Jrokujuushi asked this the other day:
In Sonic Adventure, the English translation started to make the transition from Dr. Robotnik to Dr. Eggman by having Sonic call him that as a nickname. You can view the English version of this scene here:
I’ve always wondered what that scene says in Japanese, since Japan has always referred to him as Eggman rather than Robotnik. I haven’t found a clip with Japanese subtitles, but here’s one with the Japanese voices, if you’re able to understand it over the overly loud music:
I’m not much of a Sonic expert but I do remember there being a fuss over the Dr. Robotnik/Dr. Eggman thing around the time this game came out, so it’s good to finally take a look at it! It reminds me a lot of how Princess Toadstool had to be gradually changed into Princess Peach some years earlier.
Anyway, here’s the text in this scene:
|Japanese dialogue||Literal translation||Official English dialogue|
|Doctor: ほーっほっほっほ！ ソニック！||Doctor: Hohohoho! Sonic!||Doctor: Ha ha ha ha! If it isn’t Sonic!|
|Sonic: お前は！ Ｄｒ．エッグマン！||Sonic: It’s you! Dr. Eggman!||Sonic: Look! It’s a giant talking egg!|
|Doctor: いかにも！||Doctor: Indeed!||Doctor: Silence!|
|ワシこそ この世に並ぶ者のない天才科学者、Ｄｒ．エッグマン様じゃ！||I am the great Dr. Eggman, the greatest scientific genius in the world!||I am Dr. Robotnik, the greatest scientific genius in the world!|
|Sonic: …久しぶりだな。||Sonic: …It’s been a while, huh?||Sonic: Whatever you say, Eggman!|
So it’s definitely played pretty straight in the Japanese version – no talk of flying eggs or name-calling. It’s interesting to see how the localizers decided to use this scene to try to start the name change transition. I personally can’t think of a better way, but I’d love to hear what better ideas fans might have!
I also briefly noticed that the Japanese version is pretty standard stuff for this sort of entertainment, while the English version tries to add in “attitude” with name-calling and insults and stuff like that. Sonic calling Eggman a loser later on, for example – that’s not in the original text and not really reflected in the tone of the Japanese text, either. This is actually a pretty interesting topic, so I’ll have to look into it more someday!
Also, I’m curious to know how this name change went over with Sonic fans back in the day. Was it accepted pretty well, or was there maybe a lot of complaining? And did the games ever go and incorporate chili dogs into the games in some way after that one cartoon series was made? Man, I really need to brush up on my Sonic knowledge someday. I just don’t know which of them are worth playing and which are worth skipping 😯
If you have any lines in games or whatever else that you’d like me to take a look at sometime, let me know in the comments or contact me!