What is the job of a translator? You may have answered, “It’s to accurately translate something from one language to another.” However, what happens when a translator translates on their own morals? Today, we’ll be talking about the Jujutsu Kaisen translation drama that occurred last week.
When Episode 8 aired, fans were excited to see Fushiguro Megumi and Aoi Todo’s confrontation animated. Manga readers already knew the highlight of their conversation prior to their fight is when Todo asks Fushiguro what his ideal type is. Below is the scene from the episode:
To Todo’s question, Fushiguro responds with “As long as she has unshakable character, I won’t ask for more.” This translation angered many anime and manga fans because in the manga, Fushiguro does not specify what gender he is attracted to. In the manga panel, Fushiguro says “As long as the person is compassionate, then I don’t need anything else.”
It’s obvious that Fushiguro does not specify that he’s attracted to solely women in the manga. However, what if it was MAPPA’s fault? Maybe they wrote the script so that Fushiguro would be heterosexual? Anyone with a basic understanding the Japanese language would know that in the anime’s audio, Fushiguro does not specify gender either. He says ”その人” when referencing the kind of person he’s attracted to. 人 is a genderless term that translates to “person,” making the entire phrase translate to “that person.”
This mistranslation angered many Jujutsu Kaisen fans, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ community. In response, the English translator for Jujutsu Kaisen took to Twitter to post their feelings regarding their translation. The tweet has been deleted. However, individuals on TikTok have posted screenshots of the tweet alongside their reactions. The tweet is as follows:
I can’t believe people watching this week’s ep of #JujutsuKaisen are already calling my use of “she” in Megumi’s answer a homophobic mistranslation…Like, did you not just see it cut to a flashback of his [Redacted Because of Spoilers] before he answered? think about what that implies.@Kouryuu_ on Twitter
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you think the translation is “a homophobic mistranslation” like Kouryuu said? Or do you think they should’ve stuck to the original Japanese audio?
Gabriella is a 21-year-old writer and artist from Texas and currently goes to university in New York. Her favorite anime shows include Mob Psycho 100, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, and Kill la Kill. In her free time, Gabriella likes to watch anime, read manga, and play the newest games on her Nintendo Switch.
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