May 21st, 2009


Mental health day

We still haven't gotten our prologue okayed, so we looked at our options. One: Work on the rest of the rewrite anyway. Two: E-mail our boss and see if maybe she got busy and it slipped her mind (also handy as a reminder). Three: Work on something for CMX, thus earning a paycheck in the near future. Four: Take the day off and spend it playing Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix +. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out which one we chose. At any rate, we figured it would be okay to take a mental health day. It has been kind of crazy around here, after all. Also, we've been wanting to start KH2 for a while now, but with a big enough chunk of time that we could get to the part where you play as Sora.

Now, I'm pretty sure a lot of people already know this, but I'm going to explain it anyway for the simple reason that I want to. This is how Kingdom Hearts releases work: Step 1: release original version in Japan, with Japanese voice actors. Step 2: add some scenes, battles, and other nifty features, dub into English, and release in America. Step 3: add even more scenes battles, and other nifty features, stick Japanese subtitles over the English dialogue, and re-release in Japan; call it Final Mix so everybody knows the difference. Of course, the process is based purely on our own observations, and it's possible we missed some details. But that's the gist of it.

The thing about having the English dialogue with Japanese subtitles is that now we can compare the English translation with the original. In other words, we're back to our bad habit of nitpicking about translations. Of course, seeing as how we need to be nitpicky about our Kieli translation, this could be a good thing, because if we stay in that mindset, it might be easier to improve our own work. On the other hand, it's not very nice, and after getting the critique we got, we're not sure we're in a position to be able to complain about others' translations.

Not that it's all bad. Some of the adaptation is actually very very good. Like there was one part where Roxas says something like "sore wa joudan no tsumori ka? tsumaranai n da yo!" (watch my lack of capitalization! ha! (I'm really not sure where it came from)), which is literally "do you mean that as a joke? it's not funny!" And she (we actually know who translated this one, although she may not have done the adaptation) had it as "is that supposed to be a joke? 'cause I'm not laughing!"

And there are some parts where we're just like, "Well, that's not how we would have translated it, but okay." And then there are the parts where we're like, "Are you serious?" Really, I think it's an occupational hazard, as I've said so many times before. And I wouldn't even be talking about it if she hadn't subtly changed Axel's personality. He's supposed to sound more... rugged? "Shibui" is the Japanese word I'm thinking of, and apparently Indiana Jones is the textbook definition of shibui (one of our classmates in a Japanese class said a Japanese friend used Indiana Jones as an example of what shibui means), and one time we think it was chibidrunksanzo who described Indiana Jones as rugged, so I think that's the word I want. But whatever word I'm looking for, English-speaking Axel is not it.

Of course, that opinion does come from a very slight bias from hearing that his Japanese voice is Keiji Fujiwara, who plays shibui characters, but it also comes from the way he talked in Chain of Memories (English version even), and it was confirmed by the Japanese script. So. There you have it. Or something.

Anyway, let's move on. Jiminy Cricket has become much more fascinating in this little adventure, and here's why (I'm using a lot of colons this entry...): a while ago, we read an interview with the man who plays Jiminy Cricket these days, and in it, he said that every time he gets a new script, he'll go over it and adapt it to sound more like the way Jiminy Cricket would say something. So whenever he has a line, it's neat to compare it to the Japanese. Too bad he doesn't talk much.

And that concludes my Kingdom Hearts rambling for today. We're really excited for 358/2 Days!

Today I'm thankful for mental health days, Jiminy Cricket, the ability to whistle, kitties who protect the controller while we're away, and successfully luring those kitties off of the controller when we get back.