Thursday, August 24, 2006


On to vol. 14. As before, TP stands for Tokyopop's text, JP stands for the Japanese text, and my own translation follows. This time, subtract six from the page numbers below to get the JP page numbers.

A number of the passages below were called to my attention by umadoshi's post on the translation of this volume, which I've mentioned before. And for a couple of the translations, I used, or borrowed from, Shadow's translations as given in that post.

p. 13: The JP begins with the words "Sonna koto nai yo," or "It's not like that," which are omitted from the TP.

p. 17, panel 1: TP: "I'm not that kind."
JP: "...Ore yasashiku nai to omou n' da kedo"
"I don't think I'm kind"

p. 25, panel 1: TP: "and little merit"
JP: "utsuwa mo chiisaku"
"and little ability"

p. 43: TP's "I'll never forget" is absent from the JP.

p. 44, panels 1 and 2: TP: "Of wondering if they were in a good mood or if they still hated me. I told myself I'd wait until it passes.
JP: "Kigen wa ii darou ka. Warukattara sore ga sugiru no o matou"
"Are they in a good mood? If they're in a bad mood, I'll wait until it passes."

p. 46, panel 5: TP: "I feel like"
JP: "ki ga suru"
"I think" ("I feel like" is possible in isolation, but "I think" fits the context better.)

p. 47, panel 5: TP's "Surely she's been showing symptoms for some time now" is absent from the JP.

p. 49, panel 2: TP: "I must talk to them about what's happened."
JP: "Kimi ga ukete kita koui ni tsuite mo hanashite morawanakute wa ikenai kara"
"Because they also need to tell me about the behavior you've been subjected to"

p. 52, panel 2: TP: "...not being taken seriously."
JP: "naigashiro ni saretara"
"if we're treated with contempt" or "if we're neglected"

p. 56, panel 1: TP: "and talk about random things."
JP: "taai no nai hanashi o shite"
"and talk to me without pity" With the kanji used here, "taai" means "altruism".

p. 56, panel 5: TP: "and when I was in the hospital Haru came to see me all the time."
JP: "omimai mo Haru wa takusan kite kureta"
"and Haru frequently came to inquire after my health" or "frequently came to visit me"

p. 58, panel 5: TP: "Because I like you."
JP: "suki dakara"
"Because I love you" "Suki" can mean both "love" and "like", but "love" fits the context much better.

p. 59, panel 6: Again, "like" should be "love".

p. 60, panel 1: Ditto.

p. 61, panel 2: Ditto.

p. 62, panel 3: TP: "Why can't we be more normal?"
JP: "Doushite motto futsuu de irarenai n' darou"
"Why can't I be more normal?" The JP sentence has no explicit subject, but in context the subject is clearly "I".

p. 62, panel 3: TP: "Holding hands...having his body on mine...I started to want him. I started to get scared."
JP: "Te o tsunaide mo...karada o kasanete mo...hoshiku naru[.] Kowaku naru"

In my reply to umadoshi's post, I wrote: "I'd go with 'Even holding hands, even joining bodies' (literally 'piling up' or 'placing one thing on top of another'). The meaning, as far as I can make out, seems to be that even when she's already joined with Haru she continues to desire him more, which Tokyopop's version doesn't convey." But it appears now that I was mistaken. For one thing, I haven't found anything in any of my books to indicate that "X-ku naru" can mean "become more X". Taken in isolation, TP's translation is correct. On the other hand, in this context it doesn't make sense, since Rin already desires Haru and is already afraid of Akito. The only thing I can think of to make Rin's statement fit the context is to suppose that there's an implicit "again", so that the translation would be "I begin to desire Haru [again]. I become afraid [again]". As for the first part of the first sentence, in my big, thick, expensive Reference Grammar of Japanese (by Samuel E. Martin, it says that "-te mo" means "even if," "even though"; but "-te mo ... -te mo" means "whether ... or". But, while it doesn't say that "-te mo ... -te mo" can also mean "even though ... even though", my guess would be that this is possible. And I think that that reading works better here. Also, while "kasaneru" means "to pile up, to put one thing on top of another," the JP doesn't say who is on top of whom. So right now my best shot at a translation is "Even holding hands, even piling our bodies together, I begin to desire Haru again. I become afraid again."

p. 67, panel 4: TP: "will eat through Hatsuharu."
JP: "Hatsuharu o kuitsubusu yo"
"will eat Hatsuharu up"

p. 78, panel 6: TP: "Leave me alone!"
JP: "Atashi ni kamau na"
"Don't concern yourselves with me!"

p. 79, panel 3: TP: "Why don't you at least let them get you to the point where you can take care of your own body?"
JP: "Jibun no taichou kanri gurai dekiru you ni nattara?"
"If you became able to take charge of your own health?"

p. 79, panel 4: TP:"That's the only way you can get people to once and for all leave you alone."
JP: "Sonna ni hito ni kamawaretakunai nara naosara hissu da yo"
"If you don't want other people to be concerned about you, that's all the more essential"

p. 79, panel 4: TP: "And that way, we wouldn't have to be so bothered by you."
JP: "Bokura mo furimawasarenaide sumu shi ne"
"And we too wouldn't be abused"

p. 86, panel 1: TP: "In spite of everything"
JP: "Ima mo"
"Even now"

p. 86, panel 1: Once again (or twice again), "like" should be "love".

p. 96, panel 4: TP: "weaknesses"
JP: "yowane"

p. 98, panel 1: TP: "I promised myself"
JP: "kataku sou kimeteta no ni"
"although I firmly decided that" Also, I'm pretty sure that "that" ("sou") refers to the preceding text, not to the following text as TP has it.

p. 98, panel 2: TP: "that I wouldn't cry, but..."
JP: "Naku mon ka tte kimeta ita no ni"
"Although I decided 'I certainly won't cry'"

p. 100, panel 5: TP: "is a frightening way to live."
JP: "kowai desu"
"is scary"

p. 101, panels 3 and 4: TP: "She should have just given in to her and cried long ago.'
JP: "Motto sunao ni amaereba ii no ni"
"Although it would be nice if she accepted Tohru's kindness more meekly"
"Amaeru" literally means "take advantage of another's kindness" or "presume upon another's kindness," but that doesn't fit very well with "sunao ni" (meekly, gently, submissively).

p. 101, panel 5: TP: "will you always go crying to her?"
JP: "itsumademo amaeta mama de iru no ka"
"whether one continues to take advantage of another's kindness indefinitely" I know this is awkward, but in the JP the subject is ambiguous, and I think it's important to preserve this.

p. 102, panel 1: TP: "The sunrise I saw that day quietly spread its light over the land."
JP: "Sono hi mita asayake wa shizuka ni atari o terashite itta"
"The morning glow I saw that day gradually illuminated the neighborhood quietly"

p. 102, panel 2: TP: "But there was another light that lit up places the eye can't see."
JP: "Tooi tooi basho made terashite itta"
"It gradually illuminated as far as the eye could see" (Literally "up to far, far places")

p. 108, panel 3: TP: "We're looking for the same thing."
JP: "Motometa mono"
"The person we turned to for support" seems a better translation in this context.

p. 108, panel 4: TP: "Yeah, it was kinda intense."
JP: "Bikkuri bikkuri"
"I was really surprised" (or startled)

p. 109, panel 3: Again, "likes" should be "loves".

p. 110, panel 1: Ditto.

p. 110, panel 2: There's no "and gets better" in the JP.

p. 111, panel 2: TP: "Sounds like your new fling's enthusiasm knows no bounds."
JP: "Nanka...furin aite ga iyagarase shiteru mitai..."
"Somehow...it seems like your illicit lover is being spiteful..."

p. 113, panel 4: TP: "Good luck. To both of us."
JP: "Otagai kentou"
"Let's both fight hard" "Kentou" means "a good fight," "fighting bravely," or "strenuous efforts".

p. 114, panel 2: TP: "Does beauty run in the Sohma blood?"
JP: "Sohma tte bikei no chisuji?"
"Are the Sohmas descended from a beautiful woman?"

p. 121, panel 6: TP: "Are you harassing Yun-Yun?"
JP: "Yun-Yun e no iyagarase desu kaa?"
"Are you being spiteful to Yun-Yun?"

p. 127, panel 4: TP: "were raised verrrry strictly."
JP: "kaanaari Suparuta-shiki kyouiku uketa sodatta n' da yo ne"
"Were brought up under a faaiirly Spartan discipline"

p. 130, panel 5: TP: "There's no 'reset' button."
JP: "Soko ni wa 'atari' mo 'hazure' mo nai n' da"
"With parents and children there's no 'hit' or 'miss'" (or "no 'success' or 'failure').

p. 144, panel 1: TP: "I was pathetic."
JP: "itaitashikute"

p. 145, panel 3: TP: "I must be"
JP "Watashi wa ... kamoshiremasen" (my ellipsis)
"Maybe I'm"

p. 152, panel 5: TP: "several times"
JP: "ikudo to naku"
"many times"

p. 164, panel 3: TP: "I can't explain it to anyone but on the other side of that door ..."
JP: "Dare ni mo misenai[.] Tobira no mukou de ..."
"Nobody can see it. (Literally, "It's not displayed to anyone.") Behind a door ..." There's no "that" in the JP, and inserting it makes it seem as if Rin somehow knows what Tohru was dreaming. Also, I had to make a decision about punctuation. If you read this as a single sentence, it would be "Behind a door that nobody can see," which to me makes less sense.

p. 165, panel 6: TP: "People can't help but be drawn to someone like her."
JP: "Sonna hito o motomezu ni wa irarenai kara"
"Because you can't help wishing for (or turning to, or searching for) such a person" "Such a person" ("sonna hito") refers to the "someone who will gently open that door" in the preceding panel, not to Tohru.

p. 168, panel 4: TP: "bake potatoes"
JP: "yakiimo tsukute"
"roast sweet potatoes"

p. 182, panel 6: TP: "Take that, Tohru Honda"
JP: "Zamaa miro, Honda Tohru"
"It serves you right, Tohru Honda"

p. 185, panel 1: Yuki is here remembering Shigure's words on p. 101, panel 5, and the note to that panel applies here.

p. 193, panel 6 and p. 194, panel 1: TP: "It's not just that. That room had another effect on me."
JP: "...Shikamo honto ni kokorobosokatta no ka mo"
"...Also, maybe I actually was depressed"

p. 194, panel 4:
TP: "I'm stupid, so if you just make something up, I won't know the difference."
"What's the point in cheating a confession?"
JP: "Ore baka dakara itte kunnakya issho wakannai yo?"
"Sore saa...tenuki to mo iwanai?"
[My translation]: "I'm stupid, so if you don't tell me I'll never understand."
"Um...couldn't you leave that out?"

p. 195, panel 3: TP: "pitiful and pathetic."
JP: "nasakenakute kakko warui"
"shameful and unseemly"

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Sunday, August 13, 2006


The other day I discovered by chance that Makoto Tateno, whose CUTExGUY (which you'll sometimes see written as "Cute X Guy") I reviewed here, is also the writer-artist of Yellow, a popular yaoi series that has been published in the U.S. From looking at Yellow in the bookstore, the two series seem to have little in common. And here's an interview with Tateno that I just came across.

I reviewed Hideo Azuma Fairy Tale Collection by Hideo Azuma last year. I recently found out that Fanfare/Ponent Mon has licensed a recent autobiographical manga by Azuma, Disappearance Diary Here's a brief description from Japanese Writers' House: "Winner of The Japanese Cartoonists Association Award 2005 and Grand Prize of 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival, Manga Division by Agency for Cultural Affairs. The book is an autobiographical account by the cartoonist Hideo Azuma of the two times he disappeared from his home and his later battles with alcoholism at an alcohol rehabilitation center. Instead of taking a serious approach to the matter, however, Azuma depicts the events in a disarmingly comical and light-hearted tone." There's a longer description, as well as a brief biography, here. (This may not be up for very long, though.)

Via the Anime on DVD forums, and somewhere else I no longer remember, Anime News Network reports that the U. S. edition of Yotsuba&! vol. 4 is "tentatively scheduled for the first quarter of 2007." This is good news for Yotsuba&! fans, since its publisher, ADV Manga, is notorious for cancelling series in the middle, and until now had said nothing, afaik, to indicate that they would continue to publish Yotsuba&!. For me it matters less, since a couple weeks ago I finally broke down and bought the Japanese edition of vol. 4, which has been out since last September. (Apparently vol. 5 is also out now, but it wasn't in stock at the store I went to.)

If I'd known about ADV's announcement beforehand, I probably wouldn't have bought it, but now that I have bought it, I'm not sorry. Owing to my rudimentary vocabulary, reading manga in Japanese generally requires quite a bit of time and effort, which is why I usually buy translated editions when they exist. But Yotsuba is easy to read, though some words weren't in either of the dictionaries I have. And vol. 4 is delightful, as usual.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006


Recently, as I said, I reread The Remains of the Day: twice, in fact. And while it's a very good book indeed, I think that Never Let Me Go is a better and richer book, though I'm probably in the minority on this. Compared to Never Let Me Go, The Remains of the Day feels schematic, almost like a morality tale: Stevens abdicated his moral judgment and refused to acknowledge his feelings for Miss Kenton, so he ended up wasting his life. You can't draw such simple lessons from Never Let Me Go. Moreover, The Remains of the Day is essentially a one-character book. Stevens describes everything and everyone with such a narrow focus that we never really get a sense even of Miss Kenton as a character in her own right, something that's not true of Never Let Me Go. And while The Remains of the Day has been widely, and rightfully, praised for its use of unreliable narration, once you catch on to the trick of this narration it's almost too obvious: whatever Stevens denies or disavows will turn out to be true. Above all, though, I found Never Let Me Go more powerful emotionally.

(And I haven't forgotten that I promised a second post on Never Let Me Go way back when. I still intend to write one eventually.)

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Friday, August 04, 2006


As I have time and energy, I'll be going back and doing translation notes for those volumes of Fruits Basket that I skipped or only did cursory notes for, starting here with vol. 5. As usual, TP stands for Tokyopop's text, JP stands for the Japanese text, and my own translation follows. Page numbers refer to Tokyopop's edition; to get the Japanese page numbers, subtract four.

p. 23, panel 4: TP: "Please, Mitchan...don't do anything drastic!!"
JP: "Dakara toriaezu Mitchan shinu na!!"
"So first of all, Mitchan, don't die!!"

p. 32, panel 2: Where in TP Kyou says "little boys," in JP he says "obotchan." While TP's translation isn't wrong, "obotchan" also has the connotation of "young master," or of a sheltered child. In effect, Kyou is accusing Yuki of being a spoiled rich kid. Of course this is ironic, given what we later learn about Yuki's childhood, just as the second half of Kyou's accusation in this panel is.

p. 51, panel 1: TP: "He's insane!!"
JP: "Koitsu...!!"
"This guy...!!"

p. 59, panel 4: TP: "Kana's memories aren't buried very deep."
JP: "Kana ni wa kasane ga ke o hodokoshite inai"
Frankly, I don't know what the Japanese means here. "Kasane" means "pile" or "heap"; "ke" here probably means "indications," "a trace," or "a suspicion"; and "hodokusu" means "give." Put them all together, and you get "With Kasane, a pile doesn't give an indication." Perhaps this means something like "with Kasane, there's a lot that's hidden under the surface," but that's just a guess. (I own a Japanese-English idiom dictionary, but it's of no help here.) Normally, when I'm stumped as to what the JP means, I don't mention it in these notes, since the translators may know something I don't. But in this case, I recently saw someone refer to this while discussing a later scene, so I thought I'd provide the information for whoever can use it.

p. 59, panel 4: TP: "it would be...problematic."
JP: "komaru darou"
TP's translation is possible, but given the context and Hatori's character, "it would be distressing" would be a better translation.

p. 60, panel 3: TP: "The feelings of guilt and shame won't disappear. They'd spread like a cancer[,] eating away at the light and the joy that Kana once brought me."
JP: "Oime ya hikeme wa kienai shimi no you ni hirogatte Kana no kokoro o tsukaresaseru dake"
"Like a stain (or shame) that won't disappear, debt and weakness will spread and only make Kana's heart weary." Again, the Japanese isn't too clear, but it doesn't seem to mean what TP has it mean. If you read Japanese, you'll notice that I've chosen to punctuate this passage differently than TP did. TP treats the first five words of this passage as a separate sentence, thus making "kienai" (won't disappear) refer to "oime ya hikeme" rather than "shimi". If I were to follow TP's punctuation, my translation would read: "Debt and weakness won't disappear. Like a stain, they'll spread and only make Kana's heart weary." Because Takaya (or whoever does the lettering) rarely inserts periods, I can't tell for sure who's right.

p. 63, panel 3: TP: "I want you to be two thousand times happier than you would be with Kana-kun!"
JP: "Tori-san ni wa Kana-kun yori mo nisenbai chikaku shiawase ippai ni natte moraitai no da yo!"
"I want you to be filled with about two thousand times more happiness than Kana-kun!"

p. 65, panels 4 and 5: TP: "For us, the cursed members of the zodiac[,] when I think of the pain we can cause someone we love I feel that the memories of my time with Kana are enough. I think I can get by without anyone else."
JP: "Norowareta oretachi ni totte wa...sou kangaeru to sukoshi demo Kana to iu sonzai ga ita ore wa mou juubun nan' ja nai darou ka. Ore wa mou kore de ii n' ja nai darou ka"
"For us who are cursed...when I think of it that way, that Kana existed even for a little is already enough for me. It's fine for me as it is." Again, the Japanese isn't easy to understand, but what TP added is definitely not there. I did the best I could to produce something that stays reasonably close to the Japanese and isn't too awkward-sounding. ("Ja nai ka," with which Hatori ends both of his sentences, literally means "isn't that so?" Here it means something like "you know". In English it sounds unnatural here, so I left it out of my translation.)

p. 82, panel 1: TP: "Teasing."
JP: "Ijime"
"Bullying." "Teasing" would be a possible translation in isolation, but it's too weak a word for what happened to Kisa. "Bullying," which is the usual translation, is preferable here. And the same applies for TP's references to "teasing" in subsequent pages.

p. 82, panel 3: Just to point out, Tohru here isn't laughing, but trying to say "Hatsuharu." Incidentally it just occurred to me: it's odd that Kisa is so timid as a human, but as a tiger she keeps biting people. None of the other juunishi undergo a personality change when they transform, as far as we know.

p. 84, panel 3: There's no question mark in the JP.

p. 86, panel 2: TP: "Shut up!"
JP: "Yamero yo..."
"Stop it..." The meaning is the same, but the tone is different.

p. 93, panel 3: TP: "I would desperately make up stories"
JP: "Hisshi ni kyosei o hatte"
"I would desperately put up a bold front"

p. 98, panel 3: In the JP, Haru uses the word "rihabiri" (derived from the English "rehabilitation") for "recuperation." Presumably this is an uncommon word, which would explain Kyou's remark in the next panel.

p. 100, panel 2: TP: "Please let me watch her..."
JP: "Kou sasete..."
"Let me stay like this..." It seems clear to me that by "like this," Yuki means resting his
head on Tohru's shoulder, not watching Kisa.

p. 111, panel 4: TP: "is doing better."
JP: "daijoubu desu yo"
"is all right" (or "is fine")

p. 112, panel 6: TP: "On the outside, he doesn't care about the main reason."
JP: "Gaiteki youin wa dou demo ii hito"
"A person who doesn't care about the external cause"

p. 123, panel 3: There's nothing in the JP about "You can begin to face your fears..."

p. 126, panels 1 and 4: TP: "Someday I'll have to stand up for my worthless self." "...is where she is."
JP: "Itsuka wa dame na jibun ni tachimukatte ikanakute wa kanojo ga ite kureru"
"When, someday, I have to confront the no-good me, she'll be here for me." The "-te wa" construction here, meaning "if" or "when", is one I'd never encountered or read about before, and had me puzzled for a while. (Finally the Reference Grammar of Japanese I overspent on is of some use!)

p. 127, panel 3: TP: "You finally spoke."
JP: "Yatto koe kiketa..."
"I could finally hear your voice..." The meaning is the same, but the tone is different. Incidentally, the question mark following "Let's try our best" in this panel (or the next panel, depending upon how you look at it) isn't an error: it's there in the Japanese too.

p. 136, panel 2: TP: "Were they trying to stick you with the blame for something?"
JP: "Nankuse tsukerareta ka?"
"Were they criticizing you?"

p. 155, panel 4: TP: "What makes her think Yuki-kun wants to be around her?"
JP: "Yuki-kun no nani ga wakaru tte no sa"
"What does she know about Yuki-kun?"

p. 155, panel 5 and p. 156, panel 1:
TP: "...merely for her association with something like Yuki..."
"'Something like'...?! You would dare call the prince a 'thing'?!"
JP: "...Sohma Yuki gotoki no sei de"
"'Gotoki'...'Gotoki' toka iiyagarimasu ka..."
[My translation]: "...on account of someone like Sohma Yuki"
"'Someone like'..."Did you say 'someone like'?..."
"Gotoki" means "like," "such as." In the books I looked at, I didn"t see any indication that it can only apply to things, or that it has connotations of thingness.Hanajima may be being a bit contemptuous of Yuki here, but not nearly as much as the TP makes her. (The verb Motoko uses has a suffix that implies contempt, but I couldn't figure out how to reflect that in my translation without adding stuff not in the JP.)

p. 157, panel 1: TP: "you cannot say whatever comes into your head and assume you will be forgiven"
JP: "nani o itte mo yurusareru nante omotte wa ikenai..."
"don't think you are allowed to say whatever you want..." Though I usually see "yurusu" used to mean "forgive" in anime and manga (as in the ubiquitous "I won't/can't forgive you/her/him!"), in fact "permit, allow, approve" is the first definition given in my Japanese-English dictionary.

p. 157, panel 2: TP: "If you like him, how can you speak about him so disrespectfully? You should choose your words more thoughtfully."
JP: "'Suki' nara nani o shite mo yurusareru nante omotte iru nara hansei shita hou ga ii..."
"If you think that because you 'love' him you are allowed to do whatever you want, you should reconsider..."

p. 166, panel 1: TP: "Where does your happiness come from?"
JP: "Genki no minamoto wa nan' desu ka?"
"What is the source of vitality (or energy)?"

p. 176, panel 4: There's nothing in the JP about "We'll take care of everything else."

p. 186, panel 1: TP: "It's not cool making yourself sick from worrying."
JP: "Omae sonna kaze hiite warui to omotte n' nara patto naoshite"
"If you feel bad about catching a cold like this, get better quickly"

p. 194, panel 1: TP: "My happiness comes from the kindness of everyone around me."
JP: "Watashi no genki no minamoto wa itsumo minasan ga ataete kureru no desu"
"The source of my energy is that everyone always gives it to me"

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The English version of Fruits Basket vol. 14 recently came out. It'll be a while before I'm able to do translation notes on it (I'll have to wait until my public library gets it), but here's a post by umadoshi discussing the translation, along with some aspects of the content. (There are spoilers for this volume.) And in the comments thread, I add a comment.

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