This Be Bad Translation #15, Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku!

20 Comments
UPDATE: This game got an update patch. Check out what’s new below to see if the translation is any better than the original.

Uh-oh, it’s another otome game on the Nintendo Switch! And it’s by the same people who released Kitty Love, so you can probably guess what the translation quality is like.

This one is called Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku -Forbidden Romance with Mysterious Spirit-. The title is too long and weird, so I personally call this game “FOX EAR”. I also named the player character Vessel Avatar again.

You’re the new assistant manager for a visual kei band called FOX EAR, and the members have a secret – they’re all mythical fox creatures! They really want that magatama necklace you wear because their powerful foxy ancestor is sealed inside. But the only way they can get that necklace off of you is to get romantically close to you. *wiggles eyebrows*

Just like Kitty Love, nearly every single line in the game has a spelling or grammar issue. I’ve chosen the funniest mistakes for the gallery below. Enjoy!

Names

The characters in this game have weird names like U/ki and K-suke. That’s fine because it fits with the visual kei style they’re going for. But sometimes the game forgets their names entirely and calls the characters something else. FOX EAR was sometimes FOX YEAR, Kasumi became Kazumi quite often, and K-suke was Kesume once. But the worst was Akito. The game did whatever it wanted with his name – Akatsuki, Akihito, Akiho, Akinin, and Anita.

Updated Translation

A few weeks after posting this article, the game’s translation was updated. Is it any better? Here’s the first line in the game again:

Old Translation

Aside from that new line being too wordy, the new translation does make a lot more sense. The player character was rewritten to sound like a real human person and a lot of the grammar errors were fixed.

Improvements

Many lines were rewritten to sound more natural:

Did they quit halfway through the rewrite?

On the flip side, some lines were inexplicably left as-is:

So the updated translation is definitely better, but it still needs work.

There’s More

These are just a tiny percent of the strange translations in Ayakashi Koi Gikyoku, so if you want to see more, definitely check out the game for yourself. And if you discover any other Switch games with bad translations, share them in the comments or on Twitter so we can take a detailed look at them here!

If you liked this, check out This be book bad translation, video games!, my book dedicated to game translation disasters from the 1970s until today!
20 Comments
  1. Arandomshotinthedark

    ‘I was walking while looking at mackerel sky.’ It’s an odd sentence, but mackerel skies are definitely a thing! It’s cirrocumulus/altocumulus clouds in a pattern that looks kind of like fish scales. Though the pic shown has cumulus clouds (or what appears to be anyway), not the clouds that actually make up a mackerel sky.

    I’m actually pretty surprised that was what was translated, given how everything else was…

    Reply
    1. Ah, yeah! I had to look up that term and saw that I’ve definitely seen the sky look like that. I thought it was a funny phrase though, so I included it 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wow, these translations sure create the sexy mood they’re going for.

    I love these Heidi, so I hope you’re enjoying the badness.

    On ‘breathing with his shoulder’ my quick guess would be that shoulder = kata, iki = breathing but kata also = excessively and iki also = going – so it was really ‘going all out’.

    Reply
    1. 片息 (kataiki, lit. fragmented breath), that is, difficult or heavy breathing can apparently also be spelled 肩息 (lit. shoulder breath):
      https://tangorin.com/words?search=%E8%82%A9%E6%81%AF
      Incidentally, Google Translate translates 肩息する as “To have a shoulder breath”.

      Reply
      1. Good catch – we’d need to see more examples, but it sure makes sense in the above one. Also explains how stupid machine translation would get it more naturally.

        Reply
      2. Ahhh! Thanks for that insight

        Reply
    2. Ah, and here I was wondering if it was referring to armpit farts.

      Reply
  3. This translation is called a crap. 😛

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  4. Is the dithering supposed to invoke memories of early 90s limited color graphics?

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    1. Nothing about the art is good – the ‘sexy’ main characters are mid-tier tumblr level. So I’m guessing it’s supposed to invoke ‘this was cheap to outsource from existing generic backgrounds’. But if you want to be generous it kind of works to keep your focus on the characters by making the backgrounds hazy and low contrast since they don’t really matter. It’s the one semi-competent bit in all of this!

      Reply
      1. The band shot is especially amusing. It’s like the artist heard that one needs to vary perspective between drawings to keep things interesting but didn’t understand what that meant and ended up having every band member oriented at a different angle. It doesn’t help that the drawings were probably made into individual assets and eventually placed haphazardly by a programmer with no eye for aesthetics.

        Reply
  5. Just to let you know, the transcription has an error of its own: ‘the stars in the basement’ where the screenshot has ‘stairs’.

    Reply
    1. Whoops! Thank you

      Reply
  6. Holy crap, looks like those SakuraGame machine translations.

    Reply
  7. Now I need to remember to greet the next person who I haven’t seen in a while with “You seem to be in health I suppose.”

    Reply
  8. This is one in a series of games where it seems like an English speaker said the words aloud into a speech-to-text program, the transcription of which was thrown into the game sans editing. Is that a common technique or something?

    Reply
  9. “U/ki pushed sausage-shaped in octopus into my mouth” sounds to me like the original translator came up with “sausage shaped in octopus,” and then an editor looked at the line and realized “Hey, in English, you’re supposed to hyphenate the phrase ‘thing-shaped’!”

    (The transcription under the picture leaves out the word “in,” by the way.)

    Reply
    1. Haha, I guess I was subconsciously fixing the grammar as I transcribed some of those XD

      Reply
  10. “He took my head and ran”
    Well that’s not very nice now is it? I can’t rofl

    Reply
  11. So, what, they hired a proofreader to double-check and clean up their Engrish but could only afford to pay them for half the game? What happened here?

    Reply

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