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Mahouka #1-3

So...I spoiled myself a little, and am now thoroughly hooked. Based on what I found out, I think that a lot of the things that I found were bothering me in the first few episodes actually have what I would call logical bases...though I won't mention them here. What I am going to start a list of, however, are the issues with the translation that are bothering me. There's been at least one for each episode so far:

  1. Whilst "The irregular" is perfect for the title because our protagonist is clearly who it's referring to, I don't think it fits for all the other "rettousei" (literally "poor students"). As Tatsuya explains at the end of the first episode, all of the students who get into these specialised high schools are elites, it's just that the school further divides them into 'honours students' and 'mediocre students', based on whether they're in the top or bottom half of the 200 students who pass the school's entrance exam. If we're trying to translate the terms used in the series into equivalent English, then 'irregular' really shouldn't be used to describe half the students in the school... (NB: I could elaborate on why it's really difficult to use the same word to translate "rettousei" in both situations, but that would probably bore most people if this mini-rant doesn't already do so...)

  2. The 'Numbers' thing would have been totally lost on those who don't know Japanese. Mayumi was telling Tatsuya that her name was written with the characters for 7 (Nana) and grass (kusa); Chiba Erika also belongs to the 'Numbers' because her surname starts with the character for 1000.

  3. The second episode had a straightforward translation error, but one that might cause a bit of confusion as to how the Disciplinary Committee works if viewers registered that unwieldy line. Rather than the DC appointing three officers each to the Student Council, the Club Management Group and the Faculty Committee, it's the reverse. These three groups each appoint three students to the DC, resulting in nine students who then select their own leader. At the start of this year, where Miyuki and Tatsuya first enter the school, the Faculty Committee appointed Morisaki, and Mayumi, as President of the Student Council, decided to appoint Tatsuya.

  4. (edit:) Just remembered: I was also taken aback to see a word meaning "ordinary students/people," which was used to refer to the Course 2 students, translated as "civilians." The counterpart group to the Course 2 students are the Course 1 students...but they cannot (all) belong to the counterpart group to 'civilians', i.e. a member of state military...

  5. (edit:) And again, just before that, Erika's actually telling Leo that "But unfortunately, you missed one thing." rather than "Unfortunately, I'm not quite there yet."

  6. The one I noticed in the third episode was more mundane, but annoyed me all the same. It's not that the entire student body punishes a Disciplinary Committee member who uses his CAD inappropriately, but rather that he/she receives a more serious punishment than 'normal students'...

Mahouka is a difficult series to translate, so I'll give the translator that CR has hired for it a few more chances. But seriously, it's getting a little more difficult with each passing episode...