Tsubasa, XXXHOLiC translator to translate Mangettes

skyless has sources that tell her that the english translator of the north american version of Tsubasa and XXXHOLiC, William Flanagan, is in negotiations to repeat the translator role for the english version of Mangettes, CLAMP’s next manga to be published by Dark Horse.

I haven’t checked the Del Rey version of Tsubasa or XXXHOLiC so I can’t really judge their translation, but if you have read it, feel free to let me know whether you like it or not =)

Thank you Georgia for the inside scoop!

Mangettes is slated for the first week of August, 2009.

EDITED on September 21, 2008: Confirmed by Dark Horse in this year’s Anime Weekend Atlanta, via gia, that William Flanagan will indeed translate the english version of Mangettes (although in her post she calls him Bill Flanagan).


28 thoughts on “Tsubasa, XXXHOLiC translator to translate Mangettes

  1. The translator for Tsubasa for Del Rey is William Flanagan, and he’s considered one of the absolute best in the business. He was a bigshot (ie. Director of Editorial) at Viz during the early years, so I’m not at all surprised that Dark Horse also wants him to work on their title.


    • Thank you tricianna! I made a quick search but couldn’t find his name. These kind of stuff isn’t really easy to find unless you have the printed version in your hands ^^

      One of the best? Wow! It must be in good hands, then ^^


  2. I’ve read less of the official translation of Tsubasa than I have of HOLiC, but I just keep remembering this post whenever someone brings the subject up. I don’t really agree with a lot of HOLiC’s official translations, but they could definitely be a lot worse, so I’m not complaining.


    • Humm, the Brazilian edition of this exact same volume has just been released, and indeed, it has the same meaning of the “fan” translation, and thus, different than Del Rey’s (that is, Doumeki ALLOWING Watanuki to enter his bedroom).

      Maybe it was just a mistake?


  3. As a (non-professional) translator and reader of both editions, as well as a manga researcher, I have to say I can’t think of a better Japanese-to-English translation of any manga than Del Rey’s xxxHOLiC and T:RC. There are other translators out there who are equally good, but I can’t think of any who are unequivocally better than Flanagan. A lot of readers had problems with some of Del Rey’s production decisions, but the translation itself is stellar, especially when one considers the exhaustive notes at the end of each volume. No translation is ever going to be perfect, which is part of what drove me to reading the Japanese and away from the English (and that’s the same reason I’ll be buying the mangettes in Japanese), but Flanagan comes as close as he can, I think.


  4. I love that translator πŸ™‚ He did a good job. I love how he leaves notes in the end of each tsubasa/xxholic volume and explain tons of things about japan culture that is related with the manga.
    So cool if he can be translator for CLAMP’s new manga \o/

    Bawwww, Aug 2009 is so far away 😦


  5. I followed Del Rey’s Tsubasa up to Volume 6 (Borrowed from a friend), before finding out of the world of scanlations, and I didn’t find a problem adapting from Del Rey’s translations to the fan translations; Flanagan keeps honourifics intact and more or less leaves any Japanese details alone, and explains them at the back of each volume. Some little crossover details are even pointed out. xxxHOLiC Volume 1 is in my possession, though I haven’t enough to buy the rest. I don’t mind Del Rey’s translations, personally. ^^

    Hope that helped. Much thanks for the news ChibiYuuto-nii. :3


  6. Flanagan should do a good job, we can see that he takes the time to do a lot of explaining in back notes for cultural guides in the del ray prints of Holic and Tsubasa…true he does have to reword some things and he tones down some language (when I saw a comparison of translations between scanlations and his work i realized that) but he’s not bad at it. I accept the changes mostly because now that i’m learning japanese i realize how vague their sentences are. We don’t always get a subject and there are words that are writen nearly the same way if not the same way and they mean two opposite things. I wish him luck because I want to see a good job for the english version of the series. (as i doubt i’ll have enough japanese kanji under my belt to read a manga by next year)


  7. I think the translations are spot on, but sometimes the editors mess about and ruins things a little.

    I think it works that you have someone translate the text and then the editor tends to ‘localise’ it.


  8. I don’t know if I have read both the scanlations and the official releases, but I really like Del Rey’s policy of putting cultural references and translation notes in the back of the book, sometimes that even helps to clarify some stuff that wasn’t explained online. And I guess this means that Mangettes is moving along ahead if they are getting translators lined up, CLAMP had better make this one a good one!


  9. Fuck no… that’s terrible. He’s a horrible translator. He’s the one that fucked up the translation of that scene in volume 1 of Tsubasa between Fai and Chi and it was never corrected in later volumes. No life to his work, it always reads so wooden. Not to mention I counted 4 mistakes in the latest Mushishi. Granted, some of this may be shoddy editing, but I can’t really forgive that tremendous fuck up.

    Can’t we have Tim Rogers or the Excel Saga team or… somebody else?


  10. Well, ignoring that one mistake in volume one, Del Rey’s translations have been really good in my opinion.

    I always read ahead with the scans, but I like to buy the english versions anyway, sometimes they phrase things a little differently, but it always works well.

    Not to mention, the translations notes in the back are really good – especially in Holic, it’s great to know exactly what kind of food Watanuki is making πŸ˜€

    So this is a good thiiiiiing :3


  11. I’ve only read xxxholic from Del Rey, and I think he does an excellent job at keeping things close to the original. He puts very good notes in the back on Japanese customs and traditions to make the reader better understand what’s going on rather than “westernizing” it. I think he’s very dedicated and does a good job at keeping it close to the original.


  12. i wonder how many of the people here saying his translations are ‘good’ actually know enough japanese to judge. i used to live in japan & went to school there, plus i worked a short gig at a professional translation company last year, and now i’m doing my last year at uni taking a j>e translation class where i translate entire novels. so you could say i have a fairly deep working knowledge of the language… and when i flipped through a chapter of xxxholic at the local bookstore, i was disgusted with his translation. i cannot figure out for the life of me how this guy is the best in the business, or why he’s even being paid at all. his translations are sloppy and sound like those of an intermediate level student attempting something way beyond their level (too much like the original and not like proper english, or completely off the mark). i’m sure he’s been in the business way longer than i have, but i don’t doubt for a minute i could do a better job than him. check rusalkaz’s note, because for such a simple, intuitive sentence to be mistranslated like that is nothing short of poor skill. that’s my take on it.


    • Well, I don’t know japanese enough to judge either, and I have never even read his english translations. So I definitely can’t judge his work.

      However, I appreciate your (somehow worrisome) comment ^__^


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