The story is the same adorable little ditty about a Queen of a small, unnamed western country with a fondness for women with black hair and Japan, generally, that we fell for the first time. Her adventures as she meets and recruits heartbroken and slightly forgetful Hachibe Eto as a lady-in-waiting makes up the first part of the book. The second half is filled with her efforts to recruit more ladies-in-waiting, with some amusing results, one excruciating running gag and one assassination attempt. This story is ten parts comedy to one part awesome cool.
In my 2007 review of the English-language edition, I got something wrong. My major complaint was the translations of names. I was particularly incensed at the translation for Iono-sama’s driver and special police captain. I felt that the choice of “Fletch” was, well, ugly and out of tone for the story. And I stand by that. Freshi, as I first translated it, wasn’t correct, and “Frechet,” which was my second choice, isn’t right either, however. Her name should have been Flèche, which is French for “fletch” and would have been a correct transliteration for her katakana name. So, I was wrong and I apologize, but I still think Infinity did a generally half-assed job on the translation. (Does this matter, you may ask? Obviously, it does to me. Names are important. I am reading a translated mange right now set in medieval France and a name that has an obvious French version has been transliterated in the ugliest way possible. It makes me unhappy every time I see it. )
You would think there was nothing left for me to learn in the older chapters, but you’d be wrong! One of the candidates in the lady-in-waiting contest is fortune-teller Shishio Teru. I hadn’t noticed this before but her bio mentions that her little sister is into jinxes. At which I screamed “A-HA!” and bounded out of the chair, at which my wife looked up and said “Crossover?” since she knew I was reading a book by Fujieda-sensei who does love his crossovers. ^_^ I reached for Ame-iro Kouchkan Kandan and found that Shishio Haru is the full name of Sarasa’s friend who runs a jinx website. How did I miss that crossover the last 18 times?
New for this volume are a few extra pages at the end, including strips on each of the characters and an afterword by Fujieda-sensei on the tense negotioations for this new edition. (I’m joking. Ichijinsha said, “How about we do a Drama CD?” and Fujieda-sensei was all “Yipee!”)
This edition is packaged with an original drama CD, which I’ll take a look at tomorrow. ^_^ Overall, it was *so* nice to be able to revisit Iono-sama and her staff. Especially as there are new chapters following Iono-sama and Eto’s daughter running in recent Comic Yuri Hime issues. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 10
Service – 1 Just some implication of making out
Overall – 9
Don’t bother commenting that you hope this will be picked up for license. Seven Seas has already flat out said they won’t. If you want details on that decision, take that up with them. In the meantime, learning to read Japanese is still an option. ^_^