Octonionic Translations

Published by Octonionic

Space Family Carlvinson v11 c128-144


So here it is: the finale*. I'll try to keep the notes quick:

  • 128: The title comes from the first song of this album, which was the title of the album in Japan.

  • 131: The planet name “Ushtobe” isn't quite certain, but the Japanese characters match the Japanese transliteration of Үштөбе, a town in Kazakhstan. Given the other Russian language influences (especially the names of the characters referenced by this), I think it might be the original intent.

  • 132: Corona is, of course, holding an Oxygen Destroyer, and the title is a reference to Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, which shows up as a secondary story-within-a-story. However, the primary story-within-a-story is more a reference to the lost film Nezura, although there's now a documentary made about it, so it's slightly less lost. The natives doing it, on the other hand, are known for the Heisei era Gamera trilogy (of which I believe only the first film had been released at the time of this chapter).

    It is also worth noting that the native “Shin” originally appeared in chapter 126, and so was quite possibly the first fictional character named for Higuchi Shinji. Sasuga Anno.

  • 133: The title here is taken from the Japanese title of the novel Z.P.G.. I couldn't really go with “Z.P.G.” to translate the reference, though, because it has nothing to do with the plot.

  • 135: If I've misunderstood any chapter and butchered the intended meaning, it's might very well be this one. Japanese has many more options for this sort of cagey, vague dialogue than English, and it took me a few reads to get a grip on who was supposed to be talking for some of the speech bubbles.

  • 137: I believe the title page cover is a reference to this picture (archive), or perhaps another just like it.

    Also, in this chapter an oddity of the Japanese language finally rears its head: The word 星 (“hoshi”) means something like “heavenly body” and is used to refer to both planets and stars. It's been used for both throughout the manga, but the meaning is usually obvious. However, on page 159, Corona uses one meaning and (based on previous chapters) I'm pretty sure that another character hears it as the other meaning. I tried to keep the ambiguity of the situation by adding the words “or something” in an earlier line, but I'm afraid it still comes off as more confusing than it ought to be.

  • 138: For some reason, I have difficulty remembering what this one is about.

  • 139: I'm pleasantly surprised at a sort of follow-up to chapter 10, though it really drives home that everything is wrapping up.

  • 140-142: Another three-parter. I suspect that this is an original story instead of a riff of a recent film, but there may be elements of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. This bit also includes a pretty explicit map of how this setting reflects Hokkaido. Some of the landmarks can be looked up online pretty easily.

  • 143: Asari's in the final stages of wrapping up this series, so it's a bit of a shame that the last John Carpenter film he had to work with was Escape from L.A. Oddly, the film titles in this chapter aren't exactly right, even though Asari had no problems naming films before. Perhaps it's because he's more critical than in the past?

  • 144: A rather fitting end.

I'm rather relieved to be done with this, my first long-term project. I started it as an excuse to train myself at reading Japanese because I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the dialogue was in the first few chapters. But then came the puns and references to commercials from the 1960s and television shows I can't find subtitles for. I think this series really deserved a translator with much more knowledge of Japanese culture than I have.

Also, for the record, the protagonist's name wasn't actually a factor in my picking this up. I was just hunting for something within my skill level when I happened to be shown the OVA as part of someone else's attempt to clear their backlog.

*It's not quite the end, actually. There's one more thing I want to put out next week.