?

Log in

No account? Create an account
~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Only the Ring Finger Knows Vol. 2: The Left Hand Dreams of Him by Kannagi Satoru 
4th-Sep-2006 11:59 pm
Siesta
Public Service Announcement: So, you just got panned by a nobody. SO WHAT? You've already gotten my money. I don't wanna hear it.

Kannagi, Satoru. Only the Ring Finger Knows Vol. 2: The Left Hand Dreams of Him. Trans. Duane Johnson. Los Angeles: Juné, 2006. (Original Japanese Edition: 2003)
Summary: With illustrations by Odagiri Hotaru. Yuichi decides to take Wataru on one final hurrah before cram season begins, and, to do that, he takes a part-time job. Unfortunately, that means dealing with the uber-cool Asaka and the jealousy he inspires in Yuichi, but things don't get really bad until they arrive in Okinawa and meet Yuichi's elder brother Shohei, who strongly opposes their relationship.
Comments: That this novel, with its selfish, arrogant seme and groveling, girly uke, is about as cliched as it gets is only its first problem. DMP's edition is plagued by a sloppy translation boasting idiosyncratic paragraph breaks and prose so awkward that the translator apparently thinks that translating meaning isn't important if the words get Englished. (Saakuru isn't "circle"--it should be "CLUB"!) To make things even worse, the text is heinously edited; spelling errors that obscure the meaning are scattered about everywhere, and don't get me STARTED about how sections of prose that should be separated are not and how Wataru's many interior monologues should have been italicized. Granted, in some ways, translating crap is more difficult than translating halfway decent writing, but Johnson doesn't even seem to be TRYING half the time. I ended up having to read this little monster as slowly as I might read James Joyce--just because, any faster, and I wouldn't have been able to figure the nuances out! You know, I was repulsed when Dark Horse attempted to foist that Vampire Hunter D novel shite on North American audiences...but this just takes it to a whole 'nother level. Dude, how's about finding some quality BL to translate?
Notes: paperback, 1st American edition
Rating: 1.5/10 - A sewn binding makes it too bothersome to rip the book to shreds in disgust, and it isn't weighty enough to even make a good weapon.
Comments 
5th-Sep-2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
*jumps up from chair to agree*

I have NEVER in my LIFE had such a difficult time reading a book in ENGLISH...since perhaps I was learning to read in primary school.

Story? WHAT story? I couldn't follow the dialogue let alone figure out or begin to care what the point of the excercise was. I suggested to my flist that the editors had passed it through a Japanese to Italian to Russian to Swahili to English translation engine before sending it directly to print and to avoid it at all costs.

Gah.
5th-Sep-2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'm just wondering where to lay the blame. Vol. 1 wasn't great (even the best translator can't fix a dumb story), but it didn't have the same kind of glaring structural problems. Different translator, too. Haven't they ever heard about one translator-per-series to keep the voice consistent? Japanese is NOT the sort of language where you can translate the word-for-word, switch a few around, and call it a day...yet that's what the translator did, more or less.
5th-Sep-2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I've nothing to say. Nothing coherent, anyway.
5th-Sep-2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
"Nothing to say" in their defense? I suppose it's too much to hope that there's some outrage inside DMP. *sighs*
5th-Sep-2006 05:44 pm (UTC) - Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Dude...I was outraged the day they said they'd start bringing over BL Novels rather than investing in domestic m/m writing talent. I almost forgave them when they announced Konohara Narise titles...but then, I saw the titles. 0_o.
I think the time for talk is over, it's time to start looking into Military Schools.
5th-Sep-2006 08:10 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Err...don't we have American non-manga publishers to invest in American domestic "BL" writing talent? Or maybe not. Or maybe sometimes. Word is out that a certain "gay cowboy" movie has made publishers decide that books with a homoerotic theme might be a good idea, so a lot of new ones (some by female writers!) are coming out. On the other hand, if they're going to invest in the domestic equivalent of the Ring Finger crap--I'd rather they didn't bother at all. *sighs*

Military schools? For whom? ^^;;;;;;
5th-Sep-2006 09:02 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Reform school - for DMP, or Junay, or 801 or whatever they're calling themselves these days.

-Iris Print is the only place I know of right now that 'printing to sell' BL fiction. Everything else still seems to be an e-endevour.
*grrr* I'm still waiting on the Brokeback-Buttcrack phenom to fade away. It's removing itself from the waters with the same speed as DuPont chemicals in the Delaware.
6th-Sep-2006 03:41 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
*snorts* They'd probably end up washing out of boot camp, and then we wouldn't have anything at all.

You know, I've actually seen a bunch of self-published (with iUniverse, etc.) BL- or manga-inspired novels here and there...but I've never purchased any, and I've never seen them publicized in any of the usual venues.
6th-Sep-2006 07:09 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Yeah, I think Iris will be the first to take them to Amazon without the iUniverse/LuLu treatment. They're producing comics and fiction - not light novels stuff, but actual fiction. I know RW Day's book is the first one out, then they're going to be at Yaoicon with two anthologies, one all comics, one all short fiction. We'll see. 0_0
I hope it does well, for my sake. The only other alternative is Yaoi Press and I broke ties with them. The of course there's RUSH from Dramaqueen, but that's comics only.
6th-Sep-2006 09:06 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Iris Print needs some serious help with publicity, methinks, and publicity is going to be key for a successful venture in this case. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have heard of them at all.

But, you know, I think you're selling yourself short. There're always other options. Heck, there IS self-publishing (and some of those people do REALLY well for themselves, things considered), and you'd probably be able to catch the attention of one of the dedicated gay presses. Yeah, yeah, I know the audience is supposed to be different for "gay fiction," but I just read a study stating that, in the US, all genres of fiction, even ones presumed to be popular among solely men, are actually read by a female majority. ^_^;
6th-Sep-2006 10:17 pm (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
I should say this in a locked post...but since we're not locked: Let's just say that OEL/BL's really taken a hit on the arm because of what some publishers are releasing; and since most male on male erotica gets an unfairly deserved 'porn tag', I think it's really unfortunate.

As much as I [and I know you read them as well] love those anthys from Cleis and Alyson, wouldn't you love to see something like that published for BL fans. What's being licensed is 'light novels' for 14-16 year old girls...are they serious?

The latest tragedy came here: [they had to change their cover after my ranting!]
http://gynocrat.wordpress.com/2006/07/06/zowie-its-not-yaoi/ they can change their cover all they want...it doesn't change the fact that what's inside it still just bullshit.
7th-Sep-2006 01:04 am (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
I suppose my expectations after all these years are about as low as they could possibly get--for translated manga and "OEL" manga. After all, in Japan, 99% of it is trash; should we expect a lower percentage of trash over here? ^^; Most Japanese BL (manga and novel) is either cutsie and stupid or, well, VERY pornographic. As you know, great stories are a rarity there, too. Plus, the whole manga/comics ideological split in Japan is relatively new and conflates nationality with style. That sort of schizophrenia is something we're NOT in need of here. Heck, I think a lot of writers and artists over here would be better off NOT associating directly with manga and/or light novels--if what they're doing resembles manga, fine enough, but leave it at that.

You know, I couldn't help noticing that some of the newest Alyson gay anthologies were serializing stories by otherwise unknown women who SAID in their bios that they're women. Maybe things will evolve organically... Making overtures to Cleis might not be a bad idea, though; all those lesbian romance novels are closer to BL than anything else readily available now in the West.

Though, in final analysis, your hypothetical OEL BL novel/short story anthology I'd rather see in general fiction, ideally...not next to Bleach. No offense. :P
7th-Sep-2006 01:19 am (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
Though, in final analysis, your hypothetical OEL BL novel/short story anthology I'd rather see in general fiction, ideally...not next to Bleach. No offense. :P

Understood! ^^. I think that's why Iris is so keen on seperating the two. A m/m fiction fan isn't always into BL comics.

I just got an email recently from 'Ceena' who runs the Hatena blog in Japan, and she was just commenting on how the 'light novel' is so very popular with Japanese manga fans, [she'd read my blog entry about how the BL novels are getting sour reviews stateside]. I keep hearing how Seven Seas Boogie Pop novels are pretty good, but I have to wonder, is it because they aren't as juvenile as what's being licensed by the JUNAY?

99% of it is trash; should we expect a lower percentage of trash over here? ^^;

Oh yes, the purist still cling the ever mighty idea that Japanese mangaka shit diamonds and there is no such thing as bad Japanese BL. Case in point, my quick defensive jump over here:
http://adora-spintriae.livejournal.com/253625.html

One girl just wouldn't by OEL on principle. How adorable.

-Tina
7th-Sep-2006 03:24 am (UTC) - Re: Backtracked: http://gynocrat.org
A m/m fiction fan isn't always into BL comics.

*nods* Absolutely. I can name two whom I know offhand.

I keep hearing how Seven Seas Boogie Pop novels are pretty good, but I have to wonder, is it because they aren't as juvenile as what's being licensed by the JUNAY?

To be honest, I don't think quality signifies all that much when it comes to light novels (which is basically just another way of saying pulp fiction, anyway). After all, those Only the Ring Finger Knows novels were pretty popular with readers in Japan--they even got manga-ized! As far as I'm concerned, the kiss of death for DMP's version was the pitiful attempt at translation. For really good novel translations, see VIZ Media or, hell, Random House.

Oh yes, the purist still cling the ever mighty idea that Japanese mangaka shit diamonds and there is no such thing as bad Japanese BL.

It always helps to have a publisher as mighty as Shuueisha or Kodansha at one's back to insure a minimum level of quality control. Otherwise, we end up with moronic endeavors like that "Zowie It's Yaoi" thing you mentioned earlier that completely misunderstand reader sentiment, and the fence-sitters get turned off. But for those to whom Japanese = GOOD! and American = BAD!...well, they'll make great anti-Darwin fundamentalists after their mid-life crises. :P

As I suggested before, though, my expectations are not high for great OEL when the publishers can't be assed to bring over quality Japanese. *sighs*
5th-Sep-2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
So... I guess you'd generally recommend I skip this one? ^_^
6th-Sep-2006 02:30 am (UTC)
You wouldn't have read it, anyway. *snorts*
1st-Oct-2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Review archived.
This page was loaded May 21st 2018, 9:04 am GMT.