Whattup, Brah? Yer lil sis speakin’, yo. *tehepero*

This one might turn out confusing or inconsistent, because I’m really tired. But it has to be thrown out there, no matter what. The subject will be Escha & Logy no Atelier – Tasogare no Sora no Renkinjutsushi. The anime adaptation. This release.

First I want to clarify that I know DarkHollow and he simply overlooked this localization. Now you may ask, what happened there to begin with? She uses the well-known term “Onii-chan” there. Literally translated it means “big brother”. Not from 1984, just your normal family member. However, the Japanese also use it to describe people somewhat older than themselves. “Onii-chan” would then mainly be for girls, though. And only for the cutie characters, since others would rather use “Onii-san” or something similarly polite. An example, if a high school girl in Japan gets tutored by a male university student (pant, pant), she could call him “Onii-san” – in this case “Sensei” would be more common, of course. Another example, if a high school girl asks a 20-ish year old guy for directions as she’s lost and tells her friend about it, she could call this stranger “Onii-san”.

I haven’t completely seen this anime, as this kinda line above flat-out ruined it for me, but I know their family names are different, so it could be that those two aren’t even related in any family-ish way. Keep that in mind.

So, do you have siblings? No? Yes? Great. How do you call them? Brother? Bro? Big Bro? Brah? Jesus. Of course not. At least I hope you don’t. Normal people call their siblings by their names. That’s how western culture works, as far as English- and German speaking countries are concerned anyway. You might say, “but she’s not cute at all then!” And yes, I agree. Now let’s not even talk about how far less cute “Bro” sounds, but what can we do to make her cuter? Girls tend to shorten the names to make them easier to speak and cuter in a way. Christan becomes Chris, David Dave, Leonard Leo, Nicklas Nick or even Nicky. Something like that. This guy’s name is Awin. Now there are really few characters you could save. I decided to go for Awy then.

Another valid “translation” would be, get ready, “Onii-chan”. And hopefully I can explain the reason in the following. What happened in this horrid, horrid case on top is that they tried to localize the dialogue. While they failed with that too (see above) and failed or will fail just like that in many other anime that already happened or will happen, that’s just not how language works. I might write something more on that at another point, but let’s just say that I, personally, believe that language works through the expression of ideas. You can’t localize something, when the target language simply lacks the idea of the source language. Onii-chan is a very common way to call your big brother-ish family members in Japan. Or childhood friends. Or strangers. Blablabla. But even though it does mean big brother if you take it the literal way, that’s not the idea or nuance behind it. It’s the same how we might call our good male friends “bro”. He’s a bro. Not because he’s your brother. Just because he’s a bro. Vice versa that wouldn’t work in Japanese – not with “Onii-x”. Though the Japanese already have a term for it which is “Aniki” (kinda), but rather refers to your gangster comrades. So you can’t just go and call your good male friends “Aniki” over there, they’d laugh at you – laugh at you hard.

Just as hard as I laugh at a cutie anime character, calling someone “bro”. It’s completely alien to me how people can stubbornly turn a blind eye on something so obvious. I’ll do another post on this matter once the D-Frag batch is out. It turns completely ridiculous there. But hey, at least we localized the shit out of it, am I right?

In case you got the same release and couldn’t take it, you can get the fixed subtitle files here. I literally only searched the script for “bro” and replaced it with “Awy”. I did see a buncha awkward phrasings, but that’d go too far. Let’s hope the stubborn scene guys – especially the cancerous ones – will become open-minded at some point and take a turn for the better.

Well, good thing is that there literally are, like, five “Bro”s in the entire anime. There have been worse in that regard. And there will be worse. It basically only struck me here because I was watching it. D-Frag was far worse. I’ll show you when the time comes, Bro.

6 thoughts on “Whattup, Brah? Yer lil sis speakin’, yo. *tehepero*

  1. Sup Cautr bro! I hope my onii-chan didn’t cause you any trouble… Aniki can be somewhat toxic once in a while, like how Hadaly onii-san trolls people.

    And…. well yeah, I agree. That Bro is kinda out of place. Things like these are indeed quite…hard to TL. It really depends on the setting etc. And for this case, it IS weird.

    Oh and, here (where I live), most younger siblings call their older siblings with ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’. Calling by their name is somewhat rude. And honorifics are used most of the time. For the polite and not punk-like-cautr people tho.

    PS : Victorrama looooooves cautr onii-chan

  2. Good analysis, I agree with you. I’m for keeping the original honorifics normally, but if I had to choose I’d pick your alternative. I still miss the time when notes were common and the debate was “notes on scene or after the ending?”. Anglocentric adaptations (US-centric, to be precise) getting so much praise really shows the true nature of most current anime watchers. Yet Hollywood movies dubs never change Dollars to Euro, I’d like to see how they’d react if that happened, or if someone made a Brit version of Moby Dick.
    You’re wrong on a single point though: people don’t turn a blind eye to these “translations”, they want them like this.

    • Comparing it to Dollar/Euro in movies is a bit far-fetched. It basically is translated by calling it Dollar, as it’s called Dollar everywhere. The same would happen to Yen – even in anime. Onii-chan isn’t a globally fixed term for something, so it’s different.

      As for the blind eye, I didn’t mean turning a blind eye to the translation, but to the facts contradicting it. The sole reason for doing it is that it would translate to “big brother” if taken literally. But it doesn’t make it more natural, nor easy on the eye, or anything really. It’s just plain bad.

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