Another poorly translated otome game was released on the Nintendo Switch a while back. This one is called Iris School of Wizardry -Vinculum Hearts-.
When the game was released, its translation was much like Kitty Love’s and Ayakashi koi Gikyoku’s – rushed and unedited. Following in Ayakashi’s footsteps, Iris School of Wizardry received an updated translation a few months after it was released. It’s much better now.
In this article, we’ll look at some example lines from the original translation. Then we’ll look at some before-and-after comparisons to see how the game’s translation was improved.
About the Game
In Iris School of Wizardry, you’re a new student at a prestigious magic school. Although you’re a half-blood and come from a modest background, you don’t let that stop you from challenging everyone’s idea of what a “commoner” can accomplish.
You get invited to join the Society of the White Rose – an exclusive club comprised of the most popular kids in school. You end up getting close to one of four students in the club, or you can choose to romance one of your teachers…
I played through all the routes before the game was updated, so here’s the best of the old translation.
The edited translation was patched in after I’d finished the entire game, so I replayed the prologue and a small bit of Clyde’s route to show the differences in quality.
Although a fully edited translation is preferred and expected when a game is released, it’s nice that some companies recognize their mistakes and release update patches. I can only imagine the kind of pressure game developers are under to get everything finished in time, so kudos to the people who continue to work on games even after they’re released.
If you’re a fan of otome games, I’d definitely recommend Iris School of Wizardry on the Nintendo Switch. The player character is strong and confident, the stories are interesting, and there’s even a pretty shocking secret in there somewhere.
If you like this sort of stuff, there's a whole lot more from other games here. And if you've read all that, there's even more to explore here!
These aren’t my kind of games, but I think what annoys me most are how generic, stock, and repetitive the art assets are. These games look like they were put together using floor planning software. You’d think that since basic presentation is all these games have, they’d do a better job, but they’re obviously popular enough as-is so what do I know.
Agreed on the art assets. Luckily, a lot of these games, including this one, are getting some great voice acting now, which adds to the appeal (at least for me). I get to hear the pronouns that the characters use and also how they refer to me (usually as omae or kimi). It reveals a little extra about their character.
The “I didn’t mean to make a sarcasm” screenshot would make a good reaction image.
Aaaaaaaand Poe finds another gem of a translation. You’d think bad translations would stop being funny for me after being exposed to them for ~20 years… but they never do, and I doubt they ever will. 😛
> I meant to pop the huge carrot, but instead I got a huge teddybear…… That’s weird.
I must be missing something here. This sounds like a pun that doesn’t translate, but is there a word for “teddy bear” in Japanese that sounds anything like a word for “carrot”? Is there any other word for “carrot” besides 「にんじん」? Is it relevant that the teddy bear in the picture looks suspiciously like Winnie the Pooh?
Also, it’s common for Japanese games to use ellipses with excessive numbers of periods, without any particular number of periods being used consistently, but this game seems to be oddly consistent about using exactly 6 periods each time, to the extent that it has lines like “……n……?” In old games, things like that would happen because there would be a separate character in a font that would be 2 or 3 periods, so every ellipsis would have to be a multiple of 2 or 3 periods, but I don’t think that would be an issue with a game released today, that uses a variable-width font and, presumably, Unicode encoding.
> I don7t wan tyou to get cold.
This is pretty clearly just a typing error. I looked at it and thought “what kind of keyboard has a 7 and a quote character next to each other”, but it turns out that, in the most common keyboard layout designed for Japanese input, the quote character is assigned to Shift-7, so all that needs to happen for someone to make this mistake is to miss hitting the Shift key.
> But it’s a sinner vacation, so I can be a kitten for a while, right?
BEST. VACATION. EVER.
I’m going out on a limb here, but maybe the pun was meant to be between にんじん (carrot) and にんぎょう (doll).
There’s also the possibility of ぬいぐるみ (plush) but it wouldn’t fit the wordplay gag.
If I heard the audio or had the script, then I can give a better analysis.
Thank goodness for that updated translation patch. I have no idea why they don’t make any effort to release obscure games with proper translations in the first place, instead of releasing this garbage gobbledegook. That’s not professional practice at all, it’s just plain stupid.
Panda is not a happy panda at all.
So, is the new translation actually accurate? Or is it just the old translation but edited by an English speaker with a lot of patience and imagination?
I’m sure a fair amount of those lines were machine-translated and only lightly edited, so the translation’s probably good.
The teddy bear screenshot has the most unpleasant anime eyes I’ve ever seen.
Look up “Okane ga Nai”. That protagonist has the WORST anime eyes anyone will probably ever see. (It’s a -really terrible but also strangely popular- yaoi manga/anime but looking it up won’t lead to explicit results.)
However, his eyes are also not hot pink and sparkly so, opinions may vary.
If you want the worst of manga drawn by a westerner, look up screencaps taken from the book “How to Draw Manga” from Peter Gray.
That’s funny, I was stoned in front of the mirror, too.
“I’m Keith Knight, introduced right now. You all should be prepared with my class.” has me laughing at my screen. It has a kind of “hello, my name is Inigo Montoya” energy but doesn’t quite get there :>
Hi, I downloaded the game recently, but I can’t change the language to English, could you help me?
no wonder why official japanese localization of dokidoki literature club used fan translation as a base