July 08, 2008

Gurren Lagann 1

So far so good. The video transfer looks sharp. Audio is clean. The "extras" are a little sparse, but I expect they're saving those for the eventual dub release.

Pro subbers still seem to insist on translating XX-dan "Team XX" instead of "XX Brigade." Team lacks a certain militaristic punch if you ask me. It's also odd that they chose to use the "kick reason to the curb" motto on the DVD packaging, but then they didn't translate it that way in the subtitles. I'm gonna have to guess that decision came down to limited screen real estate.

Otherwise things seem to have translated cleanly.

[Update:] Ok, so I've watched all nine at this point. Episode 6 seemed to have a helluva lot cut out for broadcast. Still not a nipple one, but I don't remember any accidental kanchos or breast-squeezing remote controls. I'm not feeling inclined to go back and make a scene for scene comparison just to confirm.

Posted in Anime by: Will at 07:51 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 My Japanese teachers really didn't like the sound of "brigade" for -dan, because it sounded too military. Most of the cases where I see it translated as brigade are where it's an abbreviation of ryodan. I wouldn't call an orchestra, a choir, or a baseball team brigades, but they're -dan.


Posted by: J Greely at July 09, 2008 03:01 PM (9Nz6c)

2 You wouldn't call a choir or an orchestra "team", either.  Is there any distinction made between -gumi and -dan, to keep both from being synonymously translated as "group"?

It isn't unit - I'm pretty sure that's "-tai".

But the Gurren-dan *are* a military organization.  Well, of sorts.

Posted by: Mitch H. at July 10, 2008 07:58 AM (jwKxK)

3 Okay, after digging through a pile of books, I'm going to stake the claim that the difference in nuance between -dan, -gumi, and -tai can be summed up as "associated", "supporting", and "regimented".

"Building word power in Japanese using kanji prefixes and suffixes" doesn't list -gumi, but gives -dan as "organized group who participates in a common activity" and -tai as "group organized to accomplish some purpose", with some overlap in actual use.

Unfortunately, even the big Kenkyusha dictionary gives overlapping translations of the three. -dan: body, group, corps, gang, party, batch, bunch, company, troupe; -gumi: group, gang, company; -tai: body, company, corps, unit, squad, crew, band, posse, force.

The most interesting hint it offers is in the expression 隊を組んで行く = "to march in formation". So, tai for the disciplined structure of the group, and kumi/gumi for the common purpose. Clear as mud.

I'm tempted to look through some of my older anime to see how the three were commonly translated before the fansubbers decided that Haruhi's -dan needed to be called a brigade, a choice that never worked for me. It's a fun word, but growing up near a military base, "brigade" was always exclusively a military term to me.

"Team X" does sound a bit weak, although that may just be the pathetic nature of Hank and Dean shouting "Go Team Venture!". "X Company" adds a bit of military flavor without pushing it, but I suspect the younger generation might not think so. And, of course, there's always "F Troop".

I think Haruhi's club should have been a "gang". It sounds like the G-L folks might be a "company".


Posted by: J Greely at July 10, 2008 11:15 PM (2XtN5)

4 "Hanaukyo Maid-tai" makes sense, then.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 11, 2008 12:31 AM (+rSRq)

5 I liked the old fansub translation of Hanaukyo Maid-tai as "Hanaukyo Maid Battalion".  It got across their massed, militarized affect.

The Gurren-dan as of episode 9 still strikes me as more of a gang than either a team (which suggests cooperation and coordination, which isn't really their strong suit so far) or a brigade (which suggests chain of command and discipline, also not really part of Kamina's world-view).  And "company" in English has that dual economic/military set of definitions which is also off the mark - you can make a less economically-minded show than Gurren Lagann, but it'd take some work.

Likewise, the SOS-dan were, at least in design, supposed to be an official school club.  Troupe would probably have been the right word - gets across the "merry band of eccentrics" concept properly, and follows through on Haruhi's record  as a serial perpetrator of performance art.

Posted by: Mitch H. at July 11, 2008 05:29 AM (jwKxK)

6 ...now I want to redo the Haruhi credits to the theme from F Troop.


Posted by: J Greely at July 11, 2008 09:54 AM (2XtN5)

7 Yeah... well... glad that's all settled then...

Posted by: Will at July 11, 2008 05:36 PM (oj5wx)

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