NIS America CEO Takuro Yamashita issued a statement of apology on behalf of the localization team at NIS America who worked on Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana for PS4 and PS Vita. Gamers put together a e-mail campaign to Nihon Falcom, and the Japanese company had the localization team at NIS America address the concerns of fans.
In the apology, Yamashita states…
“Thank you for all the feedback and support we received since the launch of Ys VIII. It has come to my attention that the quality of the Ys VIII Localization has not reached an acceptable level by our own standards, but most importantly by yours. As president of NIS America, Inc. I want to apologize to you personally for this grave error.
“[…] We have begun internally to investigate the causes of this situation as well as to implement steps to ensure that a similar situation does not occur again.”
Regardless of what people think about NIS America, this is a much better response to the situation than what Funimation offered when angry fans wrote in to them about the politicized localization of anime such as Hajimete no Gal. The company completely ignored the complaints and began talking about harassment instead.
Furthermore, in the press statement from NIS America, Yamashita apologizes once again and then proceeds to explain that they will be fixing the current localized version of Ys VIII and that they will be setting better standards for localization by bringing in new editors and translators.
Further in, Yamashita writes…
“As for Ys VIII itself, we will have a new translator and editor go over the entire localization to fix grammatical errors, typos, inconsistencies, and also to take a fresh look at the dialog and characterizations. For the script, where necessary, we will re-translate and re-edit the game including updating voicework to reflect these changes. We plan to have this work done by end of November and will offer the updated localization free of charge for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game via patch. The Steam version of the game will include this localization in its initial release.”
The Steam version of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was indefinitely delayed a day before release for unannounced reasons.
Nevertheless, after Westerners managed to play the game during its initial release in North America and Europe, those who spoke both Japanese and English (and who played both versions of the game) noticed that the English translations were not entirely representative of the nuance and flavor offered in the Japanese version.
While 1:1 translations aren’t usually possible from the Japanese language to English, it is possible to retain the original meaning while eloquently and poetically depicting the text in English. This was not done for Ys VIII. Gamers noticed the dialogue was stilted and banal compared to the original Japanese text, and that the characterizations had been dumbed down and the more fiery aspects of their personalities changed.
Gamers were polite and proactive in their attempt to bring the situation to Nihon Falcom, the original developers of Ys VIII. They put together e-mail campaigns and sent letters written in Japanese to explain the situation to Nihon. Given that Nihon gave the localization bid to NIS America, it was likely that the company told them to fulfill the duties of their contract and fix the errs in translation.
Gamers will now have to wait until the end of November to see if the updated version of the localization is handled with more care from the new translator and editor, and if there will be more verve and passion put into the work by NIS America to better reflect the quality of writing and storytelling offered by the Japanese version of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.