Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weekly Masayuki Ishikawa - Her Confession (redux)

I released the initial version of this some time ago, but here's a v2 that corrects some embarrassing mistakes. Thanks to Hox for pointing out the main error to me; I went back and sat down and went through the whole thing, finding other stuff I got wrong.

Since I didn't give write a blurb last time, I'll write a few words now. Weekly Masayuki Ishikawa (or Weekly Ishikawa Masayuki, depending on your preference) is a collection of 11 one-shots by Masayuki Ishikawa, the author of the popular series Moyasimon (or Moyashimon). The conceit behind the title is that with the exception of the first piece, all of the one-shots were run in Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine one after the other, week after week after week. (The first ran in Morning 2002 #35, and the rest ran from 2002's #46 to 2003's #4-5 double issue.) While it's common for a seinen mangaka to hone his or her craft by writing a series of shorts, it's extremely impressive to me that Ishikawa managed to put out so many one-shots in quick succession, with a wide variety of subjects. Whether he drew them all out in advance or did it on the fly, he's a seriously talented guy, as shown by his ability to keep Moyashimon going in addition to the newer Junketsu no Maria.

This first story, "Her Confession," is actually one of the first things I started transcribing as practice, back in 2008. I was well out of my depth, but my philosophy is to throw myself in the deep end when learning is concerned. It's clear to me now that there were things in this chapter I didn't understand, even late last year, though they seem quite elementary now. It pains me to have loosed inaccurate translations upon the world, and I apologize for that.

I'm mostly satisfied with this translation now, though there are a few things that I wasn't able to convey in English. (Spoilers) In Japanese, it's possible to talk naturally using gender-neutral pronouns, or no pronouns at all. On page one, the gender of their child is not mentioned, though some rougher language is a clue. I chose to use the pronoun "he" starting from the first page, because going without pronouns sounded unnatural in English. This results in a sudden shock for the reader on page two, while a Japanese reader would get a more gradual sense of unease while flipping through the first few pages.

I made a mistake the first time through because I wasn't familiar with some Japanese LGBT terms, and I'll discuss them briefly as a way of making amends. Thanks to One Piece, I know what an 'okama' is (an effeminate gay man) but 'onabe' was a new term to me. An onabe is a lesbian who identifies as male. In western slang, the closest equivalent might be 'dyke', and I thought about using western terms, but I decided not to after reading some papers on the subject. This McLelland guy has written several papers about gender issues in Japan, including this one titled "Male Homosexuality and Popular Culture in Modern Japan." That's the only one I could find on the free web, but he has some more papers behind paywalls, including one about newhalfs. A 'newhalf' is a male-to-female transvestite, and according to McLelland, many identify less as female as an "intermediate sex" between female and male. Last of all, I found a paper about same-sex partnerships in Japan.

That's about it. You might notice that this release has a smaller file size despite having a higher resolution. That's because I tried using pngquant to get them down to 16 colors, and I couldn't make out a difference between 16 and 256. (pngnq might do a better job, but I couldn't get the latest version to compile under cygwin.)

Project status: Seireihen, moving ahead slowly. Weekly Masayuki Ishikawa, will do at least two more, and someone (Hox) will eventually finish the rest. Kabu no Isaki, raw transport issues, waiting on a single page ;_; I'm going to be away from my desktop monitor for the next few weeks, but I'll try typesetting on my laptop screen, and hopefully the next KnI chapter will be out soon.

1 comment:

Holy said...

I'm really appreciate for your work. I'm recently had a chance to watch Moyashimon anime and really like its idea, so I try looking for his other works too. Too bad none of his work has been published in my country and I could only found English version of Moyashimon.

I'm also had done some fansub and scanslation and understand your feeling of embrassment but never really think of going back to make a v2 after 2 years lol. Please keep up the good work. You have at least one person who look forward to your work here. :)

P.S. And sorry for my bad English.