Localizing/translating Visual Novel titles

Posted in

#1 by superangelo128
2019-05-10 at 18:23
I've noticed there are a few major ways Visual Novel titles got localized and/or translated (or not) when brought over by an official company

1) VNs that originally had English titles and are kept

So things like

* Princess Evangile

* Deardrops

* Root Double

* Little Busters

Obviously there's not much need to change these unless it's in Engrish or something.

2) VNs with titles that are in Japanese or not in English but are fully kept

For example things like

* Neko Para

* Dies Irae Amentes Amentes

* Hoshizora no Memoria.

These could theoretically get translated into something in English but aren't.

3) VNs that fully translate the title into English directly

For example things like

* Newton to Ringo no Ki -> Newton and the Apple True

* Majo Koi Nikki -> Witch's Love Diary

* G-senjou no Maou -> Devil on the G-String

* Grisaia no Kaijitsu -> Fruit of Grisaia

4) VNs that translate some parts of the title, but keeps the rest in Japanese

For example things like

* Suki to Suki to de Sankaku Ren'ai -> Sankaku Ren'ai: Love Triangle Trouble!

* Sharin no Kuni, Himawari no Shoujo -> Sharin no Kuni: The Girl Among the Sunflowers

* Umineko no Naku Koro ni -> Umineko When They Cry

5) VNs that fully localize the title into something that has a similar meaning but far from the direct TL of the original title

For example things like

* Kono Oozora ni, Tsubasa o Hirogete / Konosora -> If My Heart Had Wings

* Gyakuten Saiban -> Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

* Bocchi Musume x Produce Keikaku -> Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome

6) VNs that use fan abbreviations of the full title in the translation


Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai -> MajiKoi: Love Me Seriously

What is your opinion on how VN titles should be localized? Kept fully in Japanese? Translated into English? Which do you think should be used more consistently?
#2 by fuukanou
2019-05-10 at 18:41
The game should be kept in complete Japanese, forget the title lmao

More seriously, I'm not a big fan of the English-Japanese mixed titles unless it's an important word that's hard to translate, has double/unexpected meanings or the game is pretty much known just by that word. Then again, the original games tend to have English subtitles themselves, leading to annoying mixed language titles.Last modified on 2019-05-10 at 18:41
#3 by surferdude
2019-05-10 at 19:17
Keep the original title, so people know what to look for.

For example, it took a few years before I realized that the Resort BOIN H-anime had an uncensored version, simply because the title was changed to Boobs on the Beach. :P
#4 by dk382
2019-05-11 at 03:30
Japanese titles that already have a lot of cachet in the english community are much more likely to be kept in some form. Makes some sense. If everyone's been saying Umineko this and Umineko that, having Umineko in the name helps identify it. "Oh, THIS is the game everyone's been talking about!"

Majikoi is one of the only examples of an abbreviation being used, along with Otoboku and Bokuten. Majikoi makes sense, because that's how *everyone* calls it. Otoboku was particularly confusing though because I don't think anyone had heard of it before it was announced, and nobody was exactly searching for "otoboku." I suppose the principle is that weebs are just comforted by the sight of japanese in the title, and so they don't assume it's some cheap EVN or something? Though the english part of the title is also pretty awful, so whoever came up with that title was probably just phoning it in that day.

Anyway, titles are typically a thing the japanese fans get to enjoy that english fans don't when done by fan translators or companies who don't translate titles at all, so I enjoy a good, cleverly localized english title. Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome is probably one of my favorite VN titles, for instance. And I think a good English title that really pops like that does a lot of work in boosting sales and visibility. Japanese titles all run together for people who can't read them and it's hard to stick out from the rest of the crowd when you use them.Last modified on 2019-05-11 at 09:48
#5 by shroomlord
2019-05-11 at 04:33
Case by case. For example, I wish that they somehow would've emphasized through the title that there's actually a pretty good story hiding in Funbag Fantasy. Maybe they should've tried something a bit more grand? Kyounyuu Fantasy does a pretty good job of telling people in Japan what to expect thanks to the strong link that exists there between the English word "fantasy" and Tolkienesque works. But that doesn't work when you're targeting English-speakers.

And I just gotta say thanks for bringing up Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome, such an awesome and elegant title.


You must be logged in to reply to this thread.