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Mirrormn

Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiru Chiru☆Michiru (Part 1)

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Idol Mahou Shoujo Chiru ChiruMichiru
 
9ck2oRo.png
 
Game:
 
アイドル魔法少女ちるちる☆みちる 

VNDB Link
 
From the publisher Frontwing, this alternate-world spin-off of the Grisaia no Kajitsu series features heroine Matsushima Michiru as a Magical Girl, fighting to save the world from the Seven's Chaos. Follow along as she argues with her familiar, fails to perform all sorts of magic, gets one-upped by other idols and Magical Girls alike, accidentally shows off her panties, and occasionally dies. She has a dream, and she's going to chase it the way only Michiru can.
 
The game is produced as if it were an anime in the form of a visual novel, so it is distributed into 13 episodes. Part 1 contains the first 7 episodes, and Part 2 (to be released in December 2014) contains the final 6.
 
Intro:

As soon as I started playing this game, I knew it was something that needed to be shared with the world. This VN is brilliant. It's got all the humor of the common route of Grisaia no Kajitsu, except even better because it doesn't have to worry about being realistic or even making sense, and then better again because of the heavy Michiru (best fruit) focus. For a while, I sat around, praying that someone else would translate it soon, but that didn't really seem to be happening. And, indeed, you'd think anyone committed enough to the GnK franchise to put in the amount of work necessary here, would throw themselves into Meikyuu and Rakuen instead.


 
Although I was very hesitant at first (a project of this magnitude is, quite honestly, way over my head), some IRC friends finally managed to convince me that if I didn't step up to the plate, the story of Mahou Shoujo Michiru might very well be trapped in the land of moonrunes indefinitely. So I'm translating it. Hopefully I can produce a final product that is at least somewhat worthy of the GnK legacy and Mitcher's glory.
 
A bit about my credentials: to be frank, if I were "managing" this project (instead of just doing it all myself), and I didn't know myself, I would not allow myself to work on it as a translator. My understanding of Japanese is rather shaky, and downright bad without reference materials and de-puzzling time. In addition to that, this game has pretty much everything possible to make a translation difficult: weird grunts & screams & noises, made-up words, puns, wordplay, pop culture references, political/military references, self-references, un-subtitled audio, etc.
 
On the other hand, my ability to smooth over gaps in my knowledge using dictionaries, intuition, sense of humor, context, Google-fu, voice acting tone, and other Magical☆Guesswork is pretty solid. I think I know what a high-quality VN translation looks and reads like, and I'm absolutely committed to producing something that at least vaguely resembles one. That's part of the reason I haven't "announced" the project until now: I didn't have much confidence that I would be able to meet my own standards for it, and it would be easier to just let it die discreetly than to have to inform people "no, this isn't happening anymore; I suck too much". But, I've gotten through nearly half the game at the time of writing this, and it's shaping up pretty well, in my opinion. Good enough that I'm not ashamed of it, anyway.



Technical Details:
 
As stated before, this game is split into 7 episodes of roughly equal length. The 7 episodes, combined, comprise roughly 5000 lines of text. Pretty small, by VN standards, but I'm very slow (~25-40 lines/hour).
 
In addition to the scenario text, each episode has an OP and ED movie, a pre-episode summary of the events so far, and a post-episode preview of the next episode.
 
The game runs on the CatSystem2 engine, the same as Grisaia no Kajitsu (as well as many other Frontwing titles, I believe).

Progress: ~50/100%
 


Hacking/Engineering: 90/100%

With the use of publicy-posted toolsets made available by asmodean and Doddler (GnK's engineer), as well as a lot of fiddling and hair-pulling by myself, I'm pretty much done with this phase. I can now decrypt and dearchive all the game files, decompile the scripts, extract text from them, change it to my heart's content, re-insert it, and compile everything back into a working state. Same with backgrounds, sprites, audio, movies, etc. I also have a system in place for inserting TL notes, and have worked through all foreseeable issues related to trying to make sense of the CatSystem2 user manual (all in Japanese) and make the game display the things I want.
 
The last 10% here is basically just a bit of cleanup and busywork, and then figuring out what to do with the movies.


 
Menus/Config: 80/100%


Almost all of the in-game menu and configuration images have been altered to English.
 
The BGM List screen in the Bonus section still has not been translated. That's because a vast majority of the song names are already in English in the first place, and I'd have to redo all of the song buttons in order to get the very few Japanese-titled songs to display in English. I might be content to just leave those song names in JP.
 
System-level dialogues and configuration screens are mostly untranslated. I only did a couple as a proof of concept of my ability to do so. For these, I can probably just copy what's been altered in the patched Grisaia no Kajitsu .exe, since they run on the exact same game engine (and are, therefore, nearly the exact same .exe). Original translations for these strings would not only be very time-consuming, but also fundamentally pointless.


 
Scenario: 40/100%


Episode 1 - Idol and Magical and Girl: 100/100%

Script: 90/90%
 
TL note images: 5/5%
 
Next-episode preview: 5/5%


 
Episode 2 - A Strange Exchange and a Magical Change: 94/100%


Script: 90/90%
 
TL note images: 0/2%
 
Pre-episode summary: 4/4%
 
Next-episode preview: 0/4%


 
Episode 3 - The Other Magical Girl: 90/100%


Script: 90/90%
 
In-scenario images: 0/2%
 
TL note images: 0/2%
 
Pre-episode summary: 0/3%
 
Next-episode preview: 0/3%


 
Episode 4: 0/100%
 
Episode 5: 0/100%
 
Episode 6: 0/100%
 
Episode 7: 0/100% 

Movies: ?/?%


I'm actually not yet sure what will be happening with the movies. The OP and ED song movies could use subtitling, and maybe even karaoke styling and effects. However, I don't know how far I can (or am willing) to push the game engine in terms of rendering subtitles on top of the movies, and I don't have a solid strategy for distributing the movies if I subtitled them in Aegisub. Also, translating songs by ear (there are no JP lyrics published for them, as far as I know of) is quite difficult. The OP/ED might end up with full karaoke and effects, they might end up with simple static subtitles, or they might end up with no translation at all.



Mastering/Second QC/TLC: 0/100%
 
Schedule:
 
As mentioned before, my translation speed is very slow. Each episode takes me about 20-25 hours (translating, reviewing, proofreading, editing, head-scratching). Summaries, previews, and OP/ED subtitles will take even longer (relatively, per word), since translating by ear is much harder than translating copy-able text.
 
As a rough guideline, I'm trying to finish the script of one episode per week, and hopefully additional TL tasks, cleanup, QC, mastering, etc. will take no longer than 2 weeks after that.
 
In all, I'm hoping to finish the whole project and have a patch out by this Thanksgiving, November 27th.

Translation Philosophy:
 


This VN is 100% a comedy, so my main priority while translating it is to make the English script funny. That means occasionally reworking or rewriting some jokes, and keeping everything in a very colloquial and casual tone. However, I'm not afraid of using translation notes to assist a joke that won't survive the transition to English; I'm not about writing new humor to replace what the original authors intended, just trying to find the most natural and immersive way for an English reader to understand the original text.
 
With regards to translation notes in general, I'm pretty free with them. TL notes work poorly in fansubbed anime, where they break up the flow and pacing of the viewing experience, but that problem does not exist in the VN medium (unless you play on Auto, I guess). I am trying to avoid notes that are basically "Hey, that was a joke right there! Get it!? Huh!?". Jokes and references that are fairly obscure or subtle may be left in without explanation, as long as you wouldn't need to have specific knowledge of Japanese culture or current events to understand them.

 

In addition to that, the narrated parts of the VN can get a bit snarky, or lean on the fourth wall, from time to time; so I'm taking the opportunity to make the TL notes a bit snarky as well, from time to time.

Honorifics are left in.
 
Idiosyncratic animal speech is translated when necessary for the humor (Nyanmel), but left out when it would be nothing but annoying and confusing (Thanatos).
 
Screams, grunts, and other non-word sounds (there are a lot) are mostly just romanized without much transliteration. If I can translate them in a way that adds meaning without sounding unnatural, I'll try, but that is not especially common.
 
Giongo (sound effect words) are translated with asterisks surrounding them (.e.g, "*Boop*"). This is done even when the characters speak them aloud (basically adding sound effects to their own actions), even though you'd never do that in English, because I think it still kind of flows in a slightly-surreal way.
 
In general, I'm trying to match the flow and tone of the voice acted lines as closely as possible in the English script. This means choosing English grammar forms that match the chronological progression of the Japanese lines (put antecedents and dependent clauses in the same relative places, etc.), maintaining pauses and word repetitions, playing fast and loose with formal punctuation rules, and other such considerations. Within reason. Having English lines that actually sound reasonable in English is a higher priority, and sometimes Japanese grammar structure will simply not transition to English.
 
The title of the game will remain untranslated. (It means "Idol Magical Girl Chiru Chiru☆Michiru", in case you didn't know). When Michiru uses this phrase as a full incantation, it also remains untranslated. The words 魔法少女 are consistently translated to "Magical Girl" in other contexts, though.


 
Recruitment:
 
I don't need anyone else in order to get this project finished, but it would definitely benefit from having a good editor or translation checker, or... a Japanese humorous reference checker? My biggest concern is that sometimes there may be subtle jokes in the script that are flying over my head. In any case, I will definitely at least find someone other than myself to give the script a sanity check before I release it.

Preview Screenshots:

Translated menus & config screens, and some example scenario lines.

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This is great news! I have a question, I know that this is just a nonsensical non-cannon spinoff, but even still, are there any spoilers for Meikyuu and Rakuen? Like, any jokes or references to content from those games?

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Hats off to you! 

Fantastic job. Absolutely spiffing! Astonishingly marvelous! Tremendously fabulous! Remarkably outstanding! Phenomenal work! Superbly done! Incredibly sensational! Wondrous, terrific, admirable, amazing, excellent efforts!

 

Hmm... Have I stolen most of the future comments on this thread? No matter, anything to do with Grisaia deserves it. 

 

Now that I'm done with showering you with undeserved praise, I'm looking forward to this. Thank you for your efforts.

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Seeing as Sekai Project's upcoming Grisaia Kickstarter may have this game's translation as a stretch goal, if it's achieved would you contact them and offer your services?

 

http://prefundia.com/projects/view/lets-bring-the-grisaia-trilogy-to-the-west/2814/

That looks quite interesting. I'm not sure I fully grasp the intricacies (why so much money is required to basically "officialize" a product that already exists, mostly), but if I'm understanding the overview correctly, working with that project would essentially cause my translated version - after, perhaps, some re-editing and other changes to meet the desires of the project managers - to become the "official" version (assuming my script is up to snuff, the stretch goal is decided on, and the stretch goal is funded)?

 

Well, the answer to your question would be "yes", I suppose. Do you know how I can contact them? Edit: I found a line on their website.

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Assuming they decide they want to work with you, you can make your version the official one. And if they don't, you will probably receive a cease and desist since they seemingly plan on releasing it on their own. Although keep in mind they've officially released fan translated works before so this wouldn't be foreign territory for them. Also keep in mind that they will likely want to release GnK before Chiruchiru which will take quite a while.

 

I dunno, this kind of throws a wrench into everything, I'm not sure it will be possible anymore for you to release a free translation patch no matter what. I'd suggest getting in contact with them first because they're going to find this eventually.

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I dunno, this kind of throws a wrench into everything, I'm not sure it will be possible anymore for you to release a free translation patch no matter what. I'd suggest getting in contact with them first because they're going to find this eventually.

 

I know, right? The weirdest thing to me is; what if they decide on CCM as a stretch goal, and then it doesn't get funded? Am I supposed to never release a translation, just because if I did it would retroactively make their stretch goal dependency a false premise? If I do end up working with them, and it doesn't get funded, do they just bury my translation forever? If I don't end up working with them, and it doesn't get funded, would they still aggressively defend their license to it despite having no intention of actually using that license? The interactions of all the possibilities are vexing me.

 

Anyway, I already sent an email to Sekai Project through their website, so we'll just have to see what happens next. And, no matter what happens, I will be finishing this translation, even if its illegal for anyone but myself to read it in the end.

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I know, right? The weirdest thing to me is; what if they decide on CCM as a stretch goal, and then it doesn't get funded? Am I supposed to never release a translation, just because if I did it would retroactively make their stretch goal dependency a false premise? If I do end up working with them, and it doesn't get funded, do they just bury my translation forever? If I don't end up working with them, and it doesn't get funded, would they still aggressively defend their license to it despite having no intention of actually using that license? The interactions of all the possibilities are vexing me.

 

Anyway, I already sent an email to Sekai Project through their website, so we'll just have to see what happens next. And, no matter what happens, I will be finishing this translation, even if its illegal for anyone but myself to read it in the end.

I think the best option would be: simply finish your translation and wait for the Kickstarter.Besides,they only said they WANT to,but they are still negotiating with Frontwing if they can include Magical Girl Michiru or not in their strecth goals.If they can't,simply release your patch as you normally would,and if they accept and the goal is reached,you should go and join Sekai Project to bring it in an official format.

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I'm in contact with Sekai Project, and have signed an NDA with them. That does not mean I've necessarily joined the project, but it does mean I probably will not be allowed to provide much more information about this situation from here on out.

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