Feb 152020

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  7 Responses to “Altering Making Solutions Per Culture”

  1. This type of localization is not new within the medium of anime and goes across to other mediums. This specific company, 4kids, that was in charge of localizing was infamous of greatly altering anime for an American children audience. Sometimes it was either changing food and some dialogue, other times it was completely changing characters and the stories that these shows were telling.

    As the years have gone on, the localization of international properties have a little gotten better as companies now try to find equivalents for some of the dialogue or events, another solution is trying to explain them in order to preserve the original meaning and intent. The latter could be a solution and is something people today are already overcoming. Once people see that some events or sayings only really apply to the original audience, they do take the time to see the history and cultural significance of those events or sayings.

    • Hi Bert,
      It’s insightful to read your comment, since you are highlighting the efforts by companies for doing a more responsible translation of culturally specific objects, as well as how this practice has changed over time. Next time, you can include your opinion or point of view about these practices, opening the discussion with your classmates in a conversational way.

  2. As Humberto said, this kind of localization depicted in your first photo is quite common in the medium of anime, but is especially so in the case of children’s anime shows exported from a place as culturally different from the US as Japan. One famous example comes from an episode where the American localization was to not visually change a depiction of the same Japanese food from that first photo to an American food. Instead, the characters refer to what is visually the Japanese onigiri (a filled rice ball wrapped in seaweed) as a jelly donut.

    The second photo you used brings some questions to the fore. Ostensibly, the idea is that a Japanese version of the Pokemon Bulbasaur was adapted to look more like a female humanoid. However, Pokemon characters largely stay the same visually, despite having some characteristics (especially names) adapted for different cultural audiences.

    It seems that the photo you used is some kind of parody of stereotypical Japanese animation styles. In those styles, as is often apparent, female characters have unrealistic physical proportions and are overly sexualized. That animation style would hopefully never be used in a children’s show like Pokemon.

    The fact that you chose that photo is an interesting example, though, of the process of localization. Perhaps if a Japanese animator wanted to adapt an American cartoon into a more adult-oriented Japanese art form… they would make similar changes. It’s certainly not unlikely – and it’s definitely understandable if you thought that was an actual example of animation changes from American Bulbasaur to Japanese Bulbasaur.

    • Hi Safwan,
      You have done a good job connecting your comment to the previous contribution and adding new content to the discussion. Your comments regarding the source of the images in the original post are valid, however, I wonder if there are images of the characters of Pokemon that you could reference to, so the audience understands that characters as such are not changed? Otherwise, I think your response is thought-provoking and well written.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this article by Hand and Murray because I was unaware of localization within Japanese cartoons and video games. This article does, however, remind me of the outrage caused by casting American actress, Scarlett Johansson in the Japanese manga, Ghost in the Shell.

    Although it is very unfortunate to “Americanize” Japanese cartoons and anime shows, I understand why Japanese makers would want to alter or eliminate different cultural aspects, such as the rice balls in Pokémon. Pokémon has a primarily young audience and it might be difficult for children to understand Japanese culture and plots. However, if Japanese producers are already changing the dialogue in their content that is altered for America, it would be more educational if they would keep their cultural foods and dialect, and instead explain or teach their audience Japanese culture.

    • Hi Madison,
      Your comment adds a new dimension to the discussion, with the idea of educating audiences about other cultures. It is a valid point that you could develop more. Something on the lines of: why do you think it is important to teach Japanese culture to American kids? And who would benefit from these efforts?
      These are some guiding questions that you can think of when developing your opinions in future blog posts.

  4. Hi Haley,
    You have done a good job of introducing the reading for the week and extending your analysis into a specific example. Your use of images and references within the text facilitates the understanding of your point and following your arguments.
    One sentence that is unclear in your blogpost is: “Murray and Hand point towards the practice of localization in video games as a similar comparison for why they are many differences in digital humanities work internationally.” The relation between Digital Humanities and Localization is not really clear.
    Apart from that, I hope you check Safwan’s comments regarding the use of your second image, as a reminder of the importance of checking your sources. You can also continue the conversation to see what these images show us and where are they coming from.

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