For the illustrations, I’ll provide some more excerpts from the novel–hopefully enough to provide enough visuals to work with. Just a reminder, illustrations should be as detailed and dynamic as possible. Even if you don’t think you have what it takes to make a professional-looking drawing, fanart will be happily accepted for the blog, so don’t let that hold you back!
I hate to screw up the order of the chapters, but I’m going to go back to chapter one and start over for the illustration excerpts. So I’m sorry if it gets confusing when I post illustration excerpts mixed in with excerpts from my current progress. This blog is kind of a draft board, anyway, heh.
The first illustration excerpt is going to be a portion of the novel that I originally intended to keep secret, because I’m still preserving a bag o’ spoilers. I don’t want ALL of the novel ruined before anyone has a chance to read it!
I changed my mind with this part because I thought it would be a fun image to include in the book. I also want to make sure that the images are exclusive to the novel, and not just something that looks straight out of the SNES game.
Liar: What do you think about chapter one? I’m sure in the course of attempting to translate it you’ve read it more than any other chapter in the book.
Chewy: Haha, that’s quite true. I actually had mixed feelings even by the time I finished chapter one. She seems to have a really strange writing style. I don’t exactly have a big collection of Japanese novels that I’ve read before, but this is the first time I’ve seen an entire book narrated in “masu” (polite) form.
Liar: What’s that mean for the Japanese-impaired? Or the actual English of the translation, I guess. Is she really apologetic about writing the whole thing, or just for intruding on the narration, or what?
Chewy: Well the norm for writing is what is usually referred to as the “plain form”, which is also the style people use when speaking casually. The fact that she’s using the polite form brings in this weird feeling of a first-person narrator more than just a story written in third person. The “narrator” is never given an identity or anything and doesn’t exist in the story, but there are still times in the book where she breaks that wall and interjects into the narrative itself. It’s kind of colloquially told.
Liar: The big reveal in chapter one—I don’t think this is much of a stretch—is probably that Ness’s dad is the owner-operator of a fast food chain that’s in hock to the Minches, and that his mom is an ex-supermodel (apparently all Western women are models or ex-models?) What did you think about all that?
Chewy: I thought it was pretty funny at first, but I’m around chapter three right now and, well, spoiler alert, all these Western women are apparently model-tier.
Liar: Wow. I’m not sure I’m ready for Hot Paula’s Mom.
Chewy: Well, to balance her out, apparently her dad looks like Abraham Lincoln? But I’m just getting ahead of myself here.
Liar: That makes Paula the Ultimate American Stereotype Chimera. One-half Abraham Lincoln, one-half blonde-haired, blue-eyed supermodel vapidness.
It was a summer night around midnight. A young boy tossed and turned restlessly on his tousled, sweaty bed sheets. It was an unbearable, sleepless night. He turned to the right, but the muggy air still lingered; he rolled to the left but still couldn’t settle down. Caught somewhere in a weary halfway state, neither awake nor fast asleep, his heavy eyelids slowly drifted half-open to stare in a trance toward the open window.
Then. Despite the breezeless night, the curtains gently fluttered open. A speck of light appeared in the night sky for a moment, but it quickly seemed to grow larger and larger. From the pinpoint of a needle, to a grain of rice, to a bean, to a ping-pong ball, the rapidly swelling glow pulled a brilliant flare behind it, heading straight here! Tearing toward home plate was a flaming fastball!
So opens the MOTHER 2 novel—and, not coincidentally, the first set of excerpts on the MOTHER 2 Novel Translation Blog. Chapter one is 8,600 words long in English, and takes us from that baseball dream through Buzz Buzz’s death to Ness leaving his supportive family and setting off for capital-a Adventure.
The main point of departure for Chapter one, in fact, is… Ness’s family. The game doesn’t tell you a lot about Ness’s family. His mom watches steamy soap operas, his dad doesn’t believe in working too hard but is apparently fabulously rich, and Tracy is younger than 13 but also answers the phones at multinational conglomerate Escargo Express. After the jump, more excerpts.