Luchino Ch 9 pt 1

Bit off more than I could chew with this chapter of Luchino’s route and ended up translating way more than I could update.  Hope you enjoy!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charlie
    Sep 28, 2018 @ 13:22:51

    Not sure if you have time to respond to readers’ comments anymore, but I’ve been an on-and-off follower of your blog through the years. Recently, I was delightfully surprised to see you still dedicated as ever to translating all of LD1; and, I respect the self-discipline you show towards this endeavor.
    No matter how busy real life gets, you still somehow make time for this project. I don’t have any particular creative projects of my own, so it fascinates me whenever I do see people displaying such dedication and passion.

    Anyhow…..I just spent the past few days (and *cough* nights) re-reading all of the chapters currently available. You know, it’s just…AMAZES me how close you are to finish line, now that Luchino’s Route is out. Truth be told, Luchino is definitely one of the character routes I stayed most curious about…so, THANK YOU for sticking to it for this long! ❤ *Bows to you*

    Compared to other translation I've stumbled across, I appreciate the meticulousness and sensitivity you display when trying to find the right words/slang that suit the story's era/cultural setting. Likewise, I also appreciate your ability to preserve–and yet distinguish–the uniqueness of each character's voice that comes through their favored swear words (lol), verbal tics, level of formality, overall tone/personality, and etc.
    While I know that distinctive character dialogue comes partly from LD1's original script writers, your translation is exemplary for how well it makes this clear to non-Japanese audiences.

    All in all, thank you for everything you've done so far! ❤ ❤ ❤

    ____

    P.S: I haven't gotten to play/upload the actual game yet, so I–UNFORTUNATELY–have yet to experience the voice acting of the characters. This being said,
    you know how Japanese carries different connotations and variations to the personal pronouns of "I" and "you"?

    When translating, have you noticed if any of main LD1 characters display such tics in their personal pronoun-use?

    Like, I can totally see the rambunctious, prideful Ivan using "ore" for himself and using rougher forms of "you" (e.g. temae, kisama, etc.) towards his elders and Gian. As for Giulio, given his formal background and deferential attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if he used "boku" whenever he's talking to Gian. Can't pin down what type of "I" Bernardo, Gian, and Luchino would use, though (any insight is welcomed! <3).

    Just thinking about all this makes me smile, since it adds another layer to their personality and how they see themselves in relation to others.
    But anyway, it's cool if you can't recall any of their speaking quirks from the top of your head. I was just curious~! 🙂

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    • terracannon876
      Sep 28, 2018 @ 13:55:20

      Hello! I do keep up with comments, so I hope this response doesn’t come as too much of a surprise xD

      Thanks for the amazing comment! I wouldn’t give myself that much credit because of just how many hiatsuses I’ve taken (or, just from looking at how freaking long this project has been going on, lol), but I’m glad mostly that people are still interested in keeping up with the translations that do come out 🙂

      As for your question, to be honest, just from memory (since I don’t have the scripts in front of me), the verbal tics from the characters aren’t really in their personal pronoun use. I believe everyone uses “ore,” which had thrown me off years ago when I’d first started LD1 because I hadn’t expected Giulio or even Bernardo to use that, but now that I’ve gotten more experience with Japanese, this is pretty normal for people in their stations (they ARE in the Mafia, after all). In fact, I’d say that LD1 is strangely realistic in these small details. Everyone uses at least “omae,” though Giulio exclusively uses “kisama” for Ivan, which I find hilarious. (He uses exclusively “Gian-san” for Gian, so he avoids the “you” part all together.)

      Sorry if that doesn’t really give you much insight ^^; Their verbal tics mostly show up elsewhere. I can’t really explain how it shows up in their voices – I tried to translate that tone as much as possible. It also shows up in just the way they speak their sentences and their vocabulary, even in Japanese. For example, Luchino uses a more imperative form of speaking, usually, while still sounding casual (which always trips me up because I keep expecting him to be fancy … and then he’s not!). More commands, more crude language … more Italian slang. Giulio always uses the polite form – though he doesn’t cross into keigo – but he explicitly takes a very curt and rude tone when it comes to muttering under his breath about Ivan. Bernardo is more casual and friendly, and Ivan … well, Ivan is more “anime” in how angry he gets, lol. You can probably imagine what he sounds like if you imagine any screaming protagonist from a shounen anime. Gian is probably the one hardest to describe, since he’s much friendlier and casual, but in a … colloquial way? He interrupts his own sentences, has lots of asides, and gives me punctuation headaches because no one actually writes like the way he talks – but people sure talk the way he talks (in English). (He also occasionally speaks in memes…) Finally, his speaking habits change a bit depending on whose route he’s on (was it evident in the translation? XD )

      Hope that provides some sort of picture! And thanks again for the comment~

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  2. Charlie
    Sep 29, 2018 @ 22:37:47

    Oh my gosh, you responded so fast – thank you! XD

    I absolutely LOVE anything meta-related when it comes to storylines close to my heart. So with that being said, thank you for taking the time out of your day to write paragraphs to my original question! 🙂 Reading your words helps me greater appreciate Tenneouji’s efforts that went into producing LD1. Aaaaaaaaaaah, such detailed design choices makes me sigh in happiness. (THANK YOU FOR SHARING SUCH INFORMATION WITH ME!!!) ❤ ❤ ❤ *Faints*

    Got to say though, it STILL throws me off that Giulio uses "ore." O_o Sure, it's the MAFIOSO we're talking about, but…just…wow. xD It's also fantastic to know that Giulio reserves a special, rude form of "you" just for Ivan. Pfffffft! I never would've known that at first glance! (Bit of a shame that English pronouns lack those sort of fun variations, eh? :P).
    My goodness, if I knew more about Japanese, it would've been so fascinating to compare how Gian's dialogue subtly changes along the four different routes. From what it sounds like, Tenneouji took great care in making sure each of the romantic leads had verbal tics that suited their personality AND their unique dynamic to Gian.
    For instance, it makes complete sense that Bernardo's dialogue would come off as more casual/friendly compared to the others, given his long-standing comfortable-bantering friendship with Gian.

    As for Luchino's imperative yet casual way of speaking, I think it suits his whole "King of the Savanna" vibe he's got going on. (Still can't get over the scene where Gian accidentally left his own prison cell after talking to him. <3) Based on your translation, Luchino's dialogue and actions absolutely radiates an aura of KNOWING he deserves only the best, as if it's his natural birthright. His self-confidence doesn't seem to stem from wealth, fancy possessions, or capo status. His confidence just feels more intrinsic to just who he is as a person. Sure, he dresses and acts fancy, but his casual way of speaking denotes that he's not afraid to get down and dirty if need be. (*Suddenly recalls the torture-interrogation scene and shudders*)

    Ah, this may seem off-topic, but did it ever seem like the LD1 characters are complimentary opposites to one another in terms of route/personality? (Makes me wonder if this was a conscious design-choice by Tennouji and if so, it's rather beautiful and clever.)

    As a duo, Bernardo's and Guilio's romantic routes could be read as different takes on the themes of "admiration" (read: obsession lol) directed at Gian. Their admiration of Gian is already inherent to their worldview, even before the events of LD1 pick up. As for Ivan's and Luchino's routes, the admiration emphasizes the opposite direction, where Gian has to learn to admire somebody that he initially finds annoying (read: nagging, lol).
    In terms of overall tone of their route, Bernardo+Guilio feel like "yin" routes while Ivan+Luchino are the "yang" routes… if that makes any sense? xD

    It's interesting to compare the characters' similarities on an individual level too. Ivan and Luchino are both confident and charismatic, but show different flavours of it. Ivan's charisma feels more raw and unfiltered; its intensity can easily offend others unused to it. His charisma comes from knowing he's always the social underdog (outcast) of any match; but, he's still in this ring, and he'll keep on swinging, damn it! xD

    As for Luchino, his charisma has a more "universal" appeal (for lack of a better word). In modern settings, he could easily be that All-American Guy: star of his football team and student council, yet congenial with everyone regardless of their clique or money status. He's reads off as assertive, but not overly aggressive, like Ivan can. Both men can be socially calculating for their rackets, but it feels like Ivan needs to exert more psychological effort to do so (lol, poor guy).

    Bernardo and Guilio also display confidence in their own ways (i.e. Bernardo's confidence tying into his ability to plan the future certainty of Gian's succession and happiness; Guilio's confidence in his childhood instinct/hunch of Gian's inherent goodness, despite Guilio's own lack of confidence in himself… d'aww).

    Granted, this analysis is only based on your translated version of LD1…but hey, your version conveys enough tonal richness that makes this type of creative (over)analysis even possible! ❤

    If you ever have any more trivia- or translation-related observations to share in future posts/articles, you can always count on me to enjoy them! OwO

    (P.S: You might find this gaming journalism article amusing, "Yakuza 3 Reviewed by Yakuza."

    https://boingboing.net/2010/08/10/yakuza-3-review.html

    I never played Yakuza 3, but you could say it's one way a video game company can verify their accuracy of portraying gangsters (lol). Its level of researched detail to actual Yakuza reminds me of the effort that Tenneouji put forth into LD1 depiction of the mafia…although, as we both know, the actual Italian mafia would probably rise a few eyebrows over some of LD1's story elements. Hehe. ;D)

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    • terracannon876
      Sep 30, 2018 @ 00:37:35

      Ah, I’ve seen that article before. I thought it was really interesting that they were so taken by the game, too. It reminded me of the way real gangsters took to the Godfather movies XD But yeah, even if LD1 represents some elements right, I’m pretty sure its single main element would raise every real gangster’s eyebrow, lol.

      No problem! I love talking and analyzing this kind of stuff, too. I just haven’t done it to LD1 in a long time (since I first started working on the translation, really), so you’ll have to suffer my rusty memory lol. Though, from what you’ve written, it seems like you’ve given these theories a lot of thought, and some I haven’t even considered (like with the confidence bit).

      The way I thought of the group’s dynamic was that each captain handled a different line of work / specialty. Bernardo was finances, Luchino was the public eye, Ivan was the slums / poor people eyes (if you get what I mean. The “real” deal from the streets, though Luchino’s field is much further reaching), and Giulio was the muscle. Gian’s role is always as the glue.

      Tangent, but … it’s not really shown in the game (you can see glimpses in Ivan’s and Bernardo’s routes), but in the manga (Lucky Dog BLAST), there’s more of an emphasis on just how the captains get along without Gian. In the game, I had the impression that everyone was kinda like … rivals, in a sense. They didn’t like each other, but they respect each other. The only evidence otherwise is what Gian describes in the narration in the beginning of the game, Luchino’s and the others’ doubts about Bernardo when he disappears in his own route, and Ivan’s insistence that the others are out to get him in his route. Let’s take that last one as an example. Because the other captains eventually slap some sense into Ivan, it makes his worries that the others aren’t on his side seem like paranoia – and it is, in part. However, the manga (I don’t know if you’ve read it, but it’s basically a retelling of the whole game, all routes, but with a slightly darker/more realistic tone. Also, no romance lol) shows how the others talk about Ivan. Even Bernardo kind of scoffs at Ivan when he mentions him to Gian. It’s little wonder why Ivan was so on the edge about the others. None of them were friends, and they would’ve been highly dysfunctional if it weren’t for Alessandro – who’d disappeared – and Gian.

      Actually, in the character section of the blog, I’d translated the little infographics that were on everyone’s profile page in the visual fanbook. It’s a bit tongue in cheek, but it does capture how the others think of each other, which isn’t something really explored in the game (since it’s focused on Gian). For example, Luchino and Bernardo aren’t really friends, but more two who respect each other who are on the same team. (It’s partially I have trouble accepting non-Gian fan pairings, lol…)

      …Sorry, that was a long tangent, lol. Back to the team composition. I tend to think of how the four routes compliment each other to form the whole, rather than how they contrast with each other, so reading your thoughts was really interesting. As a whole, each of the four characters and their routes occupies a different niche in almost everything – personality, design, romance, flaws, job, kinks, etc. My favorite part of writing like this is that somehow, they make all of these elements into a character that acts naturally and is layered (rather than just a conglomeration of these traits).

      I think what you observed about the romance is correct. B and G both initiate the interest, while with L and I, it’s Gian who initiates the interest. In that case, the writers also took care to make things similar, letting us create different themes and spot patterns between the characters, which is nice. (I do think this is all very deliberate on tennenouji’s part, lol.)

      On the topic of romance, if we go with what kind they are and how they’re different (yet similar) to each other, I think it would go like this:
      – Bernardo – childhood friend (he’s known Gian the longest (with Gian actually being aware of it))
      – Ivan – best buds
      – Giulio – obsession / admirer
      – Luchino – first crush (I still can’t get over how much Gian fawns over Luchino in his route)

      I’m … admittedly not quite sure what you mean by the yin and yang routes, though ^^; Care to elaborate?

      Finally, I wanted to touch upon the whole, Gian talks a bit different in each route bit. This was something I’d sort of felt, over all the years I’d been working on this game, but it was never something I went out of my way to analyze. At first, I just noticed that Gian acted really childish towards Ivan (“baka baka baaaaka!!”) or that he’d be really careful around Giulio. However, a friend then pointed out that Gian never really swears around Giulio. It’s true, since Gian never really felt the need to, and the tone of his lines don’t really reflect that kind of emotion. But in essence, isn’t this a slight change of voice? As my friend put it, “If I was hanging out with someone who never swore, I’d feel really bad about swearing,” which got me thinking. I don’t think Gian thinks that, really, but it did get me thinking on how one’s speech is affected by the person they’re speaking to – and not in a way that creates character inconsistency.

      So, in the end, while I don’t purposely change how Gian talks, he ends up using slightly different vocabulary depending on the route. Most recently, I’ve found that Gian copies Luchino and starts using a lot more Italian in his route than in others (thereby forcing me to start learning Italian??!).

      (Also, something to take into consideration is that this *has* been going on for several years, meaning that my writing and translation skills have changed. That, plus me trying to find Gian’s voice in the process of translating means that Gian’s voice naturally changes a lot over the different routes, too lol… This is something that I intend to pay attention to in a future edit.)

      I’m rereading what you wrote on Luchino and Ivan and I kind of love it?? You definitely got the differences and similarities between Luchino and Ivan’s personalities and their jobs perfectly. Those two are the most similar in terms of what they do, but they couldn’t be more different in how they go about it. I’m glad I was able to convey that through the translation and that you love the characters enough to analyze it! (Also … did you choose the “King of the Savannah” comparison on purpose? Because Gian keeps calling Luchino a lion in the game…) The one part that I’d point out is that Luchino is very calculating. Ivan’s attempts at acting are hilariously bad, but Luchino is very successful (if overt) in his psychological manipulation, too. I also don’t think Luchino gets along with everyone – he’s probably more closed off than Ivan is. However, the deciding factor for him isn’t their clique or money, as you say (unless you’re GD, in which case you’ll probably die, lol…), but … whether you’re Italian or not. In that sense, Luchino is the most traditional of all of the CR:5, and possibly the most realistic – and Luchino is very proud of this. So long as you’re Italian, though, Luchino’s that popular guy in class, as you described.

      (Did you know, Luchino’s the one I have the second most trouble translating for. I think in my previous reply I said I kept expecting him to talk fancy, but instead he’s all colloquial. That aside, actually trying to make him sound super confident and self-assured without making him sound too arrogant or a jerk takes some care, too lol.) (The one I have the most trouble translating for is Bakshi, because he doesn’t speak like a normal human being.) (OK, fine, he does. He just uses 20x more swears in one monologue than I’ve used my whole life.)

      Out of curiosity, what’s your favorite scene(s)?

      (OMG SORRY THIS GOT SO LONG)

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  3. Charlie
    Oct 02, 2018 @ 05:20:46

    Don’t you fret about apologies, I LOVE your long, well-thought out responses! ;D I’m glad to find somebody just as interested in analyzing characters and stories — especially when they don’t mind long, rambly paragraphs like mine (lol). Now onto the fun part!

    I want to thank you for adding onto my initial commentary about Luchino’s and Ivan’s charisma. I feel like I understand the character and group dynamics better now, especially since I accidentally overlooked the “liking Italians only” part”…that’s a BIG thing to miss when it comes to the mafia, lol. xD
    Haven’t had the good fortune (yet) to read Lucky Dog BLAST; but, it was interesting to read your take on how each of the capos independently function without Gian. Without Gian’s leadership, surface professionalism deteriorates into a “dog-eat-dog” work environment (pun SO not intended) whenever GD-shenanigans and paranoia worms it way into the group.
    If I had to describe Gian’s unique leadership style, the keywords of “mediator,” “synergy,” and a “catalyst for greater human potential” comes to mind. Indeed, I’d agree that he is the “glue” who mediates personal differences and re-channels individual ambitions into goals that benefit the greater whole. Gian’s leadership skills feel partially built on adequately empathizing with or mirroring what each of the LD1 characters hope, want, or need to see within themselves (e.g. reflecting to Giulio that he is a lovable person; reflecting to Ivan how genuine trust and friendship is greater than social status).
    Hell, if Gian was my boss, I’d probably like to follow him everywhere too; he’s just that likable, trustworthy, and capable of a leader! xD
    On the more personal level, it’s interesting how each romantic lead starts to readjust their initial ambition/world view upon romancing Gian too. Ivan changes his original ambition and ‘me against the world’ outlook; Bernardo deals with existential fears and alters his life vision to better account for what his heart wants; Giulio changes how his self-image and how he satisfies his desire for human connection; and, as for Luchino…I’ll have to see once the route is out, of course! Lol.

    Ah, let me elaborate by what I meant by “yang” and “yin” routes through an analogy between the sun/yang(Ivan and Luchino routes) and moon/yin (Giulio and Bernardo routes).
    When it comes to the moon, it needs to passively revolve itself around another source of light a.k.a. Gian. In B & G’s routes, the emphasis is on reflecting Gian’s “brightness” through their feelings of admiration, self-sacrifice, and so on. Both B & G are more initially receptive to Gian’s influence, having already accepted his presence as crucial to their own fragile sense of humanity/selfhood (G’s route) and existentialist-related fears (B’s route).
    For Ivan and Luchino, their own brightness (read: big ego) is more self-sustaining; and others (Gian) cannot help being drawn to it. In their routes, there’s greater friction and bickering depicted between two such “bright” personalities competing. Both Ivan & L are more initially resistant or doubtful of Gian’s positive influence on them; and, have to figure out ways for both of them to shine together.
    While Luchino’s Route remains tentative in my head, Ivan’s character development is intriguing because his challenge doesn’t feel as internal as G and B heavily-psychological routes were. His felt like a re-working of having a problem with the OUTER world (a “I’m not the problem – they are!” mentality due to his ethnic outcast/lower capo status). Assuming this connection is correct, Luchino’s route may reflect changes to his outer-societal attitudes regarding traditional notions of what is “family”? (That’s my working hypothesis anyhow, lol. OwO)
    In turn, Gian develops by wanting to greater responsibility for looking over CR:5’s (and love interest’s) well-being. Opposed to the lackadaisical, independent life he’s used to leading led, Gian uncovers new feelings and sides to himself depending on whom he interacts with. For instance, B’s route shows the sides of Gian that’s capable of feeling jealous, yearning, and willing to take most consistent showers without being nagged to?! xD (Seriously though, I thought that was cute that Gian was subconsciously trying to appeal to Bernardo through that.)

    As for Gian’s lack of swears on Giulio’s route, your friend might be onto something about “feeling bad about swearing” around somebody who never does. It’s not done out of a sense of propriety, of course (c’mon, it’s Gian we’re talking about! xD). Rereading Giulio’s route script…it’s arguable that Gian develops a unique maternal/nurturing dynamic towards the awkward-danger-dog that is Giulio, compared to Gian’s dynamics with the other romantic leads. Gian may subconsciously feel like he’s kicking said-puppy IF his overall demeanor ever became too harsh. After all, Gian already saw instances of Guilio shrinking into himself over the barest of reprimands from him or ol’ Bastardone. And to be fair, it probably takes less effort for Gian to feel gentler toward Giulio…opposed to say, Ivan, where there’s always constant push-back (lol, that tsundere ❤ ). That's my running theory on why Gian doesn't swear as much, anyway~!

    Oh man, it's amusing to hear that you're brushing up on more Italian thanks to Gian's mirroring of Luchino! xD Translation must be such good exercise for expanding one's mind! I imagine finding the word/phrase with the "right connotation" AND "right characterization" (i.e. it's plausible for the character to say this) must be tricky for Luchino's particular brand of confidence. Hmm…..if you're ever stuck on phrasing, maybe you could watch conversations of public figures you're familiar with, or of whom you felt were good at blending self-assured confidence and charm into their words. Or go study public figures who you feel exude similar "Luchino Vibes" (lol)?
    Not going to lie, I'm STOKED to see "how much Gian fawns over Luchino" as you said! How that might be portrayed… oh man, the idea of Gian crushing HARD like some schoolgirl makes me giggle for some reason. SERIOUSLY though, Luchino's overall vibe embodies the phrase of being "a man's man" to a whole other level (i.e. a man who many other men admire and would like to become). So, I wouldn't be surprised if that's how Gian does react! Lol.
    I'm also looking forward to (hopefully?) seeing more of Bakshi! XD Granted, his err…distinctive…speaking style probably causes a fair-share of translation headaches, but I have to admit… it's one of my favorite things about him?!? xD (Sorry.) …That guy's a total trip, that's for sure~

    —-

    What's my favorite scenes, you ask? OH MAN, OOOOOOOOOOH MAN. Good thing you added an "s" to "scene," because I could never PICK. JUST. ONE. Nope. No way! xD Several of my favorite scenes thus far are–BY SHEER COINCIDENCE–part of the NSFW scenes (though its a nice add-on for sure, lol). But hey, let me tell you what SOME of my most favourite were and why they mean so much to me (ALL ABOARD THE RAMBLING TRAIN, BE FOREWARNED!!!):

    + I's Route (Ch. 9, First Times): Despite Ivan's initiation at sex, it's the part where he hesitates and backs down that REALLY gets me in the heart. ❤ Looking around all nervous, trying to buy himself time and dissuade Gian while also being GOADED LIKE HELL by Gian (lol). Not only is it fucking CUTE as hell, but it illustrates just how far they've come to respect each other as friends/lovers, and of Ivan's evolving attitude towards. Gian knows how to handle Ivan in the right way; and, this mutual goading (lol) and support is what helps keep the other to better themselves, is how I see it. wanting to be #1 in Gian’s heart, and not just wanting sex to prove superiority). Ivan’s following interrogation of whether Gian had sex with the other members was also a fave because it shows that: (A.) Ivan is more socially-observant than he lets on; and (B.) it’s rare to see Gian’s take on the other characters he’s NOT in romance (e.g. “When he deals with me, he actually puts up a wall between us, y’know?” in regards to Bernardo). Since Ivan’s Route is the first one that’s recommended, all of this foreshadowing of Gian’s dynamic to the other CR:5 members was fun, mind-candy speculation for until I could get their respective routes! :3

    + I’s Route (Ch. 8, Many Other Sides to Ivan): You know how folks write “lol” without actually doing so? When stumbling upon your translation, my first automatic reaction was this LOUD-ASS BARK of laughter and repeated hand-slapping against the desk. Good thing I was reading this scene alone, considering my body needed a breather after shaking in giggles the whole goddamn time. Geez! xD
    Oh man, just recalling this scene makes me smile automatically–especially your well-chosen depiction of Ivan’s words, “Shutupdon’tapologizejustdie” as the icing on the cake. No idea how Japanese would portray that scene, but your translation choice was ON-POINT!!! *CLAPS HARD* Ah, just perfect. ❤
    Heck, any moments of Gian noticing Ivan's hidden qualities is just nice in general given Ivan's under-appreciated yet hard-working status within the CR:5. "Oh, throw the poor non-Italian guy a bone, why don't ya?!" was a thought that kept running through my head upon reading his route, lol.

    + B's Route (Ch. 10, Confession): Funnily enough, because Berni's NSFW scenes were so few and far in-between (esp. compared to Ivan's route, that frickin' horn dog, lol), it gave me greater appreciation how its pacing suited the obstacles unique to Gian's & B's dynamic such as: Gian's doubts over Natasha, and (what I perceived as) Bernardo's attempts at physical self-control for Gian's greater future. Bernardo strikes me as as having strong self-control over his mental faculties, unless alcohol + stress + Gian are in the mix (lol).
    Perhaps it's because Bernardo feels too much for Gian, that he insists on this emotional wall to maintain self-control, and sublimates his love through the "rational" form of plans, plans, and more plans! ;D That scene is also a top-favorite because admittedly, Bernardo has certain qualities that I relate to–and the friendly-banter that's so key to their dynamic remains constant despite having sex in an alleyway!!! xD Lol.
    One of my favorite dialogue comes from this very chapter (roughly quoted from):

    "I already knew that if I held you in my arms like this, it’d all be over…that I wouldn't easily let you go, ever.…and, eventually, the promise would come to ruin. A promise with the boss, way back when. Wanted you to be under my wing…But I…I’d rather have you … as a lover."

    It felt like Bernardo finally admitted to himself that he can't keep ignoring what his heart wants, as "illogical" as it goes against his original plan to keep the wall between them. The lengths to which Bernardo tries to cover every angle in wishing only the BEST for Gian's future (even if it might mean a future without him in it…), that sort of approach feels so PURE to me?!?! Ugh, my heart. ❤ ❤ …Granted, it does takes Bernardo a few knocks to the head to see that his original plans failed to consult GIAN OF ALL PEOPLE on what he'd thinks THEIR SHARED FUTURE should look like (lol). ;P
    Oh, I do have some questions! The "promise with the Boss" Bernardo refers to plus when Bernardo first meets Gian, both scenes sound like good short-story material don't ya think? Haven't stumbled across anything like that YET (still reading through the SS you posted up); but, do you know if there's of any extra promotional material that expands upon B's & Gian's past friendship? I think it'd be really cute to see. ❤
    More importantly, what's some of YOUR favorite scenes (excluding spoilers of course)? Were their any particular character traits or relationship dynamics you felt especially drawn to? I know as the translator, you probably have to maintain some distance and neutrality in regards to giving each character the best, most accurate presentation you can give them. There's also the fact that you've been on this project for YEARS, so I'm sure a few details are a little fuzzy. Lol. Thus, it's okay if you aren't able to fully answer this question!

    P.S: Oh yeah, and I did use "King of the Savannah" on purpose (it was either this or saying Luchino having this whole "Lord of the Manor" vibe despite wearing prison clothes, lol). My final word choice did come from several influences on your part though:

    – How Gian keeps offhandedly refering to Luchino's hair as a "mane" (lol) in earlier chapters
    – Luchino's character design (long, lustrous hair and powerfully built body), some of his facial expressions (e.g. excited/horny expression = like a lion ready for the hunt), and demeanor (read: assumed air of authority/refinement) are all very lion-like.
    – Luchino's astrology sign as Leo, according to the Character Profiles

    Oh, and if we're going by astrology archetypes, it's funny how in-depth each of the LD1's astrology signs fit with their personality and dynamic/line-of-work! 😀 Roughly, it'd go something like this:

    + Luchino (Leo/Jupiter): Associations related to luck through generosity, being constantly in the spotlight, strong sense of identity and self-expression; expansion/over-indulgence in the romance/sex; gambling, and other forms of entrainment and creativity. Interestingly, also rules over good luck related to good family life and having children (ah yes, the cosmic irony – if all his family is truly dead?!). D:

    + Gian (Libra/Venus): Libra has associations of mediating opposing factions to preserve relational harmony, and able to adjust itself to what the situation needs most at the time. Able to view things with breezy detachment. Heavy emphasis on getting things done through harmonious/equal partnerships (perfect for a BL game protagonist, lol!). Amusingly, Libra also rules beauty and aesthetics…and we're talking about someone with sloppy grooming habits. Lol.

    + Bernardo (Gemini/Mercury): Gemini, as associated with Mercury, is associated with all forms of communication, heavy (over)reliance on intellect at possible cost to emotions or body (how many cups of coffee does this man drink?!), witty banter, and forms of intellectual/verbal assertion (e.g. scheming, using lawyers, staying on top of gossip/information, etc.).

    + Ivan (Capricorn/Saturn): Capricorn is traditionally associated with diligence, career/materialistic ambition, concern with status/reputation, and VERY hard-won achievement/recognition that usually comes late in life (if ever). Willing to do the work that nobody else wants to, in order to get ahead (lol, poor Capricorn can't catch a break. xD). It also amuses me how Gian's zodiac sign traditionally gets along with Air Signs (Gemini, Aquarius) and Fire Signs (Leo), but experiences the friction when it comes to Earth Signs (Capricorn)–which truth be told, certainly fits their bickering-couple dynamic?! Lol. xD

    + Guilio (Aquarius/Uranus): Aquarius is admittedly, the so-called "Weirdo" of the zodiac (lol) due to Uranus ruling all that revolutionary or out of the mainstream. Given Guilio's unconventional occupation (hitman), unique upbringing, hobbies, sexual tastes, and preference for working solo…it's not too much of a stretch??? Lol. Interestingly, Aquarius is also associated with sacrificing one's ego to be of great service to others – which ties into Guilio's deeper views about being the one who'd does the "dirtier" work so others (Gian) don't have to. Aw.

    Maybe it's just coincidence, but it sounds Tenneouji put a lot of love and thought into their characters even into the smallest of details, like their zodiac signs. D'aww. ❤

    (OH WOW. MY RESPONSE LENGTH. O_O Don't feel pressured to respond exactly in kind or immediately since I'm sure you're super busy! Nonetheless, I appreciate our energizing exchange of ideas. ❤ Thank you for everything thus far!)

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    • terracannon876
      Oct 24, 2018 @ 12:04:57

      Sorry for late response! Work reared its ugly head…

      I do suggest reading Lucky Dog BLAST, even if just for what’s out right now. It has a very different tone, imo, from the main game, but I also have a feeling this was the feeling tennenouji wanted as canon, since it’s much closer to bad egg+’s.

      (You totally meant that “dog-eat-dog” pun lol)

      I agree with you about Gian’s leadership style, though I’d argue that it’s not even “leadership” in many ways. He’s definitely the “heart” of the group, and I think like you said, he draws out the best of each of his capos. Rather, he balances out the worst of theirs and makes them more stable. He eases Ivan’s paranoia, acts as an anchor for Giulio (though that’s a special case…), eases suspicion on Bernardo, and cools Luchino’s wrath. By doing this, he ends up making each capo the best they can be in their route (and maybe all of them, in the common route). Regardless, he’s irreplaceable among the CR:5.

      (On a side note, this is why I have trouble with a lot of visual novels, lol. I start liking one incarnation of a route’s character so much after they grow that I start to feel really bad for them in other routes. You’re missing out on all this potential growth and a best friend, Ivan 😦 )

      However, another interesting thing is that you can argue that the worst of each character arises in each route *because* of Gian’s presence. When they’re showing Gian around, they inevitably tend to be the ones who show off the most and being more efficient, and so they become the target of the GD. When the GD targets them and not the others, the worst of the others’ personalities don’t surface because they’re not stressed to breaking point. (Thanks, GD.)

      (This doesn’t happen in the common route because the GD don’t only specifically target one capo of interest. In the game, they send their goons everywhere, but the GD captain of the day only appears for one captain. In the common routes, though, since everything in all the routes happens, the GD don’t seem to be stalking Gian anymore lol. To be honest, I’m not sure which is the “true” intention of tennenouji in terms of original intent. You can argue it’s a visual novel video game thing, but you can also argue the common route is a manga adaptation convenience thing. So … *shrug*. Lucky Dog 1 canonically supports alternate universes anyways.)

      One thing I liked about LD1 was, as you said, how each romance route influenced the four respective captains, but also, I liked how they influenced Gian as well – how he acts, how he grows, and the more practical or material aspects of being a boss. Relationships are a two-way street, and too often they’re written as one character (the one you’re supposed to relate to, male or female) trying “fix” the other without changing themselves. (…To be honest, the most intriguing change in Gian had been in Giulio’s route, to me. This was because at the time, I’d never seen “that” kind of scene played straight and the aftereffects lingering in Gian’s mind. It not only is more realistic, emphasizing the fact that it’s a “very bad thing,” but also it makes Gian’s burst of courage to find Giulio afterwards even more painful (in good and bad ways). …Everyone trying to cure Gian’s cold afterwards was a nice bonus.)

      I make no comments on your speculation on Luchino’s route 😛 You actually might get a hint next update, which I’ve been working on. Thanks for the explanation on what your thoughts (on yin and yang routes), though! I hadn’t thought of it as passive vs. active before, though it definitely makes sense. tennenouji does like to do things in pairs – junior vs. senior, brash vs. reserved (or yin vs. yang), PR work (Ivan, Luchino) vs. background work (Giulio, Bernardo), dealing with rich (Luchino, Bernardo) vs. street work (Ivan, Giulio), etc. I love analyzing patterns with ensemble casts 😛

      Translation for me is a lot of feeling for “vibes.” Usually with Japanese, you can get a good feel for the character based on what language they use (word choice, etc.). It’s hard to explain, but Japanese has age, gender, attitude, class archetypes based on how they talk that are much more apparent than tone in English. Because of how “niche” the voices were for Ivan and Giulio, the way they talked were fairly easy to translate (as in, on first try, I tended to get the tone right). Bernardo was tougher because he talks more normally. Luchino thus far has been very contrary because he has one vibe based on his public image – high class, more like Giulio – but then he talks more like how he actually is (arrogant, confident, down to earth, a man of the times, etc.). In terms of references, I’ve been using the classic gangsters more for Luchino than for any other character, lol.

      I’m not sure Bakshi is an aspect to look forward to, ever, but … 🙂

      ###

      As a translator, I do have to maintain neutrality in that I have to give each character their time of day (i.e., I can’t pay less attention to one just because I dont’ like them), but with LD1, that hasn’t been a trial at all, lol. I like everyone~~ (Even you sometimes, Lloyd, Bakshi … Homer >> )

      As for my favorite scenes… In general, I love the adrenaline-pumping ones, the ones that show the joy and thrill of life in the characters, and the ones that wrench your heart with sadness lol. There’s a couple in Luchino’s route (one’s coming up in the next update), but others…

      You’re right, it’s been a while, but I’ll try to remember which ones lol. There’s the performance when the crew were still in the farms, Ivan’s many faces (cracked up sooo hard), the reveal of Rosalia’s “engagement,” the final showdown in Ivan’s route, Giulio’s bad ending (the one at the golf course), the best ending for Bernardo… …And there should be many more but they’re not coming atm ^^; Sorry.

      Honorable mentions go to that one NSFW scene from Giulio (because I don’t actually “like” it, but I think it’s really well written) and one in an SS where Gian actually takes a bat and thwacks someone in the head, all in the name of Ivan 🙂

      ###

      Actually, the reason I’d asked about the Luchino = lion part was because you were spot on, and yet I couldn’t remember mentioning that in the translations lol. But you’re right, Gian actively calls Luchino’s hair a mane.

      I actually never looked into the astrology symbols, but you’re right, those match REALLY well, haha. I tend to pay more attention to blood type when it comes to anime (or game) characters because that’s more relevant to Japanese culture, but I wouldn’t be surprised if tennenouji had really looked into astrology, too. (I like to do that with the characters from my story, too lol)

      As for blood type, the breakdown works as follows, with good traits first and then bad traits. I’m cherry picking a bit because the list tends to get a bit long…

      Gian/Luchino (Type O) – confident, strong-willed, agreeable / unpredictable, spiteful, self-centered (They’re already paired?! :D)
      Bernardo (Type A) – warm, reserved, patient, responsible / over-earnest, obsessive, stubborn
      Giulio (Type AB) – creative (…in killing?), rational, intelligent, … sociable?? / critical, indecisive, unforgiving, aloof (This actually kind of plays into the idea that Barreldone seriously stunted Giulio’s personality and growth.)
      Ivan (Type B) – passionate, active, animal-loving (children too?), flexible, cheerful (…) / irresponsible, selfish, lazy, “going own way”

      For the most part, I think they fit XD

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