I was supposed to post something a week ago, but I was drowning in how much writing I had to do. I even had this post written as a backup plan and everything, but I just forgot. I realised yesterday that, hey, Sunday this week is DECEMBER. So, sorry for the late post, but here we got what I could manage!
My granddad told me to be a good person, the kind of person who forgave other people when they made mistakes. By all accounts, Gods were people as well. Probably.
High school student Mochizuki Touya was on his way home from school when God accidentally hit him with lightning, killing Touya. Due to the circumstance, God revived him in a new world (mostly) with the societal development of the middle ages. But not without a little bonus. God granted Touya a favour, letting Touya bring his smartphone as a functional device, and giving him a little stat boost. Now it’s time for Touya to live his new life in the medieval, magical world, with a smartphone in hand.
The downside with knowing Japanese is that I can read something and go “Oh, darn, the translation is pretty ugh. I hope people don’t enjoy this too much…”
I’ll start with the good stuff, though. Good stuff. Good… stuff…?
I’m just kidding! The art is really cute, and I liked the illustrations. Eiji Usatsuka’s illustrations are really worth noting, imo. And… That was it, I guess.
While I was reading this, I felt like… well, the writing was kind of… “Meh”, isn’t the right word. Rather “confusing” and “wtf?” are the right reactions. I still read through the first volume, and then actually went to compare it with the Japanese. Mind you, I checked against the web novel on Shousetsuka ni Narou (yes, click that link to read this series in Japanese! I linked directly to it!) and not a published volume.
This series — this volume, at least — suffers from PTS, or Poor Translation Syndrome. (Hey, it’s not TTS, Trash Translation Syndrome, at least!) While the translator certainly has to take liberties with the writing, there are times when liberties maybe could have been skipped and other times when the translator really needed to take them. A good example is the different characters’ lines. They aren’t marked out as “Linze said [insert line]” or “[insert line] Elze said”, but are assuming you know the character’s speech patterns, which are fairly obvious a lot of the time and based on characters’ personalities in Japanese. It’s lost in translation and leaves the reader with lines that aren’t explained who said them. There were times I thought Touya talked, but then the narration agreed it made no sense and I got so confused. WHO TALKED?
But at other times, the liberties… weren’t perhaps necessary, and I felt they changed the tone of the writing a lot, or that the efforts were placed at the wrong parts. Liberties have to be taken when translating to English from Japanese, but one can take too many liberties, too few, or prioritise the wrong one.
At the end of this post, I’ve made some comparisons on the translation with an excerpt that was somewhat confusing but still not terribly bad. But for now, let’s talk about the actual story.
Okay, not really, and the first volume isn’t terrible. But I know where it’ll head, and it’s not great. With the addition of a poor translation, it just gets worse.
If I hadn’t watched the anime before, I would probably have said this seemed like a pretty good series, but that’s because of the so far lack of fan service and 17-or-whatever wives. I remember this title as “that isekai with the 17 wives” regardless of whether there actually are 17 of them. I don’t mind a poly relationship in the fiction I read (and in reality, I see no point to be against them, as long as all parties are agreeing and happy!) but my reaction was that there were… too many wives. Just too many.
Touya’s a cheat character, which is a common trope in the isekai genre, the cheat varies between character, but in this case, I’d say his stats were hacked and maxed out. I think it would have been good if it hadn’t gone sexier later on, and the other perviness had been removed. Just a guy trying to live his life after death with his smartphone. I know how that sounds, I meant to make it sound like whatever you’re imagining.
I wish he had actually used his phone more for fun things. The use of recording and how the girls in his party freak out a little (or a lot) was pretty funny. But it seems he doesn’t really use his phone for other things than maps. And seemingly he stopped with checking news after. I’m not sure I like the character. Lol.
All in all, not a great story, not a great translation. It has its funny moments, but as far as isekai and cheat characters go, this ain’t the best.
Below is the original, a more or less literal translation, my interpretation and the official translation. Highlight the areas to read them. I didn’t want to throw a direct spoiler on anyone who wasn’t interested in reading three translations.
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Original in Japanese:
「冬夜殿！？ ありがたい！ 乗ってくれ！」
「え？ ちょっ…え！？ なんですか！？」
……なんですと？ 公爵の兄上っていったら国王様…だよな？ 国王暗殺ってやつか？
(More or less) Literal translation:
The gate opened, and from the inside a horse carriage came out. Are they going out? My timing was bad.
“Touya-dono*?! I’m thankful! Get on, please!”
“Eh? Wai… eh?! What is it?!”
The duke that came out of the opened carriage door, pulled my arm, and pulled me into the carriage in a flash. What what?
“No, that Touya-dono would visit with this timing…! God must have sent you to use. I give my thanks.”
The duke started praying in agitation looking at me. Certainly it was god that sent me, but… At any rate, this impatience wasn’t normal. I wondered what happened.
“What the heck happened?”**
When I asked that, sweat broke out on the duke’s forehead, and opened his mouth in a panic-like tone.
“My older brother*** was poisoned.”
…What?**** The duke said his older brother*** was the king… right? That thing called royal assassination?
*-dono means Mr, Mrs, Ms. It’s something used to address those inferior to oneself (teineigo; “normal” keigo). I chose not to translate it here because of the significance of the use.
**This is written in a politely (teineigo).
***This is a very polite way (sonkeigo) of saying older brother.
****This is written politely (teineigo). Uses a quote ending (to).
What was that?
I could see the gate open and a carriage leave the estate. Were they going somewhere? My timing must have been bad.
“Mister Touya?! I’m so glad! Come on in!”
“Huh? Wai— Eh?! What happened?!”
The carriage door opened and the Duke stepped out. In a flash he pulled me into the carriage by my arm. What was going on?!
“To think you would visit at this time…! Certainly God must have sent you. I’ll have to thank Him.”
The Duke prayed in gratitude. It was true I had been sent by God, but this was merely a coincidence. However, I had never seen him so impatient before. What in the world had happened?
“Could you tell me what happened?” I asked the Duke, and sweat broke out on his forehead as he answered in a panicked tone:
“My brother has been poisoned.”
… Come again? The Duke’s brother was the king… wasn’t he? So it was an attempted royal assassination?
Wait a sec… The gate opened and a carriage came out. Were they going out somewhere? I figured I had timed my visit poorly
“Touya, is that you?! Thank the heavens! Please, get in!”
“Huh? Wait… Wha?! What’s going on?!” The carriage door swing open and the duke swept down like a bird of prey, grabbed me by the arm, and whisked me up into the carriage in one movement. Seriously, what the heck?!
“To think you would appear with such impeccable timing…! You’re truly a Godsend. I give Him my thanks.” The duke started fervently paying.
I mean, technically God did send me here, so… At any rate, the duke’s behaviour was definitely not normal. I’d never seen him so frantic before. I wondered what in the world had happened.
“What happened, exactly?” At my sudden question, sweat appeared on the duke’s forehead as he answered in a rather panicked tone.
“My brother has been poisoned.”
…Come again, sire? Wasn’t the duke’s brother… the king? Was this a case of royal assassination?
So, as I believe you can see, there are some significant differences. The use of italics in the translation is rather confusing (mind you, quotes in the theme I used are in italics and italics removes it, so… think of it the opposite way) and I often couldn’t determine if it was a thought or narration. Reading the web novel I realised it was a combination of both; thoughts are part of the narration itself. That completely got lost.
Now my question is, which do you prefer?
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