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Reviews in Project: Translation (304)

Baking Bread

A Bride’s Story, volume 9

By Kaoru Mori  

25 May, 2022

Translation

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2016’s A Bride’s Story, Vol. 9 is the ninth tankōbon in Kaoru Mori’s historical manga, which is titled Otoyomegatari in the original Japanese. The English translation of this volume appeared in 2017. I seem to be catching up with publication faster than I’d like: there are only four more volumes….

Volume 9 wrestles with the same conundrum Volume 8 examined: is Umar so clearly well-matched with Pariya that even Pariya cannot somehow overthink the courtship into disaster?

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Cold Folks

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 5

By Natsu Hyuuga  (Translated by Kevin Steinbach)

18 May, 2022

Translation

1 comment

The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 5 is the fifth volume in Natsu Hyuuga’s secondary universe historical fantasy, the Apothecary Diaries series of light novels. The illustrations are by Touko Shino; the 2022 English translation is by Kevin Steinbach.

Having survived entanglement in high-level imperial conspiracy, Maomao returns to the pleasure district to pursue her vocation as a Verdigris-House-affiliated apothecary. She is accompanied by young Chou‑u, the last survivor of the disgraced Shi clan. Maomao fosters Chou‑u just as she does everything else: grumpily.

Maomao may wish to be done with imperial schemes, but imperial schemes are not done with her.

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No Mutant Enemy

The Cabinet

By Un-Su Kim  (Translated by Sean Lin Halbert)

11 May, 2022

Translation

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Un-su Kim’s 2006 The Cabinet is a surrealist novel. The 2021 English translation is by Sean Lin Halbert.

Kong Deok-geun is a boring bureaucrat, someone whom nobody would ever expect to do anything interesting. He would have been perfect for a position requiring decades of meaningless paper-shuffling. Instead the unfortunate paper-pusher finds himself working for Professor Kwon. Kwon’s project sounds mundane, but it isn’t.

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That Magic Technique

Witch Hat Atelier, volume 1

By Kamome Shirahama  

4 May, 2022

Translation

1 comment

2017’s Witch Hat Atelier, Volume 1 is the first volume of Kamome Shirahama’s secondary-universe fantasy manga series. Titled Tongari Bōshi no Atorie in the original Japanese, Witch Hat Atelier has been serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Morning Twomagazine since July 2016. The English translation of volume one appeared in 2019.

Coco has been fascinated by magic since she was a little girl. Heart-broken to learn from her widowed mother that only those born into magical families can use magic, a small part of her continues to hope that perhaps she will be the exception. Thus when a mysterious masked witch gives her a grimoire and a pen, Coco accepts it. Thus when the witch Qifrey assigns Coco the task of ensuring nobody spies on him as he carries out a quick magical repair, she uses the opportunity to spy on him herself. 

Qifrey unwittingly provides Coco with the vital piece of information she lacked; now Coco can practice magic herself. 

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Made a Wrong Turn Once or Twice

A Bride’s Story, volume 8

By Kaoru Mori  

20 Apr, 2022

Translation

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2015’s A Bride’s Story, Volume 8 (retitled from the original Otoyomegatari) is the eighth tankōbon for Kaoru Mori’s historical manga series. The English translation lagged Japanese publication by almost a year.

Pausing only long enough to assure the reader that Anis, Sherine, and their doting husband are perfectly happy, the manga redirects its attention back to central Asia, where young Pariya is not only not perfectly happy, she is not happy at all.


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The Listeners

His Master’s Voice

By Stanislaw Lem  

6 Apr, 2022

Translation

5 comments


Stanislaw Lem’s 1968 His Master’s Voice (Głos Pana) is a stand-alone first-contact novel. The 1983 English edition is by Michael Kandel. 

His Master’s Voice is Professor Peter E. Hogarth’s posthumously-published account of the His Master’s Voice (HMV) project. Neutrino-based telescopy offered the chance to unravel nature’s secrets. Alien signals were an unexpected bonus. Mathematician Hogarth was merely one of many experts recruited to decipher the message.


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The Only Light We’ll See

orange

By Ichigo Takano  

30 Mar, 2022

Translation

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Ichigo Takano’s time-travel manga series orange was first serialized in 2012 in Bessatsu Margaret manga magazine; it later appeared in Monthly Action. US editions were published in 2016.

Uncharacteristically late for school, Naho Takamiya defers reading the letter she received that morning. When she does read it, the contents are astonishing. The writer predicts that Naho will have slept in. They go on to inform Naho that there will be a new transfer student and that despite Naho’s comradely instincts, she and her friends (Takako Chino, Saku Hagita, Azusa Murasaka, and Hiroto Suwa) should not invite the stranger to accompany them that day. 

Most astonishingly, the writer claims to be Naho herself, writing ten years in the future.

As many people might, Naho ignores the advice. Tragedy ensues.


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The Show Must Go On

Beastars, volume 1

By Paru Itagaki  

23 Mar, 2022

Translation

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Paru Itagaki’s anthropomorphic manga Beastars was serialized in Akita Shoten’s Weekly Shōnen Champion from September 2016 to October 2020. Volume One, collecting issues 1 to 7 in tankōbon format, was published in 2017. The English translation was published in 2019.

Herbivores and carnivores attend Cherryton Academy together, secure in the knowledge that the carnivores have forever set aside their impulses to kill and eat the humanoid herbivores. Alpaca Tem’s brutal murder casts doubt on school safety. At least one carnivore is still willing to consume their frail herbivore schoolmates. 

Faced with this shocking disruption to normalcy, the students do the only thing they can do. 

Put on a play1!


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True Friends for Life

A Bride’s Story, volume 7

By Kaoru Mori  

16 Mar, 2022

Translation

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2015’s A Bride’s Story, Volume 7 (retitled from the original Otoyomegatari) is the seventh tankōbon for Kaoru Mori’s historical manga series. The English translation has lagged Japanese publication by only about half a year. 

Wandering British scholar Henry Smith and his long-suffering guide Ali make their way to Persia. There they are hosted by a fabulously wealthy Persian man who has a lovely bride, Anis, whose existence Smith will have to take on faith, as they will never meet. 

The focus of this volume is the story of Anis. 


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