Spotcheck: Watamote 03

Translation Review — By on July 26, 2013 8:15 pm

This post was written by kokujin-kun. He is not Dark_Sage.

In the latest episode of Watamote, there is a very… subtle joke which I feel would test the mettle of translators.

If you nailed this joke, then you are a professional-grade translator who has no business doing free fansubs. If you fail hard in this joke, then why the fuck are you wasting my time and your time with your shitty fansubs? Now without any further ado, here’s the joke in question (I’m going with Crunchyroll/Horriblesubs since they get paid to think up good lines):

[HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.53_[2013.07.26_19.06.48][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.56_[2013.07.26_19.06.57][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.58_[2013.07.26_19.07.20][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.00_[2013.07.26_19.07.29]

Random Girl 1: In your dream, you’re walking along a path through a field.

[HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.04_[2013.07.26_19.07.40][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.06_[2013.07.26_19.07.52][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.08_[2013.07.26_19.07.58][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.11_[2013.07.26_19.00.41]

Random Girl 1: One: Go to the grove.

Random Girl 1: Two: Go to the forest.

Random Girl 1: Three: Turn back because you’re scared.

[HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.22_[2013.07.26_19.08.44][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.24_[2013.07.26_19.08.57][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.25_[2013.07.26_19.09.03][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.27_[2013.07.26_19.09.09][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.33_[2013.07.26_19.09.23][HorribleSubs] Watamote - 03 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.36_[2013.07.26_19.09.38]

Audio link here. As you can see, the problem here is how do you differentiate between the words hishojo (female non-virginal), shojo (female virgin), and doutei (usually translated as “male virgin” but here it just means “someone who has no sexual experience” or “nun”). Here Crunchyroll chose to use the word “celibate” (I guess while thinking of the word “nun”) for the word doutei. That’s just wrong, because celibacy is a fraking choice. They are talking about those who are not virgins by choice.

So, anyhoo, let’s see what FTW came up with:


Yeah, this is something a damn FOB would come up with: it’s both accurate but plainly shows that they are not that well versed in American slang.

Next up we have DameDesuYo:

[DameDesuYo] Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! - 03 (720p x264 AAC) [270FDD15].mkv_snapshot_14.45_[2013.07.26_19.44.57]

And DDY proves once again they are cancer subs that should be avoided by every sane leecher out there. They saw this line, a line that involves a bunch of girls with absolutely no male involvement, and checked off on it? Holy christ.

Last but certainly not least is Commie:

[Commie] Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! - 03 [85997C86].mkv_snapshot_14.35_[2013.07.26_19.48.48]

Oh yes, now we’re cooking with gas. Buuuut unfortunately it’s not quite right. There is still one perfect term that not only works very well for this joke but also epitomizes what the entire series is about. Now, what is it class?







That’s right, (1) You cashed your V-card, (2) You still have your V-card (but will lose it eventually), and (3) You’re forever alone!

See? Was that so fucking hard?

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Orange says:

Forever Alone is overdone and ready for retirement in terms of a popular phrase and probably would not be in much use 2-3 years from now, but….that is definitely a better way of describing it than any of the options shown. Hell, even her shirt towards the end should have been a clue to the translators.

kokujin-kun says:

I for one will still use that phrase even if it’s as played out as “played out.”

Now you damn kids get off my lawn!

cautr says:

I agree, le funny meme phrase in my animu? God forbid.

Dark_Sage says:

Sasuga translators.

Humanity says:


kokujin-kun says:

But they do their best…

Okay, I got nothin.

FalseDawn says:

Correct me if I’m wrong here, but don’t nuns practice celibacy as a religious thing? I realise it’s still classed as a choice but…

>doutei (usually translated as “male virgin” but here it just means “someone who has no sexual experience” or “nun”)

So male virgins aren’t virgins by choice? Seems sexist :D

Interested to know whether “spinster” would work as a non-meme resolution to this little translation dilemma.

FalseDawn says:

Or in a pinch, “cat lady” :D

Dark_Sage says:

Neither would fit. Nobody uses “spinster” and “cat lady” has too much baggage for a clean translation there.

“forever alone” is the best, but if you’re witless, you can just write it out like Commie did.

FalseDawn says:

I bet teenage girls would use it to insult other teenage girls :D

Well, I guess the word has fallen out of use a little because who ever heard of a spinster these days? Except Susan Boyle, maybe. Perhaps you could localise to “If you chose two, you’re Susan Boyle.” That’d weird out the viewer ^__^

kokujin-kun says:

>Correct me if I’m wrong here, but don’t
>nuns practice celibacy as a religious
>thing? I realise it’s still classed as a
>choice but…

Yeah, I think I went a little too ahead of myself. Sure, if you look up “doutei” in a dictionary, you’d find “male virgin” (either by choice or not) or a Catholic nun. However, this is where you need to use your head instead of just a dictionary. If you think of a male doutei you think of disgusting neckbeards, right? But now they’re applying that term to girls, now what do you imagine? People who might as well be nuns.

temp_late says:

“Forever alone” isn’t my favorite phrase either. Still, even if you avoid it, it’s not like you’re locked into retarded phrasing.

Maybe “If you chose one, you’re still a virgin… \\ But if you chose two, you’ll never get laid!”

Well, that’s not so good either, but it’s not quite as bad. I think. I don’t know anything about this show.

Dark_Sage says:

If we’re going that route, maybe

“If you chose three, you’re a virgin for now…”
“But if you chose two, you’re gonna be a virgin for life!”

kokujin-kun says:

Fine, “Forever ronery” then.

Anon says:

“But if you chose two, your cherry will never get popped!”

Considering there’s a picture of a cherry on the screen…

Pacific says:

I’d prefer, “But if you chose two, you’re a soured cherry”

Dark_Sage says:

I’ve never heard the term “soured cherry”.

Pacific says:

Sorry for the expired reply. “Soured cherry” was a twilit hazard at neologizing. My first thought was “sour cherry,” but either way the nuance is off, plus both bring to mind “tarts.” I had meant to retract my posts that night. Anyway, perhaps I could’ve used something like “consigned to the pits” to hew to the cherry motif.

I’m not sure if I twig the woodland metaphor here, but this might work: “if you venture two, you’re a lost cause!”

FOREVER ALONE does work, though. It’s self-explanatory, even to net virgins.

kokujin-kun says:

Actually, I kind of like that…

Nippa says:

Doesn’t Tomoko say that she’s still a “shojo” right after that?

kokujin-kun says:

True, that’s why I’d have her say “Alone… Forever alone? I know I’m a virgin, but…”

Pacific says:


“If you pick three, your sweet cherry’s been picked
“If you picked one, you’re still ripe for picking…”
“But if you picked two, you’re a soured cherry”

kokujin-kun says:

I’m thinking “3: You can even give it away”

FalseDawn says:


And I like that one, it’d be lol. Much better than a meme :)

Memes are also pretty fail scriptwriting.

kokujin-kun says:

First of all, *derp*, and second of all if “forever alone” is just some internet meme, then it seems to have seeped its way into a lot of hardbound literature in recent years.

FalseDawn says:

Really *bad* literature, yes. Overuse of a phrase can kill it in scriptwriting terms because it gathers too much baggage, so words or phrases you might use previously (i.e., epic, keep calm and whatever) carry different value to what they did beforehand.

Decent prose writers would either put “always alone” or “alone forever” because while “forever alone” in a sentence isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s only one step away from sounding like Yoda chastising your anti-social habits :D

kokujin-kun says:

Bad literature or not, you can’t deny that the word has entered into our common lexicon and is not just a meme. And remember, this is not prose, this is dialogue. What would a high-school girl say?

gmancer says:

I would agree. I’ve heard my classmates in college use the word very often. As much as it pained me to hear it, I’ve pretty much accepted it for whatever it becomes. How else do new phrases/words come about?

BlazeX says:

And people should give a shit about american slang because?

yo says:

Is this the first review you’ve read on this site?

kokujin-kun says:

If you’re writing in American English, what the fuck’s stopping you from using American slang?

Dark_Sage says:

“forever alone” isn’t American slang. Unless you want to consider everything that happens on the internet to be in the domain of Americans. In which case, I’m willing to accept your proposal.

hj says:

I like the cherry motif-related wordings, personally. Especially since there’s a cherry on the screen anyways, really.

I do see where you get forever alone though, considering that while her actions are funny on the surface, Kuroki is devastating and horrifically (to the point where my stomach clenches when I think about it, and to the extent that I feel so guilty for laughing once the episode is over) alone. Rhe phrasing of ‘forever alone’ manages to resonate with the viewer’s own sense of social isolation, and therefore allows for further understanding/empathy towards Kuroki. Who hasn’t ever thought to themselves, ‘I’ll be forever alone”? It is rather fitting (and therefore you’re correct; it does lends to the theme of the series), despite my somewhat reservations due to the fact that it’s a hackneyed meme.

The joke/reference that I didn’t understand from this episode was the one about sawing down peach trees. Some people thought it was funny but the humor in that escapes me…

Jordan says:

What about “forever a virgin”?

kyonpalm says:

You had me going until the final part. Good joke.

And if it wasn’t a joke, kill yourself. You’re worse than Commie. Do you know how hard that is to do?

Dark_Sage says:


Hey says:

I can’t imagine someone who wasn’t on the internet 6+ hours a day or had some kind of autism actually saying forever alone in person. And the person saying this is supposed to be normal, right?

fohfuu says:

I’ve heard all types of kids use it at my secondary school.

KoolKidsK says:

In my last year of high school I heard this popular girl’s boyfriend say “forever alone” in the context of breaking up with her and her boyfriend tweeting on twitter, “I’d rather be forever alone than be with ” and I pretty much just froze up thinking, “the fuck? since when do normals use internet slang?” (she was explaining to her friend what happened, which was how I heard it) It was a really weird moment. Then people started use stuff like “spoiler alert” but I think they got that from the big bang theory. So yeah, apparently normals are using netspeak now. No idea if they know where it actually comes from, but they use it.

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