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Alethea & Athena
Noragami volume 11 
2nd-Mar-2016 04:26 pm
We're taking this opportunity, while we're breaking to do laundry, to update LiveJournal for Review Rednesdays! Tadah! This week, we have our favorite book that we ever translated, Noragami 11! Spoiler level: moderate.

Oh my gosh, you guys, this volume was so good! I have so much to say and I don't know if I can remember all of it and I didn't take notes, so I hope I remember all of it, but at least we're actually writing this review before starting work on anything else, so hopefully that will help.

First of all, Disney Capyper Land!!! Aaaaaaaahhhh!!! Oh my goodness, the first Capyper Land visit was soooooo good, but it's even BETTER with Yato and Yukine! Just the look on Yato's face when he saw Capyper in person. Oh my gosh, so good. Yato's the best. ...Well, now that he's trying to stop being stupid. And Yukine! "How can you not know that's a guy in a sui--" I wonder about keeping up the illusion with that kind of thing, because we knew those guys were people in suits for as long as we can remember, so we don't know what it's like to not know that, or what kind of effects it will have on a person. Although, Mom and Steve have a friend who's also a big Disney fan, and she worked at Disney...World, I think, and she warned us not to go in the head room, whatever you do, it will traumatize you. And I was like, "Yeah, when I worked at Disneyland, I walked by costuming all the time with all the heads on display and I was like, 'oh, there's the heads.'"

Anyway, I actually kind of had mixed feelings about this chapter, because of Yato using terms like "Capyper Land virginity" [sexualizing everything] and when they messed up the photo on Splash Slider he used a very naughty word, which we translated to something weaker because the rating on Noragami doesn't really allow for that sort of language and it's a FAMILY park, dangit! Normally I'd just be like, "That's Noragami for you..." but it was a time when I was feeling extra frustrated about all the Disney fan works that, for example, have the princesses as victims of domestic abuse. It just seems like everybody is taking all these characters that are so pure and innocent and making them...not pure and innocent. And maybe that's your view on what the real world is like, and you're welcome to have that opinion, but leave my Disney characters out of it, please!

So I was a little unhappy about that, but everything else was soooo good! ...Well. Except for Kofuku. It was still good, don't get me wrong! It's just...so, Disneyland is a really big part of our lives, so it shows up in our dreams a lot. But they're dreams, so they're never quite exactly what the park really looks like. In fact, when we went to Tokyo Disneyland the first time, it was a very similar feeling, because it was so much like our Disneyland, but not, so it was like the Disneylands we see in our dreams. And the thing about those dreams is that they're not always happy, so it really creates a kind of...uncanny valley sort of effect? I don't know what to call it, but whatever it is, it's creepy.

So you take that and put it through the filter of parody because you can't use the exact same place in a manga if you don't want to get sued, and now it's definitely a bizarro version of Disneyland. And then! thanks to Kofuku, things start going wrong all over the place, so it's definitely going into Disneyland Nightmare territory. (It didn't help matters at all that, the day after we did our first draft, we went to Disneyland and when we went on It's A Small World, our boat just STOPPED in front of the hippopotamus! That kind of thing has NEVER happened before, except in my bizarro Disneyland dreams.) I don't know if we could've handled it if Yato and Yukine weren't so happy the whole time. But anyway, we can definitely relate with Yato saying, "It wasn't supposed to be like this."

...Which reminds me, Hiyori! She was so unhappy the whole time, and while we definitely understand her feelings, we still hate to see people unhappy at Disneyland. Especially when they're with people who are so happy to be there and they want everyone else to be happy, too. Seriously, all of our greatest Disneyland nightmares were represented in this chapter. ...Maybe not all of them, but it was definitely a good sampling.

But there were redeeming points! Namely: Capyper. Seeing the suit unzipped is far from a Disneyland nightmare for us (though it may be a Disneyland nightmare for someone else), so Yato's disillusionment was more of a tragic gag. But most important there was the Capyper that was taking pictures with them. First, it was soooo great to see Yato and Yukine being noticed by someone they (or at least Yato) wanted to be noticed by. And Yato was so very, very happy.

But second, and I want to point out that we had no foreknowledge that we would be translating a Noragami chapter about Disneyland when we did this, but the day before we translated this book, we had been thinking about our first trip to Tokyo Disneyland and our experience with Br'er Fox, so we went to LiveJournal to see what all we'd said about it. And it was pretty much the exact same experience. We were sitting there eating churros, watching the characters interact with the kids, and one of them noticed us and came over to take a picture. I guess the characters are trained to notice everyone, but at the time, we thought, "Adachitoka, are you channeling our life!?" We also toyed with the idea that maybe one of the Noragami voice cast hadn't really broken into the industry when we were at Tokyo Disneyland, and was supplementing their income by working as a kigurumi character. So when Disneyland came up in conversation with Noragami people, they related an experience...

...Yeah, we have delusions.

Aaaanyway. Now that I've used up all my energy talking about the trip to Capyper Land (and we didn't even talk about Yukine falling under the park's spell! but really all I have to say is this: "Bwahaha!" And this: "Eeeeee!" And this: "See? Disneyland is magical."), I still have a ton of other stuff to talk about. And I even skipped over the first chapter, which had so much great stuff! The smartphone! Oh my goodness, the smartphone! And the best thing is it actually stayed in the series. Apparently nothing is a throw-away gag to Adachitoka. If it gets brought up once, it's there to stay, including the rhinoceros beetle gag. That was so awesome! I'm so glad we didn't try to come up with something that made sense back when it got mentioned the first time, because we would have been so wrong.

And the stories about Kazuma helping him out! Awww, Kazuma is such a nice guy. We loved how he was like, "There's something I've been meaning to tell you..." Oh my goodness, and the comic about Lion Bishamon! It was so stupid! Bwa ha ha ha ha!

This whole volume seemed to address a lot of back story, like with Kazuma, and then with Daikoku. Ooohh, poor Daikoku. The story of Kofuku making him her shinki is so great. I love how at first he's like, "What...?" but he seems to catch on pretty quickly. They are such a cute couple!

This is also where we started using American Girl for reference. Adachitoka seems to really like using different terms for "father", and we don't know enough Japanese to know if it's period or whatever, but we figured what the heck, why not try to make it period? So we kind of guessed at a time frame for when Daigo was around. When Daikoku goes to see Yato (that scene was so emotional!), Yato is wearing boots, and there are gas lamps and stuff, so we figured it was around the early 1900s when Daigo was sent away. So we checked all the years for American Girls and decided that Addy was probably contemporary at some point during Daigo's stint as Kofuku's shinki (we think he might be one of the Kagome Children now, since they said the Heavenly Guard took him in). So we went to the American Girl wiki and found the character description for her dad, thus reminding ourselves that Addy called her father "Poppa", and that's how we decided what to have Daigo call Daikoku! Tadah!

Then, when we were going over Kiyoko's story, we did the same thing, only looking up Molly's mother.

But anyway, speaking of Daikoku, let's talk about the anime. Sometimes, when we're watching the opening sequence of season two, we'll notice that the theme sung is sung by an artist/group that goes by "The Oral Cigarettes", and we always think, "Oral? As opposed to what? ...Never mind, I don't want to know." But, thanks to Daikoku, when we watched the anime this week, the name came up on the screen again, and I started to repeat the same old question, "Seriously, as opposed to... Oooooohhh. Nasal cigarettes!" ...I'm still not sure if I wanted to know. Kofuku says he looks cool smoking through his nose, but she was probably drunk when she said that, because we think it looks ridiculous. On the other hand, it's Kofuku, so she might agree even sober.

The story about them popping the economic bubble was great.

The last chapter is about Mayu's past, which is something we never expected to see. I mean, we figured they'd go into Yukine's past, just because of Yato's reaction when he sees Yukine's life story. But Mayu didn't seem like that important a character, I guess. That's mean of me to think. Sorry, Mayu! I think you're great!

Anyway, it was a great way to remind the readers that the gods know about their shinki's past, and it was so touching. The second time we went over it, it made me cry. The first time, I was too busy looking stuff up and sighing in exasperation over ikinasai versus ikinasai, and the third time I wasn't looking at the pictures. But the second time! *sniffle*

And then! not only did they say, "Hey, we're gonna go into Yukine's past!", but they also gave Yato more backstory, which makes me happy. I mean, Yato's been around for a long time, so it makes sense that he'd have a lot of backstory, but you never know how much of it is going to be significant to the main story. I look forward to reading about that, too!

Speaking of Yato, another important question raised by this volume is, "Is he gonna keep wearing his hair like that and let it grow out? Or is he just keeping it off his neck for the summer?" Only time will tell...

And finally, the gag manga! I really appreciate that Adachitoka gave us some insight into how the other characters would spend a day at Disney Capyper Land, but the best was Ebisu. He's just so stinking cute. And his comments about time off! "Can we do that after we pay off the national deficit?" At least we know his workaholism comes from genuine caring about the people of Japan. I might be interested in seeing what kind of theme park he comes up with. It was great, though, because we do know people (including ourselves...) who sometimes cynically comment about the financial aspect of Disneyland and how it just seems to be all about the money, but then Ebisu comes along with the same ideas, only in a positive direction. (We also know someone who calls Mickey the Golden Mouse (much to his Christian annual passholder family's chagrin), so Ebisu's comment about Disneyland being like a religion...)

And so we come to the end of the review. The short version is, "Best volume ever!" Oh my gosh, I just realized we didn't even talk about Koto at all. Whatever, he's doing his thing. He's more of a jerk than we thought, but his character is fascinating. The scene in the library where he says he can't say no is especially intriguing. Is it part of his Koto persona? Or is it a real thing because he's a god and answering prayers is part of his job and means of survival? We may or may not find out when he shows his true colors...I say as if he hadn't been showing them in multiple scenes in this volume. I guess we may or may not find out when he shows his true colors to people other than the readers and the stray.

Ah, memories. Such a good volume. Seriously, you guys, this series is the best. If you haven't read it, then read it! Seriously!

Today I'm thankful for fond memories of Noragami 11, Noragami being next on our to-do list, it looking like we will be able to finish this rush job on time, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and being done with the hard part of doing laundry (getting started).
3rd-Mar-2016 02:27 am (UTC)
So everything about Capyperland being amazing (and creepy, thanks Kofuku) is yessssssssss!!! Do you want me to screenshot Yato's face for you when he sees Capyper? It is a thing of beauty. I noticed you'd changed the naughty word as I was doing my final lettering pass (when I pay more attention to the JP book for reference) and was glad you did it. Not only was Yato being inappropriate (and I feel that using English swear words in Japanese has a different connotation than in English anyway, although the way English speakers in some circles use that word these days...), the alternative you used was a lot funnier to me because it sounds dorky (my strongest memories of hearing that word are from middle school) and we love dorky-Yato :D

I don't know what it would feel like to believe in something and find out it's not real either, because I was raised always knowing that Santa and the Tooth Fairy and the rest of those guys were made-up (I still got tooth money so it's not like I was a deprived child). But Yato's innocence (in this at least) was a lot of fun.

It's been a while now and I completely forgot about the events of the first chapter in this volume! Kazumahahahahaha!!! With all his "I've been meaning to tell you..."s. You're so right about no throwaway-gags and I love it (I will lovingly handletter Smartphone every time...). The stupid stupid lion comic, also lettered with all my love.

And I have to comment again about the ayakashi parade spread. It takes my breath away... (the creep). (I'm rereading the translation note about it and your note about cassette tapes also caught my eye. hahahahaha, nice job.)

Oh! Thank you for explaining about how you decided on "Poppa"! I really loved that choice. It felt so homey and tender (which made everything all the more heartbreaking...).

And now I'm cracking up over memories of the Nasal Cigarettes and popping the bubble (as well as your comments on Kofuku's judgement of what's cool). And Uncle Ebi's look of utter disdain. Ohhhh those two. They're such a mess♥

Looking back now, I feel like the Mayu-backstory chapter was a way to introduce the shinki-past thing gently/safely. But it was really lovely in itself. And it introduced the spell songs, which I love! (your translations of them are beautiful: I'm sure they're challenging too so I want you to know how much I appreciate them.) They were fun to letter as well (because the page where they were handwritten over the art, I got an extra file without the handwriting...)

Oh yeah, Yato's hair. I've been to figure out how long it's supposed to be (does a god's hair keep growing? and in the first place, how do they decide what age to stop aging at?? and i wonder about shinki's hair too, and other regeneration. it seems like they can heal from injuries to the extent a living person would, but they won't age (and nothing happens when they eat so i assume they wouldn't gain or lose weight). but having the same haircut or only being able to go shorter, not grow it out, would be a dull life. I'm sure they have other priorities, but...) Er, Yato's hair. I think it's just his normal length and he's pulling it up while it's summer. But maybe he is going for an image change: it seems like he's been wearing kimono/yukata more lately (I'm getting ahead of v11 now). I do think wearing his hair up is a nice look. (or it suits him anyway, or something... maybe it's just the strong associations to his Capyperland-adorableness swaying my opinion♥)

I could probably keep thinking of more things to say about this series and this volume in particular but I really ought to be working... but the time I lost writing this and remembering all the delights of the volume was so worth it!!
3rd-Mar-2016 03:02 am (UTC)
Yes, yes, yes!! And yes, we would like a screen cap of Yato when he sees Capyper! As far as naughter words not meaning the same thing to a Japanese speaker, Athena just told me a story about a Japanese voice actor (Yuichi Nakamura, he's Kadota in Durarara!!, but we're not sure what else you'd recognize him from) talking about a friend on Twitter who used that naughty word all the time, and he was like, "Dude, you don't understand. If you ever go to America, they're going to kill you." On the other hand, we had little kids running outside our apartment just today shouting that word at each other, so. We're glad the alternative we chose feels appropriate!

Now that you mention it, when we found out Dad was the Tooth Fairy, we were like, "I knew it!" And we, too, continued to get tooth money.

Aww, thank you for lettering Smartphone with love! I wanted to pull out the English version so we could see your handiwork, but we seem to have misplaced our elevens. We'll have to do a proper search when we have more time.

Oh, good, "Poppa" works! Aww, little Daigo...

I think you're right about the Mayu-backstory chapter. It really is a good transition. And we're glad you love the spell songs! And we're especially glad to hear that we didn't butcher them in translation! And now I really want to see what you did with them. Page decided to help us look, but she didn't find anything.

Those are all excellent questions about hair. How does that work? We know Mayu's has been the same, and we know Tsuguha's got shorter. And how do the gods decide when to stop aging? You'd think it'd be something to do with how their worshipers see them, but Bishamon's worshipers probably mostly think she's a man. I'd believe it either way if Adachitoka decided that was just one of the minor details you don't worry too much about, or if they have some explanation.

Oh man, yeah. This volume is the best. Maybe when we meet each other in person, we'll have a Noragami marathon and just read and talk about it all day.
3rd-Mar-2016 03:40 am (UTC)
Oh, good story!! I mean killing someone over the word is a little extreme but I'm glad some people have a sense of decency still. (Yuichi Nakamura's name sounds familiar... who else DO I know of his characters? ANN says he's Yuzan from MLM, and I watched enough UtaPri to remember Ringo... interesting variety, once again.)

As for lettering with love... Smartphone is relatively simple, haha (the only challenge is "Smartphone" being a little more lengthy than "スマホ"). But when you find your volume 11s (or anyone else with the book who's reading this) my vain side wants to point attention to p123 and 130 with the Sawamizu shop Yato sends Yukine to, because I spent a silly amount of time replacing those incidental-background-art signs to look naturally sketchy and matching. (I saw it while flipping through tonight and was like, "who is this girl who had time for such things??? (although after i lettered it once i was able to reuse it for the other shots too). As of v13, I found a handy combination of photoshop filters that I can tweak to get a sketchy-ish feel for background lettering, which saves a good deal of time.) Anyway, I'm not trying to brag at all when I say Noragami is probably the lettering I'm proudest of. The art (and the everything) is just so amazing, it makes me want to make my part look as good as I can too!

Awww a Noragami marathon in-person!!! I can't imagine anything more delightful! :D
3rd-Mar-2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, right, Yuzan! I keep forgetting about that, because the image I have of most of his characters is the big tough guy, and Yuzan is...not that. Ringo...same story. We also tend to keep forgetting that UtaPri is a thing, and he's not one of the singers. But speaking of his tough guy image, there's another story where Yuuki Kaji tells about how he looks like a hitman, but he's the nicest hitman you'll ever meet, so for his birthday, Kaji-kun wanted to take him out for strawberry ice cream and get a picture of the guy with the hitman face eating strawberry ice cream. But when they went, they didn't have strawberry, so they had to settle for lemon.

Haha, that's what I was thinking, was that "Smartphone" is sooo much longer. We will definitely check for the Sawamizu stuff! (When we find those books...) I don't think it's bragging to say you feel good about how you did something! We're very proud of the translation work we do on it; it's hard work, but we're usually pretty happy with how it turned out. And one of the most satisfying feelings is that of a job well done.

We'll put it in the to-do list! For someday! XD
24th-Mar-2016 03:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks goodness this volume is a breather after 9 and 10.

"Smart phone" is the best thing ever!!!!!
It seemed so natural that I didn't think much of the word. Thank you for posting the process behind the choosing of the word.
Previous Ebisu made appearance during the talk of economy bursts!

What an great volume.
29th-Mar-2016 07:49 pm (UTC)
It's a pretty great volume.

Yes! Smartphone is awesome! And we're glad "poppa" sounded natural! Previous Ebisu will continue to make cameo appearances, so stay tuned!

We're glad you enjoyed it!
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