Anyway, today is Wednesday, and that means reviews! This week, we decided to go with the Ice Reaper manga! Spoiler alert level: very mild. EDIT: Unless you haven't played the game, in which case the spoiler alert level is very high.
It happened one day when we were resisting the temptation to join our friends at Disneyland and responsibly doing our job because if we didn't at least do some work we were sure to be crushed with it in the coming weeks (also our deadline was that day; it was a simulpub, and simulpubs wait for no man!). We finished our rough draft of Chapter 68 of UQ Holder!, and checked our email. We had one from about ten minutes previous from our editor at Yen Press. She congratulated us on winning the manga contest and then asked us if we wanted even more work! Despite the previous statement about likely being crushed with work in the coming weeks, we absolutely could not refuse this title.
Why? Because it was Type-0 manga. When they announced the collector's edition for the game, and they were all, "It's going to include the Type-0 manga!" we were like, "What!? No one ever said anything to us! Are they gonna ask us to translate it!? There's still time! But we're not even sure if they remember we exist!! Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!" We had a lot of inner turmoil when they announced that collector's edition.
By now I'm sure we've posted on LJ telling everybody that Final Fantasy Type-0 was our first video game translation project ever, and so we will always have a special place in our hearts for anything related to it. We may have already mentioned this, too, but when the game came out in Japan and they had a blog and asked each of the voice actors for Class Zero to write an entry, Miyu Irino (Eight (and Sora)) was pretty excited because Type-0 was his Final Fantasy debut! And we were like, "It's our Final Fantasy debut, too!!!! We're twinsies!!!!" And you know that we must have been pretty excited to think that, because the whole "we're twins!" thing tends to annoy us.
Anyway, this job offer came five and a half weeks (but who was counting?) before the game finally came out (four years after we started it! (I'm sure we've already hammered on that point by now as well)), and we really had to wonder, "Does our editor know we translated the game?" "Does Square-Enix know we translated the game?" I mean, of course some people at Square-Enix would know, but do the people in the publishing division know? Did they ask for us to translate it because we had just won a translation contest? Or did our editor just give it to us because she knows we can work fast, or because she knows we like Final Fantasy? Whatever the reason, we're very grateful, but also very curious. [Note: We asked our editor at Anime Expo, and she said she didn't know at the time that we had translated the game, so it's probably either because we did Kingdom Hearts, she knows we like Final Fantasy, or both. We forgot most of our questions by that point, so I didn't think to ask the followups.]
The offer also came around the time we were deciding whether or not to accept the grand prize for that translation contest and go to Japan. We decided not to go, but we weren't sad about it for long, because we were so darn happy about translating this manga.
That's not to say, of course, that we think the manga is the best manga ever written, so if our editor didn't know we translated the game, I wonder if she was bewildered by our very enthusiastic reaction to the offer. (Our email started, precisely, like this: OH MY GOODNESS, are you kidding me!?)
Anyway, the Kurasame manga. Of course we started reading it as soon as the graphic novels came out. ...And then we had work and fire and moving and work and it wasn't our favorite manga ever, but eventually volume five came out and we were like, "Oh. We should get more of that." So we did, and...I think I've read three volumes of it now? And Athena's still only read the one. And we had to buy a red pen. That's not related to having read the manga before, but if you're translating Type-0 manga and you're marking up the book for the letterer, you have to do it in red because they're in Rubrum, duh.
In case I haven't mentioned this by the time this gets posted, Type-0 is also why we got a red camera.
Anyway. We were pretty excited because when a manga is based on a game, it tends to have to go to the game company for approvals, so we were like, "They're going to be so surprised that we know all the game lingo already!" Unless they knew going in that we translated the game. Then the editor on the game will be all frustrated because this manga is where we finally stopped capitalizing Dominion and Kingdom, even though it's our opinion that they totally should be capitalized. (Every time there was a new installment of game script to translate after a hiatus, we would try capitalizing them again, and every time we'd get feedback from the editor telling us to knock it off.)
[After reading this review, we realize it doesn't ever say what the manga is about, so let me tell you! It's about Kurasame. Tadah! Because in Type-0, he's Class Zero's commanding officer, and he wears a mask, and he has a reputation for being the Ice Reaper, and one of the Four Champions of Rubrum. But he's the only surviving champion, and no one really knows why the others died. So this is the story of how he came to be the Ice Reaper and a Champion of Rubrum, and we're pretty sure it will enlighten us as to what happened to the other champions, but we only just finished volume three.]
As for the story itself, I think I liked it better this time around. The first time, I had some preconceived notions based on certain bits of dialogue in the game that made it harder for me to enjoy the manga, because the manga didn't fit those notions. There are still a few things that we're not sure will ever be reconciled but might be. For example, in the game, the Class Four moogle bragged that one of the Four Champions of Rubrum was in Class Four. So when they all start out in Class Three, it's like, "Whaaa?" [Incidentally, it turned out that, without us noticing, Square-Enix decided to switch from Class One, Two, Three, etc. to Class First, Second, Third, etc. We did not know that at the time of writing this review.]
So reading the manga the first time, I was like, "Nope, it's wrong." And that clouded my enjoyment of it. But translating it after already coming to terms with the fact that it doesn't match the story I'd already formulated makes it a lot nicer. Kazusa is awesome as usual.
And! we kept seeing the Suzaku pins on all the cadets' collars and being like, "Aaaahhh, I want a Suzaku pin...!" (Since we're familiar with the game in a bilingual way, we tend to switch off between terms. Plus Suzaku is way easier to say than Vermilion Bird.)
Concordians are really fun to translate, especially crazy Concordians. And you meet a surprising number of them. We think one of our crazy Concordians got edited into blandness in the game for whatever game reasons made it necessary. Speaking of such things, we had a lot of fun while translating the manga, tweaking lines and stuff. When we made a line shorter for whatever reason, we'd be like, "To get to time." Or "to fit in the character limitations." We never did that with Ace Attorney or Persona (not yet with Persona, anyway), probably because when we did Ace Attorney we had no experience translating video games, and Persona wasn't as strong a reminder of that experience.
Anyway, as for the story, it's pretty good when we get over ourselves. The four cadets who are destined to become the Four Champions of Rubrum seem to all be really great people, and if there was any clarification about what happened to them in the game, it was in the bit that we didn't translate. So we are exceedingly curious as to what happened to all of them. The game hints at some kind of betrayal, but it's hard to see any of them betraying the others. Maybe it was something that could be construed as betrayal but was made with the best intentions, or maybe there wasn't any betrayal at all and it was just a rumor. They do like their rumors at Akademeia.
Today I'm thankful for making good progress on our Noragami edit today, catching that mistake before it was too bad, getting to try some Peanut Butter Fudge Core ice cream last night, being all caught up on the My Love Story!! anime, and reminders of the popcorn at Tokyo Disneyland.