August 5th, 2006

ima ichiko aoarashi

I have gone over to the dark side

I want more hundred demons translations.

Possibly because I have the first five volumes or so only in eyesearing bunkouban and the wide-han format is so readable. But also because it opens up the series in an odd way, reading it in another foreign language. I doubt it'd go down so well in English. But, f'rinstance, I could never remember Ritsu's grandfather's name in the Japanese. Something-with-an-ox, I kept thinking. But in French I remember it no prob: Kagyuu. Equally Ima's 'show don't tell' manner of characterization can leave her characters seeming opaque or watercolour, depending. They grow more solid in a western language. The women in the family are different, because Ima does her social comedy mostly with women (or at least in this series.) But Ritsu is a conundrum that I never feel I have a handle on, and his youngest uncle is nearly as bad. I really want more translations of this series.

And I must say, I never found Ritsu's grandfather particularly likable or sympathetic. Without being a monster, his interests and specialties managed to screw his family up royally one way and the other. (A pity we don't see more of him as an actual writer.) But in this volume there's the only touch of humanity that I can recall. 'Takahiro was always serious and deferential and reserved around me, as an adopted son-in-law will be. He never once spoke his opinions out loud to me. But I always rather liked him. I thought eventually we'd reach the point where we could talk together over a bottle of sake. I guess I just didn't want him to die yet...'