Today is a quick post about the new (as of this writing, Nov 15th) hero banner in Fire Emblem Heroes.
When I saw the title and characters involved, I wondered why the translators may have chosen “Farfetched” as their word of choice for the title. I’ve always liked the English word farfetched (thanks to a particular Pokemon), so it made me wonder what the Japanese was.
So I took a quick look:
Great Heroes Once More
Well, from the above you can see the Japanese seems to be stating the banner for what it is, and the translation seemingly went for a more colorful approach.
So what could be going on here? Let’s speculate.
The characters in the banner are Dorcas, Lute, and Mia (placed in that order on the polls). If you check the popularity poll, you can see they didn’t place at the very top, but placed fairly high up (top 30 overall, and top 20 of their respective gendered categories). Dorcas of the three was likely the least expected, as my analysis covered that it may have been in part due to being a meme.
For those of you who don’t know, here is how “farfetched” is defined:
1 brought from a remote time or place
2 not easily or naturally deduced or introduced
Either way, you can see here that the first definition does fit the paralogue content quite well, considering how the story in this game involves heroes and being summoned from different times and places. However, the word’s second definition also applies, as they are three unlikely heroes to show up (in part due to popularity polls but also that they are all side characters).
The word’s connotation however is often “something unbelievable.” When looked at that way, perhaps the translator felt these particular heroes (and Joshua who appears in the paralogue) are rather farfetched in their personalities too? (Look at Lute and her portrayal, as an example).
I see the word used more often in negative contexts than positive, which is what made me wonder why this specific word. Had they used “Unexpected” or “Surprise” as a reference to their poll results, that would be a focus on their victory rather than the potentially negative meaning that comes with what they did use (farfetched).
This may just be reading too deeply into it, however!
When looked at in that sense, the translators may have been going for what they saw as a great pun. Beyond stating what the focus is, they covered both the origins and personalities of the characters in a single word.
The Japanese side is emphasizing two things: that this is a second popularity poll based focus (as evident in the paralogue talking about how they came thanks to people who wished for them to be there), as well as that these side characters can now be great heroes once again! So it’s not like the original was lacking a potential pun either, however, the English one covers a larger range of meanings than the Japanese counterpart.
The translators seem to have opted for a single word that happened to fit and provided a pun that fit their needs and more. The meaning in the end carries a different connotation than the Japanese one, however, and could be mistakenly (or purposefully?) read as a stab at the characters’ personalities themselves.
What do you think of that title? Would you go about handling it differently? Mia is also finally in this game, which has made me happy, though it seems to be her FE9 appearance, where as I voted for the FE10 one.
This post looks to be posted on November 12th, but was actually written on the 15th and is just filling in for that day’s post, in case it confused you.