Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monster Hunter Orage manga!

Hello fellow geeks ~

If anyone remembers I bought second-hand the complete set of the Finnish release of the Monster Hunter Orage manga from the Arctic Comics Festival. As far as I know it's not very known that there exists a Monster Hunter manga so yeah, I thought I could take some photos of it and tell a little about what I thought about the manga?


First up I'll give you all some photos of each of the four volumes, showing both sides of the cover!

First volume, front and back. (Finnish edition)
Second volume, front and back. (Finnish edition)
Third volume, front and back. (Finnish edition)
Fourth volume, front and back. (Finnish edition)
It was years ago I last read manga in Finnish; I've mostly moved over to reading manga in English online. Sometimes Finnish translations are good and sometimes they feel a bit... less good. You know, like it's chunky and clumsily translated and it all just ends up feeling goofy and off I can say that Monster Hunter Orage suffers from occasionally clumsy translations that just don't feel right with me. But the general translation is easily forgiven because it's not the worst offender and well, it's honestly not always bad either. But seriously, when I first started reading the manga I was instantly put off by the super retarded translations of the different weapons and items – why couldn't they just keep the original English names? Why couldn't they just had kept for example the weapon type Gunlance as simply Gunlance and not translate it into "tuliasekeihäs" (lit. firearm lance) which sounds so stupid. ._. Bowgun has been translated to "jousituliase" which does still mean bowgun (although 'tuliase' is literally firearm) but sounds equally dumb as the Gunlance translation, nonetheless. All the bullet shots for the bowguns and all items like Whetstones, Lifepowder ("Elämänpöly" sounds so bad) etc have been translated as well and it just makes me go WHY??? (╯°□°)︵ ┻━┻ It actually just makes me confused because I'm soooo used to the English names...
Almost all the Finnish translations regarding items in the MonHun world just irk me greatly and makes me wish I had read it in English instead lol. And yeah, this is coming from a major MonHun fan who has played different games in the series (Freedom Unite and 4U) for a total of soon 2000 hours.. and still counting. 
Oh, and someone please tell me what the fuck is "yhden käden miekka"?? >_> (lit. one hand sword)
I want to mention though that some of the weapon name translations are at least passable; Dual Blades has been translated to "kaksoismiekat" which literally means 'twin swords' – not bad. Long Sword is "pitkämiekka" which still means exactly the same and is at least okay. But Great Sword is "jättimiekka" which would mean like 'giant sword' and that just sounds stuuuuuupid. You see, "jätti" is the word for something humongously big so yeah, it just comes off as silly to me and it's hard to take seriously.
Ah, and one last thing! Finnish doesn't have a word for wyvern so the word for dragon is used instead, which is "lohikäärme" and literally means 'salmon snake'. Yeah, it's true. xD So yeah, it feels clumsy because MonHun universe makes a distinction between wyverns and dragons and there's sub-categories to them too – Elder Dragons, Bird Wyverns, Brute Wyverns etc. Having everything being clumped together as 'blah blah lohikäärme' just feels... off.
Sure that the Beast type monsters were called "blah blah peto" instead but it didn't sound the best in my ears either; "hammaspeto" was Fanged Beast and it's literally 'tooth beast'. xD Would have been better with like "torahammaspeto" or something because that's more like Fanged Beast. The word for both fangs and teeth is pretty much interchangable in Finnish so yeah, because of that the word "hammaspeto" just makes me think of some toothfairy gone horribly wrong lol.

The partly cringe-worthy translation aside it was way too tempting to buy this set as it only cost me 8 € and all the books were in good condition. As a MonHun fan I just couldn't resist now that I actually found someone selling the complete set! (earlier I only ever found loose volumes second-hand, most commonly only the first two)
Oh, and in case someone doesn't know, the artist who gave us Fairy Tail is the same who has drawn Monster Hunter Orage – Hiro Mashima. Personally I don't like the art style (one of the reasons I haven't watched/read Fairy Tail lol) but I got used to it and well, I have to admit that some of the monsters were drawn in a cool way.

Photo of the manga when it was still bundled together.
Showing the sides, or spines..? Whatever they're called.
Regarding the manga itself I must say that my first thought was that the main character, Shiki, looked like the offspring if Naruto and Luffy from One Piece ever had a child lol.
I personally thought that most of the characters were annoying, flat and boring. Sakuya was probably the least annoying one and then followed by Curlos, but Shiki and that Long Sword-wielding girl got on my nerves many times lol. The characters were predictable and cliché and I just didn't really get any kind of emotional connections to them; it felt like they were all really plain and underdeveloped but, well, you can't expect much from a manga that only has 4 volumes anyway. *shrugs* I'm not saying that the story itself was bad, it's just that I didn't enjoy the characters most of the time – I guess I was expecting a bit more?

But yeah, the character cast is basically this:

Shiki (main male lead): Your typical hotheaded, loud and very obnoxious guy who fights for his friends and has a super-rare weapon that everyone and their grandma is after. Never gives up and always wins the fights because he wants to protect his friends. He also screams "OHHH GREAT MAAAASTEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRR!!!" and "UOOOOOOOOORRRRRGHRRG!!!" more times than you blink your eyes in one day...
Ailee (main female lead): Tsundere girl with trusting issues because she was naive as a kid and then punished for it; she genuinely trusted a group of assholes who wanted to do illegal stuff and caller her their "comrade", even though they never gave two shits about her. Because of this she hates the word 'comrade' and acts all tsundere on Shiki and refuses to be his friend/companion. She later surprise surprise gets over herself and starts considering him and the rest as ~important comrades~ to her.
Sakuya (supporting): A blacksmith who is determined to create the best weapons. She lived alone, since her father disappeared, in their smithy where she made weapons to fight off a nearby monster. She learns that her father was killed by said monster and once she bumps into Shiki and Ailee they kill the beast together and she decides to join their group. She's the kind girl with big boobs who ends up being just a background decoration as soon as her story has been told.
Curlon (rival): Shiki's rival who's also nicknamed "The Prince". A guy who wants to be better than Shiki at any cost. Comes off as a cold selfish elitist but he is also someone who doesn't know his grammar lol. He even teams up with the main bad guy to beat Shiki but surprise again– suddenly betrays the bad guy and shows that he's not actually a pure-blooded dickwit. He also has a crush on Ailee but she first dislikes him and later just gives him the friendzone treatment. Oh, and he ends up fighting together with Shiki in the end because OHMAIGAWD FRIENDSHIP POWER!! – who seriously saw that one coming?

Ehrrm. Yeah. Doesn't sound very original, now does it? :'DD

All the front covers lined up together.
Same as above but with the back covers.
Oh, and I don't know what's up with the fourth volume's cover – it has those weird pale stripes on both the front and back covers. I'm guessing they are some kind of printing errors because they were also on a couple of the manga pages... :/ The printing is a bit messy at times too, especially on the fourth volume; there's some "phantom images" in the edges (aka where there's supposed to be nothing) on some pages, as if there's been a printing mistake so you can see faintly unrelated images (earlier pages?) in very pale ink outside the actual panels of the page.

About the monsters we get to see both new ones created solely for the manga like Naco Agul, Delma-Ioprey, Gilkuza and Myo Galuna, but we will also find many familiar faces – Rathian, Kushala Daora, Yian Kut-Ku, Diablos and Plesioth, to name a few. Most monsters are only shown in a couple panels at most and then never seen again and not name-dropped either (and, if the name is said it's not always complete for example they kill a Bullfango to make "fango stew" in the first manga) so yeah, if you have no prior knowledge of MonHun universe it might be very confusing. Personally I obviously had no problem recognizing all the non-original monsters that showed up because they were from Freedom Unite's cast.
Oh, and this manga is supervised by Capcom, in case anyone wonders if there were any ties.

Naco Agul – a monster made only for the manga.
We get to see the hipcheck fucker Plesioth!
... and a very badass looking Diablos.
Let's not forget the Rathian's backflips!
But the manga also gives us some oddities – care for what
seems to be a fossilized Khezu?
There's one thing I really want to mention though! The main point of the story is that Shiki and his friends are out to hunt a legendary wyvern known as Myo Galuna, "The Last Star". It's described as a shining dragon that no one has seen and thus its whereabouts and looks are clouded in mystery. There is an old legend about it appearing when the stars cover up the night sky Myo Galuna will appear between heaven and hell and will destroy everything on the planet. The thing is that there is a creepy-looking skeleton wyvern called Gilkuza (also shrouded in mystery and unbeatable at first) that is undoubtedly linked to Myo Galuna and, well, this instantly made me think about the connection between Gore Magala and Shagaru Magala in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. I'm not gonna go into too much details because I don't want to give even more spoilers for those who haven't read the manga but yeah, Gilkuza works as a sort of gatekeeper of sorts and is sealing Myo Galuna's true location.
Even though the monsters don't look the same it feels as if the manga-only Gilkuza and Myo Galuna inspired Capcom to re-use the basic concept of them and remake them as the two Magalas later on. I'm assuming that the manga came out before 4U since it gives many hints, especially on those side-story comic strips and well, all the monsters in the manga are from MonHun's second generation. I just find it interesting that Gilkuza and Myo Galuna are like light & darkness and linked together, just like Gore and Shagaru Magala; I just can't think that it's pure coincidence...

And finally I'm just gonna show what some random pages look like ~

The main character, Shiki.
The hunting team got beaten up...
"Go forward like a stormwind."
Showing the village and, yes, that's a map and double-yes, that's
a hotspring with an adorable Felyne sign.
Kelbikinis. Why is this not a thing in the games? lol
So yeah, while I personally found the characters to be of the more annoying sort the story was okay. It's really nothing special or anything that you've never seen or read before but it is a nice read for those days when you just want to read something that doesn't make knots in your brains and demand a lot of concentration. The story is simple and quite straight-forward and there's barely and surprises or plot-twists – and those that there are feel a bit too sudden/unrealistic and well, the rest are of the sort that we've seen a thousand times before.
But yeah, even though I'm ranting quite a lot about it (then again, the Finnish translation is partly to blame) it wasn't all bad! It's not like it was a chore to read and I did enjoy some chapters quite much actually. I'd still recommend it for MonHun fans since it does give a refreshing alternate take and expansion of the Monster Hunter world. :) I mainly read it for the "omg MonHun as a manga!" thing and yeah, it was cool to see it adapted into comic form, even though the manga does take some liberties and invents own rules and quirks to the hunting world. It's worth checking out at least, even if just for an one-time read.

That's about all that I have to say. Thanks for reading!


FankiKitsune said...

Ah, säkin oot lukenu nää jo *_* Mulla oottaa kaapissa kankaat Shikin cossia varten, kunhan vaa saisin aikaseks alottaa XD Peruukinkin oon jo hankkinu, mist aion sen tehä :D

Shiro Samurai said...

Aaah cool!~ Aloita! 8D
Jos mä jotaki hahmoo cossaan tästä mangasta niin se olis Curlon. xD Mutta en tiiä teenkö hänet... ehkä jossain vaiheessa. Pitää miettii. Tosiaan MonHunista on niin paljon muutaki mitä haluan cossata lololo

FankiKitsune said...

Voisit kyl tehä Curlonin 8D se ois aika hemmetin jeba 8D ei ois ainaka kimonotyyppi... xD