Online Japanese KS reception

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kaz
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by kaz » Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 am

Babli wrote: I am from Europe, but I understand perfectly what you just described. And that is why I dont understand why devs decided to stick with this name even when they found out about what it really means.

By the way, what would be appropriate, polite word for "disabled" in japanese?

if he has difficulties walking,we would probably just say"彼は少し足が悪い"meaning"he has a minor problem with his leg"

the word 障害 meaning difficulty is rarely directed at a person,as it being too blunt a word and could be taken as a insult.

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CNB
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by CNB » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:55 pm

The negative reactions from Japanese people remind me of the reaction from many English-speakers who have no previous familiarity with the game, which seems split between, "Haha what, a game where you fuck crippled girls? What is this sick fetish shit?" or, "Making something like this is demeaning to real disabled people." It is just judging a book by its cover, which in this case is to be expected of the Japanese -- since for those who are not fluent in English, the title of the "book" is the only part of it they can actually read.

I am personally much more dismayed by the angry backlash from many fans. Japan has its faults just like every country, but there is no call to insult them or call them hypocrites because the title "Katawa Shoujo" uses a word that is considered crass or insensitive. It's a faux pas stemming from the original inspiration for the project, which the developers presumably did not realize due to not speaking Japanese. The reaction should not be, "Japan has no right to criticize this title because they are perverts who make tentacle rape hentai!" just as the reaction to an American prejudging it shouldn't be, "Well clearly you have no respect for the disabled if you aren't willing to even read it!"

The most remarkable thing about KS is that almost everyone expected it to be full of tasteless jokes and fetish porn, and it ended up instead being compassionate and thoughtful almost to a fault. That is what should be focused on when reacting to people from anywhere in the world who seem to be forming their opinions based only on the title, or a misunderstanding of what it is about.

Perhaps the people who are translating it will choose a more polite title, or just write it in English as "Disability Girls." ;)

Aster Selene
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Aster Selene » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:39 pm

My friend told me that she actually liked the title, as it had the effect of forcing you to look beyond the title (in the same way you would look beyond a disability) and reach the girl - there's even a trope for it.

Honestly overall I don't see the Japanese KS reaction as any different from the English-speakers' reaction. It's basically the same across borders.

ttestagr
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by ttestagr » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:48 pm

I'm a bit surprised that the closest comparable situation that Americans would feel the same about hasn't been brought up. No offense meant, but if someone did a romance game with black girls named Nigger Chicks. If it was believed that white people made the game, I imagine there would be a similar outcry.

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Phase6Macha
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Phase6Macha » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:07 pm

Just to repeat what has been said before, Sankaku Complex may have a header titled as "News" but it's not a news site.
Have a proper look at a few of his "articles" and you'll soon notice they're just made to draw a strong reaction out of the reader.
The same concept that every tabloid is based on.

You can read it for fun just as I do but taking it at face value is not very clever.

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CNB
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by CNB » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:08 pm

ttestagr wrote:Nigger Chicks
"Cripple Girls" would be a much better analogy.

ttestagr
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by ttestagr » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:55 pm

CNB wrote:
ttestagr wrote:Nigger Chicks
"Cripple Girls" would be a much better analogy.
Not in terms of the anger it seems to bring. Gimp girls might, but I doubt it. It just doesn't seem to be bothering people as much over here from what I've seen.

Zahlman
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Zahlman » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:31 pm

CNB wrote:
ttestagr wrote:Nigger Chicks
"Cripple Girls" would be a much better analogy.
This is going to be rambling and I'm not really sure what the point is that I'm trying to make.

From what I've been able to piece together so far, "nigger" really does seem more comparable in terms of the kind of reaction that's drawn, if not the degree (there's a sense in which the degree can never sanely be compared, simply because the culture is different). It's not a profanity; it's a slur. The implication is "this person is an undesirable member of society". The closest cultural analogy we have in the west is the whole slavery thing, really. Just the fact that it's taken this long for the word "nigger" to come up in discussion here (I'd been thinking about the parallel for some time, for what it's worth) says something.

There's something different about offensive language between friends or in a casual context (although it still isn't really okay) and using it in the title of a serious work offered to the public, no matter what kind of offensive language it is. Context matters. Even when it comes to something as simple as a "yo mama" joke, there are those who will react viscerally and even violently; and those who are absolutely gobsmacked that the first group of people exist. That said, the title was handed down, along with the original sketches, from a Japanese artist. I think that's a more important thing to focus on than "herp derp Japan has tentacle rape incest hentai coming out its ears" (when that, too, is a niche market).

I get the impression that RAITA was going for shock value here; what little else I've seen of the circle's work suggests that they... like to push a few boundaries, pretty firmly. Which in a sense is perfectly fine; this is after all about artwork, and artists aren't doing their job if they aren't occasionally forcing people to question their perceptions, to come face-to-face with what they find most offensive. It's like how Holocaust museums in Germany don't glorify in the slightest, but instead force a full understanding of the regret.

The language barrier definitely provides insulation. Would an English market accept an OELVN with an English title that was comparably offensive? Probably not. Would the Japanese market accept Rapelay if it were titled with an idiomatic Japanese translation that captured what Western observers find so offensive about it? Probably not. But on the other hand, as an English fan of KS, my understanding of the title hasn't diminished or spoiled the experience. The fact that "katawa" is written in kana rather than kanji on the logo is almost a sort of in-joke. Many self-labelled "otaku" are fully aware of what the word really means in Japanese - and of the shift in meaning for words like "hentai" or "ecchi" or even "anime". And that's fine. Words change when they are borrowed. Now in English we even discuss "ero scenes", using a concept that has been lent and then borrowed back. It doesn't change the original meaning of the word "erotic" for us. I can only imagine that it's the same for the Japanese.

I like the idea of the Japanese translation being titled in English. I don't know if it would really carry the same impact, but then my perception is coloured by the fact that I speak English and not Japanese.

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CNB
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by CNB » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:39 pm

ttestagr wrote:Not in terms of the anger it seems to bring.
Everything I've seen on the topic -- including the Japanese guy who posted upthread -- suggests that the "anger" is being exaggerated. Sankaku is just about the exact opposite of a reliable source.

"Cripple" isn't a very nice word in English; it's certainly not something you'd call someone to their face, and most people would look at you askance for using it even in private to describe a disabled person.

edit: But ultimately, what's done is done. "Foreign-language title not chosen by native speakers has unfortunate implications" is regrettable, but is also something that can easily be addressed when a localized version is produced.

Benkei
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Benkei » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:49 pm

Zahlman wrote:I like the idea of the Japanese translation being titled in English. I don't know if it would really carry the same impact, but then my perception is coloured by the fact that I speak English and not Japanese.
I don't see much point in this at this late hour. At this point, the game is so infamous amongst Japanese for its offensive title that were you to rename it "Cripple Girls," even with the subtext "クリップル・ガールズ," I'm not convinced that amongst fans it wouldn't be known as "the game formerly known as Katawa Shoujo" or "the game known in the West as Katawa Shoujo," etc. Just like with anime where fans still refer to things by their Japanese names, especially when the English renamings are very poor. (E.g. Even in this country, people call it Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or simply Higurashi for short. Nobody calls it "When They Cry.")

The devs were confronted with a choice:
  1. keep the name the same in honor of the inspiration for the game, a doujinshi by RAITA
  2. change the name out of respect for cultural sensitivities in Japan and/or out of an appreciation for just how inappropriate the word "katawa" is in modern Japanese society
They ultimately went with Choice A. Discussing this now, while enlightening for us as fans, doesn't really accomplish much for the KS project here or in Japan. What's done is done and the game will pretty much forever be known as Katawa Shoujo or The Game Formerly Known As Katawa Shoujo, one or the other.
Aster Selene wrote:My friend told me that she actually liked the title, as it had the effect of forcing you to look beyond the title (in the same way you would look beyond a disability) and reach the girl - there's even a trope for it.
I've had the exact same thought about the title, but I'm not entirely sure that if I were born and raised in Japan that I would have been able to do this. This is really one of those Foot in the Door vs. Door in the Face dilemmas where ...
  • Foot in the Door: you already liked KS before you knew what "katawa" meant, so upon later learning what "katawa" means, you attempt to rationalize how you can still like the game in spite of the title
  • Door in the Face: you heard the name of the game first. This left you with such a negative impression of the game that, even after your friends coerce you to play the game and you do, the best you can manage is to tell them, "Eh, the game's okay, I guess." You're not able to bring yourself to really love it because that negative stigma completely tarnished your experience with the game.
Most of us native speakers of English have the benefit of having experienced the Foot in the Door phenomenon with regards to this slur, but unfortunately for most Japanese it's going to be the exact opposite circumstance. Quite the hurdle to overcome indeed.

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CNB
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by CNB » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:11 pm

One other thing to consider is that quite a few people would be put off by the subject matter regardless, even if the title were something more subtle, like "Broken Hearts" or what-have-you.

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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Prospektor » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:25 pm

I think it was right to stick with the original name. In the end, a word is what you associate with it. A black man may be called a black person, a colored man, an Afro-American, a negro, a nigger - it's all the same to me, since it just describes a black man, and this is nothing I find disgusting, so none of these words offend me. You don't get the racism out of a racist by forcing him to use another word, one that is deemed "politically correct" - any word he uses will carry a negative meaning for him. I think by using the - generally considered - most derogative term and then showing the positive meaning behind it, the full meaning of the word, the person behind the word, it has a way bigger impact. KS did a very good job in that regard, so there's nothing to be ashamed of.

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Merlyn_LeRoy
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:42 pm

1974 - Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album - Richard Prior - "That Nigger's Crazy"

A shocking title isn't sure death.

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Nivrin
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by Nivrin » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:09 am

If humanity can't get over it's own anxieties over WORDS than I fear for our future.

Words. That's it. They are words.

You are offended? So? What are you going to do about it? OH I'M OFFENDED. I WOKE UP LATER AND HAD LEPROSY. I'M OFFENDED.
The sky changes every day but it always stays the same. Humans don't have that luxury.

Haphazardly butchered together from the immortal words of Rin.

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IBlameRoadSuess
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Re: Online Japanese KS reception

Post by IBlameRoadSuess » Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:22 am

Nivrin wrote:If humanity can't get over it's own anxieties over WORDS than I fear for our future.

Words. That's it. They are words.

You are offended? So? What are you going to do about it? OH I'M OFFENDED. I WOKE UP LATER AND HAD LEPROSY. I'M OFFENDED.

Hahaha Steve Hughes is hilarious.

Personally I get annoyed that people can be so ignorant that they're turned away from the game by the name alone. A friend I've known since high school refused to play the game because he apparently "had standards" It really made me want to hit him because he refuses to acknowledge a beautifully written game because it features "Cripple porn" :x
Fav Characters: Hanako > Lilly > Akira> Shizoon > Miki > Rin > Emi
Fav Character paths: Lilly = Hanako > Rin > Emi > Shizoon

I feel bad for Hanako cuz it seems that she's better off by the end of the game when you pick Lilly's route as opposed to her own.
Akira X Hanako shipper :3

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