I guess I have a few notes this week, but they’re not exactly about the script.
Life is Showtime
So the official OP lyrics are out and they didn’t help a bit. If anything, the song is more confusing now. As of episode 9, Over-Time hasn’t updated the translation in their release (EDIT: the translation’s been tweaked, but it hasn’t incorporated some of the weirder revelations yet), and I don’t have my own yet either, but I guess I’ll say a few words about a couple of points of interest.
To begin with, overriding pronunciation. Basically, a lyric is sung one way but written with a different word. This can equate concepts, abuse jargon, or just hide jokes and footnotes in the official booklet. (Ixion Saga DT, for instance, has a theme song that sounds like a generic love song, but the onscreen lyrics replace half the words to make it sound like its fantasy-game-parody hero.)
In Life Is Showtime’s case, it has a word that is both the English word “magic” and the Japanese word 本気, which is supposed to be pronounced as “maji” (it’s written as 本気(Magic) in the lyrics). So we have a line that means “You serious? You bet! It’s magic!” which is exactly what everyone’s original guess was, but also “We’re serious!” and “Magic? Real magic!” and other permutations. Also, it associates the show’s magic with determination, which makes a lot of sense. (Make your own “magicka” jokes here.)
This line was originally heard as “magical hero” but turned out to be “announcing his magic” (魔法を披露 if you’re playing along at home), which I choose to interpret as “showing off his magic.” I liked the “hero” interpretation, but okay, whatever, we’re not the only ones confused by this. But the part I’m actually worried about is not that, but the shout at the end that is written as “Mahaluto Hallelujah.” No one has any clue what this means (other than maybe Haruto’s name is in it) so we’re pretending it doesn’t matter.
I don’t know why I blogged about this, but hopefully it tides someone over until we figure out what’s going on and crank out some real lyrics, or a reasonable-sounding imitation thereof. (There are other confusing and slightly nonsensical parts to the song, too, but I expect they will be fixed through the time-tested method of making things up.)
I like Dragon. I really do! First, I love his voice, which comes from accomplished voice actor Ryuzaburo Otomo (and you know what’s awesome? The syllable that means “dragon” is right in his name). I really hope he comes back, because I also love his dynamic with Haruto, a tasty cocktail of protection, enmity, and bemusement.
On the subject of Dragon, this is the Haruto I really like. Sure, a few arcs of Haruto floating around fixing everything were okay to show how good he was, but this payoff, where he has to face his limitations but bounces back to confident, is good and really fits the show’s theme of holding on to hope in the face of adversity. Haruto’s cocky face is also what makes me want to see him and his equally smug Phantom play off each other so much.
And NSA guy’s back! And he’s mad at Wizard! And he wants a ring! It’s like all my hopes came true! I guess this means he’s Beast, which is shades of Accel, and I’m not sure how to feel about that, but I stand by hoping for good conflict between Team Wizard and the government. Also, Rinko might get to do something meaningful.
I have no idea what the Driver just said. “Burn” is a guess, but the closed captions said “bo” and that’s what it sounds like, but I mean, I don’t know what it’s trying to say, the way the base forms were obviously “fire” (well, in Japanese) and so on.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t like subbing the belt jingles (and I refuse to put any effort into them as a staffer). They’re basically in the same boat as SFX and music. Songs ought to be translated if they mean something, and if you’re going to decorate the screen with pretty effects to accompany the sounds then that’s your prerogative. But OT doesn’t do crazy styling and the jingle translations don’t really translate anything, they just plaster a big annoying FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE or SHABADOOBIE across the screen that informs no one of jack all (okay, the Japanese elements, but here they’re pretty much just sounds set to music). And then stuff like this happens and you find yourself in a hole and your dialogue editor passive-aggressively gloats on his blog. (I did like the jingle itself, though. A more shouty remix of the base Flame song, oh yes.)
To be clear, I haven’t fought anyone to get the SFX subs removed and don’t care enough to ever plan to. The above was just a personal opinion blog. Enjoy the rest of your day.
(Wizard is apparently off next week, by the way.)