Oh my gosh, you guys, this books was so much fun! I really hope everybody reads it because it's awesome! I wrote down some of the comments we made while we were translating, so that will make this review a little extra fun, too!
But I'm including them in this review out of order. The first one up came when we finished the first draft. I looked at the script and said, "Hey, only 44 pages," to which Athena replied, "44 pages of DOOM!" Why? Because this is Noragami. The edit is always significantly worse than the first draft, and to make it worse, it's extra zany Noragami. Which means it's hilarious, but we need to do that much more research to make sure it's hilarious in the right ways.
Speaking of such things, we did sometimes take a few liberties with the script. For example, Yato didn't actually say Yukine has no rights. He says rights gots nothin' to do with it. But we felt like no rights went along better with Yato being the law, and it was funny (or so we thought anyway), and it flowed better than the other one. We thought it still worked, because technically Daikoku said it was about Yukine's human rights, and human rights would have nothing to do with it because he's not a human he's a shinki, ergo he has no human rights.
Which brings us to the next comment: Where did they get the cement mixer? I guess Daikoku just owns one?
And the following comment: Is Yukine deliberately dressed like a Hogwarts student? Maybe they found an abandoned Harry Potter costume... And in that vein, Yato has an awful lot of Capyper apparel. We couldn't help but notice that he has at least two different pairs of Capyper boxers. I find it endearing, because Capyper is the Noragami version of Mickey Mouse, but did they just find those clothes, or what?
Maybe I should start addressing these stories in the order they showed up. It's fun, because you can tell approximately when each story is published based on the characters' attitudes and interactions, and little visual clues. For the first one, we thought, "This one took place before the ablution, because Yukine's still wearing the jacket he bought with filthy lucre." And the chapter about Kazuma was probably published before the rest of the Lucky Seven were introduced, because Bishamon gave more exposition than necessary when she mentioned Okuninushi. (We took that part out because we couldn't make it sound like normal dialogue (as opposed to an info dump), but she says, "Okuninushi from Izumo.")
But back to the first story. Our main thought about it was, "Oh, so THAT's where they got that episode of the anime." When we watched the anime a second time, we thought it was odd that they would make something up like that, because it wasn't in the manga, but the silliness matched Noragami so well. Apparently it was in the manga after all! And it's just great how Yato and Yusuke are so serious about the whole thing, and Hiyori is like, "Why aren't we helping him!?" and Yukine is just being a sulky little punk. Oh man, it's so great. And Yato's shock at the Capyper story! Oh, Yato. You're the best.
The shinki survey was also the best. Especially when Yukine starts to read the magazine and Yato shows up out of nowhere to take it away and then Daikoku shows up out of nowhere to beat up Yato.
The one with the guy trying to kill Yato was the best best. Just everything about it. "That was just practice!" Aaaaah ha ha ha ha! Also, it brings up a good point about books selling because of an idol's fame. You think it's so unfair, and then you realize hey, it's not like anybody can just be a pop star.
Oh, but Mr. F! That was the worst! He showed up out of nowhere and said NOTHING! There were no clues as to what this guy was possibly doing there! Why, Adachitoka!? Whyyyyyy!?
It took us some recapping to each other to remember how we found out who the guy was. Actually, fortunately, the clue came while we were looking up information on Hikaru Genshi (bwa ha ha!!). We were pretty lost about that, too, so we did a Google search on Noragami Shuuishuu (the Japanese title of the book), with the title of the chapter, and we found a blog that reviewed the book. And thankfully, the reviewer mentioned the random appearance of Funakoshi-san. We were like, "We have won the internet!!!" We even did a Google Image search on Funakoshi-san, and all the pictures that came up looked JUST LIKE HIM. "That's him!!! We've won the internet!!!!"
...But we still didn't know who he was. And believe it or not, Funakoshi is not that uncommon a name. So we went to Wikipedia and typed Funakoshi in the search box, and we tried the first autocomplete suggestion, which was Eiichiro. But there wasn't a picture! That's okay, it links to his official website...where he doesn't post any clear pictures of himself! His profile has a silhouette!!! We were like, "It's a conspiracy!!" (Not in such concise terms, but it's that sort of frustration.)
So we just Googled the full name, and the pictures matched, and we won. Only not completely, because we're still not entirely sure his appearance was that random. We think the connection is that he was in a lot of detective dramas, and it was a murder mystery thing, but I don't know, maybe there was some series where he was like the TV host and appeared to give commentary or something. So, we're sorry, Noragami readers, that we couldn't give a complete report on that particular gag. Maybe one day we'll find out.
Maybe if we could ask Kiki, we'd find out. That story was the best, too. (I haven't mentioned the fortune teller story yet, but that was the best, too.)
And finally, there's the Lucky Seven audition. Oh my goodness, Yato. Yato, Yato, Yato. Yukine's such a good manager, though, isn't he? He's such a cute kid.
I want to point out, for the record, even though the only people this will ever affect are the two of us, lyschan, and our editor, that when Yato was possessing Hiyori, and I credited those lines in the script as being said by "Yatori", I came up with that before Yato called himself Yatorin. I just want everyone to know that.
And speaking of Yatori, the final comment that we had written before coming to write this review, that was a real time reaction as we translated this book, came when Yatori made her introduction at the audition...and ended her sentences with "nari". The comment was this: "Nari? It's funny, but NOOOOOOO!"
Cute sentence enders are the bane of a translator's existence! The easy thing is to just keep it and leave it as-is, and a lot of fans will just accept it, but then you have the intellectuals who are all, "What, you can't come up with an English equivalent? What a weeaboo." As a matter of fact, no, I cannot come up with an English equivalent, because Japanese grammar works differently from English grammar, okay!? (Actually, there is a translator who came up with the idea of using those kinds of things like they use the word "pony" in My Little Pony, which almost works, but not really. Pony serves a different purpose.)
Anyway, we also happen to be of the opinion that ending English sentences with random Japanese words sounds really off, so we do actually want to come up with an English equivalent, or an English stand-in, anyway. As a matter of fact, one of the naris in Japanese was added as a hasty correction when Yatori almost said "desu" instead, which would have been breaking character. We couldn't really translate that, so we're hoping the ellipsis does a good enough job serving that purpose. If you're curious to know what we used, go ahead and read the book!
I almost forgot! Bishamon and Inaba! So cute! Bishamon looked so happy to have a rabbit! Speaking of Bishamon, you might have noticed that we didn't try too hard to have her sound old-timey at Yato's audition. We figured it was okay because she was actually speaking differently than normal--more businesslike, and using teineigo, which she never does otherwise. Inaba gave us some trouble, too, because we don't know if Inaba is a he or a she! We asked our editor to see if he could find out, but if not, you'll find that we used both! Read the volume and see if you can figure out our method!
I think that's everything. We had a hard time deciding what to go with when Yato punches people and calls them stupid, but ultimately we took from Yosemite Sam. We had a lot of fun translating this volume, so we hope everyone has a lot of fun reading it!
Today I'm thankful for having a lovely time with our Disneyland associates, feeling less doomful about getting back to Noragami 12, having a much better idea of what our work schedule will be like for the near future, getting to translate Noragami: Stray Stories, and getting to post our review of it.