「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:

English version

The term “weaboo” is my least favorite inter­net buzz­word, even more-so when it’s used in the wrong con­text. Weaboo, orig­i­nat­ing from a web­com­ic where it meant lit­er­al­ly noth­ing, start­ed its life as a 4chan meme when the board own­er decid­ed to use it as a word fil­ter for wapanese (or Japanophile, I for­get). So when­ev­er a poster want­ed to write “wapanese/Japanophile”, they would type “weaboo” instead because the word would have been fil­tered any­way. Then like every oth­er 4chan meme, it even­tu­al­ly left the board and quick­ly became can­cer.

If the word has any mean­ing at all, it would be a per­son who tries to be Japan­ese. A wannabe Asian.

Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed TAKES PLACE IN JAPAN. Why the hell would a Japan­ese per­son call anoth­er Japan­ese per­son a “weeb”… in Japan?! That’s like West African natives call­ing each oth­er wig­gers (white peo­ple try­ing to be black). “Weaboo” is overused to the point where it no longer makes sense when peo­ple use it as an insult, it’s mis­used and looks idi­ot­ic to every­one who does­n’t go apeshit when­ev­er they encounter some­one that likes any­thing remote­ly Japan­ese.

Way to make the word seem broad­er than it actu­al­ly is to the Eng­lish Only Peas­ants, XSEED-sama. The word should not be used in a Japan­ese set­ting among Japan­ese char­ac­ters, peri­od.

Japanese version

In the Japan­ese ver­sion, the Pot­suri user Eriko used 萌え豚ども. She’s call­ing the oth­er Pos­turi users that are look­ing for­ward to Rin’s con­cert moe pigs. A lit­er­al trans­la­tion or even a sim­ple Amer­i­can­ized “Have fun, moefags” (which is very 4chan) would have suf­ficed instead of using a word that makes NO SENSE in con­text of the set­ting.

Unchar­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly, XSEED chose to go with a Local­iza­tion Deci­sion for Lit­er­al Dum­mies in this one instance. Every­thing else is pret­ty aver­age in terms of trans­la­tion, not any­where near as cringey as the word weeb being used in Japan. Def­i­nite­ly nowhere near remote­ly as cringey as the infan­tile con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing the slang “trap” being used, which real­ly was­n’t Mar­velous USA’s fault. Sor­ry, chil­dren.

(btw, I’m kind of a moefag and there­fore off to be asshurt and offend­ed, muh feelz)

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