There is a situation that leaves some anime fans quite upset, and it involves changes or omissions in character dialogues, to the point where there is an ongoing debate on Twitter, where translations or subtitles considered poor for anime are pointed out.
In the recent episode 11 of Mushoku Tensei 2, fans noticed that the English subtitles omitted the word “race” from Rudeus’s speech to Fitz in the cave scene.
Subtitle of Mushoku Tensei 2 Ep 11 Omitted the Term Race
First, I’ll explain the context of the scene. Rudeus and Fitz went out to pick a flower, it started raining, they got wet, and they are in a cave taking shelter. Rudeus asks Fitz to undress to avoid worsening her condition, but as Fitz is an elf, Rudeus understands that this is a taboo for elves.
However, the above subtitle omitted a part of Rudeus’s speech. Yes, the Japanese text is as follows:
Translating it in full, without omitting anything, it goes like this:
“A girl I once knew told me that, among the elves, showing their naked skin to other races is a taboo.”
Did you notice what was altered? In the official subtitle, it implies that it is a taboo only to show naked skin to the “others,” but the real context is that the taboo is for the elves to show their “naked skin to other races.”
On Twitter, a user shared how the subtitles of the Muse Asia service are, which also provides animes with English subtitles for some regions in Asia.
In the Muse Asia version:
As you can see, the mention of “other races” was retained in the Muse Asia version.
Is this Important?
The relevance of this depends entirely on you. I decided to address this issue because, apparently, this will be the new norm in Western translations: omitting the word “race.”
When the game The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom was released, some people compared the Western version with the Japanese one and noticed that the official English version replaced the terms “race” and “tribe” with “people.”
As you can see in the comparison above, in the Japanese version, Zelda is described as “of the Hylian race,” and Rauru is described as being from the “Zonai Tribe.” In the English version, they are described as “Hylian People” and “Zonai People.
Is this becoming a standard now? Well, we’ll see if more cases like this emerge, and it’s up to you to decide if you think it’s better this way or not.