Geekosaur Weekly #9: Light Novel Censorship, Outrage Marketing and a Great Anime Fight

This week I’m here with some internet outrage agains Seven Seas, some cool articles on the anime blogosphere, and what I’ve been watching and playing!

Music

How about some Mushoku Tensei soundtrack, as the first topic of this week’s newsletter involves this franchise?



Translation, Localization, Editing, Abridging and Censorship

Note: I want to make a proper, longer post about this issue and my views on the translation process and censorship. But I want this opportunity to start a dialogue and possibly see your perspectives on it, so the final post could be more comprehensive.

A month or so ago, the manga and light novel publisher Seven Seas got on the news facing huge backlash regarding some of their light novels, namely: Mushoku Tensei and Classroom of the Elite. On the former, some content cut that could be viewed as ‘problematic’ was removed - even in a case where it serves as foreshadowing -, and in the latter, dialogues and internal monologues that helped readers understand characters motivations[source].

Recently, Bloom Into You and I Love the Villainess were also revealed - by the fans - to have important content cut. Again, content that helps understand character’s motivations [source]. Many fans are irate about that issue, and so am I. That’s something I absolutely can’t stand, and seeing more and more series suffering from this issue, and no good official positioning that content is not going to be altered (or removed) again, makes me lose trust the the publisher. Also, seeing the fan translations used for the Mushoku Tensei comparison, I wonder if we (or I) are not better off with the good old days of fan translations.

When buying a translation of a book, I want it because I want to have the same experience other readers (in that case, Japanese) are experiencing. I don’t want content to be edited to me more palatable to western audience. Otherwise I could buy American books!

Seems that besides censoring, some changes were made to make Rudeus more likeable, but I think that might be the problem that some people watching the anime might have experienced. Rudeus IS a faulty person, and the whole thing about the series - which has 24 volumes - is to show how he slowly evolves and become not only more powerful, but also a better person. Removing instances where he does shitty things is to remove the character development.

That reminds me of what happened when The Black Witch was first released. For those not familiar, there are some issues with racism, but IT’S THE POINT OF THE BOOK: the character learning what’s wrong and improving to be a better person.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure I will buy anymore books from Seven Seas, at least not for the short-medium term until there’s more confirmation that everything is there on the volumes. There are plenty of series out there from J-Novel Club (and Fan Translations), and not enough time for them all.

Articles

This week I’m sharing a couple interesting articles from Irina (Drunken Anime Blog) and Karandi (100 Word Anime Blog).

On A Twist “Outrage” Marketing in Anime? explores how outrages regarding anime and other media, and the following articles and tweets defending the content, are helping raise attention to the shows. The article offers great insight on human behaviour and marketing, and it’s also interesting to think why some anime fans start defending shows even before we see outrage and articles condemning them. Are we too sensitive to years of being criticized? Or are more anime fans studying marketing and applying the ‘any marketing is good marketing’ rule to make their favorite problematic series more (in)famous? Be sure to check it out and draw your conclusions!

And Karandi has a great article on Why Bell’s Minotaur Fight Is An Excellent Anime Moment. As I mentioned on a comment there: I was already enjoying DanMachi, but that fight was excellent both in terms of a fight and action sequence, but also as an anime moment that shows character growth. Watching that scene game me chills and left a lasting impression.


Watching

Since last Saturday, I’ve finished watching Star vs The Forces of Evil (on Disney+) and the second season of Sex Education (on Netflix).

I also watched Coco, which my wife loves, so she was happy to watch it again. It is an amazingly good movie, and I highly recommend! Now I’m back at watching Great Pretender and X Files! Yesterday I also watched a 1 hour long Youtube video about Albert Einstein! I don’t share it here because it’s in Portuguese.


Gaming

Yesterday I got Crypt of the Necrodancer for my Nintendo Switch! After all these years, I’m finally playing it, and I’m having a great time. But it’s difficult though, I’m still stuck on Zone 1 :/

I’ll definitely buy Cadence of Hyrule when there’s a sale!


There’s a lot of people talking about Monster Hunter Rise, which was recently released for the Switch. Seems interesting, but I’m kinda interested in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, which will be released in a few months.


What do you think about those two MH Games? And do you play Crypt of the Necrodancer or Cadence of Hyrule? Leave a comment or ping me on Twitter!