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NEWS: Anthem of the Heart Film Gets English-Subtitled Screenings in 4 Japanese Theaters




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GeminiDS85



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:21 am Reply with quote
Dear Japan,

Why do you always take good ideas and execute them in a way that is doomed to fail?

Ok, Japan, listen up. What is the point of screening a movie for only a week with English and Chinese subtitles? Don't you think that greatly limits the number of people who could see this movie?

First of all, the percentage of expats living in Japan that are fans of anime but cannot speak enough Japanese to understand a movie that by all accounts is going to have the characters speaking standard Japanese in a high school setting is going to be low. Please don't forget that the reason many of us expats who love anime and manga now live in Japan is because we learned Japanese due to our love for anime and manga and wanted to be able to interact with this medium without having to rely on subtitles or translations. Therefore, an English-subtitled version is completely moot for a large demographic of people who you think this version is meant for.

Basically, your demographic is going to be either tourists or expats who love anime and manga but do not understand enough Japanese to see the version with no subtitles. However, limiting a run to only a week pretty much makes this accessible to only a handful of people that either know about the screening and are already planning on visiting Japan during those dates or live in close enough proximity to one of these movie theaters to make the trip.

What you should be doing is having one theater in Tokyo and one in Kyoto, as those are the two most popular tourist places for people visiting Japan (Osaka is very popular for shopping with people from Chinese speaking countries, but Kyoto is only a 30-minute train ride from Osaka, so traveling from Osaka to Kyoto is no big deal), screen anime movies in English and Chinese once a day or a few times a week over a 3 month span. That way people can actually make plans in advance to visit Japan to see these movies.

For example, if people knew they could visit Tokyo this December and be able to see the new Girls und Panzer movie, Anthem of the Heart, and the new Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio movie all in one week with English subtitles, people could actually make plans to do this. Both tourists and expats alike.

Japan, I understand and appreciate that you are trying to make things more accessible for people who don't speak your language, but at the same time, you have to put more thought into your plans so that they are not carried out in vane.

Sincerely,

GeminiDS85
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Crystalyn



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 451
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:38 am Reply with quote
GeminiDS85 wrote:
stuff


Hmmm, pretty much all of my expat friends here in Osaka can't speak Japanese well enough to understand an anime film that's not action heavy like DBZ, and many of them have expressed a desire to see an anime film, but knowing that they can't understand it, they skip out on going. Maybe the people you know who are expats, you know through learning Japanese, but for the JET/eikaiwa crowd, in my experience most of them do not speak Japanese at that kind of level to be able to see a movie and be able to understand it. And many of them are anime fans.
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garlogan78



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 170
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:29 am Reply with quote
I'll probably see it in Japanese next week, but it is cool to know a subtitled option exists in Shinjuku next month I guess.
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AJ (LordNikon)



Joined: 14 Apr 2009
Posts: 323
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:15 am Reply with quote
GeminiDS85 wrote:
Dear Japan,

Why do you always take good ideas and execute them in a way that is doomed to fail?

Ok, Japan, listen up. What is the point of screening a movie for only a week with English and Chinese subtitles? Don't you think that greatly limits the number of people who could see this movie?

First of all, the percentage of expats living in Japan that are fans of anime but cannot speak enough Japanese to understand a movie that by all accounts is going to have the characters speaking standard Japanese in a high school setting is going to be low. Please don't forget that the reason many of us expats who love anime and manga now live in Japan is because we learned Japanese due to our love for anime and manga and wanted to be able to interact with this medium without having to rely on subtitles or translations. Therefore, an English-subtitled version is completely moot for a large demographic of people who you think this version is meant for.

Basically, your demographic is going to be either tourists or expats who love anime and manga but do not understand enough Japanese to see the version with no subtitles. However, limiting a run to only a week pretty much makes this accessible to only a handful of people that either know about the screening and are already planning on visiting Japan during those dates or live in close enough proximity to one of these movie theaters to make the trip.

What you should be doing is having one theater in Tokyo and one in Kyoto, as those are the two most popular tourist places for people visiting Japan (Osaka is very popular for shopping with people from Chinese speaking countries, but Kyoto is only a 30-minute train ride from Osaka, so traveling from Osaka to Kyoto is no big deal), screen anime movies in English and Chinese once a day or a few times a week over a 3 month span. That way people can actually make plans in advance to visit Japan to see these movies.

For example, if people knew they could visit Tokyo this December and be able to see the new Girls und Panzer movie, Anthem of the Heart, and the new Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio movie all in one week with English subtitles, people could actually make plans to do this. Both tourists and expats alike.

Japan, I understand and appreciate that you are trying to make things more accessible for people who don't speak your language, but at the same time, you have to put more thought into your plans so that they are not carried out in vane.

Sincerely,

GeminiDS85


No offense but as an expat who goes between Tokyo and Washington DC three times a year, working for an international media organization in both countries, if that letter were read by highers up, it would read as quite an insult.

Considering the costs involved and revenue lost from Japanese would go see the viewings in place of the English/Chinese subs, I'd think very long and hard about offering such a venue in the future. For those involved in the decision making process, it likely was not something that came without thought or analysis.

For the theater involved this offering is a loss-leader at its absolute best.And while there is some merit to your post, it would read as quite insulting and as complaint to many Japanese administrators and executives as being quite ingrate.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 12406
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:25 am Reply with quote
Well, if someone videotapes this (which probably will happen), we can't question the accuracy were it a fansub because is an official subbed version.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1456
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:03 pm Reply with quote
I'm happy enough to see non-subtitled Japanese movies at Japanese cinemas (saw The Wind Rises, Evangelion 3.33, The Tale of Princess Kaguya,and Hikawa Maru Monogatari that way), and am happy if any are shown with English subtitles as well.

Getting English text in Japan, although more common in major cities and major attractions, is still a bonus. Sometimes I've avoided a museum due to zero English information (Mobara, Chiba) and other times I've been richly rewarded even with minimal English (Aomori Museum of Art, Aomori).
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GeminiDS85



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 391
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:12 pm Reply with quote
AJ (LordNikon) wrote:

No offense but as an expat who goes between Tokyo and Washington DC three times a year, working for an international media organization in both countries, if that letter were read by highers up, it would read as quite an insult.


No offense taken. I work for a company that has to explain to crotchety Japanese higher ups why their ideas suck, so at this point I’ve heard pretty much every insult they have.

Quote:

Considering the costs involved and revenue lost from Japanese would go see the viewings in place of the English/Chinese subs, I'd think very long and hard about offering such a venue in the future. For those involved in the decision making process, it likely was not something that came without thought or analysis.

For the theater involved this offering is a loss-leader at its absolute best.


I am sure they put some thought and analysis into the idea, misguided as it was, but it is obvious that they didn’t bother to actually consult with anybody who has experience marketing ideas like this.
I do not know the specifics of this arrangement as I am not involved in this project, but if the organization knew what they were doing then the theater itself would not be burdened with the costs as the project itself would be almost entirely funded by local tourism boards that are given money by hotels and other businesses to increase tourism. Otaku films are usually not big sellers besides for the opening weekend numbers and a select few franchises that can maintain a constant flow of customers for a few weeks, so the theater’s expectations of making a profit are going to be low to begin with.

That being said, I would amend my original idea and say that if I was in charge of collecting funds to sustain this project, I would ask the tourism board in Osaka rather than Kyoto for money as Kyoto doesn’t need help in attracting tourism and I know without even asking that the number they would be willing to invest would be significantly lower than Osaka. Fukuoka would give the highest number of the four cities mentioned, but since less than 5% of all inbound tourism from non-Asian countries to Japan visit Fukuoka, I wouldn’t try to sell them an idea that I had reservations about long-term stability from the beginning.

Quote:

And while there is some merit to your post, it would read as quite insulting and as complaint to many Japanese administrators and executives as being quite ingrate.


Honestly, I love it when administrators get angry with me. It means they care about the project they are doing and want it to succeed, which in turn makes my job a lot easier in the end.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1456
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:26 am Reply with quote
GeminiDS85 wrote:
AJ (LordNikon) wrote:

No offense but as an expat who goes between Tokyo and Washington DC three times a year, working for an international media organization in both countries, if that letter were read by highers up, it would read as quite an insult.


No offense taken. I work for a company that has to explain to crotchety Japanese higher ups why their ideas suck, so at this point I’ve heard pretty much every insult they have.


It would probably help if the people organising English-subtitled screenings did some cross-promotion with sites like http://tokyofilmgoer.com/ and for that matter the Japan Times.

My Japanese language skills are minimal, but I have visited Japan ten times briefly over last four years and very much want Japan to be Japan and not completely westernised/translated for me.
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Cptn_Taylor



Joined: 08 Nov 2013
Posts: 923
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:07 am Reply with quote
{Deleted for over-quoting and being a general jerk. ~nobahn}
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1456
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:14 am Reply with quote
Cptn_Taylor wrote:

Hyperbole ? Showing a few films with english subtitles does not make Japan a westernised/translated country. Sometimes you people should have a reality check done on you.


Short version - I don't want to be an "accidental tourist" avoiding anything lacking English text.

More a case of not expecting any particular thing in Japan to have English text available, and knowing where to find some films subtitled in English rather than expecting it as a matter of course (and not avoiding everything lacking available English text either, sometimes the best experiences are when you get past a language barrier).

Conversely, for Hollywood movies showing in multiplexes in Japan, often one has a choice of Japanese subtitles with original English dialogue or dubbed into Japanese.
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