[Full Translation] Rainbow Bridge


So, Volume 22 was released in Japan just 9 days ago. Instead of continuing the Unital Ring storyline, this volume was made into a side story collection. However, unlike v2 and v8, this volume compiled four previously released SAO Blu-Ray and DVD side stories. One of these stories was Rainbow Bridge, one of my very first translation projects (technically, the Ordeals of Kirito drama CD was the first, but it was reviewed at a later point). I had published a full translation of the story back in 2014 or something; however, I was very unexperienced as a translator at the time, while Rainbow Bridge turned out to have quite a few difficult phrasings for a beginner to understand... and to top it off, more than half of it wasn't even edited, so my original translation was both difficult to read due to style issues, and had some inaccuracies or misinterpretations throughout the translation. In short, it was horribly amateurish and messy. We did intend to publish an edited version of the translation one day, but we got distracted with newer projects that we wanted to work on, while my editors eventually went MIA. So, Rainbow Bridge ended up in editing hell as a low-priority project that we never had the time to actually clean up.

That's not to say that it was never touched during those five years. In 2017, I was approached by someone who volunteered to help edit my translations, so this prompted me to pick out the old drafts from my metaphorical dusty shelf for a second look. And I have to say... it was horribly painful to look through my beginnerish translation... like, my gawd, I could honestly have died from shame back then. However, I stomached through it and actually did edits parts 3-5 of it with my more honed-over-the-years skills. After I was done, the guy I mentioned went through the docs to offer his own suggestions, but for some reason, the translation ended up back in the metaphorical dusty shelf for another two years... don't even ask me why, because I no longer remember. I was probably too sick after reading my newbish translation, or got distracted by new stuff again... most likely a combination of both.

Now that the story was republished as part of volume 22, I've decided to finally get the story out of editing hell. Honestly, I still think it would have been simpler and more efficient to just burn my old translation to the ground and start over with a fresh mind, pretending that the old version never existed... but I honestly didn't have the free time to redo the entire translation from scratch. So, instead, I just looked over the unreleased parts (parts 3-5), reviewed the suggestions left by that surprise guest editor... and then also made major stylistic revisions throughout the reviewed parts of the translation (as you may have guessed by now, I can be quite the perfectionist...). Part 3 got me depressed again, since I had to make a whole ton of revisions there, but part 4 and part 5 were apparently not too bad in comparison... guess my 2017 run through them was rather decent.

Anyway, after that long journey, Rainbow Bridge now finally has a more-or-less (yes, I'm still not satisfied with it... there's a reason why I absolutely hate going through my old stuff...) translation. I decided to compile the entire translation into a single page and throw in the illustrations from V22 for good measure your reading pleasure. Please note that I did not touch the translation for parts 1 and 2 since they were released on the blog, aside from standardising some names, terms, and format.

P.S., I can confirm that Kawahara has not laid a finger on the manuscript of this story for the V22 release, as there is absolutely no change between the original raw I had, and the text in volume 22. Kawahara didn't even bother to fix all the blatant and corny typos in it (e.g., Lord --> Load, Lurk --> Diving), including timeline mixups... even though he somehow managed to catch the infamous corny typo in Sisters' Prayer ("daddy loves you" --> "daddy lover you").

Click here to read the greatly polished story.

If you wish to see how much has changed in the translation from my original shitty draft... or you are just a masochist who enjoys reading shitty translations for some reason (I won't mention any names, but I know who you are), you can find my original translation here.

-Gsimenas

Credits

Raw: Takazuki
Translation: Gsimenas
Editing: Gsimenas, Pryun, M. Oosting, Dennis, 1caiser

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