Written by Misty of Myu Corner
The following are errors that I found in the first printing of Volume 14 (Short Stories 2) of Kodansha USA’s English release of the Sailor Moon manga. They are divided into sections for writing errors (presented in a table), possible issues on multiple pages, honorific issues, inconsistencies/continuity errors, and miscellaneous errors (presented as bulleted lists).
I am not in any way affiliated with Kodansha USA, Del Rey, William Flanagan, Mari Morimoto, or any other person or entity involved in the translation, production, or publication of the volume critiqued here. I also do not mean these critiques as libel in any way, shape, or form, and hope that the persons and entities involved in the translation, production, or publication of the volume critiqued here will not take it as such.
(Awkward writing, grammar & syntax errors, etc)
|Possible Replacement||Tokyopop Translation*
Alex Glover Translation (Parallel SM only)**
|Miss Dream translation|
|“It’s a lovely shade, Michiru, and it looks good on you!”
|Should be two sentences: “It’s a lovely shade, Michiru! It looks good on you!”||“It’s a great color! It looks good on you, Michiru!”||“But Michiru, it’s such a lovely color! It looks great on you!”|
|“It’s the return of an age-old solar system resident”
|“An ancient resident of this solar system has returned” or something similar||“An old resident of the solar system is returning.”||“Looks like another ancient inhabitant of the Solar System is coming back this way.”|
|“How crazy! A collision with a 10-kilometer-diameter class heavenly body is a once every 100 million years occurrence!”
|“How crazy! A collision with a heavenly body of that class only happens every 100 million years!” or something similar||“An object that big strikes earth once every 100,000,000 years! How can this be happening?!”||“That’s so strange, since the probability of a comet in the 10 kilometer diameter range impacting with Earth is less than one in a million”|
|“space plan flight”
|Spelling typo: “plan” should be “plane”||“the next space plane about to launch”||“the flight of our next space shuttle”|
|“Wrap things up and go home now, or it’ll affect tomorrow!”
|“Wrap things up and go home, or you’ll feel it tomorrow!” or something similar||“It’s eleven! Wrap it up and go home already.”||“It’s 11 p.m. already, you need to pack up and get home for the night you know!”|
|“Section Chief and Bureau Chief told me girls are better off getting married.”
|“The Section and Bureau Chiefs told me girls are better off getting married.”||“The supervisor and the manager told me a girl should just get married and start a family.”||“The space director and program head both teased me and said ‘Girls are better off being wives’.”|
|“I’ll be sticking around until you go into the hospital and get better.”
|“I’ll be sticking around until you go to the hospital and get better.”||“I’ll stay in Japan until you can better and leave the hospital.”||“I’m going to stay in Japan until you’re well enough to leave the hospital, okay?”|
|“Wh-what is going on with all of you, and so suddenly?”
|“Wh-what’s going on with you guys all the sudden?”||“What’s wrong with you guys all of a sudden?!”||“What the hell are you all going on about, seriously?!”|
|“I bet tonight will also be cold.”
|“I bet it’ll be cold tonight too.”||“It’ll be cold again tonight.”||“Seems like it’s going to be another cold night”|
|“give this lead role whatever they had most wanted”
|“give this lead role whatever they wanted most”
(also see my note about “lead role” below)
|“everyone gives the Star the thing they want most”||“And the Christmas star gets presents from everyone that year”|
|“I arranged for your hospitalization, and will come visit you.”
|“I made arrangements with the hospital. I’ll come visit you too.” or something similar||“I arranged for you to go to the hospital. I’ll come to see you there.”||“I’ve straightened out the paperwork with the hospital, so I’ll meet you there.”|
|“We’ll have you leave this place, immediately!”
|“Leave this place immediately!”||“Leave this place immediately!”||“You’d better get out of here while you can!”|
|“You are like little babes who cannot do anything!!”
|“You can’t do anything, you babies!”||“What can children like you do?!”||“Your pathetic attacks are like getting hit by a baby!!”|
|“I thought to take this planet slowly, while hiding…”
|“I thought I’d hide and take this planet slowly…”||“I planned to hide and approach this planet slowly…”||“I thought that I could creep upon this planet slowly so that no one would notice”|
|“This powerful magnetic storm that appeared out of nowhere isn’t stopping at all.”
|“This powerful magnetic storm – it appeared out of nowhere – and isn’t stopping at all”||“This powerful magnetic storm shows no signs of letting up. We don’t know what’s causing it.”||“The magnetic storms which have appeared from seemingly nowhere are still much too strong for takeoff.”|
|“Don’t tell me – I’m currently in space?”
|“Don’t tell me – am I in space?”||“No way! Am I in space?!”||“It can’t be. Are we in outer space right now?”|
|“With this, I now have no further, lingering regrets”
|“I don’t have any more regrets” or something similar||“Now there’s nothing left for me to regret…”||“I think I can die in peace now”|
|“I’m home, grandpa.”
|Capitalization error: Should be “I’m home, Grandpa.”||“I’m home, Grandpa.”||“I’m home, Grandpa!”|
|“because it happens to plays a tune called ‘Rain-Tree.'”
|“because it happens to play a tune called ‘Rain Tree.'”||“Just by coincidence, the tune it plays, ‘Rain Tree,’ is the same name as our restaurant.”||“since the name of the music box is the same as our hotel’s: the ‘Rain Tree’”|
|“He was over at my house a lot ever since I was little…”
|“He came over to my house a lot when I was little…”||“When I was young, he often came to the house.”||“When I was young, he used to come and visit us at home a lot”|
|“I’ve been hearing this slightly mournful music a lot, lately”
|Lose the comma: “I’ve been hearing this slightly mournful music a lot lately.”||“This song…’Rain Tree.’ You hear this sad melody a lot these days.”||“Everywhere I go, I keep hearing it, everyone has one now. The melody is kind of sad, don’t you think?”|
|“Even though I’d always thought I was the girl who was closest to sempai”
|“Even though I’d always thought I was close to him” or something similar||“Even though I had always thought I was the girl closest to him”||“since I was closer to the guy”|
|“If I were ever to fall in love, I’d likely…want to claim everything of that person…and keep it completely to myself.””
|“If I ever fell in love, I’d likely…be really possessive of that person…and keep him completely to myself.”||“If I would ever fall in love…I’m sure I would want all of that person to belong to me. I’d make them all mine…”||“I believe that if I were ever to fall in love I’d be just like him, putting my fate in the hands of others, but at the same time, wanting everyone to focus only on me.”|
|“I’m moonlighting at the clinic in the next building over, today.”
|Lose the comma: “I’m moonlighting at the clinic in the next building over today.”||“I’m working part-time at the clinic in the building next door.”||“Besides, I’ve got to put in an extra shift at the clinic next door.”|
|“I’m on my way home from purifuing a nearby new building.”
|“I’m on my way home from purifying a new building nearby.”||“I’m going back to purify the new building in the neighborhood.”||“I’ve got to purify a newly constructed house while I’m in the neighborhood.”|
|“As always, I’ve been taking my kid along to go see variety shows and observe filming, every day.”
|Lose the comma: “As always, I’ve been taking my kid along to go see variety shows and observe filming every day.”||“As always, taking the kid on field trips every day to soaps and going to see variety shows.”||“Well, as always, I’m spending my time having fun! I take the kid out to see variety shows and dramas pretty often.”|
|“Oh, were you all still there?”
|“Oh, you’re all still here?”||“Oh, you’re still here.”||“They’re still here chatting with each other?”|
*Due to the ongoing investigation of Megaupload by the FBI, I was unable to download the file of the Mixx version I usually use from Neo Nobility. So, for this report and most past ones, I am using the raw scans of the Tokyopop version from Miss Dream rather than Neo Nobility’s Mixx scans.
**Since Tokyopop never translated “Parallel Sailor Moon,” I have chosen to, with Elly’s blessing, use the translation of “Parallel Sailor Moon” from The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko, done by fan Alex Glover, as a third comparison text for the errors in that story.
Possible Issues on Several Pages
- In multiple places in “Princess Kaguya’s Lover,” Chibiusa/Chibimoon uses the term “lead role” to refer to a person who, according to Crystal Tokyo tradition, is chosen to be honored by everyone at Christmas and given special gifts. However, the term sounds a little weird and is not explained in the translation notes. Tokyopop uses the term “star,” while Miss Dream uses “Christmas star.” It’s possible the term used here could be shuyaku (主役), which means “leading part” or “leading actor/actress” [Source]. The word is also used in Japanese to mean the “main character” of a story, which makes Chibimoon’s line saying the “lead role [or “star” or “Christmas star”] this year is Luna” a bit of a play on words, since Luna actually is the main character of this particular side story.
- Throughout the “Parallel Sailor Moon” story, Kousagi’s name is writtten as “Ko-usagi,” when it should just be “Kousagi.”
Honorific Issues (Oddly Used, Not Needed)
- Munchkin-chan (p. 180): The “chan” here seems unnecessary.
- On page 9, Unazuki tells the others to enjoy the party since “they’re letting us rent out Crown Game Parlor.” However, the place they are in is called Crown Game Center. The sign with that name is shown on the same page, confirming this. So for overall consistency it should be called that instead. (In Japanese, this is written as “Game Center Crown” or ゲーム・センター・クラウン). There is, however, a little café on the second floor of the same building, called Fruits Parlor Crown (フルーツ・パーラー・クラウン), where Unazuki is a waitress and which is seen in the anime around this time (the S season/arc), gradually replacing the Game Center as a meeting place for the senshi in SuperS and Sailor Stars. The translator may have mistaken one for the other.
- “We, the Sailor Soldiers” (page 103): While this is not an incorrect translation, to be consistent with the overall translation of this release, “Sailor Soldiers” should be “Sailor Guardians.”
- On both the table of contents page and the title page for the story, the story “Casablanca Memory” is incorrectly called “Casa Blanca Memory.”
- On page 180, Chibiusa asks if this is “a gathering of Maxwell’s demons.” The term “Maxwell’s demons” refers to an imaginary character, created by mathmematician James Clerk Maxwell, in an attempt to contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve toward thermodynamic equilibirum — the state of maximum entropy” [Definition Source]. The “demon” could, by Maxwell’s theory, cause a complete separation of molecules traveling faster than average and molecules traveling slower than average within a box by opening a door a certain way, meaning one side of the box would be hot and the other cold. Either that or the “demon” could observe the molecules through a door and only open it under certain circumstances, creating the same result. This idea seemingly contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics because, by decreasing the randomness of the system within the box, the “demon” is decreasing the rate of entropy. Scientists have, however, attempted to explain this paradox by saying the “demon” would still need to expend energy to observe the molecules or that as the “demon” moved the door it would gain entropy [Info Source]. (I am not a physics expert by any stretch of the imagination, so I apologize if my explanation of this is not that great). How does this relate to the story? Well, earlier on the same page, Minako complains about the daughters causing chaos when they play at her house, no matter how much she cleans up after them, and Ami attributes this to entropy, or the idea that order will inevitably give way to disorder. So, I guess Chibiusa is suggesting that the girls meeting together is an attempt to decrease the entropy that would be caused by the girls’ daughters getting together. Or something like that.
- The text in the pics on the “10 Years of Love and Miracles” pages is in Japanese for some reason and not English.
- On page 198, the August 1992 entry on the timeline is accidentially reprinted a second time on the timeline in the wrong place.
- On page 200, the terms “Star Lights” and “Kakyu” (rather than “Starlights” and “Kakyuu”) are seen in captions 3 and 5 respectively of the Sailor Stars arc recap. These terms also appeared in the volumes covering the Stars arc.
A Project Completed…
This error guide is the last in a long line of ones I’ve been doing for Miss Dream since the Kodansha USA manga release of Sailor Moon and Codename: Sailor V began way back in late 2011. I won’t lie, it’s been a ton of work, not all of it easy. Each guide takes hours to do. I own a copy of each and every volume I’ve reported on, and each time I do a guide I personally go through each and every page of each volume, scouring for errors. Then comes the process of typing everything up and organizing it, then adding in the comparisons from other translations (Miss Dream’s, along with a third comparison text for fairness – Mixx/Tokyopop/Alex Glover for Sailor Moon and the French version for Codename: Sailor V). Just the comparison part took ages sometimes due to having to wait a long time for scans to download on my often-too-slow laptop. Sometimes research was involved to explain some things (researching all the herbs for the volume 10 guide took me AGES, and afterward I felt like I knew a lot more than I ever cared to know about said herbs).
I went into this project optimistic, hoping that after the rather disastrous first volumes (Sailor Moon volume 1 and Sailor V volume 1), whose sloppiness could be excused by the fact their release was rather rushed, things would improve. However, it took a while before they did, and more than halfway through, even Kodansha USA felt the need to hire a new translator. I admit, I am rather disappointed at the amount of errors I found. Most of them were writing errors, which could easily have been spotted by any decent editor, which I’m sure Kodansha USA had at their disposal, if not within their own company, certainly within their parent company Random House (which is one of the biggest publishers in the country). The whole release could particularly have used some line editing (where you go line by line to edit something). So while many fans blame the translators, I’d say the blame is more on the editing staff, whoever they are. I mean, I have read other mangas William Flanagan has translated and not seen any problems like what we see in his translation of Sailor Moon and Sailor V. Granted, I haven’t examined those series with a fine-tooth comb like I did for these guides, but I’m talking about series like Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and xxxHolic here — series which are longer and much more complicated than Sailor Moon and Sailor V.
Despite all the work (and occasional stress) involved in writing these guides over the last two years, I am grateful to Elly for giving me this opportunity to not only contribute in a big way to Miss Dream but also to get some decent web writing experience. She has been very supportive of this project from beginning to end, and of me ever since I became involved with Miss Dream. We’ve never actually met, but we’ve become friends regardless, via the magical Moon Cosmic Power that is the Internet. Thank you so much, Elly-sempai!
But…while the doors are now closing on this project, I am not going away. Elly’s already got more work lined up for me. So this won’t be the last you’ll hear from me on Miss Dream! :)
Ja mata ne!
Credits: The lines from the Tokyopop English translation come from scans I obtained at Miss Dream. The examples given from Miss Dream’s translation belong, naturally, to Miss Dream. Tokyopop English manga (Sailor Moon) © 1996-1998 TokyoPop. Kodansha English manga (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon) © 2011-2013 Kodansha USA, Kodansha Comics, William Flanagan, and Mari Morimoto. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Japanese) © 1992-1997, 2003-2004 Naoko Takeuchi.