Not surprisingly, this volume of My Little Monster is kicking our butts. We figured it would be extra talkative, but we were hoping. Hopefully the edit won't take too long.
Anyway, we really need to get our act back together as far as keeping track of what series to review on Wednesdays, but for now it's between Chaika and Noragami, and the decision is not an easy one. I mean, you'd think the obvious choice would be Noragami, but that might not be fair to Chaika! It's also true that if Noragami is coming out monthly, we can't delay the reviews too
long, or we'll fall behind. But maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to let a Noragami hit bookstore shelves, then review it two weeks later, and then two weeks later there will be a new Noragami... But on the other hand, the Noragami Aragoto anime did just finish, and it might be nice to have the reviews up while everything is still contemporary. Hmmmmmmmmm...
We decided the scientific way: we flipped a coin. And Chaika won, so you all have a week to get caught up on Noragami before we post the review! In the meantime, please enjoy this review of Chaika volume...*checks calendar* three! Spoiler level: extremely mild (the only spoilers are which new characters show up).
Okay, so we're writing this two or three...? days after finishing the translation of Chaika 3, and a lot of stuff has happened inbetween (mostly translating another series, seeing Bill Farmer at Wednesdays with Walt, registering for AX, finding out about some industry reception thing, and a bunch of TV). But I'm going to do my best to review this!
Mostly I remember from this volume Guy. Guy was a bit of an enigma for us, not because of being all cryptic and stuff (I mean, come on, it's a fantasy series), but because you never get a good enough look at him to tell if he's male or female. At least not within volume 3. So we decided to watch some more of the anime. The anime seems to progress at a rate of about one episode for each volume of manga (which is ridiculously fast--if you take out all the story, what's the point of animating it? I guess they wanted to skip ahead to "the good part", whatever that is), so you meet Guy about halfway through episode three. That was good, because we didn't have a whole lot of time to watch much further.
So anyway, we were hoping that if Guy really was a guy, he'd be played by a guy, but no such luck. He was played by a woman [Edit: Okay, I feel really bad about this, but the voice actor is actually male; it was a kanji mix-up on our part], so now we had to refer to Wikipedia to see if we could figure out what gender this kid is. And that helped, and of course the name made it much more obvious, but when we translated it the first time, all we had was the katakana for "gii", and that name could really be anything. There's even a girl named Gi (Ghi? Gee? I don't know) in Captain Planet, so there you go.
As for the name, as I said, we didn't realize it was probably the name Guy at first, but when we did, it was pretty funny. He says, "I guess you will need something to call me. Call me guy." And that's exactly what I always call guys in manga when I don't have a name for them! Okay, so not always
. Sometimes I credit them as "Student" or "Boy" or "Man". But most often, it's "Guy". And now we're going to chuckle every time he shows up. Until he reveals his real name.
This is also the volume where Gillet reveals to Toru that Chaika will surely destroy the world, and we were like, "So...like in Scrapped Princess." She's even traveling around with a brother and sister.
We're still having fun with her broken Japanese/English. That's not to say that we're getting super creative with it and playing with it a lot; it mostly just means that when we reread it in our edits, we go, "Oh, that's so cute!" We think broken English is adorable. We don't know if that's mean or not, but it's okay, because if we ever go to Japan, the tables will be turned and the Japanese people can chuckle at our adorably(?) broken Japanese.
Oh, and there's Lucie. You can call her Lucy if you want, but in the Japanese text, it's specifically spelled to be pronounced the...um...what language was it again? Some eastern European language like Russian or Hungarian or something. So it's more like Loots-ee-ay. Probably with the emphasis on LOOTS, but we didn't listen to the sound clip at Wikipedia (if there was one; we didn't bother to check).
Aaaand...I don't know. This volume mostly introduces new characters and sets things up for the later. [Edit: "for the later" is probably a typo, but I'm leaving it because I think it's funny; see above for our feelings on incorrect English.] Dominica's dragon looks pretty cool, but so far Guy is much more interesting (and not just because his name is guy).
I could tell you all a little bit more about the "prince-yes" pun. See, Chaika has a habit of affirming things by either saying "ui", which is pretty much like an "mm-hm", or "koutei", which means "affirmative" or something like that. The Russian woman in Durarara!! tends to say "koutei" for yes and "hitei" for no, so we're now wondering if there's something about the Russian language that leads Russians to using those words in Japanese. Anyway, we checked our previous translations, and it looks like we mostly translated her kouteis as "yes", which was fortunate, because koutei also
means emperor. So she says, "Princess! Affirmative/Emperor." And those sound nothing like each other in English.
As for why we translated "koutei" as yes, my guess would be (you think I'd just remember?) that we figured looking up "yes" in a language dictionary would yield something more along the lines of "yes". But maybe if you look up "yes" in an English language dictionary, the definition would have the word "affirmation", and it would be pretty cute to have Chaika say "Affirmation!" whenever she meant yes. Aww, what a missed opportunity. But she doesn't talk that much, so we might still get away with trying it in the future. Of course, there's no telling what the Yen Press editors would really let us get away with. (Not true; we could tell if we actually read our comp copies. We even have our Chaika 1 comp copies now! ...But we've already read that one [in Japanese].)
So in summary: the characters continue to be them. We get an idea of what the overall story will entail. And Guy is intriguing. My theory is that Dominica will end up joining the party, but it could go either way.
Today I'm thankful for getting to have a lovely chat with our little sister, getting to work on My Little Monster, reminders of how cute Chaika can be, Page growing to love the cat tunnel we bought her last April, and having chocolate to boost our morale when work got to be a little too daunting.