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REVIEW: Inu × Boku SS GN 1




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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:19 pm Reply with quote
The anime adaptation had a very strong opening and ending along the lines mentioned in this review but a long, very forgettable stretch in the middle. I'm curious as to how the original work progresses.
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fireaxe



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
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Location: Trois-Rivieres, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:37 pm Reply with quote
I own up to volume 7 of the French edition, and I'm really surprised by some of what I'm reading here.

Quote:
The biggest offender at this point is the aggressive lesbian stereotype Nobara Yukinokouji, although part of her annoying factor may come from Yen Press' translation of her catchphrase as “smexy,” which is frankly just irritating to read.

Did YP really translate Nobara's "Maniac" (which is literally what she says in the original manga and anime) to "Smexy"? What's the point of that, since the catchphrase was already in English? And on top of that they renamed Karuta, Carta? Now that's pretty dumb... Apparently they didn't care too much that a bunch of potential buyers have already seen the series on Crunchyroll, or even bought Sentai's BD or DVD, and will most likely be quite annoyed by those choices. Weird.


Anyway, I'm really digging the manga so far, I've read most of it and I can tell you that it goes to some CRAZY places once it gets past the events covered in the anime. A very enjoyable read.
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mewpudding101



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
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Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:43 am Reply with quote
As Cocoa Fujiwara's biggest fan, let me just say this... Dear was far better than Inu x Boku SS, and it totally deserved an anime adaptation.

It's unfortunate that only Inu Boku SS has received such popularity in the west.
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Mai5



Joined: 20 Feb 2013
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:36 pm Reply with quote
I'm so glad someone else addressed the "MANIAC!" and "Karuta" issue. I almost decided not to buy the next volume because those two things bothered me so much. I try not to let translations bother me, but smexy was just too much... Crying or Very sad

I would love to see Dear in English as well as Cocoa-sensei's new series Former Magical Girl.
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mierin



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:47 pm Reply with quote
mewpudding101 wrote:
As Cocoa Fujiwara's biggest fan, let me just say this... Dear was far better than Inu x Boku SS, and it totally deserved an anime adaptation.

It's unfortunate that only Inu Boku SS has received such popularity in the west.


A fellow Cocoa Fujiwara fan! Very Happy
Yeah, I wish Dear received the same popularity and attention that Inu Boku SS did. I don't know if it has enough potential to become an anime series, but if they bring Dear manga over, they'll have to include Watashi no Ookami-san too because the backstory is in this series.

I had plans to buy the release when I heard Yen Press was going to pick it up. But changing Karuta's name to Carta (I had no idea who this was until I read the talkback posts), and changing Nobara's "maniac" to "smexy"?! Confused

Regardless, I'll probably still pick up the first volume whenever I head over to the bookstore.
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:00 pm Reply with quote
I haven't read this (yet—I plan to) but just wanted to mention that the word "karuta" in Japanese is derived from "carta," the word for card in several Latin-based languages. I believe Portuguese was the one that introduced the word to Japan.

I don't know how that word or meaning might relate to the specific character named Karuta/Carta, but I did notice on the Japanese wikipedia page that nearly every character's name is written entirely in kanji—I saw a couple with hiragana—while Carta's name alone is written in katakana (generally used for foreign and loan words). So to me, it makes sense for a translation to go to the root word, and it also causes the character's name stand out as "not-Japanese" the same way it might to a Japanese reader seeing the use of katakana.

As for maniac/smexy, they both sound annoying to me, and maybe smexy is worse, but I'm inclined to believe that the use of "maniac" in the original rarely made grammatical or actual sense in context, and so could reasonably be changed to something that wouldn't sound quite so random/weird/Engrish-y to an English-language reader. I may be wrong, not having read the original (I watched the series on CR for a while but my memory of specifics is foggy).

edit: I went ahead and rewatched the first two episodes on CR to refresh my memory. The translation entirely ignored the use of the word "maniac." I could see where "smexy" would make contextual sense in the places Nobara spoke maniac, but actually keeping the word "maniac" would've been a stretch, or sounded awkward at least.
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hyojodoji



Joined: 08 Jan 2010
Posts: 503

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:12 pm Reply with quote
lys wrote:
I haven't read this (yet—I plan to) but just wanted to mention that the word "karuta" in Japanese is derived from "carta," the word for card in several Latin-based languages. I believe Portuguese was the one that introduced the word to Japan.

I don't know how that word or meaning might relate to the specific character named Karuta/Carta, but I did notice on the Japanese wikipedia page that nearly every character's name is written entirely in kanji—I saw a couple with hiragana—while Carta's name alone is written in katakana (generally used for foreign and loan words). So to me, it makes sense for a translation to go to the root word, and it also causes the character's name stand out as "not-Japanese" the same way it might to a Japanese reader seeing the use of katakana.

Yes, it is derived from the Portuguese word 'carta'.
Kōjien says:
Quote:
カルタ 【carta ポルトガル

Portuguese brought packs of cards which were similar to today's playing cards to Japan in the latter half of the 16th century, and they became the 'Tenshō carta' playing cards in Japan.

As to the reason why the name of the character in question is Carta:

Domino-like game tiles were called 骨牌 (lit. 'bone tiles') in China.
 ↓
The term was diverted to another purpose, which was to also mean playing cards.
 ↓
So the word 'karuta' is often written as '骨牌' in Japan.
 ↓
One of the character's ancestors was Gashadokuro, a skeleton yōkai.
 ↓
Therefore, the character has that name, which is related to bones in a sense.

On a side note, recently I happened to re-read a book by Kinoshita Mokutarō, a scholar who also studied Spanish and Portuguese cultures in Japan in the mediaeval and early modern periods.
 
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1037
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:00 pm Reply with quote
lys wrote:

As for maniac/smexy, they both sound annoying to me, and maybe smexy is worse, but I'm inclined to believe that the use of "maniac" in the original rarely made grammatical or actual sense in context, and so could reasonably be changed to something that wouldn't sound quite so random/weird/Engrish-y to an English-language reader. I may be wrong, not having read the original (I watched the series on CR for a while but my memory of specifics is foggy).

edit: I went ahead and rewatched the first two episodes on CR to refresh my memory. The translation entirely ignored the use of the word "maniac." I could see where "smexy" would make contextual sense in the places Nobara spoke maniac, but actually keeping the word "maniac" would've been a stretch, or sounded awkward at least.


I've been thinking about this a lot since I voiced the complaint in the review, and I tend to agree with Lys that "maniac" might not have worked very well either - was it an issue for those of you who have read it in another language? (I'm kind of kicking myself for not picking up the French edition when I had the chance, just for comparison's sake.) My general feeling is that that kind of catchphrase just doesn't work as well in English, although I hesitate to advocate leaving one out entirely...it is part of Fujiwara's original intention for the character, so it's a tricky situation.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:33 pm Reply with quote
I think from the context that "maniac" was used where a speaker of US English would have used "crazy" or "crazy cool". I can see the original author looking for something like that and finding a synonym that doesn't have the same slang meaning. I do agree that trying to use the original English misused word wouldn't have the effect intended in the original. Smexy was simply a bad alternative though.
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
Posts: 1150
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:

I've been thinking about this a lot since I voiced the complaint in the review, and I tend to agree with Lys that "maniac" might not have worked very well either - was it an issue for those of you who have read it in another language? (I'm kind of kicking myself for not picking up the French edition when I had the chance, just for comparison's sake.) My general feeling is that that kind of catchphrase just doesn't work as well in English, although I hesitate to advocate leaving one out entirely...it is part of Fujiwara's original intention for the character, so it's a tricky situation.


Maybe ask Yen Press about it? I could see "Karuta" potentially being Carta when Romanized. The publisher/author/editor may have even requested it. I think it's possible to incorporate "maniac" in English, but "smexy" fulfills the same purpose, and avoids the sentence structure issues "maniac" suffers.

What really worries me is that YP may lose sales over this, even if it's official word from the Japanese side. Perhaps adding translator note sections would work? Or keep Carta if it's official and jam "maniac" in somehow.
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mewpudding101



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 1773
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:33 am Reply with quote
mierin wrote:
mewpudding101 wrote:
As Cocoa Fujiwara's biggest fan, let me just say this... Dear was far better than Inu x Boku SS, and it totally deserved an anime adaptation.

It's unfortunate that only Inu Boku SS has received such popularity in the west.


A fellow Cocoa Fujiwara fan! Very Happy
Yeah, I wish Dear received the same popularity and attention that Inu Boku SS did. I don't know if it has enough potential to become an anime series, but if they bring Dear manga over, they'll have to include Watashi no Ookami-san too because the backstory is in this series.

I had plans to buy the release when I heard Yen Press was going to pick it up. But changing Karuta's name to Carta (I had no idea who this was until I read the talkback posts), and changing Nobara's "maniac" to "smexy"?! Confused

Regardless, I'll probably still pick up the first volume whenever I head over to the bookstore.


The reason Karuta's name was changed is because it originates from the game... The game's name originates from the European word Carta or something... Anyway.

Dear, luckily, has been now published in omnibus form in Japan, with each omnibus volume containing two of the original volumes. Ookami-san is also put into one.
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fireaxe



Joined: 07 Jul 2006
Posts: 500
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:54 am Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:

What really worries me is that YP may lose sales over this, even if it's official word from the Japanese side. Perhaps adding translator note sections would work? Or keep Carta if it's official and jam "maniac" in somehow.

I, personally, strongly doubt this was a request from the Japanese side since the French edition keeps both Karuta and Maniac.

I'll see if I can scan the translator note that was added when "maniac" is used for the first time.

EDIT: Well, I can't find it... so maybe there was no TL note after all... my bad. Neutral
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