Sakura Wars getting schizophrenic localization


I have to hand it to NIS-America on this one. Thanks to this newest development, they're really serious about making Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love work out on foreign shores. It's up against incredible odds. The most "anime" of anime games to hit the market (excepting eroge), Sakura Wars doesn't even have an established franchise to fall back on, as Naruto, Bleach or Dragon Ball have. It must stand - and sell - on its own. It's fortunate for us then - both otaku and anime-skeptical - that NIS-A has decided to make Sakura Wars a game of two minds.

Allow me to explain. Folks keeping track should already know that Sakura Wars will be coming on two discs: one carrying the English dub, another keeping the original Japanese voicework. However, it seems that the localization will be different between those two discs, at least with regard to naming conventions. The English-language disc will contain a more thoroughly "localized" translation, something along the lines of Capcom's work with the Phoenix Wright series, and Atlus' work with the Trauma Center games. The Japanese-language disc will retain a more "accurate" translation, keeping the original names and romanization. 

A bit of matlocking on the the newly-updated character profiles revealed it. Examine the highlighted areas on the header image, and in the gallery. The pantsuited lady above is named "Cheiron Archer," but the shadowed text behind that shows her original name, "Sagitta Weinberg." The situation was the same with loli gunslinger "Rosarita Aries," known in Glorious Nippon as "Rikaritta Aries." The dual localization was confirmed via a Twitter DM from NIS-A itself.

Frankly speaking, I've never heard of anything like this happening. The Japanese edition of Gyakuten Saiban  featured the Phoenix Wright localization on-cartridge, but even that held the Japanese portions in Kanji and Kana.

The game is due out Q2 2010 for PS2 and Wii. NIS-America is putting a lot of work into this. I hope to hell and back that it pays off.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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