Category Archives: Localization Decisions for Literal Dummies

「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Akiba’s Trip 2 and “weaboos”

Marvelous USA (a.k.a. XSEED) is one of the only localization companies I trust nowadays when it comes to Japanese video games. I particularly commend them for respecting the target audience of the niche games they bring over and paying no heed to our western culture’s increasingly incessant need for political correctness.

Their localization of Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed was far from perfect (considering the use of internet slang/memes in Potsuri/Pitter, the game’s parody of 2ch, it’s understandable), but it’s good at getting the point across for the most part. When the game was released in NA during the later part of 2014, many overly-sensitive Politically Correct Babies criticized one Pitter user’s use of the word “trap”, which was used in place of the Japanese version’s use of the slang “nekama”net okama, which is essentially a guy pretending to be a girl online. I swear, humanity as a species of primates are losing their backbones just as we lost our tails – if fictional insults (if even considered one, really) used by a fictional internet asshole are to become a source of massive controversy and offense, I’m worried about where millennials will take our society next. We already had that one asswipe causing a shitstorm over a white woman’s hand being featured on Super Mario Maker. Freakin’ putrid.

It’s a fictional depiction of the internet, which is not a nice place in real life either. If people are easily offended by words in fiction without processing the context, intent, and tone of the usage, and confusing it with outright slander, they’re better off staying under the shelter of their parents’ roofs for everyone’s own good (eh, maybe not their parents’ own good).

It’s gotten to the point where it seems people value Politically Correct censorship over an accurate translation, which to be honest, the trap translation is. They could have also used something worse that actually is intentionally transphobic, like “tranny” or something. Although, it’s not like the babies will stop complaining either way. Anyways, the only big problem I had with XSEED’s localization (besides the horrid English dub that’s nullified with dual audio anyway) was this:

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「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Syaoran the Bestie

Great boxset, terrible subtitles

When Nippon Ichi Software America released their premium edition of the Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-ray collection in 2014, I was obviously the happiest person on Earth finally being able to own the definitive viewing experience of possibly one the cutest anime series in existence, at an affordable price. And everything was almost perfect, especially the video transfer. It’s exactly the same as the Japanese release.

But there’s one thing that went wrong with this release: the subtitles. Now, it’s no secret that NISA translations are really, really bad. True to form, the subtitles are pretty iffy here and there. Naturally, it’s not a bad as Nelvana’s retool hackjob of a dub “Cardcaptors” back in the early 2000’s, which was quite frankly the devil’s incarnate. In comparison, iffy subtitles are incredibly minor and a godsend. But there’s one translation flub present in this release that is rather bothersome. And that is, Sakura calling Syaoran her “bestie”.

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「Localization Decisions For Literal Dummies」 Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

Great game, terrible localization

Alright, I love the crap out of the Atelier series. Old school JRPG gameplay with adorable characters designed by awesome Japanese artists such as Mel and Hidari, and alchemy management with some minor VN elements thrown in here and there? I’m game, definitely better than your annual soulless first-person shooter series. And I totally appreciate the fact that more and more of the games are getting localized and that it’s becoming a trend. But holy shit, even though the localization’s been getting better ever since Koei Tecmo took over from NISA, it’s not really saying much because the quality control still leaves a lot to be desired. It’s bearable for most of the games, but a lot more noticeable with Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, the game being riddled with mistranslations, bad typography, and inconsistencies with previous games.

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