I’ll take apart episode 11 later when I can get screenshots, but I want to get this out in writing and I feel like it could do with its own rant. I don’t really care who reads it or what they take away.
Obviously I have no hard rules as far as whether I trust official English spellings or not. In Star Driver, we rejected “Dashing Entrance!” (and I know a couple of people out there were mad about that) but took up “Vanishing Age.” In Sacred Seven I ignored the whole Alma/Arma debate on the grounds of seriously who gives a shit. To this day, in Aquarion Evol, I mess with the onscreen runes as I please.
So what reasons have I to discard my old “Reaigler” in favor of the Altairian “Rare Igura” spelling? If I didn’t have them, I’d change nothing and life would go on. These are some of the important things about the words in my mind.
1.”Reaigler” is really ugly
Prosaic, isn’t it?
Let me make no bones about the fact that the word “Reaigler” was less translated, or even coined, and more produced out of nothing as a way to cope with what seemed to be a big dumb anime fantasy word. But as the person writing the words, I think the word looks and kind of sounds ugly as sin. “Rare Igura” (I say it “igra”) looks and sounds a little less ugly, a little less like a vomit of letters in a bad attempt to make Japanese letters sound not awkward in English.
(I could write a complete essay on how Japanese maps to English and the fun artifacts you get in, say, Gundam, when you try to do a two or even three way double-back-translation. Maybe I will someday.)
2. “Official” does mean something
In addition to not liking the aesthetics of “Reaigler,” I’m not even really attached to it. It’s almost a transliteration. It doesn’t mean anything. In my book, “official” spelling may have a very low weight when it comes to translation, but it has a positive weight. “Reaigler” didn’t have any weight, except consistency, and honestly, that ship sailed with “Mithra Gniss.” However vanishingly weak I may consider the “but that’s what the real spelling is” argument (refer back to S7), I still didn’t have anything to bring to bear against it, even to myself.
But basically, everything I said so far has boiled down to “eh, I didn’t care for the old word anyway.” And yeah, that really was part of the reason. But I think even all that wouldn’t have gotten me to change. I really don’t care about officiality, you know. Here’s another angle, though.
3. It’s got a “rare” in it
Had the word on Izumo’s screen been “Reaigura” or “Leigra” or some other silly anime fantasy word, I’d have laughed it out. Such a word would have been no better than my own attempt of “Reaigler” and the “official” argument could screw off.
But the word “rare” is printed there. And that raises the slim possibility that maybe the word isn’t just a nonsense fantasy word. Someone went to all the trouble not just to throw a bunch of letters together that more or less worked, but to call it “rare” and then a bunch of letters that more or less worked. And it’s not like it’s easy to get “rare” out of the レア phonemes unless you really mean “rare.”
Paranoia? Gambling on a slim chance? Perhaps. Plausible, even. But it’s not like I have any better clues. Putting all that together – two little reasons the new word was legit, and no reasons the old word was important – I decided that we might as well take it.
After all, Aquarion Evol has already shown us that it’ll take a lot to be too paranoid about it.
Thanks for reading my self-indulgence.