How to Edit Crunchyroll’s Maoyuu Yuusha

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


Don’t say that Crunchyroll’s Maoyuu is the best script ever when the reality is you just can’t fucking edit.

(That being said, it is “good”, but it’s not like it can’t be improved.)


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Fine. (Like how I’m starting off? It’s like foreplay, except in the context of an article like this, it’s more me just staring awkwardly at you. So uhh, let’s get those candles going, shall we?)

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And… fire! Now we get to play “What’s wrong with the line and how do we fix it?”

Line 1:

What gate? There’s a clear lack of specificity here. Don’t you think people wanna know what’s going on when this is the second sentence they’re introduced to in the entire show? Please. And the flow is shit from the previous part. Instead of “the humans entered”, why not give a bit of fucking life to the line? Use “managed” to give the impression that it was a struggle, because they spent FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS trying to get there. Otherwise, you have two sentences that are completely disconnected from each other.

Line 2:

“taking one of” is too weak. What, they just grabbed it like it was free money from a collection plate? Show a little life, editors — for better or worse, you ain’t dead yet.

Edited: “The humans managed to enter the Demon Realm through the Dimensional Gate, seizing control over one of the demons’ strategic positions.”

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Line 2:

>a demon forces. Fix that error.

Both lines:

This isn’t sufficient set-up for the next line that talks about how hostilities arose in the Southlands. The humans threw their main forces at the Demon Realm, which gave the demons an opportunity to strike at the then-weakened human forces. This is what led to the Southlands becoming a frontline in the war. Beyond that, two instances of “force” are used to refer to the same type of thing. That’s lazy writing — get rid of one.

Edited: “But while humanity’s main forces were deployed there, an army of demons in turn occupied one of the human territories.”

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Line 2:

“many”? Really? Good gods, can you use a shittier adjective? And you’re also missing the gist that the Southlands didn’t want to be the main front in the beginning (though later on we find out they’re now dependent on it).

Both lines:

This is set in a middle-ages time period. So fucking use flavorful language that’s slightly poetic, especially if it’s in the goddamn narration portion.

Edited: “Thus, the small, frigid Southlands were forced to fight skirmish after skirmish with the demons.”

{I’m going with “Southlands”, but “the southland nations” could work too. I’m just using that since Central Nations is a good name to call the central nations, and it’s capitalized, so may as well afford the same honor to the winterfolk. Why not Southern Nations? Because fuck that shit. That’s why.}

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Fine. But you could fluff it if you wanted.

Edited: “And in the ensuing chaos and destruction, the people were wrought by great suffering.”

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It’s not good to have your flow be impacted by each sentence starting a new thought. The narration is intended to be one cohesive introduction to the world of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, so don’t fuck it up.

I don’t really like “nightmarish confusion” either, because it doesn’t give any real indication of the struggles of a people torn apart by war, living each day of their lives in fear. Anything would work here, just give the line more weight.

Edited: “But amidst the blood-stained pandemonium, a hero arose.”

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Fine. But we’ve already used a lot of easy sentence openers. Why not work with the imagery? And, fuck it, let’s edit in what they actually did. Maybe it’s not so perfect after all.

Edited: “Alongside three companions, he went to the Demon Realm to bring an end to the war.”

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>their rapid advance // their slow advance

Oh come the fuck on. And before you start, that’s not wordplay.

Edited: “But either because their advance through the Demon Realm was not fast enough for him…”

{There we go. This gets at exactly what they were trying to say with the fast/slow piece. Because even if they were fast, he wanted to be faster, faster, faster, Sonic X! (You thought I wouldn’t slip a Sonic reference in this article? Dead fucking wrong.)}

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Following off the last line, you’re gonna want to make these match so they’d be fine as one larger sentence.

Edited: “Or perhaps because of some other reason…”

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Ahahahaha. No, no, a thousand times no.

This needs flavor. It’s is the final line in the narration — this is what builds us toward the show’s introduction. You need something that leads into the scene that’s about to occur and “So he went straight there” is not good enough. You’re going to build tension by saying “straighter than the line of a ruler”? A fucking ruler? Come on.

Edited: “Straight as an arrow flew the hero, till he found himself facing his destination.”

I can hear the cries already. That’s not fair? I’m cheating? I can’t embellish upon the intent of the script because they only said “straight” and not “destination”?


Allow me to let you in on a little secret about what translating is. A translation is not an awkward cipher of a source language into a target language. It is a transfer of meaning from one source language to that of a target audience.

So tell me, what is the meaning of that last scene? Is it not “The hero rushed toward the Demon King’s castle ahead of his companions, stopping for naught but the vision of its majesty”? If so, maybe realizing that your potential options for lines are dramatically greater than you thought will give you the ability to actually start editing this fucking show.



If being good at English is autistic, then call me Special Ed

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This is how you make a script good. But I don’t wanna sit here and jerk it to myself (I already did while writing this). Any decent editor could run these changes through in a couple minutes. So, no, “fansub groups”, I don’t buy your fucking excuses that this script is the greatest thing ever and that you can’t improve it. It’s fine if you can’t handle a script and you realize that — better to not to ruin it with your incompetence, after all.

But to throw on a couple signs and some karaoke to a CR script and then stand there, so proud of what great fansubbers you are, all the while acting like other groups who actually tried to improve the script are idiots for doing so? Please, leave the insults to me.

47 thoughts on “How to Edit Crunchyroll’s Maoyuu Yuusha”

  1. Couple issues with your improvements…

    D_S: ‘Edited: “But while the human’s main forces were deployed there, a troop of demons in turn occupied one of the human territories.”’

    1) Try “humanity’s main force”. Or if you really like your confusing possessive double plural combo, at least make it technically correct: “the human0s’ main force“… this error is comically alike to the “a demon forces” CR-typo.

    2)D_S: “a troop of demons”, while not wrong, makes it sound like 20-30 medieval bards, jesters & musicians from hell decided to occupy the Southlands. Keep it simple, how about merely “a demon army”? This has the same connotations you wanted, implying that while humanity had nearly ALL its forces [armies] deployed at the gate, the defending demons split their [military term:] troops and send ONE army to conquer human territory. While not as wrong as the first edit, this one still didn’t have the magic ‘Sage’ ring to it.

    Other than that, props on the great article focusing on how to edit a script for flavor and meaning. I’m currently completely redoing Nekomonogatari (w/ UTW encode from BS11’s higher bitrate & modified TS to match TL) using elements from each of the 3 scripts, in order to actually create a B-tier release. Not that I’m expecting you to review my personal project lol, just saying this article’s timing is apropos.

  2. D_S, look. We’ve been through a lot and we are really looking forward to the winter break (holiday) so we can spend some worthy time -insert IRL reason, for instance, family, lover, whatsoever- and we are still partying that may continue until the last day of Golden Week.

    No, not my words.

  3. CR’s script for Amnesia isn’t that bad either.
    Could be better than this one, but I haven’t watched this yet.
    Cuticle Detective Inaba on the other hand…

  4. There is one simple question that I would like to ask with regards to your definition of ‘translation’: “Does the original (Japanese) script mean anything to you at all?”

    I believe I have mentioned this once before. I consider the original script to have some significance, taking into account the specific word choices that the writers made. For a simple example, why did Character A say ‘煩い’ instead of ‘止めて’? While Japanese might not be as flamboyant a language as English, such wording must have some meaning and/or reasoning behind it.

    Embellishing and transcribing the meaning is all well and good, but wouldn’t that be tantamount to rewriting as opposed to translating? There definitely is a line drawn somewhere that differentiates the two terms. Many a time, translators cross that boundary when trying to deliberately ‘spice’ up a script.

    And when this boundary is crossed, the integrity of the original dialogue is lost when one attempts to add their own perceived nuance. Also, open the floodgates for anyone to write anything that fits the scene, as long as it makes sense and sounds good. If rewriting is indeed an acceptable form of translation, then I guess our opinions do differ in that respect.

    Please, do not take my disagreeing with you as some manner of insolence. I do honestly want to understand more points of view on this intriguing subject.

    • I think it’s a very fine line between translating/editing and rewriting completely, but at the same time, translating flat does sometimes gloss over other things like the way dialogue is delivered in English (while certain phrasing might be common in Japan, the equivalent might be less so) and even the way the seiyuu says the line. A lot of the time, these “rewrites” are an attempt to draw something out of the anime that’s hinted at in Japanese through the context or language but isn’t obvious in the English version using a simple transliteration.

      Take Japanese swearing, for example. How many times have you heard a “kuso” or “teme” (forgive my awful romanisation)? English is infinitely better at insults and as long as you don’t go too overboard (like dickfucking), most synonyms won’t deviate from the mood of the line and make the script a little less run-of-the-mill.

      Obviously, the bits where you have to be careful on word substitution is when particular words are central to the plot or a recurring theme. See: 8thsin’s blog post on Hyouka for more details.

      Most of D_S’s suggestions above are to eliminate dodgy English, though I disagree with the use of Southlands because that’s adding to the mythos of the show without their name being implicit yet. What I mean is, it sounds like the editor has invented that place rather than the makers of the show. But then he does read the manga, so it’s possible they just haven’t been named in the anime yet…

      • There’s a lot that goes into translation/editing beyond just straight word-to-word substitution. You have to take into account the meaning of what’s being said (the information), the tone in which it’s being said, the personality and quirks of the character saying it, and ensure that the resulting translation sounds natural.

        It’s not always possible to do all those things or to give equal importance to them. You have to make decisions, and sometimes that means sacrificing details in favor of flow or vice versa. A big part of being a translator or editor is making those kinds of decisions. You can disagree with those decisions, but they’re not inherently wrong.

      • I expect it’s all named in the original public domain posts where the story originated. I just don’t remember.

        I think False Dawn has already covered most of the arguments I was going to make, but…

        Why ‘translate’ something if you don’t give a shit about characterization & atmosphere? What of the context often implied in Japanese that must be inferred & explicitly stated to work in English? Even ignoring the more complex elements of editing like idioms or wordplay, a lot of things in Japanese are phrased in a fashion that just WON’T make sense or sound right in English even though your transcription is textbook.

        As for respecting the ‘original Japanese’, TL-kun has the responsibility to CONVEY to editor-kun those elements when not readily apparent, and editor-kun should know background information where available. Using synonyms or more specific terms to avoid generitranslations/repeats is not cheating.

        None of this should be anything but obvious. Yet somehow things go horribly awry. Often. I hardly think D_S’s edits are the definitive word but I generally support the ideas he argues to support. […fansubbing!]

  5. In the first example, it didn’t take them 15 years to get there, the war began 15 years ago. You can’t imply that the entire time they were like FUCK SHIT GUYS THIS FUCKING GATE AMIRITE? So that reason for changing the line really is wrong.

      • It didn’t take them 15 years to enter the gate, the war started 15 years ago. In saying that it took them 15 years to get there you are implying that was their goal the entire time, which is never said. So now you’re just writing the story yourself.

        • That’s now how English works. When you say “It took me __ years” to do something, it CAN mean that, or it can mean something different. For example “It took me 18 years but now I can finally vote!” That doesn’t mean the person saying that spent 18 years fervently desiring to vote.

          But you’re not even addressing the main point of my fix, which is that it was a struggle. If you don’t think it was a struggle, then maybe we have something to talk about. Otherwise, I don’t see why you bothered to say anything at all.

          • First, the example you just gave isn’t the same as the situation above. In your example it took 18 years but now you can vote, ok cool. Above the war started 15 years ago. Only recently have they taken a demons strategic point, it doesn’t say when they began the war they also began their attempt to take that point.

            Secondly, I am addressing the main point because as you said “Use “managed” to give the impression that it was a struggle, because they spent FIFTEEN FUCKING YEARS trying to get there.”

            So the thing you based your edit on is incorrect.

            • The only way they could win the war is by taking out the demon armies or negotiating their surrender, and the best way to do that is by invasion. And the only way to get to the demon world is through the fucking gate. So yes they spent 15 years trying to take it, you fuckwit. It’s the means to an end. Like if they fought and killed the demon king(queen). They’d say “It took us 15 years to kill her but we did it.” That wasn’t their singular goal, but it was the means to winning the war/gaining a significant advantage.

              You’re an illiterate moron if you think “struggle” as a word only has value in the singular case of the human armies spending 15 years trying to take one point. What, they just magically waltzed on it? It’s pretty obvious the point was going to be heavily defended and they would take some casualties to capture it. Christ, you’re so fucking FOB I can smell the salt on you. Why didn’t I put that last explanation in the post? Because any person of worth would figure that out in a second, as did everyone else before you waltzed in spouting your ignorance like a fountain of failure.

              My edit is fine, you’re just stupid.

  6. I do agree with you;However, I myself am more of a straight on the word tl type of person. But in FS’ case, you’re both right and wrong. For the most part, I know a lot of people who actually try learning from subbed shows, I mean, they are supposed to be the words being said on the screen that are being written down there, right? No, not necessarily. But as you said it, translation isn’t about deciphering the words, but the meanings themselves, unless you’re translating scientific articles, which isn’t the case here. But then again, you’re not translating a book either, you’re translating a show, a real running picture with sound, emotions and everything else imbedded in it. So, how should you go at this? In my case, I’d go with the most direct meaningful expression possible, without sacrificing the exact wording being used by the original language, more to that, I’d make sure that that line also matches with the flow of the voices. There are times when I have to pause a show, not because I’m not a fast reader, on the contrary, I actually merely breeze over subs, but because the line being used, even though truly beautiful as an English sentence, doesn’t match with the time required for it to be read. How to do all that? Beats me, everyone have their own way of doing it.
    You’ll just have to find the key to that for yourself.
    P.S. I’m not saying I really do all those stuff I just mentioned, I of course try. (And manage) But…
    Well, some of you may have seen me do it, but wait, then again, hadena’s script rapists may have gotten to them first!(no ill intent or harm meant, just a joke to lighten the mood)
    As a side note, I’m still in hadena, apparently. Unless they fire me for being too straight forward, but I’m on leave.
    Oh, I kept on blabbering, sorry. I’ll shut up now.

  7. Coolcool.

    Are there specific translators at Crunchy/whatever that you feel are better than others? Actually, I don’t even know if the translators are listed anywhere so maybe that’s not even a question, woooooo


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