Written by Misty of Myu Corner
The following are errors that I found in the first printing of Volume 3 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, 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.
Note: I had trouble figuring out the page numbers this time around, because so many of the pages didn’t have them. So, my apologies if the page numbers are inaccurate.
|Writing Errors (Awkward writing, grammar & syntax errors, etc)||Possible Replacement||Tokyopop Translation*||Miss Dream translation|
|“Just look at me, Tuxedo Mask!”(p. 7)||“Look at me, Tuxedo Mask!”||“Look at me, Tuxedo Mask!”||“Look at me! Tuxedo Mask!”|
|“Hyperspatial Sphere Generate”(p. 9)||While this is technically an accurate translation, I kind of doubt any average reader of the manga would know what “hyperspatial” means (I didn’t even know what it meant, and I majored in English!). (The word, by the way, is the adjective form of “hyperspace,” which means “of dimension greater than three”) [Source]||“Hyperspace Area Formation”||“Hyperspace Area Formation”|
Miss Dream includes a translation note here saying they chose to go with Tokyopop’s translation for clarity, but that the Japanese phrase more literally means “Super Dimensional Space Emergence”
|“purpose of the Universe”(p. 14)||“purpose of the universe”||“But the stars have seen fit to revive us once more…”||“the greater wisdom of the flow of the universe”|
|“…Now you’ve made me mad! …O Sword! O Divine Sword that protects the Princess, appear! In my hand!”(p. 16)||“Now you’ve made me mad! O divine sword that protects the Princess, appear in my hand!”||“Now I’m really mad…Sword of the Moon! Holy blade that protects our Princess!! Come to my hand!”||“Now you’ve gone and p***ed me off. Sword! Holy Sword, made to protect our Princess! Come to me!”|
|“And an evil ‘chi energy’ is spreading through this place!”(p. 28)||“An evil energy permeates this place.”|
Mr. Flanagan does have a translation note explaining what “chi energy” means on page 236. Still, I think just saying “an evil energy” gets the point across.
|“It’s distorting space…spreading an evil feeling”||“An evil spirit is spreading out over this space”|
|“Spill it!”(p. 32)||Just kind of odd for Endymion to say. I’d expect something more formal from him. Not sure what to suggest.||“Tell me”||“Speak”|
|“Power of Love”(p. 40)||“power of love”||“My planet of love, Venus! Give me your power!”||“power of love” (in an all-caps font)|
|“Even reborn, must this be our destiny?”(p. 46)||“Even in this life, must this be our destiny?” or “Must this be our destiny this time too?”||“Is this…the reason we were reborn…?”||“Is this truly our destiny, all that we’ve been reborn for?”|
|“You are my first love. And the only love for me is you.”(p. 52)||“You are my first love. My only love.”||“You are my first love…my only love…”||“I love you. You were the first person I fell in love with”|
|“Even if we were reborn”(p. 52)||“Even if we are reborn”|
This makes more sense in present tense, and also sounds more active – “were reborn” is more like passive voice, generally considered a grammar no-no (though there are exceptions).
|“Even if we’re reborn in another life”||“Even if we’re reborn again and again”|
|“Is this unavoidable fate?”(p. 54)||“Is this our fate?” or “Is this fate unavoidable?”||“This can’t be our destiny!”||“Is our fate to repeat this totally unavoidable?”|
|“Please, just once more…grant us an audience and appear!”(p. 67)||“Please, appear just once more…and grant us an audience!”||“Please…just once more grant us an audience…”||“I beg of you, please appear before me once again!”|
|“Guardian Planets Metamorphose Power”(p. 70)||“Transformation power” or something like that would be better. “Guardian Planets Metamorphose Power” is kind of a mouthful, and sort of reminds me of the frequent use of “morph” in the Tokyopop version.||“the morphing power of our guardian planets” |
|“the transformation powers of our guardian planets”|
|“O Princess Protector…O Sacred Sword of Light!”(p. 71)||“O protector of the Princess, sacred sword of light!”|
Honestly…not capitalizing non-proper nouns is a BASIC grammar thing. Who’s grammar checking this stuff?
|“Sacred blade that protects the princess”||“Holy sword of light, made to protect the Princess”|
|“Poo on you, Venus!”(p. 74)|
Noted by Brad/Moonkitty
|This is a tough call. I’m guessing the art kind of confused the translator on this one, since in this panel Serenity is being childish and petty and sticking her tongue out at Venus and all. But, as Brad points out, it ruins the feel of the original Japanese. Not sure what to suggest.||“You don’t get it, Venus”||“You know, Venus”|
|“Must be tough with a hyperactive, too-curious princess. Right, Kunzite?”(p. 75)||“Must be tough with a hyper, curious princess.” It’s confusing here though because in Kodansha’s version it sounds like Endymion is criticizing the princess, whereas in other versions he reprimands Kunzite for criticizing the Princess. Also, Kodansha gives the whole line to Endymion rather than splitting it between Endymion and Kunzite.||(Kunzite) “It must hard having a bundle of curiosity for a Princess” (Endymion) “Kunzite!”||(Kunzite) “It must be really hard to have to rein in such an overly curious princess” (Endymion) “Kunzite!”|
|“You uppity creature” (p. 82)||Kind of a weird choice of words. “Uppity” means “affecting an attitude of inflated self-esteem; haughty; snobbish” or “rebelliously self-assertive; not inclined to be tractable or deferential” [Source]. Basically, Metallia is saying Sailor Moon is haughty or rebellious as an opponent. However, the fact that I have to explain that for you is proof enough that the word choice is not good here.||“Such impudence!”||“What a strong life force you have, stupid girl!”|
|“A place in my body is getting hot!!”(p. 82)||“My body is getting hot!”||“You’re heating my body!”||“There’s something warm inside me”|
|“I, Pretty Guardian of Love and Justice in a Sailor Suit, Sailor Moon and also…I, Princess Serenity…using the power of the moon…seal you away!” (pages 96-97)|
Caught by earthsenshi (in comments below)
|It should probably be “will seal you away” since she hasn’t actually done the sealing yet.||“With the power of the Moon…I, Sailor Moon, Princess Serenity…WILL SEAL YOU AWAY!”||“I am the pretty suited Soldier of Love and Justice, Sailor Moon! And the Princess, Serenity. With the power of the moon I am going to seal you away for good!”|
|“By the power of the sacred light!! Be rendered to dust!!”(p. 110)||“By the power of the sacred light, I’ll turn you to dust!”|
Reminds me of the “You’ll be moondusted!” thing from the DiC dub. LOL.
|“Get back! This sacred light…will burn you to dust!!”||“By the power of this holy light! Burn to ashes!”|
|“See you, Mother!” (p. 135)|
Noted by Brad/Moonkitty
|Brad from Moonkitty.net noted this, saying it sounded rude. Personally, I disagree; since Ami is more “proper” and polite than the other girls, it seems just fine to me for her to use “Mother.” However, since Brad noted it, I will include it here.||“See you later, Mom.”||“I’m home!”|
|“And why are you a bunhead just like I am?!”(p. 145)||“Why do you have buns like me?”|
Is it just me, or do English SM translators always have problems translating the odango atama term used for Usagi’s hairstyle? Odango atama means “dumpling head.” Or at least, that’s the accepted translation. Yet, it was “Meatball Head” in the DiC dub, and here it’s “bunhead”?
|“Why do you have the same buns and pigtails as me?!”||“Why do you have the same bun hairstyle as me, copycat?”|
|“We have a reading on the ‘Legendary Silver Crystal?'”(p. 153)||“We have a reading on the ‘Legendary Silver Crystal’?”|
In this case, yes it’s gramatically ok to put the question mark outside the quote.
|“You have a fix on the Silver Imperium Crystal?”||“So you got the ‘Silver Crystal’ to react?”|
|“Wise man!”(p. 153)|
(Also noted by Brad/Moonkitty)
|“With not a moment to lose”(p. 154)||“There’s not a minute to lose!”||“as soon as possible”||“at once”|
|“And thus recreate our splendid history!”(p. 154)||The wording of this doesn’t quite fit for me with the Black Moon’s plot. “And thus rewrite our history!” might be better.||“To the revival of our great history!”||“To signal the revival of our clan’s history!”|
|“Somewhere near the ‘Legendary Silver Crystal,’ a strong feeling…a power sympathetic to my own! A young woman has the same power of fire I possess!”(p. 155)||“Somewhere near the ‘Legendary Silver Crystal,’ I sense a strong power, a young woman with the same power of fire that I possess.” or something like that||“Near to the Imperium Crystal I feel the same power as mine…A girl with fire in her blood.”||“I can sense a strong force closely guarding the ‘Silver Crystal’. The power of fire runs through the veins of this young girl just as it does mine.”|
|“They bear a whiff of secrets”(p. 210)||Not sure what to suggest here. Maybe “They seem suspicious”?||“They have some sort of secret”||“I can tell, they’re all guarding some kind of secret”|
|“Malefic Black Crystal”(p. 216)|
(Also noted by Brad/Moonkitty)
|An odd name, though Flanagan notes its meaning in the translation notes (though all he says is that the name has three kanji, just like the name for “Legendary Silver Crystal” does, and that “malefic” means “evil”). And “malefic” does indeed mean “evil.” But I think a simpler word could’ve been used here so as not to confuse the reader. In the original, it was called the Jakokusuishou (邪黒水晶), the kanji of which translate to something like “wicked black water crystal” [Source].||“Black Poison Crystal”||“Dark Crystal”|
|“Spark ring! Wide Pressure!”(p. 228)|
(Also noted by Brad/Moonkitty)
|Seeing as this is an attack name, I don’t know HOW this error happened. Should be “Sparkling Wide Pressure”||“Sparkling! Wide Pressure!!”||“Sparkling Wide Pressure”|
|“Mars!…And even Mercury were taken away instantly right before my eyes!”(Volume 4 preview)||“Mars…Mercury…both of them were taken away right before my eyes!”||“Mars…and then Mercury…They were kidnapped right before my eyes…”|
This was taken from Tokyopop volume 4, which includes this part that is in volume 4 of the Kodansha version.
|“Mars. And then Mercury too. Gone in a flash, right before my eyes”|
Taken from Miss Dream’s translation of Act 17, which is in Volume 4 of the Japanese “new cover” version on which the Kodansha USA version is based
*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 and possibly several future reports, I will be using the raw scans of the Tokyopop version from Miss Dream rather than Neo Nobility’s Mixx scans.
Possible Issues on Several Pages
- In multiple places in Acts 12-14, Queen Metallia is referred to as a “devil.” Not sure if that’s the best word choice (but then, I generally think of “devil” in a religious sense, so that might be why it stuck out to me).
- Kodansha has apparently decided the Ayakashi Sisters (Ayakashi no Yon Shimai) are going to be called the “Spectre Sisters.” The kana used for “Ayakashi” can mean “ghost that appears at sea during a shipwreck,” “something strange or suspicious,” “idiot, fool,” or the mask used for ghost characters in noh theater. [Source] So their name basically means “four ghost/strange/suspicious sisters.” I guess “Spectre” is accurate, then; it just wouldn’t have been my first choice. Miss Dream went with “strange sisters” while Tokyopop went with “Four Sisters of Deception”.
Honorific Issues (Oddly Used, Not Needed)
None this time, yay! The fact that at least some of the errors are disappearing is encouraging!
Once again, no continuity errors. Maybe things ARE looking up.
On page 236, in the translation notes, Mr. Flanagan writes: “‘Metamorphose’ is a French word that means ‘to change.’ In the Japanese version, Takeuchi-sensei used the Japanese word henshin which is usually written as ‘transform,’ but this time put furigana pronunciation guide next to the kanji that spell ‘metamorphose.’ So this translation used that pronunciation.” My first reaction to this, being both a student of French and a Greek mythology fan who has read at least some of Ovid’s famous work Metamorphoses, was “No! You’re wrong! Metamorphose is NOT a French word!”
So I went to the authority on word origins, the Oxford English Dictionary. Sure enough, the word “metamorphose” does mean “to change” and is French; it comes from Middle French, a version of French spoken from roughly 1340 to 1611. However, it is also entymologically related to the word “metamorphosis,” which has its roots in Hellenistic Greek (which probably dates it to the Hellenistic Period, considered to be 323 B.C.-146 B.C.). Also, in modern French, metamorphose is a noun (meaning “metamorphosis”), whereas Flanagan implies it is used here as a verb (it’s actually used as an adjective). The verb form in modern French would be métamorphoser. Not sure what Naoko-san was thinking with the furigana, though since the point of furigana is to clarify kanji pronunciation, it is totally possible that she did write furigana next to henshin indicating that the word “metamorphose” should be used, since there are many French words that have been adopted into Japanese.
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 Kodansha USA, Kodansha Comics and William Flanagan. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Japanese) © 1992-1997, 2003-2004 Naoko Takeuchi.