Welcome to my fifth Sailor Moon Manga Mistakes page which will focus on the Second Generation Kodansha English releases of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #7 and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #8.
On this page I'll list any Japanese/English translation errors, typos, grammatical errors and continuity mistakes I find during my first casual read through of each volume. I'm actually quite forgiving when it comes to English adaptions of Sailor Moon (am a big fan of the English Sailor Moon anime and TokyoPop release of the manga for example) but since Kodansha is marketing this release of the manga as having a "100% accurate translation" (i.e. not an "adaption" which takes more creative liberties with a property) that's "close to the original" I'll be calling attention to any inaccuracies for the purpose of education.
I must mention that for the most part I find the majority of the dialogue in Kodansha's release to be very unnatural, forced and actually makes the characters sound quite different from the way they speak in the Japanese version. Listing every line that I wish could be rewritten would simply be too much so instead I'll limit myself to only mentioning dialogue that is particularly stiff or unnatural.
The same must be said for the sound effects which either are a direct romanisation of the Japanese sound effects or "translated" into some ridiculous combination of random letters that are all but impossible to read aloud. There's also the strange choice to replace all "c"s with "k"s in sounds. For example "clap" and "click" are written incorrectly as "klap" and "klik". This is an ever-present problem with this release so will only draw attention to particularly strange examples.
For more information on the manga re-release, make sure to check out my Sailor Moon Manga Shopping Guide which has full reviews that discuss other aspects of each volume 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 #7
A problem that has been present in all volumes so far of the manga has been repetitive words or phrases that repeat themselves on an almost humourous level. Volume 7 of the Sailor Moon manga is brought to you by the word aberrant (and it's variations) which pops up twice on page 13, and again on pages 81, 83, 123 and 174.
Another example of repetitive word use is "You're kidding!" which is actually a correct translation of the Japanese word but when repeated over and over again quickly becomes ridiculous. The Japanese language actually has one of the lowest levels of vocabulary out of all common use languages which naturally results in a lot of words being repeated more often than they would in other languages such as English which actually has the largest amount of vocabulary and provides a wider selection of words to choose from. Alternatives to "You're kidding" would be: no way, get out, I don't believe it, this can't be, what?, etc.
Kaorilite's line about "the light of planet protectors" sounds really awkward and had to be reread several times.
On page 16: This week's objective is "Let's give someone important a gift." Clunky and a result of lazily directly translating from the Japanese at the expense of a more natural English alternative such as "This week we're going to make a gift for someone you care about." This line sounds particularly clunky on page 28 when Chibi Usa quotes it word for word, mid conversation.
"I consider you bad company" on page 17 sounds super strange in English. "We've never been close" or "I thought we should be better friends" would sound a lot more human.
The word sempai is used unnecessarily on page 17. There is no reason at all for it not to be translated as "older student" or "older girl".
On page 18 "They say she's sickly" sounds very unnatural. I don't know about you but I don't know anyone who would speak like that who doesn't live in a book written by Louisa May Alcott. "I hear she's not well" would be a good alternative.
"Her dad's an oddball professor, after all!" also on page 18 sounds like something out of the Brady Bunch. "Crazy" would sound a lot better than "oddball". The "after all" at the end also makes the girl sound rather posh (something very common with this release).
The "Kyaa!" on page 21 should be "Ahhh!". This is an English translation.
Complete lack of consistency on page 22 with a flower given two different names on the same page!
On page 25 "they're" should have a capital "T".
On page 28, "yourselves" should be "yourself" as Chibi Usa was giving it to Hotaru. It wasn't from a group.
Some strange translation inconsistency on page 36 with Tellu's civilian name being translated as Ruru Teruno. First of all while "Ruru" and "Lulu" sound the same in Japanese it's almost always written in English publications as "Lulu". Secondly, if her alias is "Tellu" and her plant is "Tellun", why is her civilian family name written as "Teruno"??? Surely "Telluno" would be more consistent.
The usage of rent on page 68 is very unusual. Why not use "rip" or "tear"?
Sailor Uranus is apparently a hermaphrodite according to page 72. This is a super literal translation of the Japanese. Sailor Uranus is not both male and female. She is a woman who is as strong as a man and as sensitive as a woman.
On page 74, oracle would sound a lot better if replaced with "vision".
Also on page 74, there's a missing question mark in Sailor Mars' "What is your mission" line.
There is a big inconsistency with a major character's name here. On page 74 we have The Deity of Destruction but on page 171 she's called the Goddess of Ruin. What's more, in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #6 she was called the God of Destruction. Even though it's an alias of a mysterious figure, that's three different names for the same character.
On page 78: PLICHONNG. 'Nuff said.
While it's common for Japanese children to call their parents "Papa" and "Mama" the English equivalents for their usage would be "Dad" and "Mum" (or "Mom" if you speak American English). Usagi calling her dad, Papa Kenji is just lazy on the translator's part and makes Usagi sound like she's a cast member on The Sound of Music. Just have her say "Dad". Simple.
The Outers speak like Tarzan on page 92. "Are you... goddess of death?" Should also have uppercase "G" and "D" if we want to be consistent with previous mentions.
Tuxedo Mask's "Now make up!" on page 101 has some flow problems. Placing a comma after "Now" would definitely sound better but would also sound better if different words were chosen completely because as it is now, it sounds like he's telling them to transform due to "make up" being left as is elsewhere in the series. Tuxedo Mask is actually telling them to be friends again and stop fighting.
Very stunted dialogue on page 114 with "Give power...". Let's remove those dots (here and everywhere else in the volume) and make it "Give her power." or even "We must give her power."
On page 119, training journey sounds really strange.
On page 128, the extra "you know!" is a strange direct translation of the Japanese way to finish a statement. Not needed at all. Strangely used again on page 130.
"Never be awakened." on page 133 would sound better if changed to "Never be awoken."
Also on page 133 "the taboo planet" sounds like it's a planet of taboos. "The forbidden planet" flows much better.
Japanese word order rears it's ugly head on page 138 with Sailor Pluto tacking on "That's the feeling I have." at the end of her statement. Should be resorted to start with "I feel that...".
Also on page 138, the usage of "in the palm of our hands" is incorrect as it refers something that you've caught or captured and not something you've stumbled across. "Right under our noses" is the correct phrase.
On page 142, "was fell to ruin" sounds like a desperate attempt to sound dramatic and instead comes across as someone trying to sound like Shakespeare. Way too unnecessary.
On page 164, "That's the Death Busters for you!" Oh, they're such pranksters! They're too much! lol.
On page 178 there should be a space somewhere in "aneternity".
"Where did they go, at what point?" on page 187 again suffers from Japanese grammar order. Let's rewrite that as something like "At what point did they disappear?" or "I lost track of everyone! Where are they?".
On page 244, Hotaru's "...was already no longer my Papa" makes no sense. Also suffers from the same "Papa" issues as mentioned above. Let's change it to "It was already too late" or "He was already gone" or "He was no longer my father".
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.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #8
A problem that has been present in all volumes so far of the manga has been repetitive words or phrases that repeat themselves on an almost humourous level. Feel free to play a drinking game while reading this volume with the phrases "No way!" and "Everybody!".
The "..." at the beginning of sentences and even in the middle is a something unnecessarily leftover from the original Japanese manga. We don't write like this in English. Example: "...But that's...!" should be "But that's..."
Something that continues to occur in this release of the manga is the use of completely baffling sound effects. Occasionally they're a direct romanisation of the original Japanese (i.e. "Kyaa!" is "Kyaa!") but the majority of the time they're simply made up sound effects that are neither Japanese or English which may surprise many readers who cannot read Japanese and simply assumed the sound effects were indeed the Japanese sound effects. Good example on page 8 with the Japanese sound effects reading "Zuzuzuzu" and the English being "ZNN ZNN ZNN ZNN". Definitely not an English translation and doesn't help a reader understand the original Japanese at all. A better translation would be something like "Crackle" or "Rumble".
I won't list every instance of this problem as it's present on almost every page in this volume (and others) but this is a good example of what's going on.
Another problem that pops up everywhere is the misspelling of sound effects starting with "c" spelling them with a "k". Good example on page 9 with "CRACK" being misspelt as "KRAK".
People speaking Japanese on page 13. English speaking people don't scream out "KYAAAA" and "WAAAA". "Gaaah!!!" or "Ahhh!" are much more natural.
The use of "wards" on page 18 is a little strange. Surely "force fields" or "barriers" is more relevant.
"digested you like food" on page 19 is redundant and strange. "Absorbed" or even "assimilated" would work.
On page 20, "Atta-aack!!" looks like Sailor Moon is hacking up a hair ball mid-attack. Simply writing the word as a whole vertically within the speech bubble would solve this problem.
The use of "Don't tell me she extracted the souls of those four?!" on page 24 sounds really strange especially when you consider that Sailor Moon is talking about her friends whom she knows really well. The question mark is also a bit unusual. "Don't tell me she extracted their souls!" works well, or if you want to keep the question mark, "She couldn't have taken their souls, could she?!"
"Father" on page 26 is ridiculously old fashioned. No reason why Hotaru can't call her father "Dad" like all other English speaking children.
Chibi Usa does her zombie moan once again on page 38. "...Urn.." Brains. I need brains!
"Pouring your power into me" (That's what she said!) on page 40 is just strange sounding. "Giving me your power" works much better.
On page 89, "the trigger" sounds a little awkward in my opinion. "Since I was summoned" is much more appropriate for the character and situation.
On page 92, "swing down" would work better if changed to "lower".
One big attack name mistake on page 94 with Dead Reborn Revolution being incorrectly translated as "Death Ribbon Revolution". There is actually a pun at work here in the original Japanese due to how similar the words ribbon and reborn sound in Japanese (hence the visual of ribbons being used in the manga during the attack) but the words are actually spelt differently: リボーン = Reborn, リボン = Ribbon.
Page 129's "Daa!" makes it seem like baby Hotaru is kind of showing off with a "Ta Da!" moment where it should just be a cute baby noise. "Buh" or "Gaga" would be more natural.
"Let's all get a lot happier!" is a ridiculously literal translation of the original Japanese and sound really strange in English. "I'm so happy!" or "I feel so good!" would be much more natural translation choices.
On the same page, I have no idea what "a red-mark-covered friend" is. "A friend to fail with" sounds much better.
Ichinohashi Park is once again misspelt as "Ichi-no-Hashi Park" on page 150.
Lazily direct translating of the Japanese sign on page 174. "It's our "Circus is Coming to Town" Huge Sale" is obviously something you would never see in English. "Circus in Town Sale" or "Circus Arrival Sale" or something would sound a lot better, especially for when Usagi has to quote it on the same page as "A "Circus is Coming to Town Huge Sale"?!". No thank you.
A blink is mistaken for a wink on page 183.
On page 190, "Pegasus" should be lowercase as Chibi Usa is identifying the mystical creature by species not by name at this point in the story.
On page 208, the crazy inconsistency with the translation continues as Motoki is once again being referred to as "Big Bro" despite Kodansha USA taking the time to remove this in reprints of the first volume and replace it with "Onii-san". Honestly I prefer no mixing of the two languages but if they are going to use certain words at least keep it consistent. Switching back and forth between big bro, onnii-san and brother is just messy. On a side note, I see no reason why "Big Bro" is even necessary. Just having the characters refer to him as "Motoki" works completely fine and doesn't affect the story or characters. Removing it does however make the script flow a lot better in English.
Kaleidoscopes is spelt as "Kaleidoscopes" on page 217 and then as "Kaleido Scopes" on page 218. Not sure how this error wasn't caught.
On page 221, "our queen, Nehellenia-sama" is a bit redundant in English as the word "queen" already implies importance in English. For emphasis though "our queen, her highness, Nehellenia" could be used as well as "our queen, her majesty, Nehellenia". As with the "Bro" issue, Kodansha USA also removed the use of "sama" from reprints of the first volume ("Princess-sama" is now "Princess") so the inclusion of it here seems very strange and inconsistent.
"Or it'll be a shame." on page 223 would sound a lot better if changed to "We should enjoy it while we can" or "We should make the best of it."
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