Yuri Manga: Strawberry Panic, Volume 2 (English)

May 13th, 2008

Have you visited translator Anastasia Moreno’s fabulously wonderful blog, Manga Gunkan yet? Go. It’s not often you’re going to get such a unique mix of fun tidbits about translating, manga, military adventures and cute dachsund pictures – all written up in both Japanese and English, for your reading pleasure. Check it every day.

And speaking of Ana’s mad translation skills, today we’re talking about Strawberry Panic, Volume 2, translated skillfully by mad Ana. (For a summation of both my frustration with the SP fandom and the plot, please check my review of the Japanese edition from December 2006.)

Today, I’m just talking about the reproduction into English. I’ll never get tired of telling you that Seven Seas does a very, very good job. Ana’s translation captures the soap opera-like, over the top-ness, and the adaptation, by Lorelei Laird, allows the dialogue to speak for itself. Considering how absurdly melodramatic everything is, I think it would make a pretty great J-drama. In fact, I’m already giggling at the idea. (And, OMG, since Marimite spawned a parody porn movie, why hasn’t anyone made a SP parody porn? It’s just *begging* for one. ^_^ And with that thought, there goes the last shred of soul I had….)

The technical reproduction seems very clean, with some moire in the backgrounds that, to be honest, I had to go looking for, because it never seems like a problem to me. Some sound effects have been translated and replaced, others have had a English equivalent placed nearby and in at least one case, it was left untranslated. As I always say, it’s not an issue for me. But, surely you can figure out that the crowd is saying “Waaahhh” at the apearrance of the newly crowned Hikari and Amane.

I only have one complaint. It’s not totally Sevens Seas’ fault, but I object strongly. On the back, someone at the now-defunct Newtype, apparently decided that he was clever by describing this series as “Girl-Crushes Gone Wild!” which is not only insulting, but inaccurate. The characters – repteadedly – express feelings of love and devotion towards one another. These are not crushes. (Duh) The implication that this is a manga equivalent to straight girls with no pride who do lesbian-looking things for straight guys to get off on is actually pretty correct, but I found it annoying anyway.

On the last page of the story, as Nagisa and Shizuma kiss, there is a puzzling allusion to a third volume of the manga. Let me assure that there is no third volume to the manga in Japanese. The puzzling allusion to the third volume is there in the Japanese edition too. It never happened for a number of reasons.


Art – 7
Story – 6
Characters – 6, +1 for Kaname
Yuri – 9
Service – 6

Overall – 7

You may notice that my scores are different this time than when I read it originally. That happens. ^_^

And, my deepest, sincerest (and somewhat belated) thanks to Daniel P. for being the sponsor of today’s review!

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15 Responses

  1. “Girl-Crushes Gone Wild!”

    Maybe they read your previous posts regarding this show as a “spoof” so they decided to take that one step further and spoof other stuff.

    Personally, I’d rather not think of video camera quality garbage that you used to order on some television commercial along with the disclaimer “Too hot for TV!” when I pick up manga like this.

    At least they didn’t use “Girl on Girl crushes gone wild!”.

  2. Senbei says:

    “Girl-Crushes Gone Wild!” sounds like someone just doesn’t want to use the word lesbian in an advertisement. Unless I’m all together mistaken, the last scene in this manga depicts Nagisa giving away her virginity to Shizuma… (or has that been toned down from the light novel?) doesn’t much sound like a crush to me.

    Also, it bugs me that in the light novel Yaya is described as being “a true lesbian, who can only love girls.” but they’ve changed it in the manga to “she is very amorous but seems to only be interested in girls”. So they can say “lesbian” in a novel but not in a manga?

  3. ted – I think we can safely say that no one at Newtype read anything I have ever written. :-)

    senbei – I think you’re over thinking the back cover copy. It’s just a sound bite from Newtype, which was a relatively prestigious anime/manga-related magazine. :-) Remember the conversation we had on lili about that kind of thing? Sound bites usually have to be short and catchy and they rarely mean anything. :-)

    In the manga Yaya is also described that way, but in both cases, it is because she had a bad experience with a man, so don’t think “lesbian” means the same thing as it does to me. Lesbian=woman who has been abused by a man. The understanding is that a “real” man can fix that.

  4. ana says:

    Erica, thanks for plugging my blog!(^_^)

    senbei san, the translation is different in the novel and manga because the original texts are different themselves.

    Novel 1: …Onna no ko shika aisenai mashou no Yurihime de…

    Manga 1&2: …oiroke manten daga, onna no ko ni shika kyoumi ga nai youda…

    Trust me, I’d toss in Evil Psycho Lesbian at every opportunity, but I do need to keep in line with the original text… (>_

  5. This is just for humor’s sake, but what would your reaction be Erica if they threw that “Girl-Crushes Gone Wild!” tag line on the Maria-sama dvds?

  6. Depends on who wrote it. LOL

    S’truth, too – if someone who knows Yuri wrote it, then I’d laugh my ass off. If some numbnuts clueless Fanboy did…probably facepalm.

  7. oneplusme says:

    I can’t be the only one to be creeped out by that cover, can I? Whilst I’ll readily admit that I’m a long, long way from being the target market for SP, I can’t help but feel squicky when the Newtype Effect is applied to characters who suddenly look about twelve years old…

  8. 12? I think you’re being generous. In my initial review I think I said 8. :-)

    But, to be fair – they are hardly straight girls draped over one another. Tamao is openly desirous of Nagisa and despite herself Nagisa is quite gay for Shizuma.

  9. Senbei says:

    Ana (and Erica), thank you for responding to my query–I’m honored. I didn’t mean to imply that you chose a different wording, but rather i was wondering if this was just a subtle variation between the two mediums. I’m surprised that you took the time to look it up, and you’re right: i was reading the japanese light novel last night and it does say “onna no ko shika…” but i do not have the manga in japanese which is kind of why i asked. They’re both listed as having the same author so i wonder why the re-write.

  10. grace says:

    OMG, really? there won’t be a vol. 3 of SP?? so now i’ll just have to re-read SP over and over until both volumes are torn, dog-eared and then start writing fan-fiction to fulfill my fantasies of more SP…i so want more of YaYa.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Erica, where does the manga say that about Yaya? I don’t remember it at all. This is the second time I’ve seen the rumor today…

  12. Anon – It say it in the character descriptions (and in the LNs, we learn it from Shizuma, as well.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    The stuff I read was “she hates men” without a reason given – thats why I wondered.

    Well, sorry to bother. And you are right, it is not exactly as if we can put this beyond the StoPani authors. They’re bad enough to add something like this.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Are you entirely sure that there is not another volume coming out at all? Because I know for a fact that two more manga chapters have been published (I’m sure you know of this considering you have a subscription to the magazine) and it can’t have ended with chapter 14. At least, I hope not. I like my series to have an *ending*.

  15. anon – There is no third volume in Japanese.

    Yes, there were more chapters. The second volume was published in 2006 in Japan. I think that if they were going to do a third volume, two years is sufficient time.

    There is no third volume in Japanese at this time.

    In fact, I was just on Amazon JP today, putting together a Light Novels page for Yuricon and look – still no third volume of the manga!

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