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INTEREST: I'm in Love with the Villainess Author Responds to Alterations in English-Language Release


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John the Dark Lord



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:30 pm Reply with quote
What's interesting is that this line was also (partially) excluded from the manga adaptation. I mean, the part about Rei's behaviour being a defense mechanism is still there, but no reference to those real-life gay entertainers is made. This is actually why I didn't notice Seven Seas had made cuts. Since it was also absent in the manga I assumed the line was lost in the trasition from Web Novel to Light Novel, rather than in the translation.

Well, either way they already announced they will release the LN here in Brazil too, so I was already planning to stop reading the english version. No reason to read something in your second language if you can read it in your first.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 1133
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:37 pm Reply with quote
Seriously though, "cutting characterization because we don't know how to deal with a cultural reference" has to be one of the most baffling decissions I've seen a 'professional' translation make.

John the Dark Lord wrote:
What's interesting is that this line was also (partially) excluded from the manga adaptation. I mean, the part about Rei's behaviour being a defense mechanism is still there, but no reference to those real-life gay entertainers is made. This is actually why I didn't notice Seven Seas had made cuts. Since it was also absent in the manga I assumed the line was lost in the trasition from Web Novel to Light Novel, rather than in the translation.

If the author acknowledges it was cut in the translation, then I'm willing to bet it was in the Japanese LN.
Manga adaptations are never a good indicative of what is and isn't getting cut elsewhere, specially when it comes to dialogue. Manga is a visual medium and managing space economy is very important as both visuals and text are sharing the same resources.
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Casval Rem Deikun



Joined: 24 Feb 2021
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:38 pm Reply with quote
Again with this issue?! What the hell. The one thing I think all fans of anime/manga/ light novels is that we just want a translation that does the original authors work justice. This has been a staple for so long and all fans demand authentic quality, or at least the best of the translators ability. Removing paragraphs entirely is shameful and is a slap in the creators face. This is no different when we use to have censored versions of VHS and DVDs, it still happens, but is less common now. I can't get over Seven Seas doing this. I really thought we were over butchering authors work.
Yen Press even removed a random scene in The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious, light novels, poking fun of how Ristarte smells. Yes I'm serious.
(Link to Yen Press's Cautious Hero removal: https://www.reddit.com/r/CautiousHero/comments/k13onq/ristas_smell/ )
I'm starting to think all of us as fans should just not support light novels for the time being. Cause it seems to be too easy of a medium to censor now. Thanks to the effort of fan translations it's the only way we're able to know of the removal of things unlike where manga and anime is easier to spot.
Removing/censoring/canceling is awful. Let fans choose what they want to read. If you're licensing something that you feel like may be censored/altered, DON'T PICK THE LICENSE UP FROM THE START. If we don't like something we won't follow the series. Seven Seas, don't turn into the next CMX cause it seems like that's what you're aiming for.


Last edited by Casval Rem Deikun on Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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octopodpie
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:44 pm Reply with quote
The article has been updated with this statement from Seven Seas:

Quote:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Those portions of the text were removed during the editorial process at the time, but we have since changed how we edit these books to make sure important lines are not lost. We'll be revising the eBook within the next few weeks to add the cut portions back into the book, and the revision will also be reflected in all future printings of the paperback.
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 358
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:50 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
What are some other examples?


If you're talking to me, there were those whole controversies with games like Persona 5 Royal and Catherine changing things in localization last year. Although from what I've heard from people the changes ended up making it more insensitive to LGBT issues in some ways.

Florete wrote:
This pretty clearly isn't disrespectful to LGBT issues, though. It's very sympathetic. If anything, the omission of this causes the narrative to be more disrespectful to LGBT issues.

The only logical explanation I can think of for the omission is that the JP publisher didn't want a rather negative portrayal of Japanese entertainers to be published in the west...but we'll have to wait for an official response.


That's certainly possible, but you could also look at it from another angle: it's criticizing the way some gay people choose to present themselves. To paraphrase the issue, it's a character basically gatekeeping how gay people should act. I'm not saying it's an invalid or valid criticism or anything, just that people could certainly take it the wrong way to see a character basically criticizing a section of the gay community for making the rest of them look bad.
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John the Dark Lord



Joined: 19 Jun 2020
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:01 pm Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:

That's certainly possible, but you could also look at it from another angle: it's criticizing the way some gay people choose to present themselves. To paraphrase the issue, it's a character basically gatekeeping how gay people should act. I'm not saying it's an invalid or valid criticism or anything, just that people could certainly take it the wrong way to see a character basically criticizing a section of the gay community for making the rest of them look bad.


Except they were not doing that. Rei's opinion on the matter was "yeah, this behaviour doesn't help much, but those people are hurting and they need a way to lessen the pain. Can you blame them for acting this way?". Rei/the author was very sympathetic to that section of the gay community.
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FMAvatard



Joined: 24 Jun 2009
Posts: 182
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:03 pm Reply with quote
I really don’t understand the logic behind this decision. The job of a translation company isn’t just to translate but to adapt it into a natural context, right? I wish their apology had gone into why the decision was made. That seems like a pretty pivotal character moment.

Just off the top of my head, acting a certain way because that’s how you THINK you should is pretty universal, especially in the queer community where the most prominent mainstream personalities are often camp. Seems easy to make a reference to flamboyant TV personalities having an influence on behavior, unless there was something inherently Japanese in the text that I’m unaware of.
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Electric Wooloo



Joined: 19 Aug 2020
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:17 pm Reply with quote
I mean this is unfortunate, but especially since Seven Seas seems to be responding to it I don't see any reason for people to burn bridges with them like expressed in other comments. I don't agree with altering the text that much, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe an overzealous editor thought at a glance that this was a cultural reference that would be too hard to localize for not much benefit.

Never run into any of these problems with Seven Seas manga, and these alterations are nothing compared to the old censorship and bad TLs of yesteryear, so hopefully this event will change their practices. Which it seems like it already has.
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Rogural



Joined: 28 Nov 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:30 pm Reply with quote
Electric Wooloo wrote:
I mean this is unfortunate, but especially since Seven Seas seems to be responding to it I don't see any reason for people to burn bridges with them like expressed in other comments.


My problem is that this is the third example of overzealous editing (because in all cases the translators are unaware of these changes) after COTE and MT, and although they're addressing concerns with those novels, the upcoming to release very shortly COTE vol7.5 was flagged with concerns for the same edits and will most likely still be released in the similarly shocking state with paragraphs cut. At the very least I don't believe Seven Seas have made a statement that says otherwise. Just makes the company as a whole very untrustworthy right now.
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Daizo



Joined: 03 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Electric Wooloo wrote:
I mean this is unfortunate, but especially since Seven Seas seems to be responding to it I don't see any reason for people to burn bridges with them like expressed in other comments. I don't agree with altering the text that much, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt that maybe an overzealous editor thought at a glance that this was a cultural reference that would be too hard to localize for not much benefit.


The big problem here is that this is not the first, nor the second, but the third time in a short period that they've been caught silently altering light novels in a significant manner. At this point it's pretty clear that this is a systemic issue. It is extremely unlikely at this point that this issue would stop at just three cases. Yet all of Seven Seas' communication regarding their "new editing policies" and "revising books" has been purely reactive in nature so far, which gives the impression that they'll only go back to revise things if they actually get caught.

To really fix the issue for me, at this point I would need to see actually proactive messaging from Seven Seas about revising books where they haven't gotten caught cutting 'em up by the public yet. That would actually signal that they're serious about their new editing policies and not just blowing a bunch of hot air in an effort to placate the disappointed customers.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:48 pm Reply with quote
I can understand taking a wait and see approach for future releases but if you boycott the company as a whole the company will just think that light novels aren't selling anymore and it will only effect the success of individual series but they won't know what the problem is to fix it if you don't engage with the company. Like if you just stop buying Villianness completely even after they fix the problem, it's not going to make them change their policy. They're just going to think Villianness wasn't popular in the West or something and there might be more hesitation to bring over other yuri light novels. And other companies might not see it worth it to invest in yuri light novels.
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Badej



Joined: 19 Aug 2020
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:51 pm Reply with quote
If they actually cared about the issue they would reprint the entire thing for physical release and give customers who have a bad copy the correct one. At least that's what businesses like the anime publishers (yes yes not manga or LN, but that's not the point here) do when they botch a release significantly. Only fixing the digital release and (only) future reprintings is such a middle finger to loyal customers who preorder.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
I can understand taking a wait and see approach for future releases but if you boycott the company as a whole the company will just think that light novels aren't selling anymore and it will only effect the success of individual series but they won't know what the problem is to fix it if you don't engage with the company. Like if you just stop buying Villianness completely even after they fix the problem, it's not going to make them change their policy. They're just going to think Villianness wasn't popular in the West or something and there might be more hesitation to bring over other yuri light novels. And other companies might not see it worth it to invest in yuri light novels.

If they want to make assumptions instead of listening or trying to find out why it's happening, that's on them.
If it's something that they have been doing consistently lately, then readers don't owe them the benefit of the doubt. The bare minimum they can do is actively acknowledge the systemic issue and enact a policy change that actually gets rid of the problem.

Trying to stealthily remove material, whether it's because of a lack of skill, unreasonable deadlines, actual censorship or whatever, is a scummy thing to do for a professional publisher.
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:06 pm Reply with quote
This is the 2nd or 3rd case in weeks though which definitely is a bad look, even if fixed, one has to wonder if there've been other changes we haven't seen, and also makes one wonder if there is no oversight of the people they have working on all their light novels.

Also their response could be better as they've taken a trust worthiness hit from their loyal fans. Trust is the most important thing a business needs to have to keep loyal people buying and losing it is something they don't want to do.
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Seagloom



Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 214
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:32 pm Reply with quote
Cardcaptor Takato wrote:
I can understand taking a wait and see approach for future releases but if you boycott the company as a whole the company will just think that light novels aren't selling anymore and it will only effect the success of individual series but they won't know what the problem is to fix it if you don't engage with the company.


I'm confident they will know considering the timing of these events and their swift attempts at damage control. Furthermore, they are not the only game in town. If their profits suddenly begin plummeting while other publishers such as Yen Press, J-Novel Club, etc thrive, it will not take clever deductive reasoning to figure out why.

I want to see continued growth in the western LN market. I spend more time and money on LNs than anime and manga combined. But I don't think it's fair to be treated like I'm incapable of judging what material is acceptable or objectionable. Nor is it fair to authors having their work misrepresented.

Offering feedback will not magically quell my lingering doubts. Not with the bare minimum of an olive branch Seven Seas has extended so far.
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