Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE – From FE x Pokemon to FE x SMT (Interview snippet)


A fellow translator and FE fan over on Twitter was curious as to a certain post’s legitimacy, that is, a claim that before Fire Emblem x Shin Megami Tensei, there were plans for it to be Fire Emblem x Pokemon.

After some searching for the Nintendo Dream issue it had apparently come from (Dec. 21 2015 issue), a twitter follower came forward saying they had it, and provided me the scans. So, let’s please give a HUGE thank you to @nohrianpeach for not only providing the scan for that particular page, but for all the FE pages from this issue.

It turned out this particular segment is actually in the companion booklet that came with the magazine, rather than the magazine itself.

And so, here is the snippet translated. It turns out it is true, too! (I provide the transcript in Japanese below too, but the shot itself won’t be posted here. It is available by request however). It is only mentioned in passing in the first paragraph.

Please tell us what led up to the planning of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

Yamagami (Nintendo Producer): 5 years ago, Ms. Andou proposed a plan [for a crossover], saying “You know, I think FE and Pokemon‘s rules are pretty compatible!” Though I agreed with her, by chance the Pokemon group had already proposed what eventually became Pokemon Conquest at the same time [so we were unable to follow through].

Andou (Nintendo Director): Yes, which I was in charge of too.

Yamagami (Nintendo Producer): As the plan was a secret, she was put in charge of that first. (Laughs). And then, it took her less than a week to say, “Here’s the next plan.” The new plan was a collaboration with Atlus. At that time, new games like Xenoblade and Pandora’s Tower were coming out, and, because I myself was quite interested in Atlus’s games, I figured “This could work!” At first, we made informal plans within our own small group, but…

Takata (Atlus Producer): At that time, the organization itself was undergoing changes. and it was almost impossible to deal with Atlus as a second party, and so we almost decided to give up on it. After roughtly 2 years, we heard from Hiraoka (board member at Atlus), “Let’s try to collaborate and level up by making an RPG together.” After that, we attempted to contact Nintendo repeatedly, asking “Do you want to bring that RPG to life [with us]?”

Yamagami (Nintendo Producer): We replied immediately with, “Let’s do it!” We then quickly began to draft plans for the game, still only having a rough idea of what it would be. And so, we released an image that showed, “Shin Megami Tensei Meets Fire Emblem” to the public.

And that’s that! There’s more to the interview regarding the development of TMS#FE that I may get to later, but right at the start they mention the potential Pokemon collaboration that didn’t come to be due to Pokemon Conquest.

Imagine how FE x Pokemon would’ve been? Though, Pokemon Conquest itself was quite a fun game! So I don’t entirely mind having gotten that at the expense of the other game, personally.

Once again, thanks to @shadwofchaos725 for bringing it to my attention, and @nohrianpeach for the scans!

Original transcript:


山上 5年まえ、安藤が「「FE]のルールと「ポケモン」の相性は非常にいいと思うんですけど」と企画を提案してきたことがあったんですね。僕もいいと思ったんですが、たまたま同タイミングでポケモンさんから「ポケモン+ノブナガの野望」*1が提案されまして。

安藤 はい。それは私が担当しました。

山上 企画が被ったので、まずはそちらを担当してね、と(笑)。そうしたら、安藤が一週間もしないうちに「次の企画です」って、新たな企画を持って来たんです。それがアトラスさんとのコラボ企画でした。当時「ゼノブレイド」とか「パンドラの塔」といった新しいタイトルに挑戦していましたし、僕自身もアトラスさんの作品に興味があったので「いいかも」と思ったんです。で、まずは内々にご提案したんですけど・・・。

高田 同時、ライン編成の調整がつかなかったのと、アトラスでセカンドパーテイとして取り組んだことがほぼ無かったので、一旦は会社として見送りという判断でした。そのあと、2年くらいしてからウチの平岡から、”更なるレベルアップの君にセカンドとしてのRPG開発にも挑戦してみよう”という判断があり「あの話生きています?」と弊社から改めて任天堂さんにご連絡しました。

山上 「生きてます!」って、すぐにOKをして一揆に企画を立てまして、まだ荒い状態だったんですけど「真・女神転生MEETSファイアーエムブレム」って画像だけを公開しました。


Pokémon: #151 Mew ミュウ (Myuu) Name Trivia

A brief post on Pokémon #151, Mew! A reader emailed me asking a simple request to see what I thought about the English and Japanese names, as well as the theories (as listed on Bulbapedia) as to where the name comes from.

In Japanese, the Pokémon is named ミュウ (Myuu, or…Mew). In English, it is the same (Mew). So that gets that out of the way!

The question is why did the Japanese name it Mew? Any reason simply beyond the sound a cat makes?

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Pokémon Move: “Splash” VS “Haneru”

Time for some more Pokémon move trivia. Today’s post is a brief comparison of the Pokémon move name: “splash.” Many have written on the subject already, I’m sure, but I thought to add my own post about it.

This Normal-type move has caused a little bit of confusion and is an example of where better word choice could have been used in the translation. However, to be fair, there are reasons it was chosen to become “splash” which made more sense at the time.

In Japanese, the move is called はねる (haneru). It is a verb that can be used to mean “to splash,” but is more often than not used for “to jump” or “to hop.” That covers a much broader range in terms of actions in English, as many things can hop, but splash implies it has to do with water somewhere along the way. Note that the move itself is a Normal-type move too, and not of the Water-type.

Now it makes more sense why Pokémon like, say, Hoppip (Grass/Flying) can use “splash.” (Hoppip’s Japanese name is Hanekko too, with it being a likely pun that includes “haneru” for “hop” above). That makes it more interesting how it was translated as Hop here for the name, but not for the move.

So then, where did that all go wrong? I would not blame the translators, because one must simply look at Generation I to understand why.

In Generation I, the only Pokémon that could learn “splash” was Magikarp, a Water-Pokémon. It was its signature move, even. As a translator wanting to convey a meaning, they could have used hop, but when faced with a fish doing a hopping motion, they likely opted for “splash” because that would make sense for a fish to do, right? It seemed the better word choice in English. Without any context or future sight, this made perfect sense to do at the time.

Then as the next Generation came around, suddenly more than Water Pokémon were “splashing” rather than hopping. I guess it was left for the sake of consistency. It probably didn’t help that future animations showed the little blue pixels flying to the side. Is that water, or is that sweat?

Regardless, it made both words work for their respective languages. It just causes a bit of wonder in English, but nothing seriously wrong with it.

I hope this explains why non Water-types or those with any affiliation with water can use this move for those who were unaware. : )


Interested in more Pokemon move trivia? Give me a move to look into and I’ll make a post on it!

Pokémon: “Night Slash” VS “Tsujigiri”

Today’s post is a brief comparison of the Pokémon move name: “Night Slash.” Many have written on the subject already, I’m sure, but I thought to add my own post about it.

This Dark-type move has a rather mundane meaning in English on the surface, but it has quite the dark cultural origins in Japanese. In Japanese, the move is “tsujigiri.” (つじぎり)

Tsujigiri was a practice (and became a way to refer to the practitioners, too) in feudal Japan where samurai would wait by the roadside for unsuspecting individuals to pass by, and ambush them with the intent to kill in order to test out their new swords. It was a way to test how well their new swords could cut.

The rather barbaric practice came about during the chaotic sengoku jidai (warring states period, from 1467-1600) which was when Japan was in a state of anarchy. In 1603, shortly after the unification of Japan and beginning of the tokugawa period, tsujigiri was outlawed and became punishable by death.

Back to Pokémon, with the above in mind, no wonder it’s a dark move! A move with the connotations of lying in wait to ambush, cut, and kill a person simply to test out a new weapon is pretty “evil.” In Japanese, the “dark” type is referred to as the aku (悪 “evil”) type too, and so it makes sense.

In English, the move became “Night Slash.” That has the connotations of attacking and slashing someone in the dark, but the reasoning behind it is left more open-ended (slashing for fun? Out of revenge? etc). The specific act of doing it for a rather trivial matter (i.e. testing out a new sword) is lost in translation.

One can see how “night slash” comes from “tsujigiri” though. Waiting in ambush is likely done in the dark, and a slash is the end result, regardless of whether the opponent dies or not. I see that fans translate tsujigiri to “Crossroad Killing,” which is about the closest anyone can get to describing it in a word or two, but it still loses out on the connotation of just how evil it really is.

In conclusion, when one knows the origins of tsujigiri (and hence night slash), then one can appreciate it for how dark the move really is in both languages. However, for the average player who will not really bother to dig deeper than what is presented, the true meaning will only be presented to the Japanese players aware of the context, and not have as much of am impact aside from sounding “cool” in English.

I wonder what other Pokémon moves to look into that may also have a deeper meaning lost in translation… of course, the localization I think still did a good job considering what they had to work with!

It’s Tanabata! 七夕 Japan’s Star Festival and random trivia in anime and games


This is more a cultural post, and is not as in depth as it may seem! A brief break from Fire Emblem Fates things today to talk about this.

Today is the Tanabata Festival in Japan. Tanabata 七夕 (the seventh night) takes place on July 7th every year (in some areas of Japan), and is also known as the “Star Festival.” The legend goes that Orihime (represented by the star Vega) and Hikoboshi (represented by the star Altair) are lovers separated by the Milky Way and are only allowed to meet once a year on the seventh night of the seventh month. It is a rather “star crossed lovers” plot, though not exactly tragic as one may expect.

On this day, wishes are written on strips of paper and attached to wish trees. It is usually written by those in elementary school, but some provinces still decorate their streets quite elaborately.

On another note, sometimes this festival takes place a month later on August 7th, or anywhere in between, as it was originally based on the seventh night of the seventh month of a lunar calender.

You can read more about the origins of the festival as well as the story behind Orihime and Hikoboshi here or on wikipedia, or by just searching some culture blogs.

What I wanted to talk about was just various media you may have seen that reference Tanabata in some form or another, be it via a reference of a character’s birthday, or from the strips of paper attached to something.

This is not an exhaustive list at all. In fact, these are the first few things that come to mind in memory. There are plenty more examples out there! Feel free to provide anymore you don’t see here in the comments and I may add them too!

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