Concerns I have re: Shout Factory's Kakuranger

Discussion in 'Henshin Justice Unlimited' started by Edmond Dantes, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Shogun_Master

    Shogun_Master Why is every good TV show Cancelled

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    Haven't been here in a while, but I'm trying to work though this thing & here's my thoughts so far-

    --There's a thing in writing called "Show, Don't Tell." If someone pulls out a weapon & says Dairinken or a monster walks up and calls itself Daimaru or whatever, you get it fine. You don't need it translated. In a way, it's kind of talking down to the audience, unless there's some sort of instance where it's necessary, like for a joke, mention of title, or- as in Dairenjaa- the monster names add a weird kind of richness to the world when translated.

    --Who do you people think are buying these shows? At least in Northeast Ohio, the only place you can get these sets are online. It's not like someone who's never seen it before is just going to come across a $40-60 set like this on Amazon & buy it on impulse. If we don't know what we're watching by now, who the hell does? It kind of makes certain concerns seem odd or petty, but I do sort of see where some of you guys are coming from on certain points.

    --The world is kind of changing. I don't really think people HAVE to fully understand another culture in order to get a show based in that culture, especially when you can clearly see what's happening. It used to be a major concern back in the 90s, but America is starting to get so saturated with media from other parts of the world as children & adults that it's really not that big of a turn-off to most people. Although, everyone does have their limits. The part I find ironic is that Native American mythology is almost identical in form to Japanese, so it's even more of a private joke for me, but hey...

    --I will say, you do lose bits of culture if you translate the wrong thing. That's kind of what I enjoy from certain Fan-subs of Kamen Rider. If you, say, take a Japanese insult, turn of phrase or Slang word and translate it directly into English it makes no sense. That's why most subbers will usually just replace it with an appropriate English counterpart; but if you do that you lose a bit of authenticity that helps you feel a little closer to the culture that created the show/ film. And I don't just enjoy that in Japanese shows. I like seeing a bit of an authentic look at Europeans, Hispanics, South Asians, etc, etc. It's not necessarily about wanting to emulate it- especially considering learning about Japanese culture though their Childrens' & Family shows is generally about as useful as learning about American Culture by watching Bob the Builder- but just feeling like I got something a little extra out of the experience.

    --Kind of off point, but most silly, children's shows in the US ONLY sell well because of Nostalgia & attitudes change. Adam West's Batman did well because it wasn't any worse done than those old Spaghetti Westerns that were just beginning to go out of style in the mid-60s & Batman was a completely different kind of show done in the same style. Kind of how a show like The Walking Dead becomes an instant cult classic but other shows that are just as gritty & dramatic made by the same people, like Hell on Wheels, is practically never talked about. Ever. And it's one of the best written shows I've ever seen, not to mention The Revenant getting so much Oscar Buzz recently...

    I guess I'll say if & when I get more...
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  2. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    I feel it depends on the meaning. Like when a Japanese person says "Pinch," they usually mean someone is in a bind, in trouble, etc. That wouldn't translate well if you just had the subs read, "We're in a pinch everyone." It makes more sense to read, "We're in trouble everyone."

    Talisman Jaffe made an excellent point when it came to dubbing and subbing anime, especially when it comes with comedy. He said the purpose of subtitles is to essentially explain the joke to the audience. When dubbing that show though, you need to alter the dialog so the audience will laugh at the joke, and that is what the creators want. They don't care if the dialog is accurate at that moment as long as the audience laughs at that moment. The same could be said about Toku.

    I had more I was going to add here, but the lack of sleep has just made me lose it.
     
  3. Shogun_Master

    Shogun_Master Why is every good TV show Cancelled

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    Also a fair point.

    I don't know. I have to admit it is kind of hard to explain. It seems like in order to make a good translation you need to have a fair understanding of both languages, a fair amount of ability as a writer yourself, the ability to think outside the box & a lot of staying strength to endlessly watch tons of episodes of foreign television a few lines at a time & still give a crap.:redface2:
     
  4. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    From what I've seen, if you want to honor another language culture, there are other ways of doing it than leaving random words untranslated (besides the ones that will have their meaning explained within the story anyways), because I can see WITH MY EYES what is going. The visuals will show me the samurai, ninjas, shrines, ceremonies, rituals, etc. If it's a historical piece, then characterize the translation. Make the subs read like how people would talk back in those times, but still keep it accessible enough that the average person can follow what's going on.

    Yes, a translator does need to have a strong grasp on the language, and knowing the history and culture helps too, etc. But that's the translator's job, not the job of the person watching. A good translator can not only translate, but make a polished, finished translation that is is smooth and seamless. The subs read naturally, the dub sounds just like how people would talk normally, and you don't have to engage your brain too much to enjoy it. Or rather, if you do engage you're brain, it's for the right reasons. It's because you're invested in the show, and not because you're trying to back petal because the translator didn't do their job good enough. In fact, you could say that the sign of a good translator is how deeply they got people invested in the story/material.

    I joke about weeaboos because they tend to get most of their information about Japan from anime, but think about it. If they are watching something that was officially licensed with the best translation it could possibly receive, then they are probably too busy enjoying the show as it was meant to be enjoyed. Any stumbling blocks would come from things like different quality of animation and story telling then what they are use to, but they'd still be able to follow it even if it meant slowing down and absorbing the whole thing. If the official translation of an anime was the same as weeaboo subtitles; stilted sentences that could have been written better, random Japanese words left untranslated, etc.; they probably wouldn't become weeaboos in the first place. The show would be so hard to follow on its own. They'd have to do some research, learn some basics about Japan and it's language... By that point, the show is too much of chore to actually enjoy. It stops becoming entertainment and just becomes homework.
     
  5. Edmond Dantes

    Edmond Dantes New Member

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    Before I go any further, I did think of one thing I would want Shout's subs to differ from the fansubs on: the mecha names. Basically, anything that's available as a toy, I hope will use Bandai's official name for them. It would be convenient for, say, people who look up prices on ebay.

    .... that said, it still perplexes me that people are arguing against the official sub going the extra mile, that being basic and sterile is okay. Seriously I have never seen people argue so vehemently in favor of putting in LESS effort.

    It's not like any of us are asking for the moon here--we're simply asking for the official release to be on par with the fansub, which I think is pretty reasonable. In fact, its more than reasonable... as little as two decades ago, we would've called that "normal." That's how capitalism is supposed to work, after all: the cheaper something is, the worse it is. Yet now I'm living in an age where its apparently normal to buy a product simply on faith when you know you can get a superior one for free. The only reason I'm accepting this for Sentai is because I really do want to own them on DVD and for the majority of them, it doesn't matter how good the translation is, but I'm also hoping continued success leads to more Ted Woolsey-esque translations as well.

    Another point to consider is that Kakuranger is, at least for twenty episodes, supposed to be a comedy. Comedy rises and falls on the strength of how well the joke is communicated. Even something as little as a misplaced word can completely ruin a joke--as millions of terrible anime dubs and subs have proven time and again. In the worst case, a too-plain translation might create instances where a joke needs to be explained, and as The Joker once said (in an oft-used clip in TGWTG reviews) "If you have to EXPLAIN a joke, THERE IS NO JOKE."

    It doesn't apply just to humor, either: Remember Clannad (which I mentioned in the OP), where all it took was the removal of a character's verbal tic to completely ruin said character's appeal and charm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  6. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    The problem is that people just will never feel it matches to the fansub of their choice no matter what. I have a friend that says he prefers the fonts fansubbers use over official fonts, and then even when the fonts please him, he finds another thing to not like. I forgot what show it was, but he was like, "The fonts are pretty good, but they seemed to have translated the words a little differently than I'd like. I'll just stick to my fansubs since I didn't have to pay for it and I can take those anywhere I go."
     
  7. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    And yet, it's not enough to simply say that out right. The companies at large might end up learning from the wrong fansub group.

    I know what you meant, you are talking about the good fansubs that are worth all the adoration and respect the community usually gives them. Problem is, there will always be different fansubs. There will be the kind that appease the weeaboos with randomly untranslated words and all honorifics kept intact. There will be people who don't know how to word their translation so nothing is lost in context. There will be people who don't know how to reword jokes to ones that make sense, or reword translations so they fit the personality of the characters talking.

    This is kind of the whole point of my argument from the beginning. Shout Factory, at some point, said they were changing the quality of their translations to be more like fansubs, in response to fan requests. To me, this is the worst thing they could do since it means the quality has dropped. Look at DaiRanger. The first half of the name is left untranslated, random honorifics are left in (but thankfully not too much)... It feels like they decided to take a page from the worst fansub groups rather than the best. Not that I blame them, their job doesn't include being part of the community. I just think they should have stuck to their original method of translating.

    Because of communities like the tokusatsu fandom, I can recognize there is not always a "right" way to translate something, especially when it comes to what counts as a proper name or not. But when it comes to translating, all I ask for is two things. 1) Make sure the translation fits the vision of the original creators, because only they can tell you when to leave something untranslated or when to go that extra distance. 2) Do your best to give us the same viewing experience as the original audience. We should be able to laugh when they did, cheer when they did, etc. To me, that's pretty much the core of an accurate or near-perfect translation. If we lose something in translation, no matter how small, it could skew the entire experience.

    Yeah, fans who feel self-entitled are the worst. That kind of attitude should be discouraged no matter where you go. But what is also just as big a problem is the people who continue or make and/or share fansubs long after there's been an official release. Thankfully, the tokusatsu fandom has pretty much been respectful about that. All the fansub groups I've seen have pretty much taken down their subs when an official product came along, as well as told the fandom to support the official release (except for maybe TV-Nihon in one specific case, but that's another issue that's not important here). However, anime fansubs can be the worst. I found one just the other day that was still sharing Kill La Kill and Attack on Titan fansubs, even though those all ready have an official uncut release. I think there might be one that is still subbing One Piece. To me, those fansub groups should be ashamed. I can't do much about it, but I'm happy when the community does their part and educates people on why supporting the official release is the right thing to do.
     
  8. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    To be fair, Aniplex has Kill La Kill, and they aren't a legit US company since they are just selling the Japanese products with English packaging. :p

    My friend drives me crazy. He loves to talk about how he owns over 600 anime series, but they are all fansubs, so he doesn't actually own anything.

    What are you talking about with Dairanger? The only thing wrong with the subs is Byakko, everything else is perfect.
     
  9. Edmond Dantes

    Edmond Dantes New Member

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    Notice that I said "more like the fansub"--indicating a specific one (and, as clarified by context, specifically the GUIS one).

    "Be more like fansubs" would be a problematic statement since, as you said, not all fansubbers are good. But when a specific one (or even specific groups like Over-Time) are pointed out specifically as "this is how to do it" I'm not sure what the problem is... unless you get an opposite group of people who say "be more like TV-Nihon." But then, this is exactly the issue Linkara faced when deciding which version of Gokaiger to review and once the differences were explained clearly and concisely to him, it became easy. Shout just has to pick whatever example they'd think is best to follow (hint: Over-Time).

    It's not really that vague an issue since we've spent pages outlining exactly how we hope the official subs would be, it seems like there's pretty much a concensus on several areas:

    1. Keep (rather than translate) terms that are proper names ("Saima Clan") or particularly insistent series terminology ("Super Henge" which keeps being used even when an English speaker is introduced)

    2. When puns don't work, replace with an equivalent or one that _does_ work.

    3. Don't treat terms as interchangeable when they aren't.

    4. Include translation notes (preferably as a printout, but as a section on the DVD would be fine) explaining choices or parts where they had to err on the side of caution (or anything they find interesting) in any case.

    Where's the problem?
     
  10. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    For the most part, I agree with what you are saying. I have been from the beginning.

    But since we're getting into semantics, I'll stress it again. Getting into semantics is kind of a silly game here. It's not enough to say "Be more like fansubs" or "Be more like the fansub" because either statement could be misinterpreted, especially if you all ready have a specific fansub group in mind but never specify said group by name. They aren't paid to know which groups give the best and worst fansubs. It's easier to just ask for a quality, thorough translation. Don't ever feel like you have to change the way you translate something just to please the fans, because the fans can never agree on anything. Please the creator(s) of the shows. It's their vision.

    Also, when it comes to names and what counts as a proper name, there is no correct answer on whether to translate it or not. We all have our own opinion, but ultimately it should reflect the wishes of the original creators. If Sentai means Squadron, the subtitles should say Squadron. That's not a proper name to me. The names of the giant robots could be translated, but at the same time could be treated as proper names. Even things like Kamen Rider is called into question because Kamen (as much as fans might want to deny it) does mean Masked, therefore Masked Rider is and has been the correct translation for a long time. Proper name, translated name, hard to say what to go with. It ultimately is about creator's intention and what we loose in the narrative if we leave something untranslated. There might be moments where the characters bring up the meaning of the name, and not having it would make the conversation awkward. At the same time, there may be moments where we're suppose to just recognize the meaning of stuff even if they never bring it up.

    Personally, I think we should have both. For example (and I've said this before), when a giant robot is introduced in Super Sentai, why not put the translation of it's name in parentheses. When Dairenoh is introduced, why not put "(Great Union King)" next to the name, then refer to it as Dairenoh for the rest of the series? If you want to treat Saima Clan as a proper name, then why not add an additional bit of dialogue in the subs that explains that they are catastrophe demons? There is plenty of examples I can make here. We can have both without having to sacrifice or choose one for the other.

    Which leads me to the last thing I want to say. I just have to ask...
    When has it ever been professionally acceptable to add translators notes in a home video release of something? If you have an example, then I'll concede, but it seems like a really silly thing to do. The most I've seen that is in manga, in the filler pages left in by editors/translators. I bought a copy of the Red Baron tokusatsu boxset, but the booklet that came with it was addressing tokusatsu history, not so much the finer points of their translation choices.
    To me, if a translator has done their job, there shouldn't be a need for translation notes. Fansub groups do it because they know, despite their best efforts, their translation choices will never match what the original creators intended. All they can do is explain their translation choices and, if their releases are softsubs, let people make their own custom edits if they disagree with any of those choices. Personally, I disagree with Tinyhenshin's translation choice of "Magical Family Magiranger". I get the context, but they are saying Mahou SENTAI, not Mahou Kazoku. That's why I make my own edits and change it to "Magical Squad MagiRanger." But now I'm rambling...

    Again, I disagree. There are moments where they leave in honorifics (again, with only extreme moderation). If Sentai means Squadron, the subs should say Squadron when they introduce themselves and say the show's name. And if Gosei means Five-Star, the subs should say Five-Star. If anything, I find it weird that you're saying Byakko is incorrect when you're fine with treating things like the word "Sentai" as a proper name. Seems pretty inconsistent, but then again, I'm the guy who is okay with it as long we can have a little of both.

    I have watched most of DaiRanger by now. To be fair, the show is enjoyable despite the weird things that are randomly left in the subs. Perfect? No. I would still prefer the team names are translated like I mentioned above. That doesn't stop me from enjoying the show, but that doesn't make the translation perfect.
     
  11. kuroihikari

    kuroihikari Member

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    The problem with parentheses in the subs is that they can take up an unnecessarily huge space of the screen.

    I say, for professional work, localize it as much as possible. That's how foreign-language films' subtitle for international awards are done. Even proper names that are supposed to mean something are translated when needed (i.e. if it's just a one-off joke that can be missed, just don't bother). Fansubbers don't have the luxury of foresight of which names are just simply proper names, or relevant to the plot, but professional subbers like Shout Factory do.

    And frankly, no honorifics (in English). Honorifics in English are stupid, weaboo pandering that usually can be circumvented by more relevant English terms.
     
  12. Dr Kain

    Dr Kain Member

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    It's fine the way it is. It doesn't need to be translated. It would work either way, but they didn't and it doesn't matter because it is correct.

    You didn't pay attention to anything I said.

    The only point of confusion is they called the Byakkoshinken the White Tiger Sword in episodes 14, 15, and 17, but then start calling him Byakko for the rest of the show.

    The translation is fine. It's not perfect because no translation will ever be perfect. Even companies like Bandai have never had their subs perfect as they constantly spelled Zech's last name differently in their Gundam Wing subs (sometimes it was Merchise, then it would be Merquise, and then Marquise).

    Dairanger is perfect in the sense that they translated the names that needed to be translated while leaving the ones that needed to be left alone alone.
     
  13. SamuraiEchidna

    SamuraiEchidna Member

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    The only time that might be a problem is when someone is talking at the same time as the introduction or if a song is being translated at the same time. If the name translation in parentheses is too long, just start it on a new line. When it comes to DVD's, I've seen up to 3 lines of text on the screen at one time (maybe more, but I can't think of a specific example). I think there is enough room for just a name and it's meaning.

    I've read everything you said and I'm trying to understand, but I still feel like I disagree. But I've said my peace, and we're at a cross roads. You stand by your beliefs, and I respect that, but I stand by mine. I really have nothing more to add to this conversation or this topic as a whole without constantly repeating myself. And I'm the guy who is trying NOT to be stubborn. I'm trying to accept all points of view as valid. I'm trying to find a compromise that everyone can agree with. But what I have to say keeps falling on deaf ears. Either way, I'm done. You're entitled to your points, others are entitled to theirs, and I'm entitled to mine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
  14. Edmond Dantes

    Edmond Dantes New Member

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    I can think of two--both by ADV, both mecha series that were used to create the series Carl Macek is most known for. One involves BEWARE OF THE SPORES and the other involves a female rock star who is actually a dude.

    Hell, you could always do what GoLion did--it always subbed Jyuohken as "King's Sword Jyuohken." Which tells you what the term means while also admitting that Jyuohken IS a proper name.

    Altho technically Juu-Ou-Ken means "Sword of the Beast King," considering the show is already called Beast King Golion and he's wielding a King's Sword, I think it all words in a sort of putting-everything-together way.
     

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