[Update 5/102020:] Past tweets from the localizer reveals that they have an anti-male agenda and a past steeped in misandry.
[Original article:] MangaGamer made an official statement about the localization changes in The House In Fata Morgana. The public statement claims that they did their best to respect the developers’ wishes and also claimed that “harassment” was not a valid approach to the problem, inferring that people had harassed someone over the issue.
The tweet was made on May 5th, 2020 via their official Twitter account.
We would like to make it abundantly clear that we stand behind our localization staff and do our utmost to ensure that the developers’ wishes are respected as well. While there are numerous equally valid approaches to any given translation problem, harassment is not one of them.
— MangaGamer (@MangaGamer) May 5, 2020
If you have sincere questions or concerns regarding the translation of any of our titles we would encourage you to reach out to us at [email protected] instead. We may not be able to respond to all inquiries, but we do take legitimate criticism into consideration.
— MangaGamer (@MangaGamer) May 5, 2020
This came after it was discovered that in MangaGamer’s release of The House of Fata Morgana, some dialogue was changed from the Japanese version to mean something completely unrelated. In a conversation the word phrase “tsundere” was used to describe a character in the Japanese version, but it was changed to “fragile male ego” in MangaGamer’s Western localization of the game, which doesn’t carry the same meaning at all given that “tsundere” usually refers to someone repressing their true feelings while acting crude, curt, or crass toward another character, but eventually coming to terms with their feelings even if in a limited or refrained way.
The phrase is oftentimes associated with a certain archetype of female character(s) in Japanese media, yet the localizer changed the phrase to mean “fragile male ego”, which is something that Liberals, Leftists, and Progressives on social media use to denigrate and criticize men.
Despite the community protests about the translation decision, the English Twitter account for the original developer of the game, Novectacle, chimed in to defend the localizer’s decision and the change.
In a series of tweets published on May 5th, 2020 around the same time as MangaGamer made their statement, the Novectacle account stated…
“We have noticed there are discussions among some English community about the translation of FataMorgana, so we would like to express our simple thought. We stand for the main translator’s opinion.
“We assume it was picked up without taking into consideration the situation and the characters’ relationship.
The word appeared: / In the backyard: the specific situation that characters explain their stories, doing fourth-wall-breaking.
“The word was said by Morgana to Jacopo. Morgana, especially in the backyard, speaks very acrimoniously. Plus, she has a reason to insult him. /As the original word too, it is closer to bitter sarcastic meaning about his attitude.
“So, “tsundere” at that line was not ordinarily “tsundere” meaning. Thinking those situations, we understand well our translator has chosen the word after much reflection.”
The responses in the thread did not agree with Novectacle’s exegesis for the localizer’s use of “fragile male ego” in place of “tsundere”.
Of course, a bunch of Twitter users with pronouns in their profile and rainbow flags next to their handle were quick to run to the defense of the politically charged change made in The House In Fata Morgana‘s English release.
This isn’t the first time that MangaGamer was caught in a snafu. Some of their localizers were caught in a Discord private channel running down and bad-mouthing their own visual novel community. Finding out that they have staff on-hand with pronouns in their profile and rainbow flags changing dialogue of visual novels to suit an ideological agenda, basically makes it known that MangaGamer is converged.
(Thanks for the news tip Erobotan)