Monday, October 22, 2012

Volume 7

Uranus stroking her sword with a "come hither" look.
Volume 7 stars Sailor Uranus, who is "both male and female" and who possesses a sword that lengthens during periods of excitement.

There was nothing about this volume that made me scream into the cold, pitiless night, and nothing that made me dance a merry jig on my balcony.  There were a lot of grammatical errors and typos, which freaks me out, but if I chew enough Prozac, I get by.

Remember how Tokyopop translated Ptilol's name as Petite Roll?  Shh, I know, it's painful to remember.  Well, Flanagan didn't repeat that error.  I remember before this reprint even started, people were worried about what would happen to some of these wacky names in the Infinity story arc.  We can now breathe a sigh of relief, because all the names have been properly translated.

On a totally unrelated note, and just because I have to follow every bit of praise with a complaint:

What is with Flanagan and the phrasal verb "put out"?  His obsession is not unique to this volume; he's used it before to say things like "why doesn't the Legendary Silver Crystal put out light?" (Wiseman in volume 4).  One feature of English is that it has a bajillion words.  I think it's the duty of a translator, writer, or anybody manipulating language to use them.  Why not use "bloom" instead of "put out a bud"?  Why not "giving off" or "producing" for what Luna's saying?  Why not "grown", "sold", "distributed", or whatever for the last panel?  It's just lame, clunky, and boring to fall back on the same words so much.
Now that I've put that out there, let's go into the details of this volume.

I don't know what thatt is, Mako-chan.  My guess is that it's a typo.

After "Oh, those!" the T in "they're" should be capitalized.  Hey, someone needs to point these things out to you.

People is a plural word, Usagi.  I know you're all riled up, but please don't take it out on grammar.

You may possess special powers, but you don't possess an S at the end of "possess".  And enemies are going to hone right in on thatt weakness.

This is one of those errors that makes me think I'm reading something written by one of my ESL students.  They make mistakes like "was fell" all the time.  I almost started writing an explanation of the past progressive and simple past tenses, but stopped myself.  IT'S MY DAY OFF, DAMMIT.

An eternity is big.  A space between "an" and "eternity" is not.

Articles: you need them in English.  Please use "a" or "the" when speaking speaking about a singular noun like "pillar".

I'm not sure why I stuck the 3 versions together in this image, but here you go.  I don't know why "It" is even being used in Kodansha.  Drop it, and the text is fine.  As it is, "it" cannot refer to "invaders" because "invaders" is plural, and "it" is not.  Japanese people don't have to worry about making these grammatical agreements, but we 'Mericans do.

What's that comma doing there after "many"?  Why is "that" referring to a plural subject ("many strong powers")?  Why is this the third time I've commented about plurals?

The meat of what Tellu is saying in Kodansha is an improvement over what she's saying in Tokyopop, but Flanagan falls short of an A grade by making an error in one of her sentence clauses.  "I must say that I abhor half-baked efforts such as those (that) Viluy attempted" would be correct.

Let's talk about Tokyopop's Tellu for a second.  She must have really big hands, because she has the actual, "physical class" as well as the garden in them.  She also hates "half-measures", which I suppose means that she always rounds up to the nearest whole unit when cooking.


Sasanqua is indeed a kind of flower, but Camilla isn't.  Camellia is, but for some reason, Flanagan only uses it correctly on his second attempt, exactly one panel after his failed first attempt.  How does this go unnoticed?  I don't know anything about flowers--well, I guess I know a little bit now that I've researched frikkin camellias--and I got confused when I read this.

Nope, Chibiusa's not talking in that bottom panel.  She's remembering something that Hotaru said.  Takeuchi makes this especially easy for translators like Flanagan to discern because she uses a different font.

What is this "similarly outer planet" BS?  Can you get any more awkward?  Wait, scratch that; I don't want Flanagan to read that as a challenge.  I'm glad that Tokyopop didn't make a similarly bad decision with adverbs and instead crafted a sentence a real human being might say.

Uranus is purposely being vague, and uses the Japanese word "aitsu" あいつwhich can refer to pretty much anything: an animal, vegetable, mineral, a male or a female.  English "that" can serve the same purpose, but it's not as versatile.  Here, it sounds strange and confusing, because the context suggests (a) she should be pointing to something for us to look at or (b) she's referring to something already mentioned in conversation.  Since she's doing neither of these things, we just feel lost, and perhaps slightly offended on behalf of Sailor Saturn (for those of us who know where the story is going).  Tokyopop's use of "her" is much better, and much more dramatic, too.
This is kind of a big boo-boo.  Neo Queen Serenity may have taken her sweet time, but she is the one responsible for Pluto's rebirth.  This fact was captured in Tokyopop.  In Kodansha, Pluto says she was spontaneously reborn.  I understand why she'd have a grudge against NQS, but credit must be given where credit is due.  I suspect the confusion came from who was borrowing (kari かり) whose power / assistance (chikara 力), but we know the power belongs to NQS thanks to the possessive article no の in the Japanese.  Thus, NQS's power was borrowed in order to revive Pluto.

Read the translation of that sound effect.  What does it say?  That's right.  Clammy.  This is a standard horror movie scene: a young lady is alone in the dark.  A hand reaches up from behind her and slowly, slowly...the fingers extend...they brush her shoulder with a touch too light to notice...and then....CLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMYYYYYYYYYY!  That's the sound that happens.


I ragged on Flanagan pretty hard in the previous volume because he messed up the text in word bubbles a lot.  In this instance, he fixed Tokyopop's error.  Before this scene, Usagi was staring off into space.  Mako-chan suspects she is feeling conflicted about Haruka and Mamoru.  Why would Usagi ask, "Am I right?" Has she not only read but stolen Makoto's thoughts?

Mamo-chan is a man of many talents.  He has to be in order to keep up with all the girls in this series, or else he might become further marginalized.  Tokyopop sympathizes with him, and gives him the ability to hack into the database of a highly sophisticated evil organization.  The intentions were good, but it's all a lie.  Have faith in Mamoru, Tokyopop.  He's gotten this far on his own.


Hotaru called Chibiusa earlier and invited her and her little friends to see a movie.  Tokyopop's Chibiusa just can't comprehend why she would do something so crazy.  Who invites people to do stuff, anyway?  The people who do are always just using it as a ruse to "talk about something."  That's why I turn down every invitation I ever get from my friends.  I don't want to hear their stupid emo crap.

Japanese Makoto is saying anna yatsura あんなやつら to refer to the Outer Senshi, which is an impolite way of saying "those guys."  She also says there's no need to help them.  Tokyopop's Makoto is much gentler.  Kodansha's Makoto has been restored to her true salty self.

We sure do get a lot of nekkid pictures of Hotaru in this volume.  This panel is narrated by Professor Tomoe, and he's explaining what he's done since the big accident in his lab.  Tokyopop's text doesn't really make sense, but Kodansha's is clear.  And yes, that last sentence does end in a complete thought in the following panel.
Well, that was fun.  Now let's talk about the story.
The Senshi Just Never Learn
If I lived in the Sailor Moon universe, I would be suspicious of every new pop star, ice cream shop, jewelery store, exercise craze, cram school, snack, camp...everything.  If it's new and popular, it's a trap.  Really.  It's a simple formula, made even simpler in this story arc because every wicked scheme is, to use Flanagan's words, put out by the Infinity College.  They don't even try to use pseudonyms.  Makoto sees the Tellun plant, notes Infinity College as its producer, and brings one home without a second thought.  Guess what happens next?  She's almost sent into eternal sleep by a damn bit of shrubbery.  Smarten up, lady!
Sankakusu Has Been a Hell Hole This Entire Story Arc

Oh hey, yeah!  Great idea, Motoki!  Let's go eat in that dark, foreboding metropolis of doom!  I wouldn't use the word "fancy" to describe ominous cloud cover that literally sticks to the buildings, but OK.
Where Are You Sticking That Rod, Sailor Moon?

It's an honest question.

The Doughy Grail

In the last volume, Usagi and Mamoru helped Chibiusa make a replica of the Legendary Holy Grail out of Play Doh.  It turned out looking exactly like the real item, even though none of the characters involved in its creation have ever demonstrated a shred of artistic talent.  (I'm betting Usagi used the Ginzuishou, seeing as to how that's the go-to plot advancement item.)  Anyhoo, in this volume, we get a glimpse of what Chibiusa's classmates made, and as you'd expect, the sculptures look like a bunch of crap made out of Play Doh by 6 year-olds.  Takeuchi couldn't have given the grail a few wobbly edges or something?  Why does the White Moon Family always have to be so perfect?
Here is what I think should have happened when Chibusa offered the grail to Hotaru:

Neo Queen Serenity - God-Tier Troll

NQS is such a troll that I could write an entire entry about it.  In this volume, Sailor Chibi Moon begs for her help, and instead of sending, say, the rod she let Chibi Moon use at the end of the Black Moon arc, she sends the Pink Sugar Heart Rod.  I don't need to remind you what comes out of that rod, but I will anyway:  Pink Sugar Heart Attack.  If you put your ear close enough to the page, you can hear NQS lolololing as Chibi Moon waxes poetic about feeling stronger and braver.  This is it!  Her time to shine as a full-fledged Senshi!  She let's loose PINK SUGAR HEART ATTACK and pisses Tellu off so bad that she reverts into a horrible, screeching, gizzard-craving daimon. 
Yep, and Chibi Moon practically gets devoured.  Sailor Pluto's well-timed reappearance is the only reason she made it out of this alive.

So, to recap:  Chibi Moon asks NQS for help during a tough battle.  NQS sends her a kid's toy.  Chibi Moon uses it to enrage her enemy and almost dies.  Trolling successful.


  1. The play-doh joke and the enemy trap joke were genius I tell you...GENIUS!

  2. Yay!!!!!!!! It's out. Great analysis.

    It feels like they teased us in Volume 6, with the level of quality they could reach and then snatched it away. I noticed Sailor Moon's super form dissolved???? A bad chemical reaction with evil maybe? Lol.

    I'm against them using the word sempai when there's nothing in the translation notes explaining it. Aso I was confused when the doctor said Chibiusa'a heart had stopped and then that she was on her deathbed. If her heart had stopped, isn't she already dead not dying as being on her deathbed implies?

    What do you think of the boxset? When they reprint they fix typos, but would that be enough to improve the quality of this rerelease? Guess we'll see.

    1. The random sempai was annoying, definitely.

      I considered writing about the whole Chibiusa-dying-but-not-really scene. No matter what version you read, it doesn't make any sense. Mamoru says something about how her blood will stop circulating and "she will really die." Welp, once your heart stops, you're going to end up really dead really soon. I guess I can excuse his "I'll use myself as a life support machine" because that's fantasy magic, but I can't wrap my head around her state of death / undeath. Furthermore, Usagi and Mamoru take her home from the hospital without any trouble. I can't picture that happening.

      The guy at the NYCC Kodansha panel said that errors like typos get fixed every new printing. The books in the box set won't necessarily be a part of a new printing, so they won't be any better or worse quality than what we have now. He actually explicitly stated that to someone who asked about correcting errors.

      Regardless, there are more problems with this release than just typos and sloppy errors, as we all know, but removing them would be a big positive step.

    2. The guy at NYCC also said the boxset volumes would be on different paper, making them thinner, which is why the individual volume wouldn't fit in the boxset. So it could be a different printing. We'll see I guess.

  3. Fantastic review as always, and incredibly witty as always. :) Already looking forward to your volume 8 review.

    Though I will warn you, Flanagan got ANOTHER attack name wrong (Death Ribbon Revolution) and brought back your favorite "URN!".

  4. I'm confused. Tokyopop's version talks about the scouts "being blessed by the planets" or having their protection I guess. Kodansha's version call them "protectors or the planets". Do you know whether the Sailor Guardian's are the protected or the protectors?