Introduction by the translator:
I’m not fluent in Japanese. I’ve been only studying it for 4 years. I’m pretty good at Kanji, can follow Manga just fine for the most part, watch Anime in the raw, and can read a newspaper article in Japanese as long as I’ve got a couple of dictionaries with me, but I’m not fluent. I’ve been to Japan recently and know I’m not. So why tackle translating a novel? I’m returning a favor.
I discovered Kimagure Orange Road thanks to the translation of the Manga that you can find elsewhere on this site. I discovered it myself completely by accident. I bought the Manga. I fell in love with the language and began learning it. I found on-line translations for the first two novels. But not the third. My contribution to KOR culture therefore was going to be a translation of the third novel.
But it was harder than I expected. For one thing Kyousuke is back to his stuttering ways. There are two stories, and the second one takes place before the first. Matsumoto-Sensei and Tereda-Sensei decided to be dramatic and colorful with their language. There are idioms in the second story that don’t translate into English well. The first story is very serious, but the second one straight out of anime. There were Kanji not in my dictionaries. And I’m not fluent. The POV jumps all over the place and there are many changes in narrative style, which added to my troubles in getting this right. And DAMN all of Kyousuke’s “wake de ari” endings!
Demo, Ganbarunakutcha! I plugged ahead anyway, and this is the result. I think I’ve done reasonably well. I’ve probably made a few mistakes, and I certainly wouldn’t want my version used as the definitive translation, but I believe I’ve gotten the point of both stories across well.
The first one, Madoka’s Private Memory, clears up a few nagging questions that have always dogged the series. How did Madoka become Kimagure in the first place? Why did Kyousuke’s comment about smoking set her off so much in the first episode? Why wasn’t she in a gang?
And how is Hikaru doing after the fantastic events of the second novel?
All these questions and more get answered.
The second story, An Angel’s Dangerous Smile, was tougher and easier. There’s a lot more slang and idioms that don’t translate well into English, but by this point I had the flow down and did as best I could. There are idioms about sex that don’t really translate at all, and I’ve left them as they would be said in Japanese. You should be able to catch on to them when they happen. Occasionally I put a quick comment in, but for the most part I’ve left it alone.
This one’s much funnier, and I’m sure you will be able to picture it as if animated the way the original series was. There’s a lot of reading between the lines you’ll need to do, but if you’re familiar enough with the series to have come this far you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
Anyway, enjoy. If I’ve made a mistake that’s glaring, let me know and I’ll take another look at it. The novel is by Matsumoto Izumi (of course) and Tereda Kenji. Illustrations by Takayuki Goto, which I have also included at a slightly lesser quality than appears in the novel itself. At the end of the novel is a postscript by Matsumoto-san and Tereda-san, plus a couple of final comments by yours truly that will be worth your time, I promise.
San Francisco, January 2002
Madoka's Secret Memory
An Angel's Dangerous Smile
Act V (with an afterward by the author)
Madoka’s Secret Memory
Sometimes, I remember Ayukawa Madoka’s surprised face. The time I confessed to her about my power. Like a little girl her eyes went blank and her jaw dropped – then her eyes went round and wide.
Those eyes are always mysterious and precocious – whether or not they seem totally childish.
Although I had confided in her with this most important secret, I was uneasy. Would this drive her away?
But somehow…. She’s lovely….
But somehow it seems to me that I’m the only one who can protect her.
But for all that, I couldn’t reach out to her shoulder – I was actually beginning to feel impatient. But that was only for an instant.
Soon Madoka’s usual cool look returned. Looking me straight in the face she said, “Hey… That’s why. Kasuga-kun always seemed full of secrets.”
Well, I did use the power to come and go between Madoka and Hikaru-chan… Ah, uh, anyway…
Be that as it may, Madoka laughed and said, “Thank you Kasuga-kun, for baring your secret to me.” And then, “You should have a reward," she said, and she kissed me on the lips.
The sweet vinegar smell of her black hair wrapped up my whole body. That was our first real kiss.
Telling her about the Kasuga clan’s secret, now more than ever Madoka kept her mouth shut. Somehow, I think that Madoka will forever keep my deepest secret.
However, that one time…
Surely Ayukawa Madoka wouldn’t tell anyone… No, I can’t share this secret that I have, but that doesn’t mean I can’t trust.
Kasuga Kyousuke, 22 years old.
Hikaru-chan’s kidnapping was settled for the time being, and after we came home from New York… I… I became aware that Madoka had a secret of her own…
Madoka took one step out of the market and felt a cool breeze at the base of her neck, and fastened the collar of her raincoat. The market faced Aoyama Doori and was a fairly high-class place. At the entrance shopping carts were lined up, mixed with people leaving the store. In addition, people who weren’t carrying umbrellas were collecting under the eaves to get out of the sudden rain. The crowd was stitched together in such a way that Madoka decided just to wait for her older sister in a corner under the eaves.
Her sister had said she would get the car from the parking lot in back and bring it around, and had entrusted Madoka with the cart full of the things they had bought.
A HUGE stockpile of wine. Thy wouldn’t be scolded by Ani (Madoka’s older sister’s husband I’m assuming) If he didn’t know… The basket of the cart was crammed full of countless bottles of wine. Lately, Madoka’s sister, who loved to cook, had developed quite a taste for red wine.
Her sister had said that they really couldn’t get the white at the local liquor store so she had been drawn to the rich flavor of the red for her cooking.
Although it was a spring rain, it fell with the force of a summer rain. All the cars on Aoyama Doori seemed to be chased away by the downpour, vanishing to the left or the right. Madoka thought it an interesting spectacle.
The red and yellow cars looked like fairies in the midst of the bright fog the rain seemed to be. Madoka tried to put a melody to this scene, and began to hum. Yet the sound of the rain and something near her drove it away. It was a person under the eaves shaking out a drenched coat.
It was a young man in a white raincoat. In his hand was a business envelope labeled “YAMAZUMI”. The name made Madoka hold her breath. The way “YAMAZUMI” was written, in a bold brush-stroke design, drew her eyes to it.
Besides the name, “Yamazumi Construction” was written on the side. It didn’t feel like it would just be a simple construction company envelope.
The man noticed Madoka’s glance and spoke up. “Excuse me. This is the way to Aoyama It-chome, isn’t it?” he asked. His voice was quiet and composed. Madoka heard it quite clearly.
Usually when a man said something like this, there was usually an underlying motive. But Madoka felt from this man’s voice that he would never do something with such malice.
Madoka raised her eyes from the envelope, took a fresh look at his face, and was probably going to answer his question. However at that instant her face went blank. All the sounds around her were drowned out. The steady flow of raid behind the man’s back on Aoyama Doori became vaguely like a shiny curtain, and the man’s well-put smile looked even better.
To show even further that he had no other ulterior motive, he began asking other people. “Excuse me, but this is the way to Aoyama It-chome, isn’t it?”
As he spent his courteous words, Madoka had a feeling of being a bit out of place. It was obvious that the voice was familiar. Not just the voice though.
The way the eyes were set, the expression of the long nose, the look of his short hair – suddenly, she began to remember the visage of a person from 7 year ago. Mishima Shuujirou.
But Madoka was certain she had seen him die in an accident, before her very eyes.
To Part 1