Sailor Moon Names Controversy

November 24, 2017 at 10:06 pm

We posted this on our tumblr a few days ago but wanted to share here too. We often get questions about why we romanize Sailor Moon names the way we do, especially if they are different than what the fandom is used too. Well this post should answer your questions!

Original Post: http://seaofserenitysubs.tumblr.com/post/167724701426/sailor-moon-names-controversy

 

So, every once in a while, we get called out for “misspelling” character names in Japanese, or else questioned why things are spelled differently.

I feel much of this is due to established common spellings among fans that have just cemented in people’s minds. But, please note that Sailor Moon was not written in English or with English-speakers in mind. There is no real “true” translation, there are various factors that will lead to a particular way of writing it in English. As part of Sea of Serenity’s policy, every translation is completely fresh with no regard to any previous translation of the work. As a results, sometimes characters names may sometimes be different. There is not necessarily one “right” answer.

Below I will hopefully outline our process and explain some of the more common complained about names.

The below are not necessarily in order, but they are the various things we incorporate into the final choice.

1) Consistency!

The most important thing to us, is that names are consistent. So we don’t have Jadeite, Neflite, Joyzite and Malachite (all of which are valid in some way).

2) We avoid straight romanisation of Japanese names excluding names, places and cultural elements such as foods.

This is so we don’t end up with names like Esumeroodo which are clunky to read in English. However, with things like Usagi Tsukino, Azabu-Juuban or mochi, we retain these to preserve the Japanese nature of these instead of something like Rabbit Moonfields or “Tenth-Linen-District”. However, if there is straight translation description such as “Kaguya Island” or “University Potatoes”. We will translate these to give a better explanation.

3) We take into account the source language of the word.

Many Sailor Moon characters are loanwords or derived from other languages. We try to replicate this where possible. Hence, Esmeraude, derived from an Old French word, over Esumeroodo or even Emerald.

4) We take into account what the Japanese word is trying to convey.

For example, the name Esumeroodo is supposed to invoke an image of the gemstone emerald, with a bit of French flair, in English, Esmeraude does this same job. Note that in Japanese, the sounds equate directly to “Esmeraude” but the name itself is still “Esumeroodo”.

5) We take into account whether a particular translation will cause confusion.

The translation “Emerald” may cause unintentional with the character Bilhah Emerald for example. We will avoid double ups unless they are intentional in the Japanese.

6) We take into account whether the spelling makes a name difficult to pronounce in English.

If there alternatives spellings in the source language, we will pick the one that we feel best reflects the intended Japanese pronunciation. More on this below.

6) We take into account surrounding Japanese media written in English.

We do take this into account, but do not give it strong precedent unless the source has gone out of their way to promote a particular spelling, that is, provided a specific translation that is to be seen by English-speakers. An example of this is “Guardian” or “Senshi” post-2003 media. Another is “Eudial” is written as “Youzeiaru” on her locker in the anime, yet, I have heard very little claim the name should be “Youzeiaru”.

Below are some of the more common names, that we will discuss specifically

Mimet

From ミメット鉱 “Mimetto-ko”, from the English, Mimetite. The -ko means “mineral”, just like the “-ite” does in English. Taking this away, leaves us with Mimet, which approximates the Japanese sounds perfectly. The only rule in controversy is “6″, due to Naoko Takeuchi’s spelling of it as “Mimete” on a panel. As this was written for a Japanese audience off-hand and appears as “flavour-text” only, we do not need to take this into account. If we did every time, we would have to include spellings like “Deth Fantom”. Counter-arguments include that the English itself “Mimete” is based on the Greek “Μιμητής” (mimetes), however, the English “Mimet” has undergone significant change in pronunciation, and it is clear the Japanese reflects the English pronounciation, not the Greek (compare with character, Sailor Aluminum Seiren which reflects the Greek, not the English). 

Tellur

From テルル鉱, “Teruru-ko, from the English Tellurite. The -ko means “mineral, just like “-ite” does in English. Taking this away leaves us with “Tellur”. This accounts for the double “r” sound in the Japanese which the spelling “Tellu” by Naoko Takeuchi does not reflect, it makes the word look like it should be pronounced te-loo in English when it is more something like Tel-ure which gets in those two r sounds. (In Japanese, l and r English sounds are both positioned after the Japanese “r” sound). Counter-arguments include that Tellur is from the Japanese word for “Tellurium” (テルル – Teruru) though seemingly so due to it being identical, all the other Witches 5 are minerals, not elements. Logically Tellur is too. 

Vilyui 

From ビリユイ石 “Biriyui-seki”, (the seki means stone) now this is an interesting one. The English equivalent for this is Wiluite. You can see it is very similar, but not quite matching with Vilyui or Viluy. In fact, this compound has an alternative Japanese writing “ウィルアイト” (Wiruaito) which is definitely approximating “Wiluite”. The question is now, where did Biriyui-seki come from. Wiluite is named after the River Wilui in Russia. Other spellings include “Vilyui” and “Vilyuy”. It seems that the Japanese word, has gone back to the original source language, Russian and transliterated unlike Mimet and Tellur. Vilyui, we preferred over Vilyuy because there was one less letter to change and the pronounciation of Vil-yu-i is clearer, this was a stylistic decision. Counterarguments include “Viluy” from Naoko’s side-panel again. I am not familiar enough with Russian to count this as an alternative spelling, it may very well be. None the less, Vilyui is still available and makes pronunciation is clear. Viluy does not get across the distinct “y” sound in the middle of Vil-YOU-ee, looking more like Vil-OO-ee.

Kaolinite

From カオリナイト “Kaorinaito”, straight from the English mineral “Kaolinite” with no in-between stages. This one, I feel is straight-forward. Counterarguments include “Kaorinite”, this seems to be either a mistranslation that doesn’t reflect the mineral-origins, or may be to play off on Kaolinite’s human name “Kaori”. For consistency’s sake, we have not included this, as we would have to do names like Euko Alimura and Yui Vidou for the Witches 5 who have similar human names with similar sounds as their Witches 5. We feel this is starting to stray too far away from the Japanese names, howeve, I will note a real Japanese person may choose to romanise their names in these ways, it would be acceptable as the sounds are still represented. We do not feel it is necessary in this translation.

Kouan

A very interesting one, Kouan derives from a Japanese word, 紅安鉱 “kouanko” or in English, Kermesite. It is clear that unlike her sisters, Kouan’s name simply comes from a Japanese mineral’s name. However, Naoko swapped the script to コーアン (ko-an), with a long o- vowel. In Japanese “oo” and “ou” are identical sounds. As a personal preference, writing double “oo” sounds in Japanese however, is exceedingly rare (おお) for Kooan, so we have gone with the more usual “ou” (おう) for Kouan to account for the long vowel found in both the kanji and katakana forms of her name. The same way we do for characters like Kou Seiya (over Koo Seiya). Counterarguments include Koan, we do not feel this properly reflects the long vowel, and Cooan, we do not see the switch to a “c” in English as necessary. 

Demand

Perhaps the most contentious of all.

Esmeraude and Saphir’s names derive from old European names for Emerald and Sapphire respectively. Rubeus is derived from the Latin word “Rubeus” from which the word “Ruby” is derived.

However, to this day, I do not think anybody has found any word, European, or otherwise that accurately accounts for the sounds in “デマンド” “Demando”. It is quite clear, it has something to do with diamonds. I have settled on the conclusion that it is some kind of pun between the English word “demand” and “diamond”. The word “ デマンド “ (demando) is already a recognised word in Japanese which means “demand” and Japanese readers would recognise it as such, to further this argument, the Sailor Moon musical song “Innocent Demand” explicitly makes this connection and is always written in English as “Innocent Demand”. However, in the context of the other gemstone names, a sense of it being “diamond-y” is also present. Just in how we might not know what languages Esmeraude and Saphir derive from, but we know they’re some kind of Emerald-y, Sapphire-y thing. It is possible, his name might be a contraction of Demantoid, but this seems unlikely as he is not associated with the colour green. Counterarguments – Prince Dimande/Demande, I have never found what languages these stem from, I suspect it’s an attempt to make the name seem more diamond-y, but as shown above. This isn’t necessary for this character, as the other character names make it clear, and Japanese readers would recognise the word “demand” the same way English-readers would.

I hope that helps and makes sense and you enjoyed reading!

Written by: Akiko-Hime

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New Musical Release: Amour Eternal

August 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

 

 “This is the place our dreams converge…”

We are happy to announce our newest release: Amour Eternal just in time for the great American Eclipse!  This is the 4th of the new musical projects that began with 2013′s La ReconquistaAmour Eternal tells the story of the series’ fourth arc regarding Super Sailor Moon’s introduction and the battle against the Dead Moon Circus, a villain group that arrives during a total Solar Eclipse…  This musical also introduces a brand new cast for the Sailor Team.

 

 

Something strange happens in a single moment during the total Solar Eclipse and suddenly a Circus arrives in town. Usagi and her friends attend their auditions, but soon realise its an enemy scheme and set out to defeat them. Meanwhile, Chibiusa befriends the mysterious Pegasus who lives in her dreams. 

This musical features numbers including “Speed of Light”, “Viva Viva Dead Moon Circus” “Yami no Shin’en – The Abyss of Darkness”, “Nehelenia no Noroi” and “Koisuru Satellite”.

 

Download and translator’s notes can be found here.

 

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Amour Eternal Lyrics are up!

August 14, 2017 at 8:16 pm

The lyrics for 2016 Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Musical – Amour Eternal are now up on SeaofSerenity. You can find them along with lyrics to La Reconquista, Petite Étrangère and Un Nouveau Voyage on the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Musicals page.

Full Song List:

Speed of Light
Otome no Yume
Viva, Viva Dead Moon Circus
Yami no Shin’en ー Abyss of Darkness
Nounai Ohanabatake
Double Encouragement
Mezame no Toki
Inner Venus
Shuuketsu ー Yume no Atsumaru Basho

Koisuru Satellite
Helios e no Omoi
Nehelenia no Noroi
Changing Fate
Amour Eternal ーSpeed of Lightー

Lyrics can be found here.

Is this a hint of what’s to come? 😀

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Site Updates

June 25, 2017 at 12:05 am

I know it’s been a while since we’ve really posted an update on here. As far as new content and translations go, we are a bit of a hiatus at the moment due to a mixture of real life things keeping both me and Akiko busy at the moment. So things may be slow here and especially on our tumblr for a while. ^^; However, I have a few things I’d like to update everyone on!

 1. PGSM is 100% complete!

If you don’t follow our tumblr, then you may have missed that we have uploaded and posted ALL of our PGSM project, including the Act 0, the mini-dramas of Tuxedo Mask and Hina and the Special Act. Yaaaay!

 2. We do plan to release Amour Eternal.

Just as soon as we get a hold of a raw copy of it. So please be patient with us. ^^;

3. Name Origins: Youma (WIP)

This is my favorite screenshot I’ve taken so far.

We’re updating the name origins articles with the youma! So far we have the Dark Kingdom Youma name origins up but expect more as I work on graphics and such for the pages. You can check out our name origins articles here.

 

 

And that about wraps everything up for this post. In the mean time, while you are waiting for new content from us, how about you check out what we’ve already got like PGSM or all 25 of the original musicals?

~Hikari

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Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Announcement!

January 25, 2017 at 9:02 am

The 25th Anniversary Project of Sailor Moon has been officially announced with lots of new things to come. One of the more exciting announcements is a special performance of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical at AnimeMatsuri in Houston, Texas! This is a chance for American fans to get to see Sera Myu live without going to Japan.

The announcement states:

We are pleased to announce that Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Musical is coming to Anime Matsuri 2017, to be held at GEORGE R. BROWN CONVENTION CENTER, Houston, from Friday, April 7, through Sunday, April 9. There will be a special performance by the Japanese cast of 9 Sailor Guardians joined by Tuxedo Mask to officially commemorate the establishment of “April 7th” as Sailor Moon Day in Houston.

Anime Matsuri’s Official Website: http://www.animematsuri.com/

Anime Matsuri 2017
Dates: Friday, April 7th through Sunday, April 9th, 2017
Venue: George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston (U.S.A.)

Sailor Moon Special Performance
Time and Date: TBA
Cast: Hotaru Nomoto (Sailor Moon), Yume Takeuchi (Sailor Mercury), Karen Kobayashi (Sailor Mars), Kaede (Sailor Jupiter), Rimo Hasegawa (Sailor Venus),
Syu Shiotsuki (Sailor Uranus), Sayaka Fujioka (Sailor Neptune), Mikako Ishii (Sailor Pluto), Karin Takahashi (Sailor Saturn),
Dancers: Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa, Ayumi Sagisaka
Yuga Yamato (Tuxedo Mask)

So it appears to not be a full musical but I’m guessing possibly a concert like performance, maybe similar in fashion to the fankans of the old Myus.

Exciting times for Myu fans, old and new alike!

(Please note that this isn’t our translation of the announcement as it was already translated on the Sailor Moon official page).

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