Welcome to my sixth Sailor Moon Manga Mistakes page which will focus on the Second Generation Kodansha English releases of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #9 and (when it's released) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #10.
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.
Unlike Codename Sailor V #1-2 and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #1-8 which were translated by William Flanaghan, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #9 was translated by Mari Morimoto and as a result the manga instantly reads more smoothly with characters sounding natural and the entire volume for the most part maintains the energy and fun of the original Japanese product.
The Japanese honorifics are unfortunately still present (that's Kodansha USA's call, not the translator's) but the number of "..."s at the beginning, middle and end of sentences has been dramatically reduced (the reading experience is cleaner and characters don't sound like they're taking breathes several times throughout each sentence) and the sound effects for the most part are now actual English sound effects that are easy to read. There's also been a reduction in the amount of "c" word sound effects misspelt with "k"s (though there are still a few present).
While previous Manga Mistake pages couldn't list every instance of unnatural dialogue or strange sound effect due to the sheer number of them in each volume, the quality has improved so much with this volume that basically everything I list here is all I really find needs more work in this volume.
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 #9
On page 3, the Hikawa Shrine is strangely written as "Hikawa Jinja Shrine". "Jinja" is the Japanese for "Shrine" (it's called "Hikawa Jinja" in Japanese). The location is correctly written as "Hikawa Shrine" everywhere else in the volume which means this is a typo and not a translation choice (which would be very strange).
On page 6 (Contents), while "New Soldiers Dream" is technically a correct translation of the Japanese though with "Guardians" being used for the same word elsewhere in the manga it's a bit inconsistent. Doesn't bother me too much though as the Sailor Guardians are soldiers.
On page 11, there's a strange sound effect "KACHAK" which would look much better if written as "CACHACK." This preference for spelling this sound effect with a "k" recurs several times in this volume though nowhere near as much as in previous volumes thankfully.
On page 14, Usagi's father, Kenji is mistakenly called "Kanji". There's also some strange Japanese-English happening with "Ikuko-mama and Kenji-papa" which are both simple romanisations of the Japanese. A proper English translation would simply be "Mum and Dad" (or "Mom and Dad" if you follow American English spelling conventions).
Super Sailor Moon proclaiming "GUTS!" on page 51 is strange because, well, it's Japanese. What's weird is that in the translation notes at the back the translator even goes into detail about what the phrase and pose associated with it means (equivalent of a fist pump). Knowing it's Japanese, why then was it not translated? "Ohh yeah!", "YEAH!", "YES!" or "Woo!" would have all worked fine. Instead we get a line of dialogue that sounds strange rather than natural.
Similar issue on page 72 with "Minako's Nice Idea" which is literally what the Japanese said (Minako's Naisu Aidia). The Japanese language borrows a lot of words from English but their usage is very Japanese and does not mean they're English (look at several of the Sailor Moon special attacks for more examples). When translated to English they actually require translation and shouldn't be left as is due to the fact that the usage of the words in Japanese often has a different meaning (sometimes small, sometimes big) or could sound unnatural to a native English speaker. "Minako's Great Idea", "Minako's Brilliant Idea", etc would sound a lot better.
Mixing of languages also on page 74 with the Japanese word "sempai" returning. No reason for this to not be translated. "This classmate I like", "This older student I like" or something similar would work.
A word that I wasn't expecting ever to see again with a new translator on the job, was "malefic" on page 80. Such a rare and unused English word. "Evil" would work just as well.
On page 95, Sailor Mars strangely decides to start speaking French! As a result it makes the manga look like a cheap bootleg. No reason for the mixing of a third language is given in the Translation Notes at the back of the volume and Sailor Mars did not speak French in the Japanese version. A very strange and completely random translation choice.
On page 106, the direct romanisation of the Japanese sound effects "DA DA DA DA" does not sound like heavy footsteps to an English reader. "BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM" would convey the heaviness of Chibi Usa's feet a lot more clearer.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon #10
Due to a new translator that started with the previous volume, the dialogue for the most part reads heaps better than the first eight volumes of the manga. Unfortunately there are several instances in this volume where the translator, I'm assuming in an attempt to give the dialogue a more dramatic flare, has resorted to making several characters speak in weird Shakespearean fake ye ol' English. This can be understandable for scenes set in the past but makes very little sense for characters in the modern day. In the original Japanese manga neither the past life or modern counterparts speak in anything but everyday Japanese and while I respect efforts to make the manga read for an English speaking audience, this particular stylistic choice was entirely unnecessary and at times distracts from the events unfolding on page. Sailor Mars' "Who art though?" on page 158 and the ridiculous overuse of "O" in Acts 48 and 49 are particularly cringeworthy and the volume's final page sounds more like bad poetry than thoughtful closure.
The ...Have arrived! on page 13 feels very strange due to the Outers' introduction being so long and punctuated several times by exclamation points. Not sure there should be a capital "H"... perhaps just rewriting it as it's own followup sentence along the lines of "We have arrived!" or something would improve it.
On page 16, Minako's "...I see you're back in cat form" sounds very cold and robotic and doesn't match the obvious disappointment shown in the accompanying image. "You're a cat again" would sound much more natural.
"Aberrant" returns on page 33. (For more on aberrant, check out my Manga Mistakes page for Sailor Moon #7 and #8)
Telling your daughter, "He expired" when referring to the death of someone close to her is very strange and cold. Helios isn't an old carton of milk. He's someone that had been trying his best to help them all and had begun to get very close to both Chibi Usa and Mamoru. "He couldn't hold on any longer" or "He passed away" would have been much more sensitive things to say.
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