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Discotek Licenses Japanese Sonic X!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by KingOfBunnies, Oct 25, 2022.

  1. My copy arrived at my father’s in the US. Couldn’t bring myself to pay over $100 in total for shipping + VAT + whatever else Denmark squeezes out of imports lol. Figured my little brother could hold onto it until I visit home or someone visits me.

    The case looks extremely nice from what I saw in the video call. I’m looking forward to finally getting to watch Sonic X (almost) as intended, especially since I’ve never seen beyond the beginning of the Adventure 1 adaptation. I think FoxBox changed its time slot so I lost track of the show as a kid.

    Edit: Looking at old programming schedules, I guessing now that I stopped watching when it went into reruns and never thought to check when new episodes were coming. They had like 6 months of reruns after the first batch of episodes in additional to changing the time slot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2023
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  2. ElectricAngel

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    I'm mostly curious to check it out if only because of the Metarex saga. People seem to praise it to no end but I could never bring myself to get that far. It really is a... bad show, really! As much a I love Sonic, damn, that first season is just so slow and uninteresting. I prob would've settled for a dub watch of Metarex had there not been apparently more edits than the first couple seasons, despite it being made for the West?

    Still yeah I'll wait for a price drop on this. I can't justify dropping so much money when I'm not in the best financial situation and for a release I'd only realistically enjoy 1/3 of (if that).
     
  3. shilz

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    There's a lot of edits because a lot of stuff happens that 2000s US Standards and Practices bound analogue television didn't want to risk airing / couldn't air, or they did it because they thought it needed to have a bit more of a western sense of humor. It's tone-shifty things.

    I'd say if you hated the original series for being slow, Metarex takes that and turns the whole thing into one continuous plot (the main goal never changes, stop the Metarex, but the circumstances do) while also generally building off the characters from where they were previously before the start (lot of Chris stuff threads back in but generally doesn't have anywhere more to go, in a good way.) But as long as you're into spaceship battles and occasional planet exploration, and an overarching plot that can get kinda heavy sometimes, on top of a fair amount of traditional Sonic action, you'll be fine enough.
    I don't know if I'd say it's "better" than the other seasons because it still has a weird sense of humor, characterization, and a tone that changes episode to episode, just in a different setting. I don't know. it's hard to describe all the reasons it can be loved that aren't also reasons someone could hate it.


    On my personal notes, I thought about this earlier while watching (nearly finished, coming up on episode 70 I think?), the subtitles end up being pretty direct so you kind of have to pretend characters said certain things in a more fluid way, which leaves me in a weird spot where I kind of do what another dub just to improve the English flow of dialogue and I guess remove "obvious" statements, even though the whole point is to have accurate dialogue. But it is what it is.
    (Also, saw more Chris hate today during one of his coolest scenes, FUCK THE HATERS.)
     
  4. qwertysonic

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    Chris is the worst, but I don't think his character is actually that terrible. I think he just represents what we all hate about Sonic X: humans being the focal point.
     
  5. Dek Rollins

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    My observations so far about this release... (I didn't even notice the orange juice wine bottle shot, I was mostly paying attention for the "I brought the salami" shot lol)

    The packaging, while really nice looking, smells like chemicals. I know this has nothing to do with the presentation of the show, but it is a part of the product so I wanted to bring it up. I don't think any other Blu-ray or DVD I have smells so strongly of plastic chemicals as this does. It's not a terrible thing, it's just weird.

    Something I noticed in the subtitles of one episode (I don't remember the episode off the top of my head, but it might be when the military is attacking Eggman's base toward the end of the first "saga") is that I can hear Eggman refer to himself in the third person, but the subtitles just have him say "I" or "me" instead. This isn't the first time I've encountered this kind of thing in subtitle translations, and it has kind of become a pet peeve of mine. I can't speak or understand the language I'm listening to, so I have to rely on subtitles, but when I hear something I can understand, at least to some extent, and the subtitles differ, it throws the entire translation into question for me. It's like, how can I trust the translation to be an accurate reflection of the phrasing of the original dialogue if English words are sometimes not being included in the English translation! The line in question wasn't a huge deal, but it bothers me and makes me wonder how many other inconsistencies could exist.

    Otherwise I've been very happy with this. I hope the editing mistakes are fixed with the original shots from the Japanese DVDs in future pressings because, small issue or not, it would be preferable to have it be as original as possible.
     
  6. Ch1pper

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    Regarding translation, it might simply be due to subtitle space limitations. I assume the line is something like, "Finally, the all-time greatest scientific genius in the world, Dr. Eggman, will conquer the planet!", which would certainly be a bit longer than simply "Finally, I will conquer the world!"

    I get what you're saying though; it doesn't have quite the same ring to it. I'd love to know the reason, if just to put our minds at ease.
     
  7. RDNexus

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    Localization, maybe? The translator might've gone with the simplest context of that line, if not with many others.
    I don't think anything relevant has been lost along the way, but context helps in characterization and plot depth.
     
  8. Windii

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    Referring to oneself and others in third person all the time doesn't work in English, simple as. That's your answer.
     
  9. Dek Rollins

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    I found the line in question: "But I have to teach them a lesson on what happens when you underestimate me." In episode 13, after Decoe and Bocoe fire the base's missiles at Eggman by mistake. I also checked the "Stitch Encodes" which seems to be the most prevalent copy of Japanese Sonic X online as far as I'm aware, and it has the same translation.

    I assume the more direct translation was either "when you underestimate Dr. Eggman" or "when you underestimate me, Dr. Eggman." In either case, it works perfectly fine in English. I just hate when subtitles don't match what the person is actually saying, particularly when English words (or names) are being changed or ignored. In my opinion that's a poor translation, and it's distracting when I, as a native English speaker, hear an English word or a recognizable word/phrase/name and don't see it in the subtitles.
     
  10. RDNexus

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    It's oh so often in anime translations...
    That derives from localization, an act of adapting literal translation to something more familiar and/or acceptable to the intended target audience.
    Be they anime viewers or casual viewers...
     
  11. SuperSnoopy

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    Localisation can be a tricky best (I'm in the process of writing an entire thesis about it :V), but the general rule of thumb is that literal translation is generally a bad idea.
    In that case, I can see how keeping the "dr eggman" would've still worked in English but it kinda comes out of nowhere if he never refers to himself as such before in the English version. Cohesion is important in translation, it's best to build a consistent vocabulary and stick to it, lest your localised scrip flips flops all over the place tone and/or grammar wise.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2023
  12. Dek Rollins

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    Well I guess I'll just have to disagree that having an egotistical character like Eggman refer to himself in the third person breaks any dialogue cohesion. Saying "don't underestimate me" and saying "don't underestimate Dr. Eggman" are two different sentences and I don't think a translation should be changing the contents of such a statement. Especially when, again, the English speaking audience can literally hear that the subtitles don't match what he's saying.

    Though I think it's worth reiterating that it isn't something that ruins the release or anything. It's just something I find irritating and feel strongly about. The non-original visuals seem to be a far more important issue.
     
  13. Having inconsistencies between the subs and the audio is very annoying once you know enough of the language to notice it. It also makes it harder to use the media as a learning tool. A very weird one I’ve noticed recently is the Phantom Troupe in HxH calling Kurapika “chain user” in the sub when they are saying “kusari yarou,” which is more like, “chain bastard.”

    A bit of a tangent: I understand and agree with having localizations rather than literal translations, but that is not the problem with localizers nowadays. The point of a localization is to adapt the message in order to convey the same meaning as the original, whereas it now seemingly means adapt the original meaning to fit the tastes of the new audience/localizer. When localizers get this pointed out to them, they then act purposefully dense as if detractors would prefer the characters to speak like, “I BlueSkiesAM2 is called. The number one liked game of me, Sonikku 3 is. You, liked games, what is?”

    Edit: I realized I botched my username lol.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2023
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  14. SuperSnoopy

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    It really should :V

    It really isn't :V

    I apologise if I'm being thickheaded about it, but I can guarantee you localisation has always been about taking liberties with the source text (ST for short), and adapting a product/good to a particular demographic, via translation, adaptation, marketing, creative liberties, etc.
    That's been what this entire concept has been about ever since its inception in the 80s, with PC software development.

    I feel like there's interesting conversations to be had about it for sure! I don't want to be this jerk that's like "you guys just don't get it", but there's just so much misinformation going on about localisation online nowadays I feel it's an uphill battle to get people to understand that literally every piece of translated media they consume has been localised in some way, and localisation professionals aren't these "evil guys that want to completely rewrite the products to fit their tastes!!!11!&1", when 99% of the time they're actually hardcore fan themselves.

    Translation isn't a perfect science, sometimes compromises have to be made, and I get that. But trust me, it's better to take liberties than to have your translation feel like an early 2000s fansub, lol
     
  15. Dek Rollins

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    This is funny to me because I've encountered the word "bastard" in another similar instance. I was editing an Italian film, and to sync English subtitles to it I was working with a translator who provided me the full translated dialogue. There was one scene I noticed where a character, while throwing insults at another, says "bastardo" which is of course literally "bastard" in Italian. But the translation text didn't include it. I adjusted the phrasing to put that word in and my translator let me know my alteration was accurate.

    I'm sorry but did you even read the line I've been referring to? There is nothing about Eggman referring to himself in third person that feels like an early 2000s fansub. This isn't a case of a Japanese sentence making zero grammatical sense when put word for word in English. This is a specific way of phrasing a statement, which works perfectly fine in English, being changed arbitrarily. Dr. Eggman is a villain with a huge ego and referring to himself in the third person is part of his character.

    Not only that, but do I really have to say it again, changing this phrase in the translation is actively distracting because I can literally hear him saying his own name and it didn't show up in the subs.

    Also, I think you're doing exactly what BlueSkiesAM2 was referring to, implying that making the content of a translation accurate will automatically result in unprofessionally written nonsense. Which is ridiculous.
     
  16. SuperSnoopy

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    I mean you've been given multiples explanations as to why a more faithful translation wouldn't work in this case, so I think my point still stand.
    I'll respectfully take my leave from this thread now, I've learned over the years that discussing japanese translations online never really amounts to much, lol
     
  17. Dek Rollins

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    You did not give a single valid reason why the line in question can't work in English with an accurate translation. There is no lack of "cohesion" and there is no grammatical confusion caused by it. Source: I'm a native English speaker.
     
  18. I should have said translation instead of localization there (as in, “The point of a translation is to convey the same meaning, not be as literal as possible.”), or made a point that mention that it’s what I think a localization should accomplish in this situation. As you mentioned, localization has incorporated content and meaning changes since the 80s, so I was more trying to highlight the differences between the expectations of the audience and the actions of the localization team. Characterizing it as something that changed over time was a mistake on my part.

    You shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that there is one style or single “degree” of localization, however. While the goal is always to make changes in order for the game to sell in a new region, the amount and type of changes differ depending on the audience. Furthermore, some localizations are clearly more successful than others. Would you argue that the 4Kids version of Sonic X was a “good” localization? And on what basis is that judgment being made? Sonic X was incredibly successful in the West, which some may use as an example that it was “good,” but does the localization get the sole credit for that?

    I’d be interested in seeing your thesis when you’re finished if you’re up to share. I actually wrote my MSc. thesis on a similar topic. It wasn’t exclusively about localization, but rather the factors that influence a Japanese-developed game’s success in the west and marketing strategies that would allow for more niche games to get localized. I used Sega as a case, so I spoke to a lot of old SoA staff. I remember a story regarding an American focus group responding very poorly to the outfits of Claris and Elliot in NiGHTS, with someone saying Elliot looked like a Chinese delivery boy lol.

    While that specific line would work in a vacuum, there are other instances of using third-person that work in Japanese but would sound awkward in English. Like Windii said, in Japanese, it’s more common to refer to people by their names rather than pronouns like “you” in conversation, which will stand out to an English audience and distract from the actual content. The translators probably just applied that rule to this instance, even if there is a way to make it work.
     
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  19. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

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    A very interesting answer, thank you for taking the time to write it down.
    My mistake was to get overzealous and make it look like localisation was this perfect thing, when I'm actually the first person to bitch when a localisation is less than perfect, believe me :V

    As you mentioned, Sonic X's 4kids localisation was dogwater, and my thesis is actually centred around analysing Fire Emblem Fates' infamous localisation, which we can all agree was of...debatable quality, lol
    In fact, how much "degree" of localisation is needed, and whether or not the perceived quality of said localisations influences the sales and success of games is one of the focal point of my studies, which I tried to answer by analysing as much secondary sources as I could, interviewing localisation directors, etc.
    One could argue this release being relatively niche and focused on the original Japanese release and dub would target a niche fanbase, who wouldn't mind having a more "japanese accurate" script, even if it means having some awkward sentences here and there. I'll admit it's something I didn't think of when typing these inital messages.

    It's a pretty interesting subject, but I might be straying off topic here, lol. I just saw the word "localisation" brought up and got scared the thread would devolve into yet another "localisation EVIL!!!1!!1!" circlejerk when the translation in question was actually perfectly good and accurate, so I might've come off too strongly here, that my bad :p

    (as for sharing my thesis: I'd love to, but it's actually written in french, sorry! ^^')
     
  20. Eh, give me a drink and I’ll get there eventually, but I try to be a bit more nuanced during the day lol. Localization is a fact of life, but I really don’t like the idea that others will need to learn Japanese to experience the media as intended.

    I’m not sure what you study, but program was MSc. Business, Language, and Culture at Copenhagen Business School, so I was more focused on determining marketing strategies that would allow for the publication of niche titles (so improving the ROI in this case) in the West, so the actual localization process was only slightly touched upon. For products like this, where the audience is inherently limited, a less heavy handed localization is not only appreciated (and desired) by the audience, it’s more cost effective. Think of brands like Eastasiasoft where the point is to conduct very limited localization.

    Anyway, too bad it’s in French. Can you localize it for me? :V

    Let me know if you’d want mine, as I’d be glad to share it. It’s not super heavy on theory though, as it’s mostly practical information regarding marketing strategies, so it likely won’t be helpful.