In September 2017 entries opened for the 6th Manga Translation Battle, where anyone can enter at least one of three manga translations. The winners for each manga may get a chance to translate the final manga officially. So it’s a large opportunity for many up and coming manga translators.
I had never translated manga officially at that point, besides entering in the 4th Battle, so I was excited to take another shot at it. Only my September and October was taken up working on my translation for Kurodahan Translation Competition.
I decided to work on Deaimon, a really cute slice of life manga about traditional Japanese sweets.
Besides fantasy narratives slice of life is one of my favorite genre. So I was really excited to work on this one!
I actually worked on the first draft by printing out the pages and translating them on the bus – (I did the same thing with the Kurodahan Translation). This was so my initial translation was more natural. Not just a natural following narrative but natural phrases in English rather than focusing too much on individual sentences.
I then read through the piece a few times before having friends check it over, then perfecting it even more. I probably went through about 9-10 drafts. Even then I was anxious but I only had about 2 weeks to finish this before sending it off in the end.
I sadly wasn’t selected as a finalist. It’s hard to say what people want from a translation because each translation is different depending on the translator. I wanted to go for a very, very naturally sounding localization. I personally prefer manga where you can’t hear the Japanese in the English, so that’s how I like translating manga and anime.
For example, “Welcome back” is clearly 「おかえりなさい」 but we don’t tend to say that in English. So for this I went with “Hey, yer back!” because it fit the character and the situation, and sounded more natural.
The original Japanese is not mine to distribute but here’s my translation for Deaimon.
Narration: That moment
Narration: set my fate
Narration: in stone.
Text Box: Chapter 1: Nagomu and Itsuka
Text: 1 by Rin Asano
Text Box: Chapter 1: Nagomu and Itsuka
Text Box: Chapter 2: A Single Day
Text Box: Chapter 3: The Fresh Breeze
Text Box: Chapter 4: Four Sweet Choruses
Text Box: Chapter 5: Growing Faint
Announcer: That was the indie band Stimulating Cross!!
Announcer: Give them a round of applause!!!
Announcer: Next up we have the exciting group you can’t get enough of-
Announcer: Chestnut ManJu!
Nagomu: Good evening!
FX: @clap clap clap@
Nagomu: The crowd must have been really exhausted!
Nagomu: That band before us was pretty hardcore.
Nagomu: Let’s go get hammered!!
Bandmate: Sorry Nagomu,
Bandmate: but we’re breaking up the band.
Nagomu: What the hell guys?
Nagomu: Sure the members have changed a few times…
Nagomu: but we’ve been going strong for 10 years!
Nagomu: This is utterly heartbreaking.
Nagomu: I need sugar.
FX: @ding dong@
Postman: Have a good day!
Nagomu: It’s from Mom?
Nagomu: Weird, why now?
Nagomu: She normally only sends me stuff at New Year…
Nagomu: These are…!!
Nagomu: Our family’s sakura manju!
Nagomu: The color!
Nagomu: The smell!
Nagomu: The texture!
Nagomu: The perfect sweetness!
Nagomu: They’re _so good_!!
Nagomu (narrative): My broken heart…
Nagomu (narrative): has been put back together again!
Nagomu: What a beautiful sunset.
Nagomu (narrative): I left home swearing that I wouldn’t return until I made a name for myself.
Nagomu (thoughts): Guess I’ll just have to start all over again.
Nagomu: A letter?
FX: @clunk clunk clunk@
Kanoko: His shoes are here.
Kanoko: He’s back?!
Kanoko: Why weren’t you picking up your phone?!
Kanoko: Did the band seriously break up?!
Kanoko: Y-you idiot!
Kanoko: If you’re that upset about it go talk to the othe-
Nagomu: Kanoko… I’m…
FX: @biff biff@
Nagomu: I’m going back home to make sweets.
Kanoko: (bigger) What?!
Nagomu: My mom sent me some sweets and this letter was inside.
Letter: Dear Nagomu.
Letter: I hope you’re keeping well.
Letter: I was just thinking of you the other day and felt like sending you some sweets.
Letter: Oh, and…
Letter: Dad’s in hospital.
Nagomu: With dad out of commission the shop will be…
Nagomu: And I won’t be able to have these delicious sweets anymore!
Nagomu (thought): I need to inherit the shop to protect these sweets!
Nagomu: That’s what this letter is saying!
Nagomu: So we should go…
Nagomu: together and…
FX: @rustle rummage@
Kanoko: Sorry but,
Kanoko: I only like Western sweets.
Kanoko: See ya.
Grandpa: What’s up kiddo?
Grandpa: Something happen?
Grandpa: No use cryin’ over spilt milk.
Grandpa: How ’bout one of these?
Grandpa: You’ll feel better once you’ve eaten something.
Grandpa: The better the food,
Grandpa: the better you’ll feel.
Nagomu: That means our sweets are the best at making people feel good!
Grandpa: Ya know that means,
Grandpa: you have to protect Ryokusho’s sweets too.
Announcement: We will soon be arriving at Kyoto.
Announcement: Will all passengers departing here-
Nagomu: I’m getting off! I’m getting off!
FX: @thud thud thud@
Nagomu: Sorry about that!
Nagomu: I was dreaming of Grandpa.
Nagomu (narration): I sorted all my stuff so all I have now is one bag and my guitar…
Nagomu (narration): The same things I had when I left for Tokyo.
Nagomu: Has it really been 10 years?
Nagomu: A lot’s changed, even the buildings.
Nagomu: Then again, I’ve changed too.
Nagomu: No, it’s fine,
Nagomu: At least I don’t look that old yet.
Nagomu: I think…
Itsuka: Who’re you?
Nagomu: That’s what I was gonna-
Nagomu: I need to ask you-
Nagomu: Woah she’s fast!!
Nagomu Text: Do I really look _that_ old?!
Nagomu: Or maybe?!
Nagomu: Nah, it’s just the stress getting to me…
Nagomu: My heart actually raced a bit there.
Text: Maybe I’ll have a kid someday who’ll call me Daddy…
Announcement: The 205 Bus to Kinkakuji and Kitaoji will shortly be departing the terminal.
Nagomu: Wait! I need that bus!
FX: @whisper whisper@
Woman: Woah that guy’s all over the place.
Sign: *Uguisu Mochi*
Sign: *Crimson Manju*
Sign: *Seasonal Recommendation*
Saki: Gonna make a delivery! See you in a bit!
Nagomu: Nice work!
Saki: Err, cheers?
Saki: Wait, was that…?
Nagomu: I’m _home!_
FX: Shoulder Tackle!
Father: How dare you show your ugly mug ‘ere again!
Saki (thoughts): I knew it. He’s the son that buggered off.
Text: @ripped from physical labor@
Father: Surprised? I was trainin’ for the day I’d be able to smack you one again.
Father: I’m what?
Nagomu: You’re okaaay!
Mother: Keep it down!
FX: @bonk bonk@
Mother: You’re grownups for goodness sake!
Mother: Don’t disturb the neighbors with your ruckus!
Mother: Now get inside!
Masa: It’s the kid!
Otsuru: He really did come home!
Nagomu: Hi Masa-san! Hi Otsuru-san!
Nagomu: Nice to see you agaaiiin!
FX: @scrape scrape scrape scrape@
Father: ‘Scuse us for a bit!
Masa: It’s been forever,
Masa: since we saw the kid bein’ dragged off like that!
Otsuru: Sure has been!
Grave: *Ryokusho Family Memorial*
Nagomu: Hey Grandpa, sorry it’s been so long.
Nagomu: But I’m home now…
Nagomu: and I’m gonna to inherit the shop.
Father: You dropped college ’cause you said you had to do something,
Father: but never bothered to write!
Nagomu: I sent you cards at New Year!
Father: You’ve bummed around for 10 years and now think I’m gonna leave everything to amateur like you?!
Nagomu: I came as soon as I heard you were in hospital.
Nagomu: I mean, who else is going to look after this place?
Nagomu: I couldn’t stop imagining all the terrible illnesses you might have had.
Nagomu: I never thought…
Nagomu: It was just (bigger) HEMEROIDS!
Mother: I told you there was no need to panic, he’s so rarely hospitalized.
Mother: That’s why I sent you that photo.
Mother: He came home ’cause he was worried ’bout you!
Mother: You should be happy.
Father: You’re useless and I already have a successor.
Nagomu: This yam manju is amazing!
Mother: I sprinkled it with mugwort.
Father: (bold) Are you even listenin’ to me?!
Itsuka: I’m home!
Father: Hey, yer back!
Father: Good timin’, sit down.
FX: @thump thump thump thump@
Mother: Stop staring at her!
Mother: You’re scaring the poor thing!
Nagomu: Oh, sorry.
Nagomu: It’s just that she looks a lot like,
Nagomu: this kid that mistook me for someone at the station.
Mother: Mistook you?
Nagomu: Yeah, she suddenly grabbed me…
Nagomu: And shouted “daddy”.
Itsuka: W-well you know they say everyone has 3 doppelgangers out there…
Itsuka: P-pardon me…
Itsuka: Who might this gentleman be?
Nagomu (thoughts): She’s obviously flustered.
Nagomu (thoughts): What a funny kid.
Father: Oh yeah, him…
Father: That’s my son Nagomu.
Father: Why don’t you introduce yourself to him?
Itsuka: Your son?
Itsuka: You mean the one that abandoned the shop a ran off on his own?
Nagomu: You’re kidding right?
Nagomu: I can’t believe you told her about that!
Father: Don’t get cheeky with me boy!
Itsuka: I am Itsuka.
Itsuka: A just simple freeloader who started living here a year ago.
FX: @ruffle ruffle@
Father: Don’t be like that!
Father: You’re like one of the family, everyone thinks so!
Nagomu (thoughts): Whaaat?! Why is she glaring at me?!
Nagomu (thoughts): What did I ever do to her?!
Father: _She_ is my successor.
Mother: Although he decided that without asking me.
Mother: She’s only 10!
Itsuka: I want that too.
Itsuka: I refuse to give this place up to a selfish runaway.
Father: Nicely put!
Father: There you have it, she’s my official successor.
Mother: Stop gettin’ ahead of yourself!
Itsuka: Now that the pleasantries are done, can I get to work?
Father: Oh sorry ’bout that.
Father: Go ahead.
Nagomu: S-she was glaring at me again.
Nagomu: She works here?
Mother: She helps take care of the shop after school.
Mother: She’s practically the face of the shop now.
Nagomu (narration): She’s zipping all over the place.
Nagomu’s (narration): I see what mom meant now.
Nagomu (narration): And she’s his successor!
Nagomu (thoughts): I get it.
Nagomu (thoughts): They’d rather have a pretty girl than a useless old man.
Narration (narration): Useless old man…
Nagomu (thoughts): Even thinking it to myself stings.
Itsuka: Excuse me, but there’s no smoking here.
Man 1: It’s just a quick cig for dessert.
Itsuka: It’s a nuisance for the other customers.
Man 2: You’re just a kid, what do you know?
Man 2: Nothing. So back off.
Nagomu: Arg, looks like some bratty students.
Nagomu: I should get Otsuru-san…
Nagomu: Oh wait, she already left.
Nagomu: Fine, then I’ll…
Itsuka: You’re older than me yet don’t seem to understand what I’m saying.
Man 1: What?!
Itsuka: I may be a child, but I can still call the police.
Itsuka: Do you want to be charged with disturbing the peace?
Nagomu: You sure are confident.
Nagomu: But you should let an adult deal with those kinds of things.
Itsuka: This has nothing to do with you.
Nagomu: I’m not backing down that easily.
FX: @stomp stomp stomp@
Mother: Did something happen?
Mother: I see…
Mother: So she was being as cold as always.
Mother: I think it’s because she’s not used to relying on others.
Mother: And she probably doesn’t want to cause us any trouble.
Mother: She feels like she always has to do things by herself.
Nagomu: What about her parents?
Mother: They abandoned her. Who knows where they are.
Narration: It’s not often we get snow like that day.
Narration: Her mother had left her and her father long before.
Narration: They came here asking for help.
Narration: The next day…
Narration: “Take care of her.”
Narration: Was all he said in the letter he left before he vanished.
Mother: It was heartbreaking watching her hold herself together.
Mother: That’s why we decided to take her in until she was ready to leave.
Mother: But we’re not the best foster parents.
Mother: I mean at our age? It’s not good for a child.
Nagomu: That’s true, you look like her grandma.
Mother: That’s it!
Mother: You were planning on staying here to work anyway weren’t you?!
Mother: Why don’t you become her foster dad?!
Mother: You can help bring her out of her shell,
Mother: and bring her up proper!
FX: @ring ring@
Nagomu (narration): A dad? Me?
Nagomu (narration): But wasn’t she…
Nagomu (narration): …looking for her dad at the station?
Mother: An employee of ours?
Mother: We do have one that’s quite young but…
Mother: Can you get her?
Itsuka: Itsuka speaking.
Man 1: I was at your shop the other day and I have to say I was impressed with how hard you were working.
Man 1: Well you see we are having a little get together tomorrow and…
Father: They ordered 100 mugwort yam manju?!
Mother: They’re gonna pick them up tomorrow evening.
Father: That’s one hell of an order!!
Mother: @Oh!@ We don’t have a room for you.
Mother: You’ll have to use the cupboard.
Nagomu: I’m going to get up early tomorrow and help out!
Nagomu (thoughts): Crap. I overslept. It’s already noon.
Nagomu (thoughts): Wow.
Nagomu (narration): The mugwort smells so good.
Nagomu (narration): These nostalgic soft yam manju…
Nagomu (narration): They’re family favorites across Japan, often used for offerings or gifts.
Nagomu: I can’t resist this mild smooth red bean goodness.
Father: (bigger) Don’t, you halfwit!
Father: (bigger) They’re for the customer!!
FX: @noogie noogie@
FX: @slap slap slap@
Nagomu: I give! I give!
Itsuka: I’m home!
Father: Oh! Hey there kid!
Father: We’re just finishing up here.
Itsuka: I’ll go get changed then.
Mother: I can’t wait to find out who ordered these
Itsuka: @Oh!@ Welcome!
Customer: Do you have a table for two?
Itsuka: Of course, right this way…
Mother (thoughts): They’ve not come yet… Maybe I should call them?
Phone: We’re sorry; you have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.
Saki: What? That means they probably used a burner phone.
Father: (bold) It was a prank?!
Mother: A burner phone?
Saki: Lots of people can get hold of them nowadays.
Father: What now? We’re about to close and we have so many…
Father: They probably wanted to pick on Itsuka just ’cause she’s a kid.
Itsuka: I can-
Itsuka: do something about this!
Mother: Do something?!
Nagomu: Woah! Woah! Woah!
Nagomu: You’re a kid! What do you think you’re gonna do?!
Nagomu: Just let it go already!
Itsuka: No, I will not!
Itsuka: It doesn’t matter how old I am, I’m taking responsibility for _my_ mistake!
Father: Hey! Get after her!
Saki: Yes sir!
Nagomu: I’ll go.
Father: Do you even know where you’re going?!
Nagomu: I’ll ask someone!
FX: @thump thump thump@
Father: Think he can handle this?
Mother: What’s with the bags?
Flashback to Mother: I think it’s because she’s not used to relying on others.
Flashback to Mother: She feels like she always as to do things by herself.
Itsuka: Would you like some manju?
Itsuka: Ryokusho manju are really good!
Itsuka: Would anyone like some?!
Itsuka (narrative): People are looking over but…
Itsuka (narrative): No one’s stopping.
Itsuka (narrative): These boxes are heavy.
Itsuka (narrative): My legs feel like lead.
Itsuka (narrative): My throat feels so dry.
Itsuka (narrative): No, I need to keep it together.
Itsuka (narrative): If I don’t…
Woman: Are you alright dear?
Itsuka: Oh, hello.
Woman: A child like you can’t be out here alone selling like this, you’ll worry the police.
Woman: You should hurry back to your mommy and daddy.
Itsuka: My dad is…
Itsuka’s Dad: I told you,
Itsuka’s Dad: A kid will just get in the way.
Itsuka’s Dad: You’re too much hassle.
Itsuka’s Dad: No help at all.
Itsuka: @pant@ @pant@
Itsuka (narrative): What now?
Itsuka (narrative): I’m going to…
Itsuka (narrative): be abandoned again…