Adored listening to this episode, some real juice in here. Experience is an extremely cool developer, and I should watch more of those Sakurai videos, it’s kind of a crazy resource that we’re not gonna believe we had if it’s ever gone. I think Yeo is the perfect answer to that question; I don’t know their personal situation, but you just wanna shake them till they understand that their work is hitting home for a whole chunk of people in a very big way.
On the translation thing, I’m not a translator, but am a writer and voice actor who works in localization a fair bit with the latter, and I’m also just a picky lil shit about games writing. I think one simple way to put it is that, using Japanese > English as an example, the translated line should hit the English audience the same way it hits the Japanese audience. I use this example from the ongoing Chainsaw Man localisation, which in many ways is very good, but has moments of inconsistency. At one point early on, a very intimidating devil (big demon) says something like “I hate you because you kill devils like me” to the protagonist. And as an English viewer, that line teleported my ass out of the world of the show so quick.
Maybe it’s a very direct translation of a Japanese line in a show that usually sounds a lot more natural, maybe it’s a manner of speaking or of storytelling that would hit Japanese ears very naturally. But to my American English-speaking, English content-absorbing ears, it immediately sounded dumb as fuck, like something a four-year-old with action figures would say. A “naturalization,” to use Brandon’s words, to English audiences would have been something way less direct, like a terrible insult or revenge-tinged threat that tells us the demon hates the protagonist (and maybe even tells us something about the demon) without stating its motivation directly. It takes thoughtful writing to make that hit right, not literalism.
It definitely seems like we’re trending in that more naturalized direction these days, and the weirdos who associate literal translations with some sort of creepily exoticising “purity” can just keep on being weird over there.