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Alethea & Athena
My Little Monster volume 8 
3rd-Jun-2015 04:33 pm
Not a whole lot of time before we want to leave for Wednesdays with Walt, but we do have a review to post today! This time, for My Little Monster 8. Spoiler threat level: High.

Oh. snap. Oh SNAP! Way to go, Yamaken! Oh my goodness, the reaction of all the other characters when he said he wasn't joking! That's like my favorite page ever. Except we didn't get paid for it, but other than that. (There wasn't text on it, so we didn't charge for translating it.)

Anyway, My Little Monster is a little tough as far as "shipping," because I can see how much Shizuku and Haru need each other, but I really like Yamaken. From all his inner monologues, I'm not convinced he'd make a great boyfriend, and I'm pretty sure I...no, I might actually like him as a person, seeing as how we get along with Gaston, and they're very similar in their opinions of themselves. It was also proven in this volume that, while Yamaken likes to be the best, he doesn't get all bent out of shape when Shizuku beats him, and that's definitely a point in his favor.

I'd like to take this moment to point out that, while we try to write reaction posts as soon as we can after finishing a translation, for this one, we happen to be right in the middle of a simulpub translation, and we tend to get really into those. Or we got really into this one. Possibly because we can't stop working today until we finish it, so we're kind of eager to do that. That being the case, we have very little space in our minds for much else, which brings us to the question...

What else happened in this volume again? Does any of it really matter? Of course it does! Iyo was in this volume! I'm not sure how I feel about her, but we have fun making excessive use of third-person speech. We know it annoys some people, but we find it hilarious, especially from a character like Iyo. We almost didn't have her use the first-person at all, but we figured she's a big faker, so it's okay to have her break character sometimes. When we saw her, we knew right away that she was related to Yamaken, because he's our favorite character, and she looks just like him. We saw the cover, and we were like, "It's Girl Yamaken?"

Athena says, "Actually what happened was, I went to get the next volume, and I was like, 'We're on nine, right?' I should check eight to be sure. Then I pulled it out and I was like, 'I don't know that character.'" And then we started commenting on how she was Girl Yamaken.

Speaking of Yamaken, not that it really matters, but usually when we type up translation scripts, we list the characters as their normal given name. But then Mitsuyoshi got to be too annoying to type out every time, and Shimoyanagi was even worse (we don't know his given name), so for My Little Monster, we go with the most commonly used names and/or the ones listed on the first couple of pages. Asako is the anomaly, because everyone except Iyo calls her Natsume, but we call her Asako.

...This review also features the first time we were too frazzled to finish a review and had to come back and finish it later. Tadah! It is now three days since we wrote everything above this paragraph, and now our review is skewed not by thoughts of Persona 4 (which we're pretty sure people know about by now, since the ads inside the chapter led us to believe the simulpub started on January 26), but by thoughts of Let's Dance a Waltz...which somehow keeps being typed (by me) as "Walts." Too much Disney? I don't know. We didn't even watch Disney this weekend. But we did play some Kingdom Hearts.

Anyway, what else happened in this volume? What did we already talk about? Wait a sec while we review our review.


Let's see, Haru's birthday was in this one. I have to say, I know I just said that Shizuku is really good for Haru, but that birthday present. I can't even. That was awful. I mean, I know that when you can't think of something to give someone, it can be very thoughtful to give them something that you would like to have yourself, but MAN! The gift giving in this series is pretty hilarious, though. Like when Haru's father sent him a gift. That was awesome.

There's also some very interesting hints of things going on with Yuzan but more importantly Sasayan. It's really interesting how Robico is dealing with their (Sasayan & Asako) relationship, because she keeps dropping hints, and Sasayan is always kind of like, "Ha ha ha, noooo... But seriously." And we're like, "Seriously what, Sasayan?" And every time, it gets a little tiiiiny bit closer to, "Seriously, yeah, I like her."

And then there's this volume, where Sasayan asks Asako if she still likes Mitchan. And we're getting all excited because it looks like something is going to happen between them...and the next page is Haru and Yamaken facing off. And then it's the end of the book practically. And we all faceplant. Ah well, maybe next time.

Yamaken finding his way out of the woods was a fairly decent consolation. "The greatest miracle of the summer." Bwa ha ha.

Today I'm thankful for having a review to post, making really good progress on work today (almost enough to completely make up for not getting any of our previously scheduled work done yesterday), having friends who know how to make saving seats less trying (I can't believe I forgot to be thankful for that yesterday), getting to watch The Ultimate Enemy very soon (don't know exactly when, but very soon), and the ward phone caller (it's her job to call and make sure people in the ward know what stuff is going on, and she calls the people in charge of stuff (like the choir director) to confirm that stuff is or is not going on).
3rd-Jun-2015 09:51 pm (UTC)
My book came in on time (today)!! I hope to go to the comics shop tomorrow to pick it up :D
4th-Jun-2015 03:05 am (UTC)
Woohoo! Hurry and read it!
6th-Jun-2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
I read it!! (a couple days ago now, but the important thing is that I did so, and now I've read your post and am commenting!)

So... I'm with you on liking Yamaken a lot, but that's completely separate from any shipping matters. (unless I really have a problem with one/both of the main characters, it's just not my style to root for a rival love-interest...) I do feel bad things won't work out for him, but... I felt bad for Oshima too (more bad, maybe, because it seemed harder on her). But the reaction page, yes!! (I'm sorry you didn't get paid for it. I forget some publishers still pay per-page rather than a flat rate.) I remember a comic artist (Faith Erin Hicks, I think) saying, or quoting from someone else, that a good/careful artist will draw a different expression for each character, even if they're all reacting to the same thing, because it's more realistic that everyone has varying shades of emotion and different perspectives and personalities... So it's something I often think about while I'm reading comics/manga, and I loved how Robico-sensei handled it there!!

I didn't make the immediate connection between Iyo and Yamaken, but once she introduced herself it all fell into place... and wow, she is a character. Between her third-person speech and the high socks... and her middle school life, ahahahaha. I should know better than to expect any normal new characters by this point.

It makes me happy that you use the nicknames in the script :D But it would just be weird not to, I think, since everyone calls them by those names! And they're fun nicknames to say too. ...lots of -a/-ya sounds, I wonder if that was on purpose or just how it ended up.

You're right, Shizuku's birthday gift for Haru was terrible. It's hard to figure out what her line of thinking was, since she should know he doesn't even need a study guide...
7th-Jun-2015 03:08 am (UTC)

Agreed. We also tend to root for the main couple. It's really just an exercise in futility to do anything else, and it would just lead to disappointment. But it's still sad for the other characters we like to be disappointed. We definitely felt more bad for Oshima--we translated that one before we started writing reviews, but that was the scene we mentioned way back when that made us cry. Especially when she called Yu-chan to tell her about it! Oh, poor girl. I hope she meets someone nice.

We've also always felt the same way about different characters reacting, and how important it is for them to have different expressions. There's an anime (Gunparade March) where there's one scene that I felt was really powerful, even though all it was was panning across the room to show how all the characters reacted to some very bad news. Oh man, it gets me just thinking about it.

That's okay that we didn't get paid for the page in My Little Monster, though; it wasn't that much money. And wow, that's interesting. When we first started working, it was a flat rate for the book at TokyoPop, then they switched us to a page rate when the project manager decided we deserved a raise. Since then, all the companies we worked for used a page rate except one.

Yes! Iyo is so much fun! Somehow I have this image of her being really annoying, but then whenever I think about how she actually is, I'm just too amused.

It would be really weird to not call Sasayan Sasayan. I think his real name is like Sohei or something. It came up in the last volume we did, and we were like, "Wait, what? Whoa, he has a name!" But actually, this may be a little-known fact, but fewer people call Mitchan Mitchan than you might think! Well, one fewer. In the Japanese version, Sasayan calls him "Tencho," but the first translator on the series and/or the editor decided to go with Mitchan instead. I can definitely relate to not wanting to write a note about that, but it's not like it would be a long one (we just did one for a volume of Say I Love You).

As for Shizuku's present, yeah. The best we can figure is the theory provided in the manga--that she just bought it in the hopes that it would end up back in her hands anyway--but that's such an awful thing to do to anyone, especially the boy you like.
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