Hey guys, remember when I said I was gonna write a list of my favourite anime? Remember how my last post about that was over a year ago? For those of you who have completely forgotten about that, allow me to reintroduce my goal as a blogger: to write a top anime list that doesn’t just justify my choices but reflects me as an individual. Who cares about recommending the best anime? Talking about our favourite anime should be a way of getting to know each other as people.
I say all this because Revolutionary Girl Utena is a very idiosyncratic anime.
Let’s start today’s post with a Youtube video.
What’s interesting about this guy’s take on fansubbing is that he brings up translation theorists in order to justify his argument that fansubs are Objectively Bad Translations. This is something you should probably take with a grain of salt. It’s really easy for an academic’s work to be oversimplified when it’s being talked about in a non-academic environment. Even if the argument itself is presented accurately enough, the context around it might not be. In other words, someone might present an academic theory as fact when a theory is really just a theory.
This is relevant to the world of translation because, if you read any of the modern theories, they’re pretty much all in agreement that what makes a good translation is… um… well… it depends.
Seriously, that’s what it comes down to.
I’ve talked about translation quite a few times already on this blog (see here, here and here), but I thought it would be a good idea to talk specifically about the theory behind translation – and why you in particular, as an anime fan, should give a crap.
This will be a series of posts that covers a major translation theory/debate every week with a key focus on how it applies to anime and its fandom. I’m writing this for a non-specialist, non-academic audience, so I’ll try not to sound too technical or dry. Translators might find some of this stuff relevant to their craft, but this isn’t a guide on how to translate.
Hopefully, after reading a couple of these posts, you’ll have a more informed opinion on key fandom issues such as fansubbing, localisation, faithfulness, and, of course, DUBS VERSUS SUBS.
But before we get started, we need to ask ourselves the obvious question.
Today, I interrupt my anime blog to talk about an important historical event – one that isn’t really history so much as it is the dire present.
In Japan, though, Kill Me Baby has become something of an internet meme. Its popularity has only increased over time. This is particularly interesting because at first, Japanese viewers watched the show and thought, “Baby, please kill me.” That is to say, it was not a popular show when it first aired. The first BD volume sold a grand total of 686 units in the first week.
And yet somehow Japanese viewers changed their mind. When the Bluray boxset was released a year later, it sold over 4000 units despite costing some 16,800 yen. It outsold Toaru Majutsu no Index II (3830) and Infinite Stratos (2577). How did this miraculous turnabout happen?
I have written this post to confirm that, yes, we are taking down all the material from this site, as per Nano Desu policy. The unrelease schedule is as follows:
8/15 – Volume 1 will be taken down, including the ePub/PDF
9/15 – Volumes 2-4 ePubs/PDFs will be taken down
10/15 – Volumes 2-4 text will be taken down
Apologies for the late announcement. We reached out to Yen Press in an attempt to have some input on the terminology/translation conventions in the official release. We were unable to come to any agreement, however. In any case, we at Nano Desu support the Yen Press release, and we sincerely hope that you purchase the light novel when it becomes available.
In any case, it’s been a lot of fun translating Oregairu. I feel that I learned a lot as a translator from working on that series and I don’t regret any of the time I spent on it. In the meantime, I’ve started another translation project: Qualidea of Scum and a Gold Coin. I sincerely hope you check it out!
P.S. It should go without saying that we do not approve of piracy. Please do not distribute our translations past the removal date. Any comments containing download links will be deleted.
If you follow my blog/Twitter, you might know that I’ve been encouraging light novel fans to join the summer reading program over at English Light Novels. In June, we read the first volumes of Kagerou Daze and Mimizuku to Yoru no Ou. If you’re familiar with either of those series, hop on over to the discussion thread and share your thoughts!
If you think you’re too late for this party, never fear. You can always participate in the July program. This month, we’re reading The Isolator by Reki Kawahara (yes, THAT Reki Kawahara) and Tasogare-iro no Uta Tsukai by Kei Sazane. (For more information on where to find these novels and the program schedule, click HERE.)
Getting back to Kagerou Daze and Mimizuku, I thought I’d do something a little different and give readers a taste of what Japanese readers think of the light novels we’ve been reading in English. I’ve translated the top two reviews on Amazon into English. This is by no means a comprehensive overview of fan opinion, but it should give you an idea of what some Japanese readers look for in light novels.