ο · On the Shuttle to Jarth
Ladios Sopp finds himself on the same airport shuttle to Colus capital Jarth that Voards Viewlard is taking! What follows makes absolute sense if you’re a fan of FSS. And yet, this is another point where the English translation loses something of the original. Let me be more explicit: the Japanese is somewhat steamier than the English. Let’s go through it –ehem– blow by blow, shall we?
Viewlard is a smart man and he knows that Ladios is elusive. As soon as he sees Ladios on the shuttle he sheds a single tear of delight and then jumps him and quite literally tries to “possess” him in the midst of all the passengers on the shuttle. This is not excessive behavior at all. Remember, back in Bastogne Voards saw Sopp in the shower. In Homeric terms, this is akin to hearing the Sirens sing: you must jump straight into that! You just must!
Now, the conductor comes along and tells them to knock it off. Sopp has two asides here [BTW, Sopp has delightful asides constantly, it’s downright Shakespearean!!]. The first one is translated as “Oh, I don’t care. Do what you want.” That’s a close translation, although it’s placed a bit far to the right of where it should be. The proper panel has Sopp blushing and closing his eyes. !!!
Now, after Voards has apologized to the conductor Sopp has another aside, which was translated as: “Jeez, you didn’t have to rape me, you big oaf!” This is obviously a joke/exaggeration, as it’s clear no such activity has taken place.
The Japanese is somewhat difference, as it has Ladios saying: ” See, you’re always forcing things” or “You’re so high-handed”. I think these words allow for at least the possibility that Ladios is insinuating that it is not Voards’ intentions but his way of going about them that distresses the famous meister. I’m not saying the official English translation closes that possibility altogether but the original Japanese is more open to it IMO.
Also, look back at the panel with Sopp’s fully extended leg. That is not the leg of someone who is angrily resisting an attack… Either Nagano doesn’t know his stuff or…well, what am I saying?? Nagano knows his stuff, period.
After this, Voards remembers that he’s traveling with two companions (!) and introduces them to Ladios. One of them is Judge Luviel Lays of the SPI. The SPI are the elite MH knights of the Trün Federation. As such, Lays is probably Mission Routh’s right-hand man in matters of force. But as Routh is travelling as Voards their “story” must be that Voards Viewlard is assisting Lays. The second companion is “Mequra”, Voards’ silly new identity for his Fatima Magaella. “Mequra” can tell right off that Sopp isn’t buying it as she says aside: “He knows”. The English version has “She knows” but that’s probably a typo. The Japanese doesn’t track gender here so…
Ladios’ method for confirming that Mequra = Magaella is brilliant in so many ways that the best I can do is describe it. He lifts Mequra’s skirt and takes a peek. This provokes Voards into telling Sopp to take his hands of his Magaella. Voilà, mystery solved, and we get a glimpse of the Fatima’s underwear which is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity, right? Interestingly, Magaella is being a very bad Fatima with those bikini undies. Standard Fatima underwear is full-bodied for protection. [‘m not kidding, Nagano is great to his fans for giving us all of this knowledge].
What does Viewlard do then? He jumps Ladios again screaming: “I’m gonna get you for that, punk!” This is a nice translation, but the literal words go something like this: “So you want to me to attack/jump you that bad, huh?” At a basic level, Voards is using Sopp’s skirtlifting as an excuse, and the English version “gonna get you” brings that out clearly. But the Japanese has a bit more in it: Voards is accusing Sopp of trying to provoke him into action. This might be an excuse still, or it might be that Voards does feel as if Sopp is attracted to him and playing hard to get. Sopp’s giggling at this point would certainly be circumstantial evidence to that effect.
The word “delicious” does come to mind. Not least of all because these are arguably the two most powerful men in the Eastern Solar System; this system has two inhabited planets, Delta Belun and Addler. Delta Belun’s pointman is Emperor Amaterasu of Grees [=Sopp] and Addler’s bigshot is Mission Routh [=Voards], the President of Trün.
Amazingly, in this post I’ve only managed to cover the first 3 pages of actual story in this volume. But I think the events depicted deserve this much attention 😀
NOTE ON THE ART:
A very quick note here. Notice that just in the caps I’ve uploaded here there are 4 distinct shots of the backs of character’s heads (two of Ladios, two of Voards). I don’t think this is a very common shot in manga, and I’m impressed at how nicely Nagano makes it look…
[covered VOLUME 6: from the beginning of the volume to page 14.]