This was brought up as a comment on twitter, but was also something I’d been thinking about. Books rated All Ages aren’t necessarily meant for All Ages to read. This really hit me as I was reading ChocoMimi, an all ages title in the Viz Kids line. While there is nothing objectionable, or violent in the the title, it definitely wasn’t something I would chose to read as a 40-year-old. On the flip side, Project X: Challengers: Seven Eleven is also rated all ages, for not having any objectionable material or violence, but wasn’t something anyone under the age of 20 would really care about reading.
Back in 2008, I wrote a post about subtitles helping my younger daughter to read. While the subtitles did help her reading improve, it didn’t do anything for her desire to read. She still preferred playing video games and watching DVDs (granted she did much of this with subtitles/closed captions on, just because I guess), but getting her to read was still a chore. We got her titles she showed interest in, but they never lasted. Then, something happened over the summer.
This year, 2009, has been proclaimed the International Year of Astronomy. Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei first put a telescope to the sky and made many discoveries, including four of the moons of Jupiter; Io Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. Stars and the planets have held people’s fascination for eons, as they appear in songs, art and books. Even manga has taken notice of the heavenly bodies. Whether it’s the stars and the constellations, the planets, or just observing them, manga covers them all in fun and imaginative ways.
A short conversation came up on Twitter about whether Japanese names should be translated. I found some of the point that were made interesting, and it got me thinking. When you hear someone’s name, do you think about it’s meaning? Pick up a baby book of names, and you’ll see that every name, even our English names have another meaning. But because it’s a name, we don’t consider the meaning important. Why should translators do the same to Japanese names?
Yes, many of the Japanese names have mundane meanings, such as Sakura, meaning Cherry Blossom, or Yuki, meaning snow. But are you going to call someone named Mirai, Future? Just because that is the literal translation, that doesn’t make it the best interpretation. My name, Lori, means “laurel tree symbolic of honor and victory”. That doesn’t mean I want to be called “Laurel tree”. If you were introduced to someone named Sakura, you wouldn’t go around calling them Cherry Blossom, would you? That’s not their given name. When a word becomes a name, it transcends it’s original meaning, and becomes something more than that.
Translators that change a person’s name to it’s literal meaning are really missing the point. When something is being translated, there needs to be more than a literal translation. The translator has to do some interpretation to convey the meaning as well. And just because someone’s name also means elephant doesn’t mean that’s how the people in that culture will see it. So we really shouldn’t either. It’s another case of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
A few weeks ago on Twitter, there was a discussion about Osamu Tezuka’s manga and whether he deserves the title “God of Manga”, and it got me thinking. I have to admit, back before I started writing about manga, I was kind of in agreement with animealmanac. I’d never read any of Tezuka’s manga before. I was familiar with Osamu Tezuka, mostly by reputation, and by the cartoon Kimba the White Lion. I have very found memories of Kimba, but never took Tezuka too seriously because of that. I knew he was called the “God of Manga”, but never understood why. And then I started writing reviews and receiving review copies.
A few days ago on Twitter, @debaoki mentioned she liked Animal Academy, an all ages title from Tokyopop, and thought that kids would like it. She mentioned she thought the books based on properties, like Disney were boring, but ended by saying, she didn’t know, since she wasn’t the target audience. Well, I have a daughter that’s in the target audience range, and both Animal Academy and Disney’s Kilala Princess. So, I gave both books to my youngest daughter Krissy and asked her to read them. When she finished, I asked her questions about the books.
I’ve put my Inuyasha manga collection up on Ebay. I need to make some space, and little extra money never hurt. Here are the auctions, please check them out.
Or you can check out my Manga for Sale or Trade page. I’m willing to deal on multiple volumes and shipping.
Viz Media’s solicitations for October and November seemed outrageous as I went through the latest Previews. They solicited 46 volumes of manga and novels! My jaw dropped at how much they were putting out! So, I decided to break down the releases, looking at them by imprint and how much of a difference the price increase would make, if any.
RIN-NE Volume 1
By Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Teen
Price: $9.99/Free online
Ever since a childhood incident Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now her life has gotten a lot more complicated with the arrival of her mysterious classmate Rinne, who seems to know a thing or two about detecting ghosts himself!
Having enjoyed so far Takahashi’s shonen titles since Urusei Yatsura, I was thrilled to hear that we in the US would not only be getting her newest, Rin-ne, at the same time as Japan, but it would available for free online to read. Having now read the first volume’s worth of chapters, I have to say my initial excitement may have been premature.
I’ve been going on a lot about the Twilight/Fanboy debate, mainly because it really irks me. But the reason for that is that I’ve never experienced any real prejudice in my comic shopping, or at cons. Several commentors on the Robot 6 blog article about Girls and Fandom gave anticdotes about their experiences with Fanboys and in comic shops, and quite frankly, it shocked me that they were meeting any kind of resistance from the other patrons and/owners.
Yeah, I should have written this last night, but I didn’t get home until after midnight and was exhausted.
Saturday was a struggle to wake up, but we managed it, had another nice breakfast, and checked out. We made it to the convention center just in time for the Women in Manga panel, the only manga panel I was able to make it to all con. That’s just the way it goes. I’m not lamenting. Lots of other people were there to cover the manga panels, and if I’ve got anything to add, I’ll do it in my weekly news post.
Day two started out with a real breakfast. Eggs, pancakes, french toast and toast. This hotel is awesome! It’s a lot better than the fast food sandwiches we usually end up with. Didn’t make it to Stargate Universe, but we weren’t looking forward to the line, and we were tired last night.