Across the Pokemon series, the nurse at the Pokemon Center helpfully heals up the player’s Pokemon. When handing them back, however, she says:
We hope to see you again!
The line has been referenced in a lot of silly ways based on how it is a relatively “terrible thing to say in a hospital.” After all, hoping to see the player again means that Pokemon get injured and need healing…again. This rather dark outlook that spawned several humorous memes and webcomics.
So that made me wonder, what is that line in Japanese anyway? Can it be read the same way?
Short answer: “We look forward to serving you again!” is what the Japanese comes out to be. Similarly polite business speak, but it’s all about the little context and nuance which explains why it became a running joke in the English-speaking fanbase but not so much in the Japanese one.
Today, I look at what I would say is an example of good localization found in the Legend of Zelda:Windwaker.
The player receives something called the “Complimentary ID” which results in a silly dialogue exchange where it is literally an item that has the shop keeper (Beedle) compliment the player –rather than offering any actual tangible goods to your purchases free of charge. A different kind of complimentary than what one may expect!
And that is where the question comes in: What was the ID’s name, and the scene like, in Japanese?
In short: It does revolve around “compliments” (or praise), but the localization team seized the opportunity to make this even more fun in the English language with a pun that was different, yet worked with the original Japanese intent.