My copy of Sunshine Sketch came in today from Amazon, and there are a few things I’d like to point out about its translation.

For one thing, as always, Yen Press either rewrites the jokes or leaves the Japanese untranslated so you can’t really tell what’s happening without looking at the notes (the “barabara” strip comes to mind). The titles of strips are often changed even when perfectly translatable. One habit they have is making punchlines longer and adding context to them in case you weren’t able to figure out the joke already. It’s fine for an official translation, but a bit redundant at times. I did enjoy some of their localizations, like the “bam” on the toast. The part about Nazuna’s parent’s accents changing might be a little confusing for people who don’t know Aichi prefecture isn’t part of the Kansai region, though.

There were a few minor lines where I thought the nuance was way off, but there’s nothing that can be done. For example, 2011-04: “Ah, I was friendly with her.” VS. Yen Press: “Oops. I accidentally got along with her.” The latter makes Natsume sound like she’s actively avoiding contact with Hiro, where the Japanese comes off as an “I wasn’t expecting this to happen, but alright” type of feeling. Things like this and changes in punctuation give the characters different “voices” when compared to other translations.

In this volume, they made three alarming changes concerning the setting of the series. On page 54 they have the setting explicitly called Tokyo twice, when there is no such reference in the Japanese text. Here are the original lines for reference. Do you see 東京 (Tokyo) anywhere?

Right strip, 3rd panel, Nori: あとはかっちんうどん?関東のあの濃い色のうどんだしはいい悪いじゃなくって何ていうか別料理なんですよねー
She says 関東 (Kanto region), not indicating Tokyo in particular.

Left strip, 4th panel, Sae: なずな ご当地感ゼロだね…
当地 only means “this locality”.

Then on page 88, the second reference to the town of Asagi in the manga so far is removed without a trace! Earlier they had translated it as “Asagi Street” [V2P036]. At least they’re being consistent?

Left strip, 1st panel, Yoshinoya: 今日は浅葱消防局のご協力で地震体験車も持ってきて頂きました!
Yen Press: The fire department cooperated and brought the earthquake simulation machine.

Of course, you should all go out and buy it still! The translation notes at the end are concise and complete, and I hope they continue releasing the series until its end. For the record, this came out 10 months after the Japanese volume’s release.

By the way, what’s with their rating system? This volume was rated Teen for V and L (Violence and Language, I think?). I can see how Hiro punching Sae in the face and later giving Miyako a lariat qualify as “violent”, but I fail to see where any foul language was used?

And now, we wait for Japanese volume 7 and wonder who’s going to be on the cover next. All the other tenants have been used up, so maybe Yoshinoya or restarting with Yuno and Miyako?

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