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Viewing profile :: Tokumei
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Joined:  24 Mar 2007
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Tokumei's drama reviews (3)
Fukigen na Jiin [不機嫌なジーン]
Fukigen na Jiin [Rating: 9/10]
This is an unfortunate example of an intelligent comedy completely destroyed by the translation. Initially I bought this series in the Japanese language version. Since I found this comedy very well-written and intelligently executed, I decided to buy it with English subtitles from Singapore so that my non-Japanese speaking family members could also enjoy the drama. Unfortunately, the translation is abominable. It is not just inaccurate, but it has completely changed the story and the characters. Of course, it would be impossible to provide a gperfecth translation to this type of comedy with fast-paced dialogue. Some mistakes are easily identifiable such as geggplantsh translated as gtomatoesh in the scene where Yoshiko is experimenting in organic farming with ladybugs in a greenhouse full of eggplants. Some of the simplifications or losses of nuance may be tolerated: such as the word gitoshii [meaning an affection for something precious]h simply becoming gcuteh in the translation. Some mistakes are actually funny: such as gbulky princeh (correct translation is gaging princeh (the rescuing scene in the mountain: the translator mistook gfuketa (aging)h as gfuyaketa (swollen, sodden).h What is inexcusable is the translatorfs lack of respect for this award winning script, arbitrarily changing the story and the characters when the translator does not understand the dialogue. (The playwright, Mika Omori (woman), received the prestigious Mukoda Award for the best TV script in 2005). Here are some examples. Correct translation gWhen my hair has become elegantly silver-gray.h@[Minamihara to Jinguji in the gym where he is fantasizing about seeing a long-lost daughter. He does not like parental responsibility, but like to have a child to hold and to give new yearfs presents.] gWhen I become a play-boyh (subtitle) gSometimes it is OK to feel that you want to be coddled.h (In the bathing scene, Minamihara to fully-clothed Yoshiko, comforting her.) gBehave like a womanh (subtitle) [mistaking gamaeru (want to be pampered, ask for a favor)h as gama = a derogatory way of calling women] If anything happens to you, Ifll find you a new research lab job.h [Minamihara to Yoshiko, who is worried about losing her job.] gIf anything happens [, If]m looking for [a] new researcher.h [Here the subtitle indicates Minamihara is threatening Yoshiko whereas in fact he is comforting her.] hI am a petty man.h [Minamihara is talking about his lack of courage, not a social position] gI am a low position (subtitle)h graise the child togetherh [Minamihara, a parting scene toward the last.] gfoster him (subtitle)h [as if Minamihara was ordering Yoshiko to raise his son. The Japanese original says a child, not the son, and also raising the child gtogether.h] There are numerous other serious mistakes.
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [池袋ウエストゲートパーク]
Ikebukuro West Gate Park [Rating: 10/10]
Some viewers seem to believe this is a gang drama, but actually this is an anti-gang drama. The leading character, Makoto, refuses to be a gang member despite threats and invitations. Makoto is not particularly smart (some viewers wrote he is gcool headedh), but his innate warmth and curiosity lead him into numerous gang-related troubles. The theme is serious (murders, gangs, extortion, drug, incest, poverty, sex industry, etc), but hilarious at the same time. Kudo-Kanfs multi-layering technique of comedy and tragedy works very well here too. One translation error I noticed was in the scene where the young gang head, Takeshi, explains that his nickname gKingh was taken from gthe Reverend King (King Bokushi).h This is translated as gthe King of Boxing.h
Kisarazu Cat's Eye [木更津キャッツアイ]
near perfect [Rating: 9/10]
This is another example of Kankuro Kudofs talent of mixing the hilarity of a screwball comedy with the despair and the loneliness of the people living at the fringes of society. Most of the characters are seeming nefer-do-wells and losers: a dying 21 year-old cancer patient, juvenile semi-delinquents, owners of failing stores, a pathological shop-lifter, a strip tease dancer, a call girl, an unlicensed barber, a teacher who has decided to get back at the students who have tormented her at school. All of them somehow come out as individuals with dignity and humanity. (Kudo does not condone criminality. He describes the brutality and savagery of real predatory criminals (gangsters involved in juvenile prostitution and extortion) without any sympathy.) As many critics commented, this drama is irreverent, unpredictable and funny, but the undertone is pathos, as was reflected in the scene where one of the characters, Ozzy, who has been brain-damaged in an accident during a baseball match, suddenly remembers the following phrases from Macbeth he played in his high school days. Kudo gets him to recite: . . . Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. Pathos does not diminish hilarity. A few words about some older actors who are relatively unknown among young JDorama fans: Ozzy, the character who appears in the first scene, saying gIt is the MORNING!h and who later recites Macbeth is played by Arata Furuta who is a star player of the enormously popular Shinkansen Theater Group. gYouh plays a call girl on roller skates. (gYouh played the mother in Kore-edafs gNobody Knows.h) Sadao Abe (who played the incompetent policeman in Ikebukuro West Gate Park and Donta in Tiger & Dragon) plays the Cat. Fumiyo Kohinata, who plays the father of the leading character (Bussan by Junichi Okada), is in numerous movies and TV series including Fuurinkazan.


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