This is another post in my ongoing Fire Emblem Fates localization comparison posts! I discuss anything from major to minor changes here.
Today, I look at every character title between the two versions. By “Character Title,” I mean the brief descriptive lines they have in their Epilogue.
Please note that this post is purely informative and may share some opinion, but this does not mean the change is necessarily good or bad. A change is just a change that is being looked into, and you can be the judge of whether you like it or not!
It is all just for fun and curiosity for me. : )
First, some general things to keep in mind:
- The localization has very little space to work with in these titles. You can get a good idea of the limitations based on the amount of Japanese characters versus the English ones. It can be hard to convey some bigger ideas as a result.
- My own translation I provide takes a literal approach to give you the meaning. I am aware sometimes they go too verbose. This is not a post about what the title should be. Simply a post regarding what it was, and what it was made into.
- In order to save space, I only use the officially localized names on the table.
|Corrin A||未来を選びし者||Chooser of the Future||Crux of Fate|
|Corrin B||新たなる透魔王||Ruler of Valla||King/Queen of Valla|
|Ryoma||白夜の侍||Hoshido’s Samurai||Peerless Samurai|
|Takumi||神弓の使い手||Wielder of the Divine Bow||Wild Card|
|Saizo||爆炎使い||Wielder of Explosive Flames||Angry Ninja|
|Kaden||妖狐の長||Youko Chief||Kitsune Braggart|
|Hinata||破天荒な侍||Unknown Samurai*||Wild Samurai|
|Azama||飄々とした僧||Aloof Priest||Calm Philosopher|
|Subaki||完璧主義||Perfection Incarnate||Mr. Perfect|
|Hayato||少年呪い師||Youthful Spellcaster||The Kid|
|Jakob||忠実なる執事||Loyal Butler||Devoted Servant|
|Silas||友情の騎士||Friendly Knight||Loyal Knight|
|Kaze||涼風の忍||Refreshing Ninja||Easygoing Ninja|
|Xander||暗夜の騎士||Nohr’s Knight||Paragon Knight|
|Leo||闇の王子||Prince of Darkness||Sorcerous Prince|
|Benny||強面の重騎士||Strong-Faced Knight||Gentle Giant|
|Keaton||人狼の長||Garou Chief||Lupine Collector|
|Arthur||不運なヒーロー||Luckless Hero||Hapless Hero|
|Odin||力を封印せし者||Possessor of Hidden Power||Aching Blood|
|Laslow||花咲く笑顔||Blooming Smile||Dancing Duelist|
|Niles||加虐性癖||Sadistic||Cruel to Be Kind|
|Hinoka||紅の戦姫||Red Warrior Princess||Warrior Princess|
|Sakura||慈しみの巫女||Loving Priestess||Loving Priestess|
|Rinkah||炎の娘||Daughter of Flames||Scion of Flame|
|Orochi||大人の呪い師||Virtuous Spellcaster||Secret Keeper|
|Kagero||古風な忍||Old-fashioned Ninja||Traditional Ninja|
|Hana||お転婆侍||Tomboy Samurai||Focused Samurai|
|Oboro||魔王顔の||The Demon-Faced||Fierce Fighter|
|Felicia||ドジメイド||Clumsy Maid||Maid Mayhem|
|Azura||泉の歌姫||Songstress of Water||Lady of the Lake|
|Mozu||田舎娘||Country Girl||Rural Power|
|Camilla||妖艶な花||Bewitching Flower||Bewitching Beauty|
|Elise||可憐な花||Sweet Flower||Budding Flower|
|Charlotte||女の本性||Deceitful Woman||Wily Warrior|
|Effie||怪力の重騎士||Super Knight||Army of One|
|Peri||殺戮本能||Killer Instinct||Childish Killer|
|Beruka||殺し屋||Professional Killer||Quiet Assassin|
|Selena||秘めた憧憬||Secret Aspirations||Cutting Wit|
|Nyx||幼き身体||Child-bodied||Cursed by Youth|
|Shiro||未完の大器||Unpolished Talent||Raw Talent|
|Kiragi||前向きな弓使い||Optimistic Archer||Upbeat Archer|
|Asugi||甘党の忍||Sweet-Toothed Ninja||Sweet-Toothed Ninja|
|Selkie||じゃれつき妖狐||Playful Youko||Free Spirit|
|Hisame||冷静沈着の侍||Calm Samurai||Pickle Pro|
|Mitama||歌詠みの巫女||Poetic Priestess||Starry-Eyed Poet|
|Caeldori||完璧を追う翼||Perfection Seeking Wing||Perfect Angel|
|Rhajat||執念の呪い師||Tenacious Spellcaster||Black Magician|
|Kana||竜の御子||Dragon Child||Dragon Spawn|
|Shigure||歌う天馬武者||Singing Pegasus Warrior||Airborne Singer|
|Dwyer||無気力な杖使い||Apathetic Staff User||Sleepy Butler|
|Midori||しっかり者の||Capable Girl||Reliable Chemist|
|Siegbert||未来の暗夜王||Future King of Nohr||Future King|
|Forrest||可愛らしい王子||Sweet Prince||Fashion Forward|
|Ignatius||臆病な重騎士||Timid Knight||Frightened Knight|
|Velouria||狼の娘||Daughter of Wolves||Wolf Cub|
|Percy||幸運なヒーロー||Fortunate Hero||Luck’s Sidekick|
|Ophelia||乙女心の躍動||Lively Maiden||Dramatic Heroine|
|Nina||邪な空想||Wicked Fantasizer||Eye Spy|
|Yukimura||白夜の軍師||Hoshido’s Strategist||Puppet Master|
|Izana||イズモ公王||Ruler of Izumo||Lord of Leisure|
|Shura||名を捨てた賊||Thief With a Lost Name||Righteous Rebel|
|Fuga||風の長||Wind Chief||Big Breeze|
|Gunter||老騎士||Veteran Knight||Inveterate Soldier|
|Scarlet||豪快な女竜騎士||Heroic Wyvern Knight||Rebellious Streak|
|Flora||氷のメイド||Maid of Ice||Cold as Ice|
- Corrin B refers to when the Revelation path is chosen. I used Valla for Japanese, but it is actually read “Touma” (like how Hoshido = Byakuya and Nohr = Anya)
- Ryoma’s Japanese title (like other royals) emphasizes how they are the “Kingdom’s ____”. In English they chose to emphasize his sword skill, rather than his allegiance and importance to the Kingdom itself (which may be a given).
- Takumi’s Japanese referred to him in relation to his bow, where as in English likely to his role in the story.
- Saizo’s Japanese refers to both his fiery nature and attacks, but English went with simply “Angry” (likely space)
- Kaden: From Chief to Braggart. (Position to personality)
- Hinata: This is a fun one. So, the word used on his profile (破天荒 hatenkou) actually refers to up and coming (and so, unknown until they make a name for themselves) sort of person. But, upon researching the term, it is often misused to mean “wild/brash.” The Japanese wikia (in Japanese itself) mentioned how ~65% of the public gets this wrong, which is why “wild” does not appear as a definition for it in the dictionary. So the question is, did the original writers intend its original meaning? Or its mistaken meaning? Or both? Did the localizers then convey the meaning they thought it was (wild, as it fit him), or did they make a mistake, or even lose out on the pun? I assume the writers used it to mean wild, because localization is usually in touch with the staff. That, and because the definition that would pop up is “unprecedented” before “wild.” Perhaps they got it clarified. It’s a strange one for sure! I wrote Unknown just to show the point, but otherwise it would be a 1:1 translation if they are using the wrong meaning for it. The more you know!
- Azama: Aloof holds a different meaning than Calm when conveying his personality. From Priest to Philosopher.
- Subaki: This is more or less the same. Mr. Perfect is a good way to put it.
- Hayato: That’s pretty different, but still conveys the youthful part, though with less magic.
Jakob: Same meaning, different words.
- Silas: From friendly to loyal. Though, the word in Japanese can mean “camaraderie.” However, that one sounds more to be on equal footing, where loyalty presents a sort of “servant and master” sort of feeling to it.
- Kaze: This was a hard one to convey. The title is actually “Shinobi of Refreshing Wind” since his name (kaze) also means wind. They decided to simplify it by writing “Easygoing” which has a sort of refreshing feeling to it, as the pun is harder to apply to English speaking audiences.
- Xander: Like Ryoma, kingdom reference is replaced with skill reference.
- Leo: I kind of liked the Japanese one better! The Prince of Darkness is an awesome title! But Sorcerer conveys a “darkness” connotation to it too. I wonder why they changed it.
- Benny: A focus on his personality rather than appearance and class alone.
- Keaton: The straightforward position changed to what he does.
- Arthur: The same, and well-put by the localization.
- Odin: A reference to his aching/boiling blood in English. In Japanese, they went for his “hidden power” approach.
- Laslow: This one was a bigger change. It goes with his theme of smiling with Japanese, but in English the focus is on the dancing and sword fighting.
- Niles: English gives him a bit more of a hopeful side!
- Hinoka: Perhaps the “Red” was removed to not get her confused with Scarlet?
- Sakura: Same!
- Rinkah: From Daughter to Scion.
- Orochi: That’s an interesting title change…
- Kagero: Same meaning!
- Hana: From Tomboy to Focused. Two very different meanings.
- Setsuna: Overall the same!
- Oboro: The “Demon face” referred to that expression she makes when dealing with Nohr. I was curious to see how they may go about it in English, but it seems they changed it up entirely to simply a “Fierce Fighter.”
- Felicia: I suppose they wanted to emphasize her blunders more than the game already does.
- Azura: That feels like a reference to something… I believe it was the woman who gave King Arthur Excalibur? That’s a pretty cool one! I like it! Though it does ignore her singing aspect.
- Mozu: I suppose they needed to give it more “oomph.” Though it makes her sound more aggressive than innocent, in a way.
- Camilla: From Flower to Beauty.
- Elise: From Sweet to Budding, but still a flower!
- Charlotte: The Japanese one would literally translate to “woman’s true nature.” I can see why NoA wanted to avoid any potential issues translating that one out of context…
- Effie: “Super” refers to “Super Strength.”
- Peri: Her “childishness” is up-played in the English one.
- Beruka: I suppose these two are technically the same, presented in two different ways.
- Selena: The Japanese title means aspires to be more while keeping it hidden, probably a reference to her nature. The English one opts for a pun.
- Nyx: I like their take on it more, but the Japanese refers to the body, and the English to the curse.
- Shiro: Raw is a much shorter way of saying it, yes.
- Kiragi: Optimism to Upbeat.
- Asugi: Same!
- Selkie: From playful to free!
- Hisame: Along with the rest of him, the nail in the coffin of his changes is right here. Calm (and collected) Samurai to…Pickle Pro…
- Mitama: Both are poetic, but one is a Priestess, the other is starry-eyed.
- Caeldori: Literally, it is “the wing that seeks perfection” in Japanese. A great title, but hard to convey in English. I like how they opted for Angels, which are usually associated with feathered wings anyway. Though, it makes her sound perfect already, as opposed to seeking perfection.
- Rhajat: Tenacious and Black have two different connotations to them.
- Kana: This applies to both genders. Child to Spawn! I feel it was to get the more “un-human” feel across.
- Shigure: I like their version. It fits better and manages to get the same meaning across.
- Dwyer: From Apathetic/Lethargic to simply Sleepy. Staff-User was the literal translation of what would be the Priest/Butler class anyway, which English used.
- Sophie: Usually the Japanese had the class/rank and English did not, but both Dwyer and Sophie have “Butler” and “Knight” respectively. One makes her clumsy, the other simply scatterbrained.
- Midori: Literally, it is a “person of firm character.” So I made it “Capable Girl.” They opted for what she does, though.
- Siegbert: I suppose they felt there was no need to mention of which Kingdom, as it is self explanatory.
- Forrest: From his sweet prince-ness to his fashion love.
Ignatius: Pretty much the same!
- Velouria: +1 for making her more animal-like with “cub” rather than “daughter.”
- Percy: Rather than make him his own hero, he is still a sidekick.
- Ophelia: A reference to her Odin-ness, rather than her girl-ness.
- Soleil: This can be “A Girl Who Loves” or “Girl-lover.” I suppose a way to do both would be “Girl-love.” Regardless, it became Adorable Adorer, which has the sort of meaning that would be conveyed above.
- Nina: I suppose they did not want to be too harsh toward her personality quirk. Though, it literally says “wicked daydreamer.”
- Yukimura: The English makes him sound much shadier than he is.
- Izana: At this point there is no real point in keeping the Japanese for Izana, seeing how much he changed! They carried it all the way through. So at least they were consistent.
- Shura: Specifically, a “Lost name” is a name he “cast aside.”
- Fuga: I suppose the English was meant to be a fun stab at “Big Cheese”?
- Gunter: Its literally “old knight.” I wonder why he is just an Inveterate Soldier…
- Reina: Its literally “Goes crazy in/with war.” The English title is a good reference to what she delights in doing, however.
- Scarlet: I chose the word “Heroic” but it can also be “Lively” or “big-hearted.” Regardless, the English focus is on what she does.
- Flora: I’m amazed the fun & joke-loving Izana-making localization did not go for the Maid of Ice (made of ice) pun. Though, Cold as Ice still is a pun in its own way, though describes her less so.
Keeping in mind that localization had very tight space to work with, I’m fine with many of the titles and decisions they made. A few were a little iffy to me, personally, as they read out like (almost lame) things someone would shout out at a wrestling/boxing match when referring to someone’s title –but that may have been the point!
In general, one may notice the Japanese side often attempts to summarize a character as much as they can, though the translations can come off quite boring in English, where it is taken to be more like the title they would want yelled out in a sports arena (compared to one a history book would remember, which is usually the way FE does it). It seems to have gone a little sillier recently, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One can take it as how the group referred to a member, rather than how the history books did (despite it being in the epilogue).
So in short. Japanese sounds more like “Here’s a character, here’s their title.” And English sounds like the introduction of a boxer to the ring
(Or, as a friend of mine wrote:”In thisssss corner! Weighing in at a random amount because I don’t know weights. The Maid Mayhemmmmm….. Feliciaaaaa! And in this cornerrrrrr! Weighing in at another random weight. The Pickleeeee Prooooo…. Hisameeeeee!”)
In the end, as usual, we will never truly know the reason behind some changes, as interested as I would be to find out!
Phew! That’s that. Another macro-post done.
What do you think? Do you prefer the Japanese titles? Or the English ones? I like some of each over the other, so it’s not like you have to like all of one and none of the other, of course!
Wicked Daydreamer? More like Wicked Gaydreamer. OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH
More fun re: Lady of the Lake — In the Arthurian myths, she is a magical queen from another world (Avalon, a remote and deeply magical island country hidden in the mists). The thing that most people know her for is where she gave King Arthur the enchanted sword Excalibur. She’s really more like an archetype by this point, because there have been a few different characters who assume the same role.
That said, I think Azura fits the archetype well. For most people, the Lady of the Lake carries a strong connotation of wisdom, power, mystery and magic — which are all connotations Azura has, as well. The Dragonstone could be considered a parallel to Excalibur and Kamui to King Arthur. I could go on, but that would get spoilery.
Thanks for taking the time to write all that, was a nice read! Indeed, though she is an archetype by now, Azura does more literally fit the title too, hmm?
I have completed the games, but it is good to be spoiler-conscious for other players out there! They’ll probably appreciate that. : )
I noticed that the localization tries to use alliteration as much as possible, which probably contributes to the feeling of the title being yelled out at a wresting match lol.
I like some of those changes, more interesting than [characterisic descriptor][class]. I feel like Ryoma’s and Xander are more personalized in localization version, whereas in Japanese they feel kinda stiff. I mean, Ryoma’s is “Hoshido’s Samurai”, but there’s 3 other Hoshidan samurai, so in that respect I like how the localization emphasized his skill (since he /is/ the best Swordmaster unit imo =D)
Very good point about alliteration and why it ends up sounding like a title being yelled out. xD
Yep! That’s likely why the localization took that route. In Japanese, there is that sort of honor/awe that goes with it. “Oh man, this guy is HOSHIDO’s SAMURAI! Like, THE samurai!” sort of thing that gets lost in translation. xD So what they did works well to get that sort of feeling across, by being peerless instead. (Like the other two are also Hoshido’s Samurai…but not THE Samurai, if that makes sense)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Yes, Azura’s English title change is a reference to King Arthur! Makes a lot of sense, considering she’s associated with water throughout the game. You know… one must wonder what would’ve happened if Arthur was the hero of the game? Man, that’d be hilarious!
I thought Takumi’s title change is really clever. After all, he really is the “Wild Card” of every path! (As well as my favorite out of the Royal family members.)
That’s pretty cool! Arthur being the hero would be awesome, but would be the hardest game with such low luck (even though I always make Luck my downside too xD)
Yep! He worked out as the Wild Card on every path indeed, so it is an interesting title : )