Revisiting the Tokyopop Manga

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Mar 8, 2012
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#1
My first exposure to the manga was with Tokyopop's English translation back in 1999. I have so many fond memories of visits to Borders to get my hands on every volume, of reading them with my friends at school (and then re-reading and re-re-reading them) and trying to piece things together because I never did read them in order. I guess that's where my obsession with over-analyzing the manga started :lol:.

The Tokyopop translation holds a lot of nostalgia for me, so I thought, since it's the franchise's 25th North American anniversary and all, and since I haven't actually re-read that translation since I was in high school, now might be a good time to revisit it and do a thread sharing my thoughts along the way. (Feel free to read along too! You can find scans over on the MissDream site.) My goal is to read and comment on at least two chapters a week.

(General remarks: It goes without saying that the Tokyopop release flipped artwork, had kind of poor print quality, had pretty terrible typesetting, had tons of typos, and overall was a translation of dubious accuracy. Anyone familiar with the TP release already knows this. I won't be commenting on these things unless they are especially egregious.)

Without further ado, let the fun begin!

VOLUME 1

Does anyone know the reason why Tokyopop didn't use the original cover art? All other translations of the tankoban used it as far as I know, so why didn't Tokyopop? Even though this is the title page illustration for Act 4, I actually do prefer it to the original tankoban cover; it's so much more colorful and vibrant.


Why is there a chibi Sailor Chibi Moon on the table of contents page?

ACT 1. BUNNY A.K.A. SAILOR MOON


Does anyone know why the tankoban used a different title page illustration (and placed it before the first page of the chapter rather than after it) than every other release?


Drinking game: Take a shot every time the Tokyopop translation inserts a self-reference.
"The Mixx Revolution begins!" :booze:


I thinking making her "Serena" her real name and "Bunny" her nickname was a really smart compromise/adaptation choice that maintains familiarity for those who know Sailor Moon from the dub, but also explains all the rabbit imagery. (I also think it just generally makes more sense since Kenji and Ikuko don't strike me as the type of people who'd give their daughter an outre name like "Rabbit.") However, Tokyopop immediately ignores this detail. Case in point...


Miss Haruna would never call Serena "Bunny" (teachers don't typically refer to students by their nicknames, at least not in my experience), and especially not when she's scolding her! "SERENA TSUKINO!" would have been much more appropriate and effective here. (Also, the balloon order should be reversed, with Serena's name being said first.)


An example of dialog completely invented by Tokyopop. Even though it's not what she says in the original, I like this dialog a lot more.


WHO THE HELL IS PATRICIA OLSEN?????? Is this some kind of in-joke?????


Out-of-place American pop culture reference #1


Out-of-place American pop culture reference #2. (Is it wrong that I want to see a Sailor Moon x Arnold Schwarzenegger collaboration?)

(To be continued...)
 

GuerreroLuna

Luna Crescens
Jun 1, 2014
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#2
Oh Bunny. That is her name in the European Spanish dub but no kid would ever make that rabbit connection so I don't know why they called her like that.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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(The rest of Act 1...)



"Cow-Tails"? "COW-TAILS"??!?! WTF!?!? WHYYYYYY? Why not go with, oh, I don't know, MEATBALL HEAD? I wonder if the translator was completely unfamiliar with the dub and actually turned in a faithful translation that was then just incompetently adapted/localized by an editor who only had the bare minimum knowledge of the dub.



"Imperium Silver Crystal" would have been the better word order choice. Oh well.



Making the o's flowers was a really cute touch.



This is cool and all (assuming it's a legit interview), but they should have put this at the end of the book and just translated whatever Naoko actually wrote in this margin. sigh.



Big "Princess Beryl" energy here. She literally says "princess" (or "purinsesu") in the Japanese text, so how that got mistranslated as "queen" is baffling. (Though, given how limited Luna's past life memories are, it does raise the question: why WERE they only searching for the princess and not the queen as well?)



"The omnipotent" instead of "great ruler" is an interesting choice. Not sure if I like it or hate it.



I may be in the minority here, but I prefer "Moon Frisbee" to "Moon Tiara Boomerang." That said, why didn't they go with "Moon Tiara Magic"?



I really like Bunny's line here and think it's a solid adaptation of Usagi's Lupin comment in the original.



Not sure if it makes more or less sense for Molly to call Sailor Moon "Sailor V's partner" rather than just some "sailor-suited soldier."

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 ugly font choices
 
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Mar 8, 2012
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That's not how trademark works. At all. Like, at all. Fans really need to stop with this "Moon Frisbee was changed because of trademark infringement" myth because it's patently untrue.
 
May 31, 2009
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Tankei Kingdom, Kinmoku
#11
That's not how trademark works. At all. Like, at all.
Mentioning the name Frisbee in a book or movie does not constitute copyright infringement as it falls under fair use, but manufacturing and distributing merchandise with the name Frisbee does.

Let's not forget, the copyright holders of Frisbee threatened to sue the production studio of The Secret of NIMH for using the homophone Frisby in the movie and in tie-in merch, resulting in the change of the protagonist's name to Brisby. It's not a stretch to assume they did the same with Sailor Moon.
 
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Wham-O holds the trademark (not copyright, you can't copyright a brand name) on "Frisbee." That means they own the exclusive right to produce flying disc toys using the "Frisbee" name. To claim trademark, you have to demonstrate that you use the name for your products (so you can't just trademark something before you have any products to market under that name), that the public associates that name with your products, and you also have to defend your ownership over the trademark, otherwise it will lapse. To demonstrate trademark infringement, you have to prove that someone/a company used your trademark (or a highly similar name/logo) to market a similar or identical product in such a way as to create market confusion.

A character named "Frisby" is not going to result in market confusion with "Frisbee" branded flying disc toys, so there was no trademark infringement in that case. (In fact, there's even a restaurant chain named "Frisby.")

While Sailor Moon's attack uses a flying disc that superficially resembles a frisbee, her use of the phrase "Moon Frisbee" is not infringing on the Frisbee trademark because it's a phrase in a book, not a product for sale, and thus does not present market confusion. Now, if Bandai tried to sell a "Moon Frisbee" toy, that would be trademark infringement. If a clothing company tried to make "Moon Frisbee" T-shirts, that could potentially be trademark infringement, depending on the scope of products Wham-O claims trademark over re: "Frisbee."

(This is per American trademark law; Japanese trademark law may be different.)
 
May 31, 2009
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Tankei Kingdom, Kinmoku
#14
A character named "Frisby" is not going to result in market confusion with "Frisbee" banded flying disc toys, so there was no trademark infringement in that case.
Yet the studio caved. The fear of litigation alone and the cost and hassle of a legal battle is enough to persuade people. We may not know this for a fact, but it's a reasonable assumption that Moon Frisbee was changed out of legal fears, especially since there's a precedent with Wham-O and The Secret of NIMH.
 

foenyanko

Aurorae Lunares
Sep 21, 2010
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#15
Wow, there's no need to be rude. I didn't say anything about them changing it because of the name. I've never even read a Mixx manga with this translation of her attack before, and was unaware of any prior fuss over it, so excuuuuse me. :|

That's not how trademark works. At all. Like, at all. Fans really need to stop with this "Moon Frisbee was changed because of trademark infringement" myth because it's patently untrue.
I wonder whether the manga technically changed it first or if PGSM using that phrase was why. I know they released the manga again around the same time, so I guess they decided on new attack names for both to keep it coherent.
 
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Jul 29, 2012
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#16
I wonder how Tokyopop got away with flipping the pages and releasing the “Sailor Moon” manga the way it did. :?

Naoko Takeuchi is known for having strict rules about how her manga is supposed to be released and read. She deeply treasures her work and will not let any company release it if her guidelines are not met.

In Brazil, there were many publishers wanting to publish her manga for quite some time. The publication didn’t happen until 2014 and the publisher printed the pages of the manga in some kind of satin/gloss coated paper —allegedly— to facilitate the negotiations and win Naoko’s heart. ::love::
 
Likes: Starlight
Mar 8, 2012
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#17
The fact the Mixx Manga was able to use Moon Frisbee should be evidence there was no issues with copyright.

Pretty sure Moon Tiara Boomerang in the reprints was too match up with the then current 2003 series.
The '90s anime is more recognizable than the manga, that's a simple fact. The '90s anime and its derivative works used "Moon Tiara Action," so that phrase became better known than "Moon Frisbee." In the interest of perhaps better aligning that attack with Sailor V's similar "Crescent Boomerang," and in the interest of using a word not associated with a commercial enterprise (and, thus, that would not risk becoming dated), I think Naoko opted to change "Moon Frisbee" to "Moon Tiara Boomerang." I doubt Wham-O is even aware of "Moon Frisbee," let alone that Naoko et al would be intimidated by any attempts at a frivolous lawsuit on their part. Hollywood has always been excessively cautious when it comes to anything that might even remotely resemble trademark infringement, which I chalk up to both their clear lack of understanding of trademark law, and to how frequently they engage in blatant copyright infringement (guilty consciences, etc).
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#18
I wonder how Tokyopop got away with flipping the pages and releasing the “Sailor Moon” manga the way it did. :?

Naoko Takeuchi is known for having strict rules about how her manga is supposed to be released and read. She deeply treasures her work and will not let any company release it if her guidelines are not met.

In Brazil, there were many publishers wanting to publish her manga for quite some time. The publication didn’t happen until 2014 and the publisher printed the pages of the manga in some kind of satin/gloss coated paper —allegedly— to facilitate the negotiations and win Naoko’s heart. ::love::
All of the manga translations released in the nineties flipped the artwork (except the Chinese translation). I guess that was just more of an acceptable, standard practice back then?

Wow, there's no need to be rude. I didn't say anything about them changing it because of the name. I've never even read a Mixx manga with this translation of her attack before, and was unaware of any prior fuss over it, so excuuuuse me. :|
Sorry my comment came off as rude. I didn't mean to attack you specifically or anything, it's just that's a very common misconception and I'm frankly tired of hearing it. :cookie:
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#19
ACT 2. AMY A.K.A. SAILOR MERCURY



"Pringles" just works a lot better than "royal chocolate" or "princess cake" as a way of adapting the "purinsesu...purin" pun of the original.



Before this, Sailor Moon has been described as a "champion of justice" or more broadly as a "warrior." This is the first mention of the term "Sailor Scout," so it feels a bit out of nowhere.



The Miss Rain reference in the original obviously wouldn't have worked, but is Demi Moore really the best alternative? (Though I now want Demi Moore to voice Sailor Mercury in something.)



This makes it sound like Amy lives with both her parents, which is obviously wrong and misleading.



A missed opportunity to reiterate that her real name is Serena. "Hi. My name's Serena, but all my friends call me Bunny."



I hate that these margin messages were removed for the re-releases of the manga. I wonder how much of this is accurate and how much was made up by Tokyopop :booze:



Kuri has been renamed "Karrie." I wonder how long that'll last...



It's kind of impressive that they took the trouble to try and unflip the background collage.



I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it



Why not "Disguise Power!" for dub consistency?



Is this where Viz got "You're punished!" from? :sick:

Overall rating: 3.5 floppy disks out of 5
 

NJ_

Nebula
Oct 31, 2009
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#20
I wonder how Tokyopop got away with flipping the pages and releasing the “Sailor Moon” manga the way it did. :?
This was standard practice back then with all companies until the 2000s.