Hyouka 01 – notes and the like

So I ended up translating this show for Commie, and I’m lovin’ it.


I don’t know how common it is to call your life rose-colored (what he says literally), but I sure wouldn’t say it that way. This high and low is a good workaround for that.

As for the countless banners appearing in this scene, I honestly wanted to translate them all, but half of them are only partially visible, and even those that are clearly readable would be a huge effort to typeset. (Not to mention it’d lag like hell.) This goes for the bulletin boards later throughout the episode – there’s just too many of them and they’re not worth the effort.

He’s going on about saving energy all the time. I guess it’s just another way to say being lazy.

Editors may complain about a high school freshman using words like epitome, but they really do talk like that.

I’m afraid this is a mistake. This line should read “She’s right about that I don’t have anything I’d want to do” or “… anything better to do.”

This phrase always reminds me of the AC/DC song. BANG!

Apparently the typesetter is following Oreki’s motto as well. (Gymnasium entrance, Media room, Main gate, Earth sci. prep. room, Earth sci. auditorium, Grounds gate.)

Even Eru is amazed by the wonderful animation of this show. Props to KyoAni.

The opening wasn’t hard except for one line that just didn’t make any sense. On the screenshot above you can see the word “Rose” flying out of a history textbook, the chapter about the War of the Roses. I’d have loved to translate it all, but it’s impossible to typeset and half of it is off-screen anyway. This whole “rose” thing is a returning element throughout the episode.

I just know that her superhuman memory will be an Important Plot Device.

The relevant part of the letter goes

Join the classic literature club.
The classics club is a club with a long history. I was also a member during my time. I heard that at the moment it has no members. No one joined this year, so they are going to disband it. As an OG of the club, I cannot allow that.

I’m actually quite proud of how I handled this switch in politeness levels.

His sarcasm is really fun to translate.

Kids in this show just love mottoes. And catchphrases.

Can you spot the mistake?

Ensnare (spell). Mana cost: 50. Cast time: 4 seconds. Effect: binds the victim (usually male) to the ground, overwhelming them with moe until they agree.

Your soul, please. (I forgot. The cooldown for Ensnare is about a minute, apparently.)

The one thing I don’t like in an anime is when the dialog lines are overlapping. Luckily it’s not so bad in this case.

I’m going to be quite liberal with these eyecatches. Most probably they’ll keep going on with the solar terms, of which 清明 (seimei) is the fifth. Each one of them has a short poem like that in the Calendar Manual (暦便覧 koyomi-binran). I don’t think there are English translations for them so far, so I’ll have some fun doing them.

I actually needed to listen to these lines a bunch of times. His literary style makes it difficult compared to the rest of the script.

I couldn’t agree more. And her eyes weren’t half-closed, but bloodshot.

切磋琢磨 (sessa-takuma) and 確固不抜 (kakko-fubatsu) are well known phrases. Determination and diligence are simplifying their meanings, but they’re in all major dictionaries, so you can look them up if you’re interested in the details.

女郎蜘蛛の会 (jorou-gumo no kai, lit. Association of the Golden Orb-web Spider). My dictionary just had “golden-web spider” for it, and that inspired me.

The typesetter puts lots of effort in this release. He’s writing about how her sister made her join the club and his thoughts regarding that.

This would be quite an effort to translate, not to mention to typeset.

The characters for “rose-colored” are falling out of the wall.

Remember Chihayafuru? They’re actually students of Kamiyama High. That’s their club. Also the one below it (which Eru points to later) is Koto Club, not “Composers’ Club”. I misheard 箏曲 (soukyoku) as 作曲 (sakkyoku) and didn’t realize that the sign was saying otherwise.

The street they’re walking down looks a lot like the Shijo avenue in Kyoto. Might be different. Oh how much I love that city. Anyway, this line is a mistake. It should be “It’s not because that would’ve been too difficult for you, is it?” I should stop overthinking stuff.

I really don’t like it when they insert baseball phrases like that. I don’t know a thing about baseball, so it takes effort to figure out what it actually means in the context.

I’d rather put something else for 根本的 (konponteki, lit. essential, fundamental) instead of “first”. Maybe the Sherlock Holmes way. “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

I really hate these lines. 保留 (horyuu, lit. reservation, deferring) is an annoying word to translate.

Someone accidentally a word. (The ending as well.)

I really like this show. It’s a lot of talking and some of it isn’t easy either, but it’s fun. I really enjoy working on it. (I’m going to buy the novels too once I secured the funds for more basic means of sustenance.) Two major and minor fuckups from me in this episode. I’ll do my best to turn that number into zero for following episodes. In the future I’ll just refrain from giving myself grades, but with this editing this release is easily great.

This entry was posted by Vale.

11 thoughts on “Hyouka 01 – notes and the like

  1. >Can you spot the mistake?

    百日紅 – sarusubeRI, right?

    Btw, in your (https://notredreviews.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/translation-review-mazui-hyouka-01/) review you said that the first line is too literal, but when you commented on one of the OP lines you said that: (This whole “rose” thing is a returning element throughout the episode.)

    I think in this case making a more literal translation would have been more appriopriate, because evidently (薔薇色) seems to be a recurring theme in this anime, which also led to the juxtaposition to Oreki’s “approach” to life (灰色)

    Also, your editors seem to constantly mess up your translation with their interpretations :(.

    • I didn’t introduce any translation errors to this that I’m aware of. I can understand if people don’t agree with the “that was your first mistake” line, but I think it’s a reasonable expression to use (it doesn’t literally mean ‘first’ as in there were other mistakes, just that it was extremely basic and obvious). Other than that, I was relatively conservative in my approach, in some cases probably a little bit too much (such as leaving in ‘breaking ball’ instead of interpreting it as ‘curveball’ like the other groups, which would have read much better)

      The problem with the literal translations for “rose-colored” and “ash-colored” is that they don’t really make sense in English, especially the latter one. I had suggested “rose-colored glasses” for a bit, but apparently the usage here is slightly different in meaning and there’s no good way to tie in “ash-colored” to that and have it mean what it’s supposed to.

      • Well, about the “translation errors” you mentioned, I have only seen gg’s and Mazui’s versions of the episode so far, so I’m not in a position to back up my “claim” properly. It’s just the overall impression I got from reading vale’s notes.

        Plus when I said “your editors” I wasn’t pointing at commie or you personally. I remembered the last episode of jormungand which vale worked on for gg, it had a pretty severe fuck up on the editor’s part, which I pointed out. (https://notredreviews.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/jormungand-02-notes-and-the-like/).

        So this was kind of an attempt at humour, pointing out the recurring pattern, etc. Oh well, I’ll try better next time 😦

        Concerning the barairo and haiiro parts, since I noticed you posting at 8thsin’s blog you probably already saw how gg handled those lines. So what’s your take on their editing?

        In “a vacuum” it’s a pretty good iocalisation in my opinion. The problem with your editing is future development mostly, what will you do if those concepts start to further intertwine with the underlying themes of Hyouka? I can even see wordplay at work here later on. If you change the translation it will be inconsistent, if you don’t it will be too hard to properly “localise” those lines.

      • gg’s grammar made more sense than Mazui’s, but I still feel like a literal translation of those lines isn’t really enough to stand on its own. Vale had the literal translation in his original script, but it didn’t make sense to me so we discussed the meaning behind the terms and agreed upon a more meaningful interpretation with which to replace them (the high point / low profile contrast was Vale’s idea, in fact).

        And yes, your last paragraph is a valid point, but it’s a risk you have to take any time you try to translate or edit something in all but the most literal way. It’s a gamble we took for the sake of understandability, and we’ll have to see how it plays out.

      • Oh, and I’d also like to mention that when people see “rose-colored” the first thing they will likely think of is nostalgia and things not being as good as you remember them (due to the “rose-colored glasses” idiom I mentioned earlier). However, based on Vale and 8th’s notes I’m not sure that this is the actual meaning intended by the show, but rather just an energetic / passionate “high point” of one’s life, to contrast with Houtarou’s ‘gray’ / energy-saving “low profile” lifestyle. I feel that this is another good reason not to leave it up to the viewer’s interpretation since the same term can mean very different things in different cultures.

    • >Also, your editors seem to constantly mess up your translation with their interpretations 😦
      This only happens because of my timezone. I live in Japan, so most anime (actually all I work on except Phi Brain) air late night. By the time I’m done translating I’m usually braindead, and just go to sleep instead of doing another pass checking what the editor did. If the editor manages to catch up while I’m translating that’s the best, because I can simultaneously check their work just a few lines above what I’m typing in the pad.

  2. The obvious liberal solution was “colorful” and “dull (monochrome)” because they work well with “+life”, still retain color association so you don’t get screwed over later, and still means the same thing.

    I personally avoid taking too much risk for keywords and signature phrases and try to force them into the script by adding details (like “glorified like the rose-color” so people relate the color to eventful/passionate/colorful lives) or take more liberty in lines surrounding it.

    Either solution is fine IMO, it’s just a matter of choosing to suffer an awkward literal line now or risk a potential discontinuity later. I’m usually not very risk tolerant until I get a feel for the show.

    • I like the imagery of colorful/dull a lot but the problem is that it doesn’t do any more to preserve the “rose” motif than what we had and is harder to work into the opening monologue and have it still make sense. I guess you could go with something like “when people think ‘colorful’, they think of their high school days” which works as a sentence, though I’m not sure how many people actually do think that 😛

  3. Pingback: Re: [Commie] Hyouka 01 « Not Red Reviews

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