As I am posting parts of Final Finale I am starting to realise that I should probably put in some “Translator’s notes.”
Sure, it’s probably a hang-over from my fansubbing days, but it is a good way to keep people abreast of the cultural differences in the text that you are writing.
For Final Finale, just like KS, I am applying the Japanese scholastic year. That means that the year runs from April to March. The big holidays are 2-3 months towards the end of summer.
As many of you who are anime freaks will already know, March/April is prime Sakura (cherry blossom) season, and that’s why so many graduation scenes are covered in the light-pink blossoms.
Two things that I found unique about Japanese universities (when compared to my own undergraduate days) is that most students simply coast through their studies, receiving passing grades so long as they do “some” work, and the way that they find employment.
A third year student spends more time job-hunting than they do studying (give or take a little for dramatic licence). They then spend the holidays of their fourth year working as an intern at their new company. On April the 1st, the entire graduating class will start with their new company.
Sure, the “one job for life” attitude has weakened quite a lot in Japan in the modern era, but some traditions still stay firm. I have friends that are working for new and innovative companies that still started on April the 1st, and were basically treated like a coffee bitch for a year until they got their own “Juniors.”
Lastly, if you’ve ever ridden on a Japanese train at peak hour, you will note two things:
1) It’s not actually as crowded as a Sydney peak hour train and
2) It is deathly quiet. There is a subtle allusion to this (and to Hisao’s propensity to shuffle off the mortal coil at any minute) in Part 2.
Oh yeah, Part 2 is up. So are some other, older writings.