Only vote once. Sailor Moon Says!
Welcome to the fourth Manga Mistakes page which covers all of the errors in Kodansha's new English translation of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #5 and #6.
As with the previous pages, this page will cover mistakes concerning strange or incorrect grammar, incorrect translations, regular and character name spelling mistakes and unnatural or inappropriate dialogue.
For more information on the manga re-release, make sure to check out my Sailor Moon Manga Shopping Guide and if you haven't seen the first Manga Mistakes page yet, make sure to give it a look for errors in the first volumes of Sailor V and Sailor Moon as well as some basic general errors and issues that span all of the manga volumes released so far.
Most importantly, if you've found an error that I haven't listed here, please Contact Me and I'll totally add it and give you credit.
Sailor Moon Says!
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #5
As in the previous volumes hyphens are strangely added to Chibi Usa and Luna P's names (Chibi-Usa / Luna-P) and are completely unnecessary. If they were then we would have "Sailor-V", "Sailor-Moon", "Tokyo-Tower", "Usa-ko", etc.
As mentioned in the Manga Mistakes page for the previous volume, the Jakokusuishou which simply translates as "Evil Black Crystal" has been unnecessarily translated as the convoluted "Malefic Black Crystal".
It's my opinion that the majority of the dialogue in this manga (and previous volumes) could be rewritten to sound a lot more natural and in character. Because of this I won't list every instance of dialogue I think could be improved upon but will focus on parts where it sounds particularly strange, inconsistent or is blatantly translated incorrectly.
Strange usage of the word premonition continues on page 8.
Not a fan of "Oh, for cripes sake!" on page 9, though this may be due to me being an Australian. Maybe this phrase is more popular in North America? Something along the lines of "Oh, come on!" would suit the situation better.
Something that I think sounds universally strange is the usage of "It's not like me to sit around doing nothing!" by Venus on the same page. This phrase is normally said when referring or talking to someone else. i.e. "Is she okay? It's not like her to be so moody." Here Venus is feeling frustrated because she's feeling useless and wants to help her friends. Something like "I can't take this sitting around anymore!" or "I hate sitting around and doing nothing!" would flow a lot better.
Funny typo on page 23 which has Wiseman raving, "...the universe will be within your gasp!" Gasp should obviously be "grasp".
Inconsistent translation on page 23 with "Niisan?" being translated as "Brother?". Personally I have no problem with the quality of that translation and actually think it flows well and sounds natural in this instance for this character. Ideally I would like all Japanese words and honorifics translated (as is the standard in a professional translation). I am mentioning it here as it's a perfect example of how inconsistent the translation has been with this release with this same word being left untranslated in previous volumes and translated in others depending on the translator's mood. Translated Japanese words such as this or leave them untouched. You can't switch back and forth.
As in the previous volume the dot in re*play on page 24 is a quirk of modern Japanese writing and shouldn't really be used in the English version as we don't add random symbols in the middle of words in English. "Replay" or even "RE: Play" would both be good interpretations with the latter being the most accurate.
On page 26 there shouldn't be a hyphen in thirtieth-century.
"Oniisan" is once again translated as "Brother" on page 43. Again, I like this as it works here. Just inconsistent.
Pluto's dialogue on page 54 really sounds strange no matter how many times I read it and I have a feeling it's the result of directly translating the Japanese way too literally without even sorting out the word order so it reads naturally in English. "If it will convince you of what I say, then go." would sound much better if interpreted as something like "I see there's no stopping you. If you must go, go."
"It's because Chibi-Usa is your child with him!" on page 56 is very awkward sounding. "It's because Chibi Usa is yours and Tuxedo Mask's daughter!" or even because of the following dialogue could be written as "It's because he's her father".
As soon as I read "I want to see him now!" on page 57 I knew exactly what the original Japanese was. "Aitai" literally means "I want to see him/her." Another accepted translation that sounds much better and less demanding in English is simply "I miss him."
Now for some reason the translator decided to have Usagi yell this out in the English version by adding the exclamation point (there was none in the original Japanese where she is just quietly thinking it). Indeed this continues on the next page, changing what was a quiet thoughtful mature moment in the original Japanese into Usagi whining loudly about things she wants.
Japanese: I want to see him now. God is so mean. I want to be with him so much.
English: I want to see him now! God is so mean! I want to be with him so much!
Reads very differently.
On page 58 Chibi Usa is referred to as "the Small Lady" where everywhere else in the volume she is called "Small Lady" as if that's her name (or one of her names/titles).
Usagi's mum calling her a klutz on page 72 in response to hearing she got a concussion is just ridiculous. Would be fine if she was told she just tripped or simply fell off the beam and hit her head but "concussion" is a very strong word. It's all an accurate translation of the original Japanese but really doesn't work in an English language situation as it makes her mum look beyond ditzy instead of a caring mother.
On the same page, Luna P's "Lady!" is a direct romanisation of the Japanese "Ledi!" (lady). Just because a borrowed English word is being used in the original Japanese doesn't mean that that English word should be used in the English translation as odds are the actual meaning is different when used in Japanese. Since Luna P's addressing it's future queen, it really should be saying something like "My Lady!" or even "Your Majesty!" Unless of course you like to yell out "Lady!" whenever you see royalty.
Usagi's mum's dialogue on page 76 is phrased terribly. "Somehow it seems like Usagi's really pretty." reads as if she just can't believe that Usagi could ever be good looking and that she just can't believe it. It should read more to express how proud she is of her daughter who is now becoming a lady.
Page 79 seems to have an error that's also present in the original Japanese manga where Diana says that Neo Queen Serenity is resting within the Legendary Silver Crystal. This is very strange as they made a point in the previous volume to tell the reader that the crystal she's resting within is not the Legendary Silver Crystal but regular quartz. Hmmm...
Not sure why Usagi is talking like a badly dubbed Japanese movie character on page 120. "This voice that is like an earthquake..." is just lazy translation. Let's put in a little more effort and make it something like "This booming voice..."
"Open your eyes!" on page 132 is way too literal. "Snap out of it!" suits the situation much better and would also be a refreshing change as "Open your eyes!" is used several times in this volume.
"You will likely cause your own death" on page 155 would sound much more powerful as "You will die". And Usagi in the next panel would ponder "She... will die..."
Another too literal translation on page 166 with Black Lady wondering "Why are tears falling from my eyes?". Umm, it's because that's what happens when you cry. Naturally a better translation would be "Why am I crying?"
On page 223 "...from this place here." should be simplified to "...from here."
Ichinohashi Park is once again spelt incorrectly as Ichi-no-hashi Park on page 239.
On page 445, Usagi compares their battle with the Black Moon as if she was literally having a dream about being on a roller coaster. Should be "It was like a roller coaster". It's all in the wording.
The English ".....To be continued" is actually from the original Japanese manga. Would have been nice if they rewrote it to exclude all those dots. At the very least they should have removed the Japanese text above it which reads "to be continued".
MISSING CONTENT! Unlike previous volumes of the manga, the original Japanese re-release of this volume which this English re-release is based did not have any extra bonus content or comic pages at the back so the lack of any bonus Japanese content here is completely acceptable for this volume. Strangely though the English translation notes are completely missing. It has not been confirmed though if these are missing due to an error or if none were ever written.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #6
As with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #5, Chibi Usa is written as "Chibi-Usa". While the hyphen remains unneeded, it is also inconsistent with Chibi Usa's Sailor Guardian name, Sailor Chibi Moon which remains unhyphenated as "Sailor Chibi Moon". Chibi means small or mini with her nickname given to her by Mamoru being "Chibi Usa" or "Small Usagi" (Usagi is her real first name and she is obviously a lot smaller than the series' main Usagi / Sailor Moon). You wouldn't write "Small-Usagi", much the same as you wouldn't write "Mini-Moon" or "Chibi-Moon" which the translator seems to agree with. Very contradictory use of Japanese words.
On the topic of names, we're given some very unnecessarily complex translations for Haruka Teno, Michiru Kaio and Setsuna Meio's surnames which are written as , and . While this is an accepted style of translation, it is not used by the general population due to it's complexity and the difficulty involved in typing it. Even while writing this page I had to copy and paste the names from a translation tool due to my inability to add the extra markers on my computer. Even then when published online they all displayed as messed up symbols forcing me to eventually take screenshots of them and embed images in their place.
A great example of how people don't use this style is the name "Tokyo" which should technically have similar circumflexes or macrons above both "o"s. Even the translator resorts to the more common use style when mentioning Keio University in the translation notes at the back of the volume as "Keio" should be if he's determined to stick to this style of translation.
In the end, ease of use and basic functionality wins when it comes to translation and definitely in the context of a manga series rated "T (for teens) Ages 13+" this must be considered.
I must stress that this translation choice isn't so much a mistake, just more of an awkward choice due to the difficulty for people to reproduce these (now official, I guess) translations of their names. There are in fact several technically acceptable romanisations of the Outers' surnames. For example Haruka's surname could also be spelt: Teno, Tenno, Tenou, Tennou, Tenoh, Tennoh and even Tenoo. At the end of the day though, one must choose the most common use style with the most common sense. Definitely in the fandom two of the most popular choices are Tenoh (which was actually used on the Sailor Moon S DVDs) and Tenou (used in the first gen / Mixx English manga).
The literal transliteration of her name from the kanji would be "Tennou", though through my nine years of personal experience living and working in Japan and translating Japanese people's names I've found that the majority of the time a double "n" is simplified into a single one and an "ou" is normally seen as redundant and written as "o". An example would be the name "Ryoutaro" which is written in English as "Ryotaro". Another would of course be "Toukyou" which we naturally write as "Tokyo".
Again, this isn't a case of right or wrong but of preference.
Having said that, there is some inconsistency with name translation styles in this release of the Sailor Moon manga with no one style being used. In this same volume for example Professor Tomoe's first name, Soichi should be written with a macron above the "o" given the precedent set by the Outers' names but instead is written as "Souichi".
Right on the Contents we get the use of the word Soldiers where Guardians should obviously be used due to the established translation of the word "senshi" for this release.
Strange dialogue on page 11 with Rei's "What was that fire oracle just now...?!". The dots between her words and question mark aren't needed but also it would sound more natural if rephrased as "What was that vision I just saw?!" or something.
The random Japanese KYAAAAAA!!!! returns on page 25 (and is present throughout this volume and previous ones) with a group of girls screaming ecstatically at Haruka. Not only is it strange having this in an English translation but it's also very confusing when a terrified victim yells out the same sound later on in the same volume. Is it a scream of joy or terror?
Apparently the sound of a small crash or collision in English is GUWAWAAN. This is a direct Romanisation of the Japanese text, lazily left untranslated. CRASH or CRUNCH or even SLAM would have been more suiting. As I mentioned on the first page of my Sailor Moon Manga Mistakes this release is full of untranslated sound effects or "translated" ones that sound equally as strange (sometimes more so) as the Japanese sound effects in an English release. I won't be listing them all, though this one in particular was worth mentioning. Another one is on page 35 in the panel with Umino. GWIMM. What the f*** is "GWIMM"??? A look at Miss Dream's translation makes things clear. "Nod Nod". I very much have a "Buy official Sailor Moon merchandise only" policy but sometimes I feel like Kodansha forces us to turn to fan scanlations to get a proper professional quality real English translation of this awesome manga.
Speaking of not being professional, also on page 35 we're given both the English AND Japanese translations for Mugen and Sankakusu. There is no reason for this at all. Mugen should be translated as "Infinity". Yes it's a name but it contains the word that is literally the Japanese word for "infinity" or "infinite" that was used as part of the arc's theme and was meant to be picked up and understood by the reader. In fact each chapter in this arc is called Mugen 1, Mugen 2, etc and uses the exact same kanji and they were translated as Infinity 1, Infinity 2, etc which makes this very inconsistent. It's basically the same as Tuxedo Kamen. It's a name but obviously contains words that have meaning when translated so is presented as "Tuxedo Mask".
Sankakusu literally means "Delta". There is no reason for this Japanese word to be used at all.
< rant >
Adding the English meaning under the Japanese in what should be an English translation just looks sloppy and since the English phrases are not used after this one reference, those who don't speak Japanese will find themselves turning back to these pages to check their meaning when these words are used later in the volume. Sure one could argue that it's a great way to learn Japanese but I couldn't disagree more. Now I'm not against learning another language. I actually am studying Japanese. I spend several hours a day studying vocab, grammar and kanji. But when I read an English translation, I want it to be, well in English.
The aim of a good translation is to give the reader the same experience the original readers had in the original language edition of the product. Mixing in Japanese words, phrases and sound effects robs English speaking readers of that experience. When a Japanese speaker reads this page, they're just hearing about the cool new "Infinity District" that's popped up in Tokyo Bay. They're not thinking "Oh a new Japanese word! I guess mugen means infinity and sanka... sankakusu... is that how you say it? That means delta.... so the name of the place is Mugen Delta but also Infinity Delta... hope I remember this...".
< / rant >
Mugen and Sankakusu should be translated as Infinity and Delta respectively and if really needed the Japanese names could be mentioned in the translator notes at the back.
Beginning on page 43, Sailor Venus states "I feel eyes on me?!". Not sure why that's a question but would also sound better if changed to "Someone's watching me!" or even (in this situation) "Who's there?!" Sailor Venus repeats the "eyes on me" line several times in this volume making it repetitive very quickly. An alternative could have been used for at least one of those instances.
"Mugenzu [Infinity sandbank]" on page 48. Same issue as mentioned above. Just translate it already!
This mistake really boggles the mind. In the translation notes in the back of the book, the translator makes a point to mention that Japanese speaking people use the English word "juice" to refer to any number of non-alcoholic beverages. It's a borrowed word that has a very different meaning in Japanese. Why then does he use the Japanese word in his translation??? Sure it's possible that they're literally drinking juice but given that they're at an amusement park surely it's more likely that they're drinking lemonade or something similar. A more accurate translation would have been "I'll get you something else to drink."
The random colons return on page 169 in "Venus Planet Power: Make Up!". No idea why these colons keep getting added randomly 30% of the time to transformations and attacks.
Inconsistency on pages 195 and 196 with Mamoru calling the mysterious figure the Deity of Destruction on one page and then god of destruction on the next.
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