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Alethea & Athena
Devil Survivor volume 4 
30th-Mar-2016 07:26 pm
As expected, the edit on this volume of Noragami wasn't as easy as the first draft. It's really not that bad, but since we're crunched for time, it crunches our souls. On the bright side, we're learning some pretty neat stuff about kanji!

But enough about that! Today is Review Rednesday! And it looks like we had some great new stuff come out this week--My Little Monster and...well, gosh, I was sure there was something. But it doesn't matter anyway, because--Your Lie in April! That's what it was! But it doesn't matter anyway, because we still have some stuff from last week to review. And for today, I think that stuff will be Devil Survivor. Spoiler level: moderate.

As I whined on LiveJournal back when we were translating this book, this volume has got to be the chattiest volume in Devil Survivor's long, four-volume history. (It's longer than four volumes, but as of when volume four came out, it was only four.) We were hoping to finish the book in two days, because we had a trip to Japan coming up, and before we left, we needed to finish a volume of My Little Monster and a Yen Press thing that hasn't been announced as of my writing this. I don't know if it will have been announced as of my posting this, so I'm keeping it under wraps, but no, we're about 98% sure none of you will be interested, so don't get your hopes up. [It was Corpse Party, by the way.] And we were also asked about finishing a volume of Noragami before we left, so we were really hoping to just do everything super de duper fast. No such luck.

On the bright side, due to the text density of this book, our own personal commentary yielded the wonderful phrase, "The chattiest of chatty chapters." Isn't alliteration lovely? The comment was a reference to the chapter "The Vampire", but then we edited the chapter "The Vile Pazuzu", and I'm really not sure which one is chattier. There was a lot of talking in the whole book, is what I'm saying. The script was almost 50% longer than most other Devil Survivor scripts (volume one is extra long because of exposition, setup, etc.). In the book's defense, the book itself was about thirty pages longer than the average Devil Survivor volume, so we couldn't blame it all on talkativity. But when we had made it through the same number of manga pages, our script was already about 20% longer than average. It was a very chatty book, and right when we were hoping for the opposite! (But to be fair, we're kind of always hoping for that.)

As for the content itself, well, first there was the chattiness, which does get to be a little tedious to translate. Why? Because it was a lot of monologuing. It was pretty good as far as monologuing goes--we didn't even realize it was monologuing until we were almost done with our edit. Basically, it's like every character who's not on the main party has to give a long speech about what's going on in their life or about their feelings or something. We felt it was presented okay in the Japanese, so we hope the English isn't boring. Oh my goodness, this morning I had a dream where someone was reading a volume of Devil Survivor and groaning the whole time about how terrible the dialogue was. I can't think of any other dream that has depicted my real life concerns so accurately.

But! despite all the talking, there's some pretty darn exciting stuff going on! This is the volume where Midori almost gets killed because of people's prejudices, and then Keisuke freaks out and starts rendering judgment on everybody. And it's super dramatic and like, "Whoa!!" And we said to ourselves, "When they added recorded dialogue to the video game, they knew Yuuki Kaji would be good for Keisuke because he's so good at playing characters with anger management issues." I don't know what it is, because I really don't agree with Keisuke's methods, but I found his righteous anger to be very attractive. Oh and Midori! She's so cute and sweet and loving and kind! She's totally a hero.

There's also the stuff with Kudlak and Kresnik. Kudlak was interesting because he talks crazy, and we were able to pick up on that from the game translation, but you know us and our artistic differences--we just had to do it our own way. We pulled up a video of the first scene with him on the internet because we needed to match some terms (for example, Kresnik calls Mari "Mari-dono" in the Japanese, and since the manga publication is matching the game, we needed to check how they rendered that in English (it was Miss Mari, which was way more boring than our Milady Mari, but we'd have to do more research on "dono" to see which one is more accurate)), and I noticed how they were doing Kudlak's speech pattern in the game, and I thought, "Hmm, that could work, too..." And I was undecided about what we should do about it, but we had to take a break about then and ultimately decided to figure it out later. By the time we came back, we'd mostly forgotten about it, so it ended up staying pretty much the way we had it originally. But you do have to be careful about not matching the game too closely, because the speech bubbles in manga don't break up in the same way as the dialogue boxes in video games, so the dramatic effect might be different. Or rather, you have to be judicious about it.

Anyway, this was an interesting volume, because it depicted so many key scenes from the game, but it was also able to add some scenes that just wouldn't work in the video game format unless they wanted to take the time and effort to add a bazillion detailed cut scenes. So it adds a scene where the party helps a kid, only then he and his mother are terrified of them because they're using demons. And it adds some scenes with Midori helping people, and shows more detail about what happened to her. I don't remember exactly how it went down in the game, but in the manga, they actually give her a pretty serious beating to the point where Keisuke really thinks she's dead, so his explosion seems a lot more justified. In fact, a lot of what Keisuke does in the manga seems way more justified, like when he kills a member of Kaido's team. It was still a terrible thing to do, but in the manga, you see the team member kill a woman and take her food. (For those unfamiliar with the manga or the game, Keisuke's thing is that he has a hyper righteous streak, and gets fed up to the max with people mistreating each other, so he decides to punish bad behavior.)

...And come to think of it, it's possible that a bunch of these scenes really were in the game after all, but we didn't see them because they don't let you see all the scenes the first time through.

Lastly, I like the gags the manga artist adds. I don't know if the under-the-slipcover scenes are getting added to the English release, but I find them quite amusing.

Wow, that review was a fun read! (It's such a reviewy Review Rednesday that I'm even reviewing our review!)

Today I'm thankful for chocolate being on sale at the grocery store (part of why we still have work left to do today: we took time out to go grocery shopping), our regular edition of Noragami 16 arriving today (maybe now we can get more behind-the-scenes trivia! (the text in the cover flap is different for the different editions, we discovered)), getting a shipping confirmation for the book on weaving that we ordered, getting to learn some really neat stuff about kanji, and having the self-control to not eat the whole giant bag of Reese's Pieces last night.
31st-Mar-2016 02:24 am (UTC)
The text inside the cover flap is different?!!!! Well well well, then I have a use for the second copy they sent me even though I told them before they had any copies that I didn't need it :) All is well with the world. (never mind that the regular edition's content would be included in the English version so I'd get have that way too.) Isn't the cover just the prettiest? The starry sky on the back made me gasp! And everyone's so adorable.

Sorry, this was a post about Devil Survivor. It was an entertaining review to read! But now I want to read the manga to know what all you're talking about again. Hmmmm. (it's not that I don't want to read it anyway, it's just I've already got manga piling up that I ought to read but can't motivate myself to do so... so I worry it would wind up in the same boat if I read it and didn't absolutely adore it. And it's so hard to know if I'll absolutely adore something when it's not shoujo manga. (I know my requirements for enjoying shoujo manga very well.))

I can't wait to hear about your weaving adventures!!! I still think making your own fabric is crazy-talk, but weaving does seem like fun, and probably/hopefully not too hard to make some very pretty things out of! :D
31st-Mar-2016 02:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we started translating the cover flap on our copy and it was all, "Thanks for buying the limited edition!", and we were like, "I'm pretty sure that's not what it says in the regular edition." So we went and got our other special editions and checked, and sure enough, they were different. I think the information on the regular cover flaps is more interesting in general, but the volume 16 one mentions Yato's voice actor, so now we have to actually read through the others in case they talk about Yukine's. We agree, the cover is beautiful! I think this blue is my favorite color of all the covers so far...which makes us a little sad that the cover illustration has its own background instead of just using the pretty pretty color. On the other hand, it wouldn't really work without a background, so. And it is a lovely illustration, as usual.

Our review of the first volume of Devil Survivor actually has a summary of the premise! So that might help a little. We like the story well enough, but we understand being crunched for time and shelf space and etc., so we won't be offended if you don't read it. (Aha, the truth comes out about why shoujo manga is so predictable to you!)

We're pretty excited, because we're planning to take next week off! And if somebody comes along and needs something RIGHT NOW, we'll say, "Nope."

ETA: I forgot to mention (and I meant to) that we watched the DVD two nights ago! We have things to say, so let us know when you've seen it.

Edited at 2016-03-31 06:18 pm (UTC)
31st-Mar-2016 03:45 pm (UTC)
(well, I think shoujo manga is predictable in general (and shounen too) and that much of that is intentional, but yes, it's shoujo that I've studied enough to pretty-accurately guess which series I'll enjoy and which I won't as much. and also the art is an important element of my shoujo manga enjoyment, whereas I am fairly neutral about most shounen manga art. (except Noragami♥))

Wowwww a week OFF!! So nice! (I'm not jealous, I have been taking this week and last week easy so that feels sort of like a vacation, and I worry if I didn't do any work for a week I'd just waste my time on nonsense.) Enjoy!! :D

OH! I am going to watch it RIGHT NOW. (because I'm taking this week easy! and feel like procrastinating on my current Yen project......)
31st-Mar-2016 03:59 pm (UTC)
There are still a few things that if they came up, we would have to cancel the week off, so I'm a little nervous, but I think we can at least take it easy! I think we're at a point where we need more nonsense or we'll never recharge. Hence the whole week.

Yay! (Boy do we know the feeling about procrastination...)
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