Thursday, March 29, 2007


It's been a long time since I've done one of these, for various reasons. But anyway, on to vol. 15. As usual, TP stands for Tokyopop, JP stands for Japanese, and passages without a prefix are my efforts at literal translation. Page numbers refer to the Tokyopop edition; subtract six to get the Japanese page number. (Tokyopop made a mistake in the page numbers: the page that should be page 90 is numbered 92. So a few of the entries below have two page numbers. The first is the correct number, and the second is the number you would get counting from the incorrectly numbered page.)

p. 5: While Tohru also provides the "story so far" synopsis in the JP, the text in Tohru's balloon here is an invention of TP. In particular, in the JP Tohru says nothing like "With the right help, I think I can end this curse once and for all!"

p. 15, panel 5: There's no "karmic" in the JP.

p. 16, panel 1: TP: "Hello... my vengeful little Yuki."
JP: "Boku no mononoke."
The final word in the JP is written with "mononoke" in kanji, but "Yuki" in furigana. "Mononoke" is the word consistently used in the JP to describe the spirits possessing the Zodiac members, and is only used for that purpose in FB as far as I know. "Vengeful" may have been an attempt to convey something of the connotations of "mononoke," but it really doesn't make sense here.

p. 16, panel 3: TP: "My earliest memories are all with Akito."
JP: "Monogokoro tsuita ni wa mou Akito no soba no ita."
"When I began to understand what was going on around me, I was already at Akito's side." It's a subtle difference, but compared to the JP, the TP shifts the focus more to the present: what Yuki remembers now.

p. 19, panel 4: TP: "No, we can't be the same. That would make me unnecessary."
JP: "Chigau. Issho nanka ja nai... Boku wa iranai sonzai nanka ja nai ..."
"No. We're not a pair... My existence isn't unneeded ..."

p. 23, panel 2: TP: "He makes these terribly angry faces."
JP: "Urameshisou ni tateru wa yo. Iya nee..."
"He stands there with a reproachful look. It's unpleasant, right?..."

p. 35, panel 1: TP: "The incident was a scandal."
JP: "Ousawagi ni natte"
"It became an uproar"

p. 39, panels 2-6: TP: "Loving parents ... A home that no one would ever want to leave. A happy home. A warm place with everyone smiling at me."
JP: "Dakishimete kureru ryoushin. Karetai to negau ie. Minna ga waratte iru basho. Minna ga hanarete ikanai you na jibun."
"Parents who would embrace me. A home I would want to come back to. A place where everybody was smiling. A 'me' that everyone wouldn't separate from." (The second sentence in the JP has no explicit subject, but I think "I' is the most likely subject.)

p. 40, panels 1-2: TP: "That was all I wanted. That, and nothing else."
JP: "Hoshikatta. Hoshikatta."
"I wanted it. I wanted it."

p. 45, panel 1: TP: "All the talk is that she died in an accident but it was suicide, trust me. Apparently she left a will -- if you can call it that."
JP: "Omotemuki wa jikoshi ni natteru kedo jisatsu da yo. Isho magai no mono mo nokotteta rashii shi."
"Officially she died in an accident but it was suicide, you know. It seems she even left an imitation of a suicide note." I don't know what Akito(?) means by "an imitation of a suicide note" (or "a fake suicide note") either, but that's what the JP says.

p. 49, panel 5: TP: "If my dark, useless world is such a hated place"
JP: "Sekai wa kuraku, kirawarete, hitsuyou to sarenai nara"
"If the world is dark, and I'm hated and not needed by anyone"

p. 51, panels 5-7: TP: "I couldn't think straight. I just wanted to move, to run. Maybe I wanted to hurt myself. Or maybe I wanted to feel better."
JP: "Kangae nante nakatta. Tada, gamushara ni ugokitakatta. Kakedashitakatta. Jibun o itametsuketakatta dake na no ka furuitatasetakatta no ka."
"I didn't think at all. I just wanted to move recklessly. To run off. To rebuke myself or to stir myself up."

p. 52, panel 4: TP: "Before I knew it, I'd lost my way."
JP: "Itsushika shiranai basho ni kiteta kedo"
"Before I knew it, I had come to a place I didn't know, but"

p. 52, panel 6: TP: "And then ... I found something."
JP: "Sou shite tadoritsuite no wa"
"And the place I eventually made my way to"

p. 54, panel 4: In the JP there are quote marks around the word for "mother."

p. 56, panel 1: There's no "about something" in the JP.

p. 66, panel 4: TP: "Well, as a child I failed in that respect."
JP: "... kedo dame datta"
"...but it was no good"

p. 74, panels 6-7: TP: "But at the same time she didn't deny that other people are as weak as I am."
JP: " Yowai ningen mo iru n' da tte koto o hitei shinaide kureta koto..."
"She didn't deny that even weak people exist ..." (Or "that weak people also exist," but the first reading seems to fit the context better.")

p. 75, panel 4: TP: "Rin can understand that."
JP: "Rin mo sou datta n' daro?"
"Was it like that for Rin too?"

p. 85, panel 3: TP: "I don't appreciate the sudden threat of a nosebleed!"
JP: "Hana ni atatte hanaji fuitara dou sunda!!"
"What would you do if you hit my nose and I had a nosebleed!!"

p. 85, panel 4: TP: "You stink!" "You stink!"
JP: "Baaka baaka" "Baaka baaka"
"You idiot!" "You idiot!"

p. 89, panel 4: TP: "Knowing my feelings may be too much for her to handle."
JP: "Ki ni yamisugite shimau kamoshirenai"
"She might worry too much" or "She might take it too much to heart"

p. 89, panels 5-6: TP: "Man, Yuki. You really are a good guy."
JP: "Yuki tte honto majime da nee"
"You really are serious, aren't you?"

p. 99 [101], panel 7: TP: "There is no need to request the costumes I already visualize!"
JP: "Ishou no koto nara kono boku ni omakase sa"
"If it's a matter of costumes, leave it to me!" (Literally "leave it to this me.")

p. 100 [102], panel 2: There's no "nii-san" in the JP.

p. 127, panel 5: TP: "And she acts up in class!"
JP: "Kurasu de mo urimakuri de"
"Even in class she just floats" I'm not completely certain what the verb here means, but I don't think it's "act up."

p. 129, panel 4: In the JP, Tohru's word balloon begins with "Yokatta desu ..." ("I'm glad"), which is absent from TP.

p. 131, panels 2-3: TP: "What is it now?" "Is that what you want?"
JP: "Nani o suneteru n' da?" "Honda-san o shinpai sasete tanoshii ka?"
"What are you sulking about?" "Do you enjoy making Honda-san worry?"

p. 134, panel 2: TP: "Sob ..."
JP: "Goshi ..."
"Rub hard ...

p. 137, panel 5: TP: "Hooray for the play!"
JP: "Hayaku mitai na ..."
"I want to see it right away ..." (Literally "quickly")

p. 140, panel 2: TP: "Sorta Cinderella"
JP: "Shindererappoi mono"
"A Cinderella-ish thing" The TP isn't wrong, but I like the literal translation of the JP better.

p. 142, panel 4: TP: "No more frivolities for you!"
JP: "Nande anta sonna yuuga na kurashi shiten no yo..."
"Why are you leading such a refined life?"

p. 143, panel 2: TP: "The stepmother was eager to marry her daughter into the royal family, in the hopes of attaining a life of ease and comfort."
JP: "Jibun no musume o tama no koshi ni nose, hidariuchiwa de kurashitai mamahaha wa yakka ni natte arimashita"
"The stepmother, who wanted to enable her own daughter to ride in a jeweled palanquin, and wanted to live in ease and comfort, was frantic"
I've included this mainly because I don't get why they would leave out "jeweled palanquin." Do they think that readers wouldn't know what "palanquin" means? But you can get enough of the meaning from the context, and it's a vivid detail.

p. 155, panel 1-3: TP: "Think of all the star-crossed lovers who would kill for things this easy! All those star-crossed lovers ... who just wanna see each other ..."
JP: "Sonna nja aitakute mo aenai yatsu wa dou surya ii!! Aitai no ni ... aitai no ni ..."
"What is someone who wants to see someone but can't supposed to do!! Wants to see but ... Wants to see but ..."
This is a very difficult passage to translate, and I'm not claiming my translation is sufficient. I don't really know what that "sonna" ("like that," "such as") is doing there; and the ability of Japanese to leave out subjects and objects makes Arisa's transition from the play's dialogue to talking about herself go much more smoothly in Japanese. But Arisa definitely says nothing like "star-crossed lovers"; nor does she imply that she thinks Kureno is yearning to see her.

p. 156, panel 1: TP: "I never once wanted to see her!"
JP: "Ore mou ichido aitai nante hitokoto mo itte nee jan yo..."
"I never said a word about wanting to see her again ..."

p. 157, panel 1: TP: "Just a minute, Prince Charming! That information was very necessary!"
JP: "A, chotto ooji, ima no wa tadashii serifu na n' desu kedo"
"Uh, wait, Prince, that was the correct line"

p. 159, panel 2: TP: "Do you plan to live a lie for the rest of your life? ...deceiving yourself daily..." [First ellipsis mine.]
JP: "Sou yatte jibun o gomakashinagara ... ikite iku tsumori ...?"
"Do you intend to go on living cheating yourself like that ...?" "Gomakasu" (the base form of "gomakashinagara") can be translated as "deceive," but I think "cheat" fits the context better.

p. 159, panel 4: TP: "and stopping only at the moment you die?"
JP: "shinu made ..."
"until you die ..."
"Shinu made" are also the words Akito uses to tell Kyou that he will be permanently confined if he loses the bet, and which Kyou recalls in vol. 8, though this is lost in TP's translation of that volume (see here for details).

p. 163, panel 5: TP: "What wonderful judgment!"
JP: "Nante migoto na osabaki ...!!"
"What a splendid decision!!" "Sabaki" can be translated "judgment," but only in the sense of "a judgment": that is, a verdict.

p. 168: The notes on the bottom of the page can be translated "idiot child" and "idiot father."

p. 181, panel 1: TP: "...you've got the hots for Rin."
JP: "Rin ni horeten no?"
"You're in love with Rin?"

p. 185, panel 3: TP: "Clamming up in a corner makes the thing half your fault."
JP: "Iikaesenai hou mo warui yo"
"It's even worse if you can't talk back"

p. 187, panel 5: TP omits "uchira ga sekkaku katazuketa," i.e. "that we cleaned up specially" (referring to the student council room).

p. 188, panel 2: TP: "... He's a natural. Mm."
JP: "... Tennen no hito"
"... A natural person"
I can only guess that someone misread "man" as "mm."

p. 191, panel 2: TP: "... Machi said I'm a natural."
JP: "... Machi ore wa tennen da tte"
"... Machi said I'm natural"

This volume has somebody new, Lianne Sentar, doing the English adaptation (as distinct from the translation). And this does seem to be an improvement, at least insofar as there are no instances of the TP just making stuff up, as there were in previous volumes (except for the stuff on p. 5, which may not have been written by Sentar). On the other hand, there are several places in this volume where the TP sounds unnatural or stilted although the corresponding passage in the JP is perfectly ordinary: p. 66, panel 4; p. 85, panel 3; p. 99, panel 7; p. 137, panel 5; and p. 159, panel 4.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007


I recently finished twelve volumes of manga by Shiriagari Kotobuki, which I intend to review at some point. In the meantime, here are a few links:

Shiriagari's website. It's Japanese only, but if you can't read Japanese, this page, and the links leading from it, feature illustrations of Shiriagari's characters.

Two pages from a comic of Shiriagari's translated into German, appearing in the magazine Strapazin. The series it comes from is "Futago no oyaji," which translates into English as "The Twin Oyaji." (An oyaji is a sort of stereotypical middle-aged man; for more info see the first volume of Usamaru Furuya's Short Cuts, if you can get ahold of it.

An article in German about Shiriagari, also from Strapazin; and its semi-intelligible Google translation.

An interview with Shiriagari (via Journalista).

Among the loads and loads of French-language reviews of European, American and Japanese comics available on du9 are reviews of three works by Shiriagari. (The fourth link is to the French version of the review linked to above.)

A review of a new Japanese manga anthology with a story by Shiriagari in it and a small sample of art. Possibly NSFW, owing to an image of a farting space potato (not from Shiriagari's story). (Via Journalista, who got it from Postmodern Barney.)

*My usual policy is to write Japanese names with the surname last, in conformity with the usual Japanese practice when writing names in romaji (the Latin alphabet). But I've decided to make an exception for Shiriagari, because the surname-first form is more familiar in the West, and because it seems to be Shiragari's preference. So Shiriagari Kotobuki is how the name would be written in Japanese as well.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


It's been too long since I've posted, for various reasons. I do have some substantive posts planned, including more Fruits Basket translation notes, but for now I'll just post a couple of quick things.

I was up in the Chicago area a couple days ago, and went to pay a visit to Sanseidoh, the Japanese bookstore in Mitsuwa. I had a scare when I saw that the spot it had occupied was now empty, but it had only moved to another spot in the building: it's now opposite JBC, close to where the old Asahiya had been. I didn't buy much, though. Aside from a sudoku magazine, I just picked up three manga I had special ordered: the second and third volumes of Partner, and the first volume of Kiichi, which, like Jacaranda, was nominated at this year's Angouleme Festival. (The French version is entitled "Ki-Itchi," but in Japanese it's simply "Kiichi.") I plan to write about all these books eventually.

And at the other JBC, the one that's not in Mitsuwa and sells used books and manga, I picked up another volume of the anthology title Grimm's Fairy Tales, the Cruellest and Most Beautiful in the World. They also had still another volume, which featured modernized versions (as were a couple of stories in this volume), but I didn't buy it. Also, those copies of Kotobuki Shiriagari's A*su and Dying Essayist which were there in December 2005 are still there, though on a different shelf. So if you live in the Chicago area and can read Japanese, go buy them already.

Changing the subject, am I the only one who doesn't love Jeff Smith's Captain Marvel? Granted, I haven't read the two volumes that are out, just flipped through them in the store, and if I read them I might change my mind. But I don't like Billy Batson being turned into a pathetic abused waif, and I don't like Mary Marvel being six years old.

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