Let’s Take the Train Together, Shall We? #15-17

So… apparently, my review of this manhua showed up on someone’s Google search and so I got contacted by a person at Träumerei Scans who is involved in the official scanlation of Let’s Take the Train Together, Shall We? 

As one of the side-effects of that, as it were, I can now point you all to the official scanlator’s page: http://bato.to/comic/_/comics/lets-take-the-train-together-shall-we-r18448.

So, go read the next chapters, they’re cute.

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WARNNG BIG A$$  SPOILERS

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What is very weird to me right now is that, while I was briefly very honored to have been sought out by people associated with something I was really loving, I feel kind of uninvited to have an opinion on this manhua.

If you want to read the comment exchange between me and the folks at Träumerei Scans, you can see them here: https://mangakast.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/lets-take-the-train-together-shall-we-10-14/comment-page-1/#comment-335

I’m not sure if the scanlators intended to spoil the entire manhua for me, but they did.

I’ve been admonished not to ‘read too much’ into the relationship between Chen Yuchen and Li Tengyu. They took time out of their day to contact me directly and spray NO HOMO all over this.

Okay. Great.

You do realize this entire manhau is about their funny interactions between the two guys and how they can be/might be interpreted, right?

So… literally all the joy has been sucked out of my reading of this manhua, because I sure as F*CK was not tuning in to find out how Li Tengyu’s office politics were going to turn out or whether or not Chen Yuchen was EVER going to get a new hoodie.

I was there for, what I assume most readers were: the cute interactions, which I could enjoy for their sweet bromance-y awesomeness… and, you know, imagine as the scanlators clearly do the potential for gayness.

The entire tension of this manhua is built around how other people, including the characters themselves, interpret this relationship. You can not deny that part of what makes you turn to the next page is a potential for someone to misinterpret what’s going on. It literally happens constantly in these last few chapters, like, where Tengyu’s boss is insistent that the texts he’s getting from Chen Yuchen must be from a date.  The fact that Tengyu doesn’t just show his boss the screen and say, “Nah, that’s just my friend standing over there who’s getting all weird because I’ve missed hanging out on the train with him in the mornings for the last week,” is because Tengyu thinks his boss is going to think he’s gay.

That scene has no power otherwise. It’s got no traction if the titillation, the queer-baiting, isn’t intentional on the part of the author.

Plus, it’s just fun, right?

Like, oh noz!  The touchy-feely boss might think Tengyu is gay!

Except now I’ve lost all that fun. My enjoyment of those moments have been taken away by the insistance of the scanlator that I might be “disappointed” by the end.

There you go, then. Thanks for deflating all of the fun tension.

No need to read any further.

And I honestly don’t know if I should bother any more.  I really kind of feel like I was singled out and told ‘we don’t want fans like you, you who READ TOO MUCH into things.’

Crap.

Now I can’t even love this thing any more. Damn it.

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23 thoughts on “Let’s Take the Train Together, Shall We? #15-17

  1. Jeez you are having a week. Art is in the eye of the beholder. F*ck them. The universe holds infinite interpretations. I choose to read yours as they speak to me personally [unapologetic biflavoured partnered parent BL obsessed colonial thrilled to have found your voice on the internet].

    Ribbons, pockets, this, many apologies for contributing to the mess this week. Please bother to continue.

    • Ah, you know I will… bother to continue, that is. I was just talking to another friend about this and I think it’s just really striking to have been targeted so specifically for GAY PANIC/NO HOMO bullshit. I mean, clearly the scanlators also read these two as potentially queer af, so what the hell? Plus, authorial intent be damned. As an author, I know you can’t actually control how people read your stuff–especially IF YOU WRITE ABOUT TWO BOYS WHO CLEARLY LIKE EACH OTHER A FUCK TON.

  2. Luckily no-one gives a shit what I do or think or write so I never get into these wearying situations. Those scanlators are dicks to engage. “See I typed ‘lol’ so it’s all okay that nohomo stuff right? No big deal right? xixi. I just make that shit up to harass someone else.” Huh?
    What audience would buy a bromance that dull if you remove the frisson of sex? And lacking the hilarious trope of awkward misunderstandings? Super. Consider me forewarned. WTF is right.

    • Plus, if you look ahead at the non-translated stuff, things just get gayer from here. At some point, they ended up staying together, sleeping in the same room, and there is half-nakedness. If I’m not supposed to enjoy the story because of the awkward queerness of it all, what’s the point?

      Also, I think I’m extra mad at the scanlation folks because while, I might say I’ll be grumpy if the story between Chen Yuchen and Tengyu doesn’t “end right.” I’m not out here putting up re-edited pieces talking about their tight asses. I read yaoi and yuri, but they’re the ones sexualizing these two, and then feeling the need to come over to my quiet (previously uninhabited by any one other than you and me) corner of the internet to tell me that OMG THEY ARE SO NOT GAY WHY WOULD YOU EVEN.

  3. Hey, fon’t worry, i read all available chapters in chinese and totally ship those too:)))) fun is about their cute interactions, and the other people’s perceptions. Those two are as awesome together as always and just get gayer:) just continue that cute story and enjoy it!

    • Yeah, actually another friend of mine sent along a link to what’s happening currently in the untranslated stuff and, yeah, things are definitely getting pretty damn GAY. http://www.comico.com.tw/detail.nhn?titleNo=636&articleNo=72

      I guess that’s why I don’t understand the need to “reassure” me that these guys are straight. As I was saying on Facebook about this: I think what bothers me is that what it feels like is that these people went out of their way to come over to my sandbox where I was playing *alone* and tell me that my way of playing wasn’t OK. Then, they turned around to their sandbox and played the EXACT SAME STORY. You know? It felt like (and I don’t know their orientation) straight folks saying “It’s okay when we play pretend that these guys are gay, but it’s NOT OKAY when you queers do it. They’re not queer! We’re just pretending!” (Um, hello, so am I.)

      That’s literally the fun of this story. The pretending.

      I mean, maybe the issue is that my previous review was misread. What Sally (the author of this) is doing _is_ queer-baiting, but that’s not necessarily an insult. That’s just what this is: where you intentionally write queer subtext into a thing (in this case being played for the oh noz! oops! hilarity of it), while simultaneously having no intention of revealing either character as gay.

      If these folks read the blog beyond that one post, they’d know that I’m really tired of that in other manga.

  4. Hello!! I stumbled on this wordpress to see if there was anymore Train fans! Ahh I’m really sad to see you potentially drop this. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did!! I read the comments from both sides and it seems like, at least to me, they weren’t trying to cause any harm. Of course, I understand how you feel too, but if it were me I wouldn’t let it get to me if it was a series I really enjoyed reading. I really really hope you reconsider this. Thank you for taking the time to write about this series! Thank you for reading this! ^-^

    • Well, I’m a huge fan, fam. I think this manhua is adorable.

      And, I said in my review that I was pretty sure that the scanlation folks weren’t TRYING to spoil this for me. Thing is, they did. Sometimes you can cause harm without trying.

      I don’t know if you know what it’s like to be a gay reader. We have always had to do this thing, the thing where we read for gay that we know isn’t there.

      There are so few books (or movies or manga or comic books or TV shows or video games) that feature queer characters that we’ve always had to read for the subtext. We’ve also always had to read for the subtext WHILE KNOWING FULL-WELL CHARACTERS WOULD END UP STRAIGHT, at least 85% of the time. Most of the time, I don’t mind knowing that the characters I love are not like me in that one way. I don’t even always need the romances to work out (straight or gay) to enjoy a story. I don’t even mind when an author does what Sally is doing here, in Let’s The Train Together, Shall We? where she is intentionally playing with gay subtext.

      That’s how I read. That’s how I will always read. What’s hurtful is telling me _how_ I should be reading something, especially when, despite being connected to the manhua tangentially as scanlators, these folks don’t actually know how this story ends. How could they? It’s not finished. So why come here and tell me that I can’t imagine a happy gay ending?

      Maybe the people who are posting jokes about Tingyu’s tight ass are afraid that what I’m looking for is full-on porn. I don’t know what they think of me, but I can’t imagine that much nakedness in something that primarily takes place ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. It’s not even what I said I wanted. All I said I wanted in the previous review is that this story stay sweet–that it leave a door open for me to keep my own vision of these two men. THAT NO ONE COME OVER AND SPRAY NO HOMO ON THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS (like, say, they just did.)

      Like, what was the point of that, exactly? How is that not hurtful?

  5. Hi,
    I’m a Train fan that currently resides in Traumerei’s scans discord chat. I love all the people there and they are fun to talk to, it’s cool to see behind the scenes, the ones who bring us these wonderful webtoons in english. Even though Train isn’t a yaoi and doesn’t look like it will become in the future, its still really fun to follow. Especially now that we get those daily releases, WHOOP WHOOP. I ship them, so do almost all the people who like Train. Raegan’s typesets totally brighten up my day and revive me (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧, but, in all honesty Train isn’t really a yaoi, no matter how much we wish it was (not at all hinting at the dj we wish to write one day ;A; if only I could draw) But even if the scanner acknowledges that fact, I’m still going to follow the series, and enjoy it. And i’ll thank them for every chapter they release, because I can’t read chinese. I’m sorry if this comment makes you upset, it’s just how I feel as a fellow fan, and shit, you can drop the series, but then you would miss any cute bromance moments that happen in the future, but i don’t really think its worth it, missing cute tsundere Yuchen ⁄(⁄ ⁄·⁄ω⁄·⁄ ⁄)⁄ . Are you here being a fan of Train, or are you here being a fan of Traumerei, because if you aren’t a personal fan of Traumerei, there’s no reason to relate the two and stop reading because of something they said. Anyway, I hope you have a great day

    • Now I can’t even be hurt by what people said?

      Yeah, I wondered if they were going to unleash their army.

      Look, I’m a tiny personal blog. What does it even matter what I think of any particular manhua? You weren’t reading me before, don’t read me now.

      Thanks for telling me YET-A-FUCKING-GAIN that this isn’t yaoi. I know that, okay? I am still allowed to ship these guys, JUST LIKE YOU DO.

      Get off my lawn.

      If any of you were trying to welcome someone new into your fandom you have done an amazing job of doing the EXACT opposite. I’m glad these guys are your friends. I love their project, but they should spend their free time translating this stuff instead of coming over here to tell me how I can or can’t read something. That’s really unnecessary because UNTIL TODAY I LOVED THE SAME THING YOU DID IN THE SAME WAY.

      • Also did you literally just tell me I’m not a TRUE fan of this manhua if I don’t support everything their scanlators do or say?

        Seriously. Go away and don’t come back.

        I was happy here alone before you folks decided to piss on my parade. Honest to god, NO ONE READS THIS BLOG. No one. Not even my wife.

      • Hey there. Just a dog on the internet reading your blog.
        (Thought I’d get in here once more with the love before you turn off the comments….)

    • heh, well, even if I do keep reading it, I won’t bother reviewing it.

      I mean, they have SUCH a good PR/outreach program going on, they clearly don’t need queer fans in their ranks. /sarcasm

    • Yeah, I know. I’m actually keeping up too. I’m just not reviewing at and, petulantly, reading it on a pirate site.

      I caught up a bunch yesterday and have to say that I’m pretty horrified that the translators feel free to editorialize (and in one case sexually/romantically). My books have been published in other languages and I’d be horrified to know that the translators felt free to comment on anything other than language aspects, you know? If they said of one of my characters “OMFG, he’s a one-trick pony!” I’d be like, “um, can we let the readers experience it for themselves, please?” These folks are clearly both unprofessional and juvenile. I’m really disappointed there isn’t an alternate source for this particular web manhua.

    • Even today’s has “T/N: Bullshit, you’re underground, how can you tell?” Which is, again, absolutely unnecessary and downright INTRUSIVE into the story. If I owned this property I would be FURIOUS to see this kind of thing happening. But, these folks at Träumerei are already pirates, so it’s not like they’re more official than any other scanlators. They’re not paying for the license, so presumably they can do what they please. But, this is the kind of behavior that pisses off legitimate authors and makes them send cease and desist letters from lawyers. Seriously. I want to have translators notes when language is unclear, there is a pun, or some cultural reference I wouldn’t normally be privy to. I do NOT want your opinion of the story or the characters. EVER. But clearly they think that’s their prerogative, their privilege.

  6. Ch 29 is titled ’29 station I really love you ah’ in the original. I’ll try and find you a different translation without the editorializing to compare bros vs love. Wish me luck. I may be making it all up.

    • And these guys don’t even bother translating the titles! Yeah, a friend of mine, Rachel, who lives in Taiwan actually also offered to translate for me, but she’s got a full-time job (as I’m sure you do too–or at least a full-time life of some sort!) so, yeah, I’m going to have to depend on these self-inserting editorializing nimrods who seem determined to police the way this manhua is read. It’s so jarring. It’s like reading a book and suddenly out of the blue a voice behind you shouts, “Oh, she’s so cute here! I love this part!” and you’re like, “What? Who even are you? I’m trying to read here!”

  7. Just wanted to throw some more (late) support your way as a fellow fan of the series (who was looking for fellow fans so that’s how I stumbled across your blog). Even if it hasn’t fully developed into full-on romance so far, who’s to know how this will end up down the line?

    Looking at the other comment thread, I really take issue with “Cause they remind me of me and her and I would REALLY love it if they just stayed that way, as friends, which is probably the author’s thought as well.” 1) While I don’t mind how they turn out either way…seriously? We have so much stuff out there with two guy friends ending up with either outcome so it’s not like this is a niche concept that begs for me to really root for them to stay just friends. (on the other hand, I would REALLY love if shonen protags stopped getting paired up with some girl at the end, it’s okay if you just stay friends with everyone!) 2) “which is probably the author’s thought as well” (along with the 99.99% citation at the end) presented as near-fact sounds arrogant. Who knows what the author’s thinking? Maybe she’s setting up a slow burn story or will throw in some other developments. Now if the raws were complete, that’d be a slightly different story but they’re NOT. So I especially don’t understand this “squashing” of someone else’s interpretation this early on in the game. And of all of this is aside from the point you brought up about how fans are allowed to interpret things differently from the author’s original intention anyway.

    So, this longer-than-originally-intended post is all just to say, you do you! And there are definitely others who support your point of view on this. 🙂

    • First of all, wow, I can’t believe i’m still getting hits on this particular post.

      Second, Welcome, fellow fan of “Let’s Take the Train Together, Shall We?” !! As I have said in response to previous comments, I’m still reading this manhua, but not posting reviews of any more. The translators and their fans have effectively pushed me out of their fandom, so I’ve chosen not to engage about it or promote it in any public forum. That being said, I still love this! I’m all caught up, so if you have anything you want to chat about, please feel free to comment here (or drop me a line: lyda.morehouse@gmail.com — if you want to PM, I am on Tumblr as http://junko222.tumblr.com).

      You can obviously join their forum as well, I think one of them links to it above. I haven’t seen any fanfic of this manhua yet, but that might be because its still so relatively new. Plus, in a way, because the relationship is still so open, I don’t see a lot of fans feeling a burning need to write. Tumblr similarly disappoints. I found EXACTLY one post tagged #Let’s Take the Train Together Shall We? So, yeah, maybe their forum is all that exists of this fandom?

      Anyway, hello! Welcome!

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