Hey, well, this is finally done. I originally started this in November of 2011 and now it’s finally completely done. In case you haven’t been keeping track of my occasional updates on this, this is a novel by Otsu Ichi published by Shuueisha one of the Jojo novels along with Over Heaven, Purple Haze Feedback, Jorge Joestar, and the Stardust Crusaders and Vento Aureo books from the 90’s. This one came out after the SC and VA books (Published in 1993 and 2001), but before the Over Heaven, Purple Haze Feedback, Jorge Joestar (Published in 2011-2012). This book came out in 2007, so it’s right in the middle. But if you ask me, it’s by far the best one. I’ve poured a ton of my heart and soul into getting this whole thing done (380 pages long in Japanese) because I think it’s a really great story that stands on its own even if it weren’t a Jojo novel.
It’s a story that takes place after Part 4, with the characters of Part 4. Though mostly the story focuses on a number of characters the author, Otsu Ichi, created. It’s a fairly dark story involving a lot of references to suicide and that sort of thing. But it does have a lot of well constructed themes and characters that makes it feel unlike anything I’ve read before. The story is also told somewhat non-linearly and the reader is left to figure out various mysteries as the different characters go through their journeys. The big theme is memories and how they affect you in the present. It gets so in-depth that I wrote up a guide for myself to make sure I understood everything to keep my translation accurate with all the foreshadowing and mysteries. That ended up turning into a full analysis which I attacked at the very end, which I highly advise you don’t read until you’ve finished the story.
I included this little blurb in the beginning of the book to give anyone reading it an idea of what my journey translating the whole thing has been. So I thought I’d repost that here:
Hi, it’s Kewl0210, the translator of this novel and head of the scanlation group Hi Wa Mata Noboru. I thought I’d stick this in here to start off with. So, uh, I started translating this novel in November of 2011 and finished in July of 2017. There’s a variety of reasons it’s taken so long. All basically being that because this novel is “pure translation”, something I’m doing completely on my own and having no due date, so I had to put it off again and again because it’s such a long book (380 pages in Japanese) and I’ve had so many other projects translating anime and manga and the like in that time. Often for my own physical and mental health, otherwise I’d be kind of overworking myself, even more so than I normally do. In the period since I started this book and finished it I think I became a much different person, and a much better translator (So it took plenty of effort to edit the beginning up to my current standards), and quite a lot is probably exactly the same. But because this took so long and it’s one novel finally releasing all at once after 5 years on and off of work, I just wanted to say thanks to anyone that’s reading this. I wouldn’t have spent all that time and effort if I didn’t think this book was really something special and really worth reading. If you ask me, it stands up as a great novel even if it weren’t a spinoff of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (But that certainly makes it better), and for over 5 years now I’ve been thinking about how much I want to share it with people. That kind of thing is what’s kept me coming back to this all this time until it was done.
Something interesting I’ve been thinking about recently is that Otsu Ichi took 5 years to write this book, throwing away full manuscripts multiple times because he felt they weren’t good enough, and now it’s taken over 5 and a half for me to translate it. Those two things aren’t related, but they’re an interesting coincidence. Especially since I’m doing this as a fan translation. He wrote it from 2002 to 2007 (Or something like that, it came out in 2007, he might’ve finished it before then) and I translated it from late 2011 to mid-2017. So going from nothing to you reading this English version of this book sure has been quite a journey. Though it was only about a year of me constantly working on this, if you take out all the long breaks from it. And that’s working in parallel with my current manga/translation projects (Meanwhile Otsu Ichi had to take up a second job in order to earn an income while he was writing this).
Also, if you’re interested, a dedicated Japanese fan has been making a video-doujinshi of this book (Unfinished as of this writing. They might not be updating it anymore. But it covers most of the story) which you can see here: http://www.nicovideo.jp/mylist/27778746
If you want to read along with watching that, be advised that some scenes of the novel are skipped or altered slightly and others are slightly out of order. I do recommend watching it though, it’s really well done.
And maybe if you enjoyed this, check out our other projects at http://hiwamatanoboru.com
Also, thanks a ton for Em helping me edit (Which ended up being a much more arduous process than I’d imagined; taking most of July and some of August 2017. Doing some parts of this years after other parts, and most of the later parts in small bursts at 1-2AM when I wake up at 8:45AM, go figure how that happened). She went through the whole book and found tons of little things to improve how it sounded and flowed along with any mistakes. I can only hope I eventually get my writing style as good as hers.
Anyhow, that’s about it. This represents a lot to me so I hope you enjoy it. I’m gonna go take a short break from translating to read In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.