Riddle me this: Japanese title vs English title
Does it matter? Why or why not? Recently, I read an angry blog post (not on WordPress) regarding popular sites such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu using the English titles of anime over the Japanese titles. The poster opined that this made things confusing for people if they looked up a show. The poster believed that using English titles took away some of the authenticity of anime. He/she was perturbed that this was being done and felt that there was no need to use the English alternative titles.
I’m not a purist so I use the titles interchangeably. I may use a Japanese title such as Mirai Nikki over its English title; The Future Diary. The Japanese title sounds better and rolls easily off the tongue. To further my point, it looks prettier to me; simplistic reasoning, I know. Another example, I will refer to Kuragehime as Princess Jellyfish for the most part. Why? I stumble over the word Kuragehime so to avoid looking silly (in my head), I say Princess Jellyfish. I prefer the English title, it’s humorous to me and it makes a lot of sense after watching the show. I can understand wanting to respect the Japanese title. However, many anime watchers speak English and find it simpler to remember the title of an anime if they know the English title. It is beneficial to know the Japanese title because on many occasions I have encountered anime fans/otakus who give you the stare of death if you don’t know what they’re talking about. I am a bit reluctant to use a Japanese title in person because I am unsure if I am saying it correctly. Exhibit A: For years, I was saying Naruto incorrectly. I said it with my Southern drawl, Nah-ra-toe, dragging out that first part. After being corrected several times politely at anime conventions, I finally realized that I was wrong. These people weren’t rude in correcting me, they would just repeat the word but say it differently. I had an “aha” moment when I noticed that these different people were saying it the same way; just not how I was pronouncing it.
Is it really that big of a deal?
And here is the post I was referring to which really seemed to be directed at ANN: http://seanver.com/2012/03/17/student-council-what.