June 27th, 2019


Neo Neon Genesis

We broke the monotony! ...Actually, we broke the monotony yesterday, too. We went to the temple! And it was beautiful as always.

But what I meant was, we worked today, but instead of going straight to Miraculous afterward, we did something else! TADAH!!! The thing is, Netflix just re-released Neon Genesis Evangelion with a new dub and a new translation, and even though we've paid approximately zero attention to these developments, it has been a big enough deal in the anime community that even we have heard that people are not very happy with the new translation. Someone pointed out that a big part of that was nostalgia over the original translation, and we thought hey, we're translators, and we have no attachment to the original translation (we watched Evangelion once, like twenty years ago), so we should be pretty qualified to critique the new one, right? Right!

So that's what we did. We watched an episode of Netflix's Evangelion, and the verdict is! ...they're typical. In fact, they're actually on the more readable side as subtitles go these days. We only watched one episode, and maybe all of the badness is from later on? There were two things that had me going, "Okay, yeah, that's wrong," but they weren't super serious, I think. There was the fact that they translated "chirudoren" to children, so Shinji is the Third Children instead of the Third Child. And we're like, "Yeeeeah, I know it said 'children' in the Japanese, but you really don't need to retain that."

Then there was the time Misato said to Shinji, "aratamete yoroshiku ne," which they translated to "nice to meet you." Now, like I said, we haven't seen the series in about two decades, so I don't remember all the details of how everybody knows each other and whatever, but it was already pretty obvious (from the photo Shinji had of Misato with the message from Misato that even had kiss marks and stuff) that they had met at least once before, and even without that, she said "aratamete." That means roughly, "I'm saying this again." So that wasn't the best choice.

Other than that, there was the usual, "I would have worded that differently," but there wasn't even a whole lot of missed nuance (aside from the aforementioned aratamete). It does make me curious, though, because I think Evangelion was originally brought to the States at a time when translators were trying harder...but on the other hand, "I mustn't run away" isn't exactly more natural English than simply telling yourself, "Don't run away."

So I'm curious to see which subtitles I would prefer, but not necessarily curious enough to go out of my way to find out, because so far...I gotta admit, I'm not really digging the series. None of the characters are very interesting to me yet (I know there's a bunch more; they might make the series more entertaining (we remember liking Kensuke a lot)), and I kind of despise Shinji. The big dramatic scene is him repeating over and over, "I can't do this I can't do this I can't do this!" so after repeatedly telling him, "I asked you to do this because you can and I need you," his father finally says, "Okay, get the other person," and they wheel her in, and Shinji's all, "See? I knew nobody needed me!" And I just wanted to slap his face off. I mean, it's not an unrealistic attitude, but that doesn't make me hate it any less.

We might try a few more episodes, since it is a classic and all, but that was about all we could take...and besides we already had plans to watch three episodes of Miraculous before bed. And boy, did we need it after that cheer-fest. ...It actually wasn't that depressing (it was just the first episode), but the music they use to replace Fly Me to the Moon was super creepy. So it helped to move on to the much brighter, more cheerful Miraculous. I will say, though, that I did notice some similarities between Hawk Moth and Gendo Ikari.

Today I'm thankful for not being too far behind on work, getting to revisit a classic anime, getting to see a couple of super funny sketches from JK Studios, the Malediktator episode of Miraculous, and Page coming to hang out with us.