Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mushishi vol. 2

Ah, Mushishi, with the sort of mystical stories, each one a treasure which occasionally start off with a bright splash of well used color. Such is the first chapter of the second volume of Mushishi.
Except you'll have to get hold of the original to see it. For the English copy, they've chosen to render the mountain with a mysterious hole in it in muddy grey instead, which makes it quite hard to see at all. What was clear imagery requires hints from the text to identify.

Again in the forth chapter:
More color that we don't get to see. Surely that rainbow in the upper left that I've cut off would look just as good in grey scale? Though at least this one is not reduced to dark grey on darker grey.

This second image also helps illustrate the second difficulty with these books (that has nothing to do with the quality of the original books, just the translation to English). Japanese has no plural form so you have to just look and count. Is there more than one? I see one jar. Apparently the translator saw two because this is referred to as "jars" in the text. Someone is not being particularly careful.

There are multiple spots where the translation just doesn't quite seem to agree with itself. The reader is tripped up and thrown from the fantasy. I suppose it could be the author's fault, it is her first series. Award winning and best seller, but still her first.

The stories themselves are still wonderful taken overall, but the experience of reading them is not what it could be in the English version.

(The two images included above are taken from the Japanese version of Mushishi vol. 2 and are copyright 2002 by Yuki Urushibara.)

No comments: