Saiunkoku Monogatari (or, The Story of Saiunkoku, in English) is kind of like my baby. I got to translate & adapt it from the start, and got to suggest/decide many of the set terms you see in the finished English version manga. The “Hong” thing we carried over from GENEON’s anime romanization, to keep things consistent for fans and less confusing (since 2 of the 8 Great Clans would have been romanized as “Ko” under VIZ’s style guide). But just about everything else was stuff either I or my editor thought up ourselves.
That, plus my love for the beautifully written and illustrated story of the smart, determined young heroine, Shurei, and her struggle to become her country’s very first female civil servant/public official really give SaiMono a special place in my heart. So I was triply thrilled to find out that the American Library Association has nominated it for their “Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2012” honor. It’s incredibly gratifying to see this wonderful series get some recognition (since it isn’t one of the typical love story shoujo manga that garner tons of sales). Plus, regardless of whether SM actually wins or not, this should mean a little extra pimpage in libraries across the nation. 🙂
So a much-deserved hurrah for SaiMono and its talented mangaka, Kairi Yuura (and Sai Yukino, the author of the original novels)! 😀