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Fullmetal Alchemist 9 and random Vampire Game fretfulness

Fullmetal Alchemist 9 and random Vampire Game fretfulness published on

 

Cut for major spoilers:

OH THAT HAD BETTER BE A FAKEOUT god-DAMNIT Hawkeye!

*pant, wheeze*

…I think it was a fake-out. She wasn’t in the Dead Roundup at the end…

…damnit, but she still might only get some plot-driving Last Words in somebody’s arms in the first chapter or something. Damnit!

*mutter*

Also, in nitpicky news, it looks like they forgot how they were romanizing some of the names, and left some formatting errors in there again. There’s a really obvious wrong-word-balloon thing right at the beginning. I didn’t notice any others right off, but one of the squinty guy’s longer conversations was really awkward, so maybe there was some switching in there that was tricky enough I didn’t notice it.

A good thing is that the characters have pretty distinctive voices, so you can usually tell when something’s gone fishy with the formatting. If there’s mis-attributed dialog in, say, Vampire Game, you just can’t tell – the sneaky Princess, egomaniacal Prince, much-put-upon royal bodyguard, and haughty vampire king all sound like fourteen-year-old South Park fans.

…not that I don’t appreciate the lines about lube and dirty limericks the translators stuck in there (I’m sure this makes me a terrible person and a failed Serious Manga Reader), but it’s kind of jarring when an extremely stodgy character suddenly says something really snippy. Shock potty humor works best when it is a shock. It shouldn’t be coming from all directions at once, especially if you’re trying to fit a semi-serious shounen-ai story in there, too. Ishtar and Yujinn making buttsecks jokes, sure; Vord and Duzell, some of the time, fine; but not Darres. And I’m sure he was using distal-style most of the time in the original, but you couldn’t tell it here.

Unless I’m midjudging this and they completely scrapped the original plot. I don’t think they did – they’d have dumped more of the politics – but I’d say it’s possible that Ishtar was originally dumber, and Duzell’s angst more obnoxious. Which thought saddens me.

…I wish more people read this manga. It’s good! I mean, the art’s awful and the plot’s infuriating – but – well, it’s good anyway! It has a better cross-dressing- heroine- surrounded- by- guys- who- are- prettier- than- she- is- yet- whose- egos- she- constantly- deflates than Ouran Host Club! It has a haughty immortal vampire king who looks exactly like said heroine (due to magic… things…) and whom she immediately wraps around her little finger and starts sending to deal with her unwanted suitors! And he looks all ominous and serious all the time while thinking stuff like, “Damn that princess, tricking me into seducing her pretty, evil, incest-fetishizing uncle! He’s not even my type!” (Though this may be bullshit translation.) It has no idea how suspense works! It has no idea what shoulders look like! It has two palace guards whose original dialog was apparently so pointless that the translators could replace 90% of it with dirty jokes that don’t fit their facial expressions! It has horses that don’t work!

It’s great, I promise!