Kamen Rider Gaim – 02

Orange you glad he's so happy to be here?

Kouta Kazuraba’s The Joy of Fruit

HD Torrent | SD Torrent | Script | Patch

In which we learn more about Lock Seeds, how not to do one’s job, and transforming: with style~


A thing we took a bit of flak for on the first episode was our handling of the word “hanamichi”. When Gaim transforms into Orange Arms, the belt announces this by shouting “Hanamichi On Stage!”, which is what we translated in episode 1 as “The Path of Blossoms to the Stage.” Hanamichi is a term in Japanese kabuki theatre, used to refer to the path by which actors enter and exit the stage – but also to the act of them doing so. The trick with hanamichi is that it’s written with the kanji for “flowers” and “path”, and… Gaim is a show about fruits and flowers.

So, we’ve chosen to go for a translation that balances these aspects of the phrase. “Hanamichi on stage” we can take to mean “To go on stage” as a sentence, and we can translate “hana michi” as “the path of blossoms” because, well, it’s Orange Arms and oranges have blossoms
But, in doing the line the way we did, it kind of underemphasized the kabuki aspects of the line in a way people were unhappy with. And in this episode there’s a bit more kabuki-ish stuff going on, which I’m sure will make that decision seem more questionable.

The problem with kabuki stuff though is that all kabuki terminology survives into English intact. A hanamichi is still called a hanamichi in English, and when Kouta does an ebizori in this episode, well, that has no name but an ebizori, and “prawn bend” just sounds confusing. But when push comes to shove, we’re translating a show about fruit samurai, and if paying due heed to the kabuki aspects of the show is going to confuse people trying to watch pineapple men kick monsters, then I think that’s doing John Everyviewer a disservice.

Ultimately, we translated it the way we did as insurance. In a show about flowers, it seems likely that the word hanamichi’s etymology will be important later down the road. Japan has lots of metaphors involving flowers and paths – and we have the horrible feeling this aspect of hanamichi will tie in later down the road. If it doesn’t, well, we’ve wasted four words every time he transforms. But I think it’s better to be in that situation than to purely translate hanamichi as a theatrical analogy when, thirty episodes down the line, a character talks about walking the ~floral path~ and it’s meant to be symbolic and… we have nothing to hook it into.

But! What we have done is changed the way we handle the phrase. It was a massive block of text before, so we’ve broken the “[fruit] Arms” and their respective catchphrases up into two lines. We’ve also changed the Hanamichi line’s punctuation so it’s “The Path of Blossoms! To The Stage!”. Our thought is that “To The Stage!” adequately sums up the kabuki meaning of Hanamichi, so we can still evoke flowers without worrying about ruining people’s kabuki boners.


Let’s get our terms right first. Warring States = 戦国. Warring States Period = 戦国時代.

The name of the belt is 戦極ドライバー. That’s something different. It’s still “Sengoku,” but instead of koku (“nation”), it’s goku (“extreme”). That’s wham bam extreme with a capital X. So what we settled on is “Wärring Driver.”

The reason is that what we’re looking at is a word that’s supposed to remind you of “Warring States,” but instead of actually being that, it’s “Warring Awesome.” This makes sense because what the show is referring to is a) the war scene at the very beginning b) the competition for turf on the streets of Zawame, and then obliquely to the actual Warring States Period. Saying “states” doesn’t even make sense in this context. In light of all that and the need to choose a single English word for the name of the machine, we deemed the word “states” superfluous and dropped it.

“Warring” is enough of a slightly weird word that it still references the word “Warring States” specifically if you recognize it and more or less fits the show’s theme if you don’t. Basically, we think that the name “Wärring Driver” has about as much to do with the Warring States Period as the word 戦極 itself.

As for the ümlaut, that’s because 極 just has that effect. For clarification, here’s what that means. Basically the way they write ‘goku’ is like Mortal Kombat being spelt with a K or ‘Xtreme’ starting X
There’s no space in ‘Warring’ to put an X or a K or a Z or something like that in so… umlaut.

59 thoughts on “Kamen Rider Gaim – 02

  1. The thought crossed my mind that “Flower-strewn path” sure does feel a lot like “Blood-strewn path” in the context of this series.

  2. Why not just leave the name of the Driver untranslated like most other subs for previous series?

    • Most other Drivers have either nonsense names (Fourze, Zecter, and so on) or English-derived names. The less random Japanese in the subs the better. Yes, it’s a stylistic choice, but in my experience it’s a proper one. My niece loves Kamen Rider and having proper (as opposed to TV-N style) subs means she can watch more without pausing and trying to figure out what this or that untranslated phrase means.

      Fans may not always agree with a group’s decision of how to translate something (as opposed to just leaving honorifics and whole words or phrases in the script), but at least in my view this way means younger fans can easily watch the shows and ask about Japanese words later.

  3. Well, first off, thanks for the subs, although I’m unsure of this one so far, episode 1 really kinda gave me that turned off feeling for some reason, but I’ll keep at it until I’m sure. However, and this is not directed towards anything in particular, but I’m gonna have 49-some-odd episodes worth of subs to edit now, since “Sengoku,” alternative spellings/meanings aside, is part of a proper noun in this case and shouldn’t really be touched in my opinion. I mean, and again, do what you guys enjoy, but I really don’t think John Everyviewer is the audience interested in this series; subtitled shows have the opportunity to turn people into fans of more than just the show itself. Things like Sengoku or kabuki terms that are traditionally left in Japanese can, and in my opinion, should be kept that way; if the viewer is curious, answers today are literally 5 seconds away thanks to Google. I mean, even with television shows in a viewer’s native language, there are plenty of times where they encourage you to be active on your computer while watching, with things like bonus snippets or live tweets or even live commentary. I simply don’t understand this desire to have everything “localized” basically; I mean, even the character names are usually references to a saying, pun, older events, or whatever, so why don’t we translate those too?

    Again, I’m not complaining about your sub quality, since it appears stellar, I’m just voicing my opinion on a choice I don’t agree with. However, I’m also not one that likes the style of TV-N’s subs unaltered either, as things like catchphrases and such really should be translated, as entire phrases are a bit much to leave untranslated. So I also completely appreciate the fact that you guys do soft subs, and also upload your scripts as well, makes it so much easier for picky people like myself ^.^/

    • Wah, lost a train of thought there; with the whole thing about “fans of more than just the show,” I meant to mention how leaving traditionally untranslated things or things like Sengoku can help people learn. Plenty of people that I have watch subtitled shows will either ask about or look up on their own anything they don’t know off hand. In a lot of cases, these same people have become more interested in the subject matter at hand. For example, watching Rurouni Kenshin, with the characters mentioning things like the Bakumatsu or the Satsuma and Boshin Wars/Rebellions, actually made several of my friends more interested in the history of that era in Japan, and they actually purchased some books on the Meiji Restoration era.

      Obviously, not everybody is going to go that far with it, but in my own experience, the people that don’t are usually simply excepting of the word; my mother actually watched TV-N’s Decade subs with me, and knowing nothing of Japanese, she didn’t even balk at anything they left in, ore sanjou, henshin, whatever; after all, this is already a metaseries with things like Agito, Hibiki, Ryuki, etc., all these names that go untranslated; hell your own subs themselves are still labelled as Kamen Rider. If something like “Sengoku” or the kabuki terms are unacceptable, why isn’t the series released as Masked Rider Armed Warrior or something?

      Again, I don’t mean to come across ungrateful or upset or anything of the sort. I also don’t intend on “trolling” or “flaming” anything here. I’m only interested in actual, intelligent conversation, and am very appreciative that you guys are taking time out of your lives to make this available to myself and plenty of others that may or may not know a little Japanese, but certainly not enough to make it through a television show on our own ^.^/

      • That’s totally fine, and I agree that shows can make you interested in things outside of the show itself. That said, though, we don’t want it to be a barrier to entry: if there’s words and terms that’ll confuse people who aren’t already invested in those things then, well, I think we’re doing them a disservice.

        But yeah, that’s why we try and talk about this stuff on the blog and what-have-you. We want these subs to be accessible, but we don’t want that deeper level of meaning to be lost to people who do want to delve into it.

      • Heh, you raised some very fine points indeed.

        Do you think you can upload your edited subs somewhere for people looking to have a more “authentic/[s]weeaboo[/s]” viewing experience?

  4. Right, well, Kamen Rider’s officially peaked. Nothing it can ever do will ever top those first five minutes of awesome.

  5. So, even rider locks can break. I guess no strawberry arms for him at least not yet. At least I’m guessing a class locks can be used as rider locks. Maybe I am assuming to much .

  6. Also if that is what happens to a invess when it eats its lock seed what would have happened to him if he had ate it. I shudder to think…

  7. If I got a real working driver, I would definetly spend all night thinking up a henshin pose while driving my house mates insane with the jingle the belt makes, totally oblivious to whatever great responsibility that I might have picked up since there was this giant monster previously.

  8. I think it’s really sad that you have to clarify your work. -.-; I mean, you’re doing this for no profit. Basically just so that John Q Gaijin can get his / her toku fix. People need to understand that Japanese is not always going to translate perfectly to English, and that there are some terms that need to be modified just so John Q Gaijin can understand them. Sure, there are some of us out here who know the original phrases or references – but we are the minority.

    Anyway, what I’m saying is people need to get off your back. People need to get off all fan-subbers’ backs. Honestly. -.-;

    P.S. Thanks for the subs. ^.~

  9. umm… why don’t you put the real word (like “Hanamichi” and “Sengoku”) as it is in the dialog line, and put the explanation above the screen? That way people who prefer the original word can still enjoy it and people who want to understand the meaning behind the words can read the explanation.

    just a suggestion. My self I prefer to translate the words.

    • Because, speaking as a translator, that’s an incredibly hideous and jarring solution. In professional (or professional-quality) translations, translators notes are usually reserved for accompanying material, and aren’t shown during the actual feature. You’re not gonna pop a DVD in from (insert_major_company_here) and have explanations on nuance pop up at the top of the screen whenever they’re “needed,” because it totally ruins the experience of watching the show.
      TL notes in fansubs are usually put on the top of the screen, far away from the dialogue. So, you either need to pause and interrupt the flow of the show, or you need to look away from the dialogue. Both are stupid choices, for really obvious reasons. Thus, you get this solution: read the blog, and enjoy your children’s show about fruity bugmen without worrying too much about the meaning of xTreme Warring Fruitalyzers.

      • I totally agree, why would I want to pause and read additional text that doesn’t really mean much when all I want is to see a kid play with his new toy? :P

  10. While this show is looking great right now, being a Kamen Rider series, we’ll have to wait after the pilot episodes to see if this level of quality can be maintained

  11. I must say, Gaim´s suit without the activated lock seeds (just the blue jumpsuit + helmet) looks better than I thought. I wonder if Kouta will have to fight one day in plain mode.

  12. I don’t speak Japanese. I have no interest in searching what things mean to better understand them. I hear them say Sengoku Driver… I read it as Warring Driver. Done. I now understand what they meant. I do appreciate the full on explanation as to why it was changed and why it actually makes sense. Shows that even if you aren’t making profit, you care about what you put out. And the whole flower blossom bit just looks better too. So, I thank you. Really enjoying these releases.

  13. I thought the transforming moments were very funny. I can’t wait until Monday for Episode 3!

      • That all depends on your language. Where I’m from we have the letters å ä and ö, and they sound completely different from a and o. The German way to pronounce ü is different from simple u. But in a language like English, it’s an artistic choice. Simple as that. There’s really no need for No Seriously to be this rude. English subs = English rules.

    • I’m fucking German and I am not at all bothered by that spelling so why should you.

  14. Thanks Mag for taking you time to sub this for us. With you I would be staring at what tv-n passes off as subs…

  15. Friendly Suggestion: I think you should translate “dance gang” as “dance crew.” Dance crew is the more common English phrase. See: America’s Best Dance Crew, et al. Keep up the good work, guys!

  16. Just curious, but how you would translate the Orange Arms weapon Daidaimaru (If that has a second meaning behind it)?

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