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Post Reply Lost in Translation - Anime/Manga
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27 / M / ATL - GA
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Even the most hardcore fans and Japanophiles out there can have difficulty understanding or relating to certain aspects of anime and manga. Despite how connected they are to the west now, Japan still has a very unique (and different) culture, which is reflected in the media we consume. Sometimes these cultural quirks are really simple social constructs or ideas that we don't really have in the west. Other times they are ideas or themes that challenge our western sensibilities--or even outright offend us.

So I ask, what do you occasionally find in anime and manga that's hard to understand or relate to? Do you think it has given you a greater understanding of their culture or do you think it only offers a small taste of what they're really like?

Personally, the main thing that irks me is anime/manga's typical approach to rape. I have no problem with rape being used in a story if it is handled with care, but too often I see it used as a tool to excite and arouse the viewer/reader rather than repulse them. I'm not even talking about hentai here! It's frankly very troubling, and will make me lose respect for the work and the author if handled poorly.
Posted 7/12/15
Not really, but I cheat.
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27 / M / ATL - GA
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Posted 7/12/15

haikinka wrote:

Not really, but I cheat.

I assume that means you're intimately familiar with the culture XD
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24 / M / St.Louis - USA
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
Nothing
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13 / F / California
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Posted 7/12/15

CKD-Anime wrote:

Nothing


But you live in Japan?

I wish there was more anime that takes place in small towns. If you watch anime, you'd think everything takes place in Tokyo.
Sogno- 
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Posted 7/12/15

VZ68 wrote:


CKD-Anime wrote:

Nothing


But you live in Japan?

I wish there was more anime that takes place in small towns. If you watch anime, you'd think everything takes place in Tokyo.


check out manga, there's lots of stories that take place in the country/small towns

but may i also suggest the anime Mushishi and Natsume Yuujinchou? Both very beautiful series.
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17 / M / Crimson Mage Village
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Posted 7/12/15
Puns.
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27 / M / ATL - GA
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Posted 7/12/15

Yeah, puns are a huge one. The Monogatari series loses a lot of its humor in translation due to its excessive use of word play and puns.
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13 / F / California
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Posted 7/12/15

Sogno- wrote:



check out manga, there's lots of stories that take place in the country/small towns

but may i also suggest the anime Mushishi and Natsume Yuujinchou? Both very beautiful series.


Thanks, I'll look into them!
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37 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 7/12/15
I think I'll probably always find incest or the play towards incestuous style connections to be off putting.
Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
It's an extremely minor thing - but how they address each other.

I mean, in the U.S. last names are more or less just a formality if you think about it. Not always - obviously some people go by their last name, but even in those cases it's treated more or less like a first name or a nickname.

When I first started watching anime (and even now, to an extent), the name thing confused me because they treat the last name as an actual name instead of just a formal thing.

I remember quite often when reading subs, i would think something like "Who the heck is Yamazaki?" or "Wait - who was Tachibana again?" because I forget that both their first and last names are important.

Also - the fact that they reverse the order doesn't help. And to complicate things, sometimes they don't reverse the order if one of their names is Western
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16 / F / Connecticut
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Posted 7/12/15
Puns, the whole social construct in general (I really hate the idea of having to be nice to someone, just because they are above me), and the names thing is slightly annoying, too. The whole idea of cute vs sexy really confuses me, too, because why not just have both?

I know it's weird to think about, but whatever.
Posted 7/12/15
Actually, i don't try to relate and anime is pretty easy to understand or i just accept it. Fuck it.
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27 / M
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Posted 7/12/15
Wordplay, proverbs, certain phrases. Some just don't work in English but it can't be helped.
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38 / M / 地球
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Posted 7/12/15 , edited 7/12/15
The use of "offensive" language and regionalism adaptation (From Japanese to English that is):

Real life Japanese culture or even Entertainment hardly do insult the way some western countries do (I.E. The States).

When you watch anime or read a manga in Japanese and then you watch its English translation, you cannot help but to think that the translators went a little too far in the way they address insults. Like the translators take insults up to three more levels in comparison.

I.E:
アホか?![aho ka?!] (-literal translation-: "Are you stupid?!") (-usual translation- in media: "Are you f***ing out of your mind?!" or "Are you f***ing nuts?!")
このやろう![kono yarou!] (-literal translation-: "That damn guy!") (-usual translation- in media: "You f***ing son of a b**ch!" "You f***ing wench" "You mother f***er!" "You f***ing moron!")

We can go forever, but also there are some non offensive dialogue adaptations like:

@05:16: 「そんなこと言わずに殴ってください!さあ、是非!」[sonna koto iwazu ni nagutte kudasai! Saa, zehi!]
(-literal translation-: "Please don't say that and hit me! Come now, without fail")
(-usual translation- in media: "Don't be like that. Just hit me. Right here in the kisser!)
「半殺しまでは可か・・・」[Hangoroshi made wa ka ka...]
(-literal translation-: "-Its acceptable to leave him half-dead-, huh...")
(-usual translation- in media: "Permission to beat the crap out of him, huh.")

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I mean, to be a translator is a really tough job, but sometimes to change stuff just to -spice things up- feels unnecessary. In my humble opinion that is.

Of course a lot of ppl will disagree with me, since they need that all media that comes to them must be spoken in the same way they are used to. To hear the words and phrases they hear everyday at the street. But I think that those phrases (talking about English speaking countries) do change a little bit. Pretty sure many of them are different in US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc...

I don't know, in my opinion, to leave the most closest adaptation of the literal meaning ('cus sometimes you can't just leave the phrase without adaptation) is the best way to translate. But then again, many ppl might find that tasteless or cheesy. But I do think that to leave an artist's work as close as its original state is better than to change it completely for the sake of some specific audience.

I take my hat off to translators. It is a really tough job.
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