As part of a request from a friend on twitter, I decided to look into the original Blazing Blade commercial. I translate what’s going on, an excerpt from an interview regarding the commercial, a design document, what song is playing, and some other fun tidbits.
So let’s take a look!
First, here is the commercial itself, starring former actress Maki Horikita.
And below is the translation. I try to go in order and specify what is said by the voice, and what is just text. The song is afterward. Please note the translation is also to express intent, and thus, is not completely literal.
出会い Encounters…. 仲間 Friends… 戦い Battles…
(Voice) 仲間と一緒にどう戦うか・・・ How will you fight alongside your friends…?
Narihiro: Yes. That was one of many ways we sought to widen the gates [to make the game have more widespread appeal].
It was presented with this design document:
The above document has the same flow as the final product. The minor differences are the lack of “goodbye,” as well as a slightly different word used for “parting” (they wrote “separation” instead). Another subtle difference is that it seems Kent is the character dying instead of Heath in the commercial, a tidbit I point out just a silly point later. Also, the title seems to be “A girl’s murmurs.” The music is simply “Ken Hirai~” but not what song of his, either.
This article is mostly straightforward and a reference point, so I’ll summarize any thoughts/analysis/silly trivia in bullet point format this time around:
From the commercial, interview, and documents, one can see that the intention was to broaden the appeal of the game by using a known actress, popular song from 2003, and a change of style in presentation among other things.
Most notable is how the commercial is more emotional and focuses on meeting allies, growing with them, and eventual partings via mechanics like perma death. Compare this with previous commercials that are more opera-like with an operatic flare (links provided in the interview segment above).
“LIFE is…~another story~” is a romantic song (as the excerpt may have implied already) by the famed Ken Hirai, so was likely used for its popular appeal rather than its literal meaning. However, the themes of friendship and bonding share similar themes to love and longing, so it helped set the intended mood beyond it simply being a popular song in 2003. The song was not written for the game, but was actually the theme for a TV drama known as Black Jack Ni Yoroshiku.
Speaking of the US commercial (linked above), you can see the difference in intended marketing between the two versions. The US commercial goes with “build an army, trust nobody” as its central theme, rather than the themes of “meetings, growing, bonding, partings” that the Japanese commercial aimed for. Considering it was the debut game for the US (and west) too, it’s an interesting approach!
I believe that’s all that really needs to be said for this commercial! I hope to cover the Japanese commercial for Sacred Stones down the line.
Over the past several weeks (and months), I took a look at an old character poll conducted around 2003-2004 for the Elibe games (FE7 Blazing Blade and FE6 Binding Blade) for Japanese players. The results for the top 30 characters of each game were published online with Japanese player comments. The rest of the results (and some more comments) were published in the Character Book. As such, the data presented here is consolidated between the two sources.
While this poll was of course known to fans for a long time, the Japanese comments were never translated in full (for good reason, there were quite a few). As such the objective of this post (and project) is to serve as a resource in both presenting the poll data all in one place as well as giving English-speaking fans some insight on what Japanese fans thought of these characters those years ago. It’s become one of my objective to help bring the fandoms together in some way, so this is a part of that.
Altogether this was 49 pages of data on word that I translated on my free time during the last few weeks, so if you’re feeling generous consider donating to help support me continue to build an archive of Fire Emblem (and other) resources here on this blog! (I’ll do it anyway regardless of the donations, of course!)