But I'm going to save the First Love Monster review for later because today! I want to talk about Missions of Love!
...Except all of that was written before we checked our Reviews folder and realized that we don't have a review for Missions 11. They have slowed the release down so much that we translated volume eleven before we started writing reviews, and we started writing reviews last November. That being the case, if you have any love at all for Missions of Love, let me encourage you to buy it!
And now we'll move on to First Love Monster. Spoiler level: uhhh... (It's mostly about dealing with Kansai dialect, but it does allude to things that happen in the story, one of which may or may not be considered a moderate spoiler.)
This translation happened at a time when we had a rash of writing up first drafts, getting hit with a ton of other work, and doing the second draft significantly later. This one was a little bit extra special because we also took some time off from it before going over it a third time. It doesn't really seem like the type of series that would generally require a third time through, but this particular volume needed it for one very important reason: Jouji.
I know we wrote a note about it, but I don't know what notes get left in Yen Press stuff, so I'll explain again. Jouji uses Kansai dialect, and we have reason to believe that he's specifically from Osaka. I've explained many times why our general Osaka fallback is American Southern, but I don't know if we were just feeling self-conscious, or if it just really didn't work for the character, or what we were thinking (we do tend to have flashes of review comments about how "I can't believe they used American Southern again. That is SUCH a cop-out." whenever we come across Kansai dialect), but we decided to do something different with Jouji.
We thought, based on the fact that they met him at a "pool," which made him seem like a swimmer, and the fact that Ninja Turtles have been popular among young boys for the past, what, 30 years? that maybe we'd go with a surfer dude angle. We've tried surfer dude before, but that was a long time ago, and it had a rewriter on it, so does anyone really remember? I know I don't. (I do, though. It was Chihiro in Nosatsu Junkie. He was a great character, but I'm not sure surfer was really the best way to go. We were trying things.)
We also thought surfer dude would work, because it would make him sound cool to the little kids, but kind of like an idiot to the adults, which is perfect for Jouji.
Unfortunately, despite having grown up in Southern California watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we're not entirely confident in our ability to write surfer dude. We tried to go for something like Crush in Finding Nemo, but I'm really not confident in our success. At the very least, we have him saying "dude" a lot. Hopefully just the right amount, because to be funny, it needs to be excessive, but we imagine it can get tiresome after a while. (On the other hand, we DID grow up in Southern California, so I don't get tired of hearing the word dude, but you never know, and I'm feeling self-conscious this week. That may be partially due to being overworked, and the mysterious disappearance of work, and the "convenient" colds and other ailments striking people who would otherwise have taken up all our time.)
Aaaanyway. This volume was funnier than the first one, I think. We're not in Kaho's head for as much of the time, and that probably helps. It also helps that there's a bonus chapter that reveals the author's opinion that Kanade is immature, even for a fifth grader. That was driving us a little bit crazy, because, working in the Primary, we know kids that are Kanade's age, and they are not that immature or out of touch with reality. So now that we know it's not just the author's misconception about eleven-year-olds, we can accept it and enjoy the series a little bit better.
Let's see, what else? (We're still in a flurry of work, and we just finished our first draft of the last volume of Let's Dance a Waltz, so we're a little distracted.)
There's Mafuyu. She seems kind of cliched, actually, but we'll see how that unfolds before we pass judgment.
Jouji's reason for running away from home does seem like a typical kid thing to do. And the part at the end where Kanade tries to win Kaho back was pretty hilarious.
The Yutori seemed like a pretty cool place. I might like to go there.
I kind of want to root for Kouta and his love of Kaho. The whole thing with Kaz just makes us sigh, because again? But since Kouta is voiced by the same guy who voiced Usui in Maid Sama!, it is amusing that now the tables have been turned.
Oh, that reminds me! After we translated volume one, we learned that there was going to be a CD drama, and of course Takahiro Sakurai plays the main guy, because he's the main guy in almost everything we're working on these days. Not really, but it seems like it. He's not the main guy in Chaika, or in Noragami. Or even My Little Monster. But he IS the main guy in Missions of Love and Say I Love You and The Ice Reaper. So there you go. But the point is, when we found that out, it helped us warm up to the series a little more.
One thing that we liked a lot a lot a lot is the very important realization that just because someone likes something does not mean every other person in the world likes it. While I admit the reason we like this is that we have been dealing with people who may or may not act like we're crazy for not being in love with Frozen, for example, it is a lesson we could stand to remember ourselves.
On the other hand, now I'm thinking about it and being like, "Yeah. Just because I like anime and manga doesn't mean I can assume anyone else in the whole world anywhere likes it..." and it makes me sad. Darn it.
Let's change the subject. Ummm...
I got nothing. Anyway, the series is getting better, so we look forward to seeing new developments in the future.
Oh, and now I got something. The tests. Oh my goodness, the tests. Kanade showed Kaho some of his tests, and you can kind of sort of read some of them. We might have just ignored them without a second thought anyway, but we could see some of Kanade's answers on one of them, and they were obviously a gag, like the school paper (that was pretty hilarious, by the way). But the technicality of it all! Aaaaaaahhhh!!
So we decided to use the fact that we have a zghillion things to do to say, "We're sorry, but we really just can't translate these tests." And then our work mysteriously got less, and Gaston got sick so we didn't have to go to Disneyland, and everything else was pretty easy, so now we're like, "Should we translate those after all? ...Nnnnnnh." But we just didn't, and now it's been turned in, so.
That reminds me, we have to finish our review of volume four.
Today I'm thankful for pig-faced leather jackets (the fish), getting just about as far in our Noragami edit as expected, not being set back too far by another random rush project, getting to remember Missions of Love, and having a short workout today.