Table of Contents
These translation notes contain spoilers up to and including the end of chapter 2.
Chapter Title: “Weekly Shounen Despair Magazine”
Japanese: 週刊少年ゼツボウマガジン (lit. Weekly Shounen Despair Magazine)
This title is a reference to Weekly Shounen Magazine and other weekly manga magazines with similar names. Considering the magazines are all known in the West as “Weekly Shounen <blank>,” we felt a straight translation conforming to that standard was the best option.
Some of you might have seen Genocider’s name romanized as “Syo,” as that’s the way it’s spelled in the original game. We went with “Shou” because we wanted our romanizations to be consistent across the game. There’s no difference in meaning or pronunciation.
Japanese: マイハサミ (lit. my scissors)
Genocider’s name for her homemade scissors is literally the English word “my” followed by the Japanese word for “scissors.” Taking it straight would result in lines like “I crucify using my very own handmade My Scissors,” and that has about as much impact as a wet paper towel. Genocider Shou is an extremely outrageous, over-the-top character, and we wanted that to come across in the script. So we took the translation one step further and chose a name that reflected the original while still coming across as silly and self-absorbed.
Execution Title: “Little Black Sambo’s Motorcycle Death Cage”
Japanese: 猛多亜最苦婁弟酢華恵慈 (lit. Motorcycle Death Cage)
First of all, you see that terrifying wall of kanji there? That’s actually English, just written using characters that roughly approximate the sounds. It’s common practice for gang/bousouzoku members to write names, slogans, and even ordinary words in this style. In fact, the name of Oowada’s gang, Crazy Diamond, is also rendered this way: 暮威慈畏大亜紋土.
So where did “Little Black Sambo” come from? The text on the back of the motorcycle used in the execution reads 痴美苦露惨母, which is pronounced the same way as the Japanese title of the book The Story of Little Black Sambo. If you’re familiar with the story, the reference should make perfect sense.
So why did we add it to the title instead of just translating the text on the back of the bike? Two reasons: one, we were already pressed for time, and doing that properly would have pushed the patch back even longer; two, just plain “Motorcycle Death Cage” didn’t seem quite as intimidating as the wall of kanji that was the original. So we decided to put “Little Black Sambo” into the title and kill two birds with one stone–doubling the word density of the logo and ensuring the reference was accessible to our English-speaking audience.