....right after I give a big thanks to Miss Dream for providing high-quality scans of the Japanese reprint manga and Mixx manga, which are free for everyone to download and use as they like. This cuts down my workload considerably, because now I only need to take pictures of Kodansha's re-release. Don't forget that you can click pictures to make them bigger!
The binding on this volume was tighter than the previous two. There were many times when I had to stretch the book out quite a bit just to read some text that was being sucked into the crevice.
The Japanese reprint includes two bonus "Punch" comics that are mysteriously absent from Kodansha's release. What the hell, man? Now I have to pull out a screenshot from your company's webpage:
EDIT 7/2012: Kodansha stated at San Diego Comic Con that Takeuchi is the one who did not allow the Punch! comics to be included. See this liveblog of the event.
THINGS THAT MAKE ME GO "HUH?"
SPARK---CHRIST, I CAN'T EVEN SAY IT
This panel has already secured a spot in Sailor Moon infamy. I could just let it speak for itself, but it won't use the proper vocabulary. So here I go.
::walks outside and screams at the top of her lungs::
::comes back to the computer::
Now let me tell you all the reasons why this is the worst thing in the world.
(1) In this day and age, there is no excuse to ever get the names of any Sailor Moon attack, character, or item wrong. The series has been out for over a decade and we have the fucking Internet. If Flanagan was honestly confused about how to translate this, because he obviously is not a Sailor Moon fan and that in itself makes me rage, he could have GOOGLED IT. He wouldn't even have had to ask a real human being, although that also would have been an option for him.
(2) スパークリング (spaakuringu) is a real Japanese word used to mean "sparkling". Yes, you can find it in a dictionary.
(3) Since lots of wacky foreign loan words can be represented in katakana, Naoko takes certain measures to prevent her young readers from getting confused. One way she does this is by separating individual words. See how スパークリング and ウイド and プレッシャー are all written as separate lines? That's because they're three separate words: "sparkling", "wide", and "pressure". The panel on the right shows the same thing with Venus's "Venus Love Me Chain", except Naoko also helps out by putting a little dot between "love" and "me" just in case you might mistakenly read them as one word. Boy, she sure makes translating a snap! What kind of stupid asshole could mess this up? Oh...
(4) "Spark Ring" honest-to-God sounds like someone making fun of a Japanese accent. Most East Asian speakers have difficulty differentiating English "R" and "L" sounds because they don't exist as two independent sounds in their native language. That's why parodies of how East Asians talk always include sloppy R and Ls.
(5) Everyone has their sore spots about how Sailor Moon has historically been treated in the US. One of mine is that proper names have often been used inconsistently, so that Black Lady is Black Lady in one chapter, then Wicked Lady the next, or Momo changes to Mary, or all the myriad examples you can pull from the dubbed anime. How hard is it to pick a name and stick with it, I asked? This, like the "Princess Beryl" blunder in volume 2, ruins the manga forever because it will have to be corrected, and once it's corrected, BOOM, we have inconsistent fucking names AGAIN! After all these years, we're still going to hear someone or something referred to as one thing, only to hear them referred to as another thing later! WHY?! This is like a living nightmare for me, and I will never forgive Kodansha or William Flanagan.
Well, after that lovely conclusion, why don't we take a look at some nice things that Mr. Flanagan has done for us in volume 3. ::eye twitches::
After giving some examples where Flanagan's experimentation with "flavor" went wrong, here's one that I think turned out to be a success. Yes, what Venus says is technically closer to what Mixx translated, but Flanagan's take is much more dramatic.
No, they weren't.
In this scene, Mamoru is talking about his school to Asanuma, who wants to become a student there. Mixx improperly has him comment on the nature of the students. He's actually talking about the nature of the school itself. The word ハングリー (hangurii) in katakana does not mean hungry as in wanting food; it means driven / motivated. So Mixx just totally effs this up by saying that the students are all "filthy and starving." Okie doke. Mamoru looks pretty clean and fed to me.
So volume 3 has a couple of very frustrating errors. After "Princess Beryl" in volume 2 and "Spark Ring Wide Pressure" here, I'm feeling a little nervous about future volumes. I'm not sure how many translation DERPs I can stomach, and I'm just really mad that Kodansha didn't get someone who actually cares about Sailor Moon to translate this. Like, how hard would it have been? I'd bet that most people who translate manga have read / watched Sailor Moon at one time. Especially if they're going to advertise this reboot as being super accurate and complete, why would they just grab some random dude, and not someone who is familiar with this very popular and repeatedly adapted product?
Anyway, check back soon, because I recently watched the SuperS anime again, and I have a lot of thoughts I'd like to share.