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Quality Check: Twittering Birds Never Fly V01

Originally posted on the now defunct blog, The Licensing of Saezuru. Specific dates noted with each chapter.


Don’t Stay Gold (07.01.14)

The following are some comments and comparisons of the unofficial translation (U) and Juné’s PDF (J).

yoneda-kou-dont-stay-gold-dp

yoneda-kou-dont-stay-gold-june

  • Page comparison; Unofficial translation vs Juné
  • Lots of noise around the text.
  • Compared to Juné’s, the unoff’s blacks are very black, but that’s not always a good thing. Some of the detail gets obscured when there’s too much leveling. but the overall quality of Juné’s pages are medium to low-medium. 

Page 4/7:

U: Why are you calling me out at this time of night, Yashiro?

J: Yashiro, what kind of late night party did you called me out here for?

“Late night party” sounds strange coming from Kageyama. He’s too droll for that kind of sarcasm.

Page 5/8:

U: As you can see, my subordinate’s becoming a blood sacrifice.

J: It’s a stomping party for my men.

“Stomping party” is too base a phrase for Yashiro’ “blood sacrifice” sounds more dramatic and more like Yashiro’s sense of humor.

Page 7/10:

U: How’s a kid with that kind of temper gonna get an honest job, anyway?

J: He just got out of a youth detention center and, given that temper of his, it would be impossible for him to keep an honest job.

Kuga’s 22, how is he just getting out of a youth detention center?

Some SFX, easy enough to clean, but not removed.

Page 13/16:

U: He’s just an old acquaintance.

J: I’ve know him for a while. It’s just an unfortunate friendship that we couldn’t get out of even if we wanted to.

Juné’s translation perfectly describes kusare-en.

U: You’re sober right? Your pupils were dilated before, so I thought you were high.

J: …You’re a normal guy, aren’t you? A second ago your eyes were completely dilated and I thought you might be on drugs.

“You’re a normal guy”? I don’t think that makes sense as a lead in for the following line.

Page 14/17:

U: Kage: Do you have any money?
Kuga:Yeah. I have all of my cards on me as well.
Kage: …

J: Kage: You got any money?
Kuga: Aw, man… The money I had on hand and my credit card were taken as well.
Kage: ……

A different conversation. Also, if I recall, DMG has a rule about an ellipsis being more than 3 dots, so why is 6 okay for Juné?

Page 15/18:

U: Kuga: Oh, these. Not really… It’s not like I wanted them.
????: Wouldn’t a guy like you have some, too?

J: Kuga: Oh, this? …It’s not like I put them there because I wanted to.
Kage: Even someone like you loses a fight?

I put question marks on the unoff’s because it sounds like it’s a question directed at Kage, but it’s an odd question for Kuga to ask him. I prefer Juné’s for this one. On the other hand, Juné’s line for Kuga makes it sound like Kuga’s admitting to inflicting the burns on himself, just not by choice; that’s certainly not the case.

Page 16/18:

U: Haven’t for over ten years. They’re institutionalized.

J: It’s been over ten years. I was in a detention center the whole time too.

Two completely different meanings.

Page 27/30:

U: Kage: You look pale. Kuga: Aren’t you just too dark?

J: Kage: …You’re pretty clean, aren’t you. Kuga: It just seems that way cause you’re so dirty.

Weird. Juné’s is so rude. I know they’re both far from genteel, but their translation not only changes the conversation, but also erases the building awkward intimacy.

Page 34/37:

U: Part-time prostitution.

J: I was working part-time at a host club.

Usually, those are two different things.

Page 37/40:

U: I’m at my limit. I want to fuck that pale body and make him cry.

J: I want to cover that white body of his with my junk and make him cry so badly, I can barely contain myself.

Again, we have word choices that don’t suit the character. As far as I’ve ever known, “junk” refers to the penis and balls set. So, covering a whole body, white or otherwise, with your junk, not only seems ridiculous as a visual, but just doesn’t make any sense. I’m hoping what Juné really meant was ejaculate, because if they really meant the set, I don’t have any words for that. Either way, as crude as Yashiro can be, there is always this exceptional grace about it. He has a charisma that at first sight you might want to dismiss as flirtatiousness, but the more you see him in action, the more you realize it’s nothing as frivolous as that.

Page 42/45:

U: Yashiro’s a masochistic kitty. [Meow]

J: Yashiro’s an utter masochist. He’s the bottom guy. [Meow]

Not using the term neko or anything that suggests cat, makes the meow in the next panel pointless.

Overall, for this one, I’m not too pleased about the changes in characterization. Kageyama comes off more thuggish; Kuga was changed the least, but he wasn’t as endearing; and Yashiro was not as captivating or brilliant–his wattage was very low.

Chapter 01 (07.20.14)

yoneda-kou-twittering-birds-never-fly-c01The following are some comments regarding June’s official digital license release (PDF).

  • As with “Don’t Stay Gold,” there is a lot of noise around the text and the edges of the artwork. The second image is the PDF at 100%.
  • Honorifics have been maintained! Well, the basic ones like san and chan. The hierarchical terms have been translated to boss and chief and so on. I really like the sound and look of the word Wakagashira and lots of things ending in -chou, so I’m a little sad about that. We’ll see how that translation choice plays out. 
  • The non-dialogue typography is lackluster. It’s actually too understated.

Page 50

I get the day off tomorrow so you can rape me like crazy then.

Did he really use the word “rape.”?

I don’t like that Kuga calls Kage “Pops.” For a general translation, I’d accept it for oyaji or ojisan, but coming from a lover it just sounds so skeevy and not at all playful.

Page 59

N-no, I wasn’t, you dot!

Page 60

This is merely a personal preference, but I don’t like “cum” used as a verb; I’d much rather read “come” or “coming” when related to action and “cum” (if necessary) as a term for the product of the action.

Page 65

A lecherous bottom guy.

They should have just used “neko” or left it at “bottom.” “Bottom guy” sounds silly.

Page 75

I thought you were very good looking.

As secrets go, thinking someone is good looking or even very good looking, particularly someone who everyone probably thinks is attractive on some level, isn’t high on the scale of things to be mum about. Had he said beautiful or enchanting, when commenting on another guy, I could understand the desire for secrecy, but “good looking” just doesn’t cut it. If you’ll allow me to be crude for just a moment, “good looking” wouldn’t even warrant a “no homo.”

Page 78

He’s Doumeki, my attendant and bodyguard. I’ve giving him a trial run.

Page 89

I was being done in by my father before any sort of sentiment like that could develop.

I was going to let it go because it could work, but now I feel like it’s just a bad choice of words. So back on page 58, Yashiro says, “I don’t care who, I just want someone to stick it to me…” He’s talking about wanting to be fucked. In my head, to stick it to someone means to exact some sort social retribution or to return a favor in the form of revenge. The only time I can see “stick it to me” being used to refer to sex is in situations where someone is taking something someone else said and turning it into a sexual innuendo. For example, some hot guy says, “let’s stick it to the man” and then–avoiding any BL jokes that could be pulled from that statement–some perv like you or me says, “oh, he can stick it to me anytime.” You following me so far?

OK. Now, on page 89, they use the phrase, “done in.” In a sense, he was being “done in,” meaning brought to ruin, but that’s not what that line is supposed to convey. And even if it was, I get the feeling that the translator isn’t clever enough for that word play. Again, Yashiro is talking about sex and again the only way “done in” could be used for that purpose is via sexual innuendo, but it doesn’t fit with the tone of the moment.

Overall, I’ve seen worse, but that doesn’t really comfort me. It isn’t as horrible as I feared, but I still wouldn’t say they’ve improved. However, this is only the first chapter.

Chapter 02 (07.30.14)

yoneda-kou-twittering-birds-never-fly-c02The following are some comments regarding June’s official digital license release (PDF).

  • The Image quality remains the same.

Page 127

Doumeki: You were just standing there, but you were so good-looking.

Yashiro: Even if you can’t get an erection, you could be the bottom guy.

Perhaps I’m nitpicking, but I think attractive, handsome, or even stunning would have worked better. When speaking directly to the person, good looking sounds better when used as an affirmation… “You’re a good looking guy; the girls will be all over you.” However when telling the person about past thoughts and describing them to themselves, good looking sounds strange. It’s one of the many weird nuances of English, but it just jumps out at me when I read it.

Again, “bottom guy.” It should just be bottom, uke, or neko. “Guy” is most definitely implied, for the sake of flow and mood, it should be omitted, but it would have been better if the Japanese slang was used.

Page 130

It’s not rare for people to joined before they even realize what they have just done.

I can hardly believe that’s it. Zero is definitely better, but this is such an improvement over chapter 1. Hopefully it trends this way for the remainder of the volume.

Chapter 03 (08.25.14)

yoneda-kou-twittering-birds-never-fly-c03The following are some comments regarding June’s official digital license release (PDF).

  • The Image quality remains the same.

Page 161

The concept of “letting the other side win makes you the victor”… doesn’t exists in the minds of yakuza.

And that’s it. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to be as thorough throughout the entire volume. It’s such a difference, it makes you wonder if the chapters were proofed by the same person/people.

Though They Drift, They Do Not Sink, But Nor Do They Sing (02.05.15)

yoneda-kou-though-they-drift-the-do-not-sink-but-nor-do-they-sing-01The following are some comments regarding June’s official digital license release (PDF).

  • The Image quality remains the same.

Page 183

I want to rape. I want to be raped.

I asked this in v01 c01, but is “rape” the word used in Japanese?

That’s it. I’m please that, by the end, it was apparent that the chapters were being QA’d. It got better, technically, anyway. I only wish that they revisited the earlier chapters to give them the same treatment. As for the story, it seems kind of flat, like the fading echo of a good story. I was still intrigued, but not as deeply moved.

Finally, the end of volume one. So late, I know, but life… Honestly, the real reason is that even though I tried to be objective and read volume one as a stand alone translation, I knew the unofficial translations almost by heart, so there was still a certain amount of bias. Now, I think I’ve been removed from the story long enough to see if Juné’s release was worth the paper it was printed on.


According to anonimjeden, volume 2 showed great improvement with a different translator, so I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m going to do the same for volume 2 as I did for volume 1, but I’m doing it all at once so there won’t be a delay. Fortunately, I’ve only read the chapters collected in volume 2 once via the unofficial translations, so I don’t have any concerns about lingering bias. You can expect those chapters within a week’s time or less. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to callout or look for, please let me know.

Bonus!

In this Fujojocast, I talk with @com801 about the licensing of Yoneda Kou’s Saezuru Tori wa Habatakanai

So… don’t mind my (com801/greighish) voice. It’s nasal and I was nervous, but truthfully, it always sounds a mess, so…

Please give a listen as I chat with fellow fujoshi, moromi about the campaign and other BL stuff.

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