English Student Rues Manga Translation for Hindering Appreciation of Literary Structuralism

Declan Biswas-Hughes
Apr 1 · 2 min read

DURHAM, United Kingdom — Following the furore surrounding Seven Seas Entertainment cutting content from their licensed and translated light novel publications, tensions were renewed this week within the Japanese cultural enthusiast community when a professional translator omitted “senpai” as an honorific suffix from “Aoi-senpai”, protagonist of the hit manga series, Kanpai! Banzai no Yopparai Aoi-Senpai, officially licensed as Drunken Aoi’s Battlecry.

Commenting on Twitter, a third-year English university student going by the pseudonym BakaToRest, criticised the change, stating “it removes the Japanese essence of the series”. Prior to its shutdown, BakaToRest had been intermittently posting transliterated “scanalations” on Mangadex with the aid of DeepL Translate, as a byproduct of his dissertation project. Acknowledging that he did not speak much Japanese at all, nevertheless BakaToRest made the observation, “Translation inherently alters and removes cultural nuance. There is no reason to eliminate linguistic roots entirely.”

Not one to shy away from expressing opinions, BakaNoRest ventured, “I much prefer my chosen title, Cheers! Battlecry/Imperial Greeting of Drunkard Aoi-Senpai. At least with that title, one can begin to analyse the semiotic patterns.”

BakaToRest also claims to watch “fansubbed” and mirrored anime series in reverse order via illegal streaming sites to enhance his Russian formalism studies.

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