I think they had Ace, Sice, Nine, and Queen. We only had the iPad, and it was a hassle to pull it out to take pictures with, but we had to for this. And as the group stood there posing, one of them (I think it was Sice) said, "It will be coming out here." Emphatically, in a, "Like for real this time" sort of way, but with a speech pattern more fitting of tomboyish Sice. And we were like, "~~~! You have no idea." Only of course we didn't say it.
We went to Gamestop Expo, where we made sure to pick up some Type-0 backpacks. We didn't talk to the Square-Enix people about having translated it, because we really weren't sure how much we were allowed to disclose, or who was just an intern. But we asked if they knew the release date, and they said, "The director said within a year." A week later, they announced the release date, which would be in six months.
And then some of the English voice cast went to ANN and were all, "We were in it, we were in it!" and we were like, "Shhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Don't JINX it!"
And we posted on Facebook about how we were unreasonably excited about this game. Our brother-in-law said we were reasonably excited, and we agreed, but we were still in secret-keeping mode, partially because we get that way, and partially because we weren't sure, since they never said anything to us about actually releasing the game, if maybe they'd gotten a new translation or something. There's a ridiculous amount of text in that game, so that wouldn't make any sense, especially because they'd also have to re-record all the dialogue, but we get paranoid.
Especially! because they announced a collector's edition, which would include! the manga of the game. We were like, "What the heck?" We wondered if they would come to us about translating it. We had reason to believe that our mentor on the project knew we translate manga, so someone who may or may not still be working with the developers knew. But we kept not hearing anything and it was driving us nuts. Turns out they did get someone else to translate it, which we're okay with because the only thing we remember about the manga (which of course we bought as soon as it came out in Japan) was trying to stay awake while reading it. Also, it's pretty funny that we translated the game but not the manga.
Still, our fears about being fired had not been assuaged, so we're really eager to someday get a PS4 and play the game and get to the credits to see if our names are there. This game is really, really hard, so that will take a long time. But we're going to do it! Someday!
Today I'm thankful for Choco Tacos, getting to try tortellini last night, getting to watch more Sailor Moon S, being all caught up on anime (mostly because most of the shows we were watching ended), and new Noragami anime to look forward to.