May 18, 2003
With five new games this year and the EXE anime now being shown on TV, Capcom doesn’t seem to be losing any steam with the “Mega Man” title. Nevertheless, several people have asked if I’m getting sick of the Mega Man franchise or Capcom’s treatment thereof. After all, the new games have caused a few face plants, and I have been a bit critical of the anime. Perhaps more than a “bit.” Should I be giving the poor translation company a break?
In a word, no.
Seeing the results of the translation has only strengthened my arguments rather than weakened them. I stand by everything I’ve said in the past few weeks. A company that is going to be producing something of this magnitude should at least do their homework first. I can understand that language translations invariably bring in a host of name changes and the like (just look at “Rockman” versus “Mega Man”). But there’s one important difference everyone is overlooking here. Mega Man Battle Network already exists in English!
To me it is simply shameful that the English versions of the EXE games were essentially ignored completely in the English translation of the anime. Come on, people, you don’t need to invent brand new names out of thin air when your target language already has established precedent. And if you’re going to dream up a new name, create one that’s meaningful. “Mega Man NT Warrior” has no meaning to anyone, and is simply fodder for bad Microsoft jokes. I can understand a game called “Mega Man Network Transmission” being shortened to “MMNT” but what is this “Mega Man NT Warrior” business?
What was wrong with “Battle Network”?
Or, for that matter, “FireMan”? Or “ColorMan”? Or “Den Town”? Why struggle with how exactly to spell “Mayl” when it’s already sitting there, plain as day, in three Battle Network games?
So yes, it seems that my suspicions were bang on target. I figured it wouldn’t be just the title that was changed. I know how to predict these things by now, after all of these years of watching it all unfold. As Proto Man from the Mega Shows has said: “I’d hate to say I told you so, but...”
Does this mean the entire anime is flawed? Of course not. Everything has its ups and downs. I’ll document both the ups and the downs. I do that about everything. Most of you should probably be used to it by now. If not, just give me a little bit more time.
As for me personally, I don’t change my likes and dislikes that drastically. Needless to say, I am here for the duration. So get out some chocolate and enjoy the journey.
I thought I would take the opportunity to put forth a possible apology.
There are always circumstances beyond our knowledge which influence many of the final decisions that we see. Since posting this Musing, several people have mailed me about the whole “FireMan” debate. They put forward the thought that perhaps the name had to be changed to avoid confusion with firemen who fight fires, a topic many people are vastly more sensitive to now than before.
I have to admit, I never once made this connection myself. I don’t know why, but to me “Fire Man” is a Robot Master who fights with fire (big surprise) and has no bearing on brave men and women who run into burning buildings. But that’s just me.
It would seem that political correctness rears its ugly head once again. The same might be true of “ColorMan” although I would say that “WackoMan” is still a poor choice of replacement. What about “ClownMan”? That has precedence in the Mega Man series at least...
Nevertheless, if this is indeed the case, I’ll retract what I said about “FireMan” and “ColorMan” because I understand the realities of those decisions. The truth of the matter is, oftentimes someone higher up in the food chain (which is often the government itself) is the reason for such decisions, and so you can’t blame the company at the bottom who has to implement them.
This doesn’t affect the rest of my arguments, but maybe the other changes also have similar reasons. It’s hard to say.
- The MegaMaster