Viz's use of "djinn" for "Majin Buu"

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Viz's use of "djinn" for "Majin Buu"

Post by VegettoEX » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:41 pm

We mentioned this briefly in the last podcast, but I haven't seen anyone bring it up elsewhere, yet.

In the official (North American) English adaptation/translation, Viz has opted to go with the name "djinn Buu" for the character normally known as "Majin Buu" (and by "normally" I mean both in the original Japanese language, and even in FUNimation's dub).

Djinn (written as جن) is the original Arabic term that we derive our word "genie" from. You can read a bunch more over on this Wikipedia page, but that's basically enough to get you going.

Now, the character's name is quite clearly written out as Majin Buu (魔人ブウ) in Japanese. "Buu" is simply the character's actual given name (derived from the song "Bippity Boppity Boo" in the Disney movie Cinderella). The jin (人) is pretty disambiguous; it simply means "person", and when used after another word, indicates that they are a "person" of that type (such as a race; for example, Saiya-jin [サイヤ人]).

Then we get to the ma (魔). Now, I'll admit up front that I'm not all that great with this kanji. I do know that it's the exact same kanji used to spell out Piccolo-Daimaô, where it's quite obviously demonic in nature. According to every dictionary I have, this kanji simply means "devil" or "demon" or "evil spirit". For some reason, it seems as though when used in conjunction with Majin Buu, there's some sort of "genie" connotation that I can't quite figure out.

For starters, could someone more familiar with this kanji give a more detalied run-down on it? Perhaps its origins and other possible connotations?

If anyone wants to go into depth on the almost "Arabic-styled" outfits in the Buu saga, please also feel free to comment.

Furthermore... what does everyone think about Viz and their use of djinn? Does this make sense? Is it a change just for the sake of making a change? Necessary? Unnecessary? Pointless? Don't care at all? What's for dinner?
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Post by Dayspring » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:46 pm

Haven't listened to the podcast yet: What did Viz do? Replace "Majin" with djinn, or or replace Buu's whole name (Majin Buu) with djinn? Both bug me, but I can understand it if they called him Djinn Buu, as djinn are simply genies, and can therefore be good or demonic. Still bugs me though, since it's unnecessary.
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Post by El_Diablo » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:48 pm

Daimao gave his opinion and a definition in another thread.

He said it was a "fine translation".

http://db.schuby.org/daizex/viewtopic.p ... ght=#47886
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Post by Magica » Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:49 pm

I'm not very familiar with Kanji, but I have a JquickTrans program I got with my Japanese language discs. They pretty much say the same thing you have said about "ma." Would this help at all?

Since I don't know how the C&P the exact definition from the program, I took a screenie:

Image

As for djinn, I'm not quite sure what to say about it. It seems rather akward for me.

EDIT: Here's the website for JQuickTrans

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Post by Mike » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:03 pm

Although others much more qualified than myself, Daimao, have already stated that the terms are interchangeable, this change still really annoys me. I'm not the type who usually complains about things like this. I'm okay with all the other changes Viz has made, but not this. His name is clearly Majin Buu and not Djinn Buu. There is a very clear 'M' on Buu's belt. The 'M' is clearly a symbol for Majin or the Majin spell. If every other translation of Buu's name was the same and accurate, why should Viz feel the need to make an unwanted change?

Besides all that, saying Majin Buu just sounds nicer than Djinn Buu. :P
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Post by Chaos Saiyajin » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:13 pm

What's going on at Viz? Djinn Buu? Hercule? Viz used to provide us with great translations of the DB manga, but now it seems that they are going down hill. I don't mind Hercule as much, but Djinn Buu? I can't even pronounce that! They even spelled 'Buu' as 'Boo' in a past Shonen Jump issue where they clearly recognized him as Majin Boo. I'm so confused here. :? Can't Viz be like FUNi and just use Majin Buu? Fucking weird.
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Post by Hao_Kaiser » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:14 pm

Perhaps it's their way of adding something new to a manga thats getting really old... So people will but it? Have sales gone down or something? Yes, I know thats illogical.

It's so utterly pointless, but I've quit buying the graphic novels, so I don't care... they never should have gotten rid of it in SJ. Buying it seems pointless as I've seen the entire series 8-jilion times.
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Post by El_Diablo » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:15 pm

Well, "Buu" is a Japanese approximation of "Boo"...
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Re: Viz's use of "djinn" for "Majin Buu"

Post by MyVisionity » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:15 pm

VegettoEX wrote: Furthermore... what does everyone think about Viz and their use of djinn? Does this make sense? Is it a change just for the sake of making a change? Necessary? Unnecessary? Pointless? Don't care at all? What's for dinner?
From the looks of it, Viz is translating not from the 'Majin' in Buu's original name, but rather from the 'Majin' that uses an entirely different Kanji for 'jin'. While the former 'jin' refers to person or people, the latter is 'jin' as in 'shin' and 'kami', which of course is "god". That Majin is the Japanese term that is defined as genie, apparently, but it's not the one in Buu's name.

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Post by VegettoEX » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:15 pm

El_Diablo wrote:Daimao gave his opinion and a definition in another thread.

He said it was a "fine translation".

http://db.schuby.org/daizex/viewtopic.p ... ght=#47886
OK, other than the one mention over there :P. Mostly just wanted to consolidate the discussion. Carry on!
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Post by Chaos Saiyajin » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:19 pm

Perhaps it's their way of adding something new to a manga thats getting really old... So people will but it? Have sales gone down or something? Yes, I know thats illogical.

It's so utterly pointless, but I've quit buying the graphic novels, so I don't care... they never should have gotten rid of it in SJ. Buying it seems pointless as I've seen the entire series 8-jilion times.
Yeah, getting rid of DBZ in SJ was a dumbass move on Viz's part. Now all I buy SJ for is to read Naruto, One Piece, Shaman King, and Yu-Gi-Oh! The least they could do is put DB from the beginning back in. Oh, I forgot, that'd make all the strict parents mad 'cause they don't want their kids seeing a topless Bulma. :evil:
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Post by Hao_Kaiser » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:22 pm

Chaos Saiyajin wrote: Yeah, getting rid of DBZ in SJ was a dumbass move on Viz's part. Now all I buy SJ for is to read Naruto, One Piece, Shaman King, and Yu-Gi-Oh! The least they could do is put DB from the beginning back in. Oh, I forgot, that'd make all the strict parents mad 'cause they don't want their kids seeing a topless Bulma. :evil:
They would censor it, as they've been doing with all their manga lately. I miss when Viz didn't care about what all the parents thought.

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Post by Chaos Saiyajin » Mon Nov 28, 2005 9:41 pm

They would censor it, as they've been doing with all their manga lately. I miss when Viz didn't care about what all the parents thought.
So do I. :cry: Now that I look back at an old SJ issue, I've noticed something:

Shonen Jump-August 03
DBZ
Times the word 'Damn' used: 2
Times the word 'Bastard' used: 1
Times the word 'Hell' used: 1
Times the word 'Pissed/Pissing' used: 2
Times the word 'Half-Assed' used: 1

Shonen Jump-May 04
Times the word 'Damn' used: 0
Times the word 'Bastard' used: 0
Times the word 'Hell' used: 0
Times the word 'Pissed/Pissing' used: 0
Times the word 'Half-Assed' used: 0
Times any other cuss word used: 0

Now, I don't give a shit if the characters cuss or not, but if Viz is translating it word for word, I want the exact translation, not some damn half-assed shit.

:) On another note, I'd like to say that SJ ended DBZ with my favorite chapter, the one where Trunks returns to the future and kills the androids. Oh yeah!
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Post by VegettoEX » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:03 pm

Please keep this thread strictly for discussion of the djinn change/alteration/decision. Thanks!
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Post by MajinVejitaXV » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:53 pm

It's interesting, I like Viz far above FUNi obviously, but I still feel it's not perfect. Kikoho got turned into the 'Chi Kung Cannon', Makankosappo became 'Light of Death' and so forth. Terrible? No.

As far as 'Majin' versus 'Djinn', I don't feel it's horrible...except as mentioned, the 'Majin' has a tie to visuals (so, it's 'Djinn Vejita' and do forth?). I feel it's change for the sake of change, which while I may seem hypocritical (romanizing Bejiita as Vejita as opposed to Vegeta, but hey, Daimao calls him 'Burdock' and most call him 'Bardock' ;p), I think is unwarranted. It doesn't disturb the meaning, but it applies an alteration that doesn't really add anything except for maybe familiarity in some cases ('Chi' being more well-known than 'Ki', maybe 'Djinn' being the same case). Personally, I'd think a small key of unknown terms would serve the same purpose.

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Post by Kendamu » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:18 pm

About Kikoho. Kiko is the Japanese word for Qigong. Qigong can also be spelled as Chi Kung. Chi Kung Blast isn't really wrong. I can't ac urately say much about Makankosappo, though.

In terms of Djinn, it only bothered me at first because I did't quite know how to pronounce it. I tend to only call him Buu or Boo anyway so it's not that big of a deal.
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Post by The S » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:33 pm

Djinn works perfectly in the mythological sense (Buu basically is a djinn when you think about it; he's both a demon, and has magical powers, which also satisfies both of the requirements for "ma"). However, Viz is just dicking with names here, and it's irritating. It's the same as the whole Roronoa Zolo/Marik/Slifer/Hercule crap. And besides, we've known them as Majin forever now, and it's just overall a pain in the ass.
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Post by Li'l Lemmy » Mon Nov 28, 2005 11:59 pm

I don't know much Japanese, so there's not a whole lot I can add to that aspect of the discussion. However, regarding the use of "djinn" as both a base form for "genie" and with comparison to the same word, I thought it'd be interesting to note that while the term "genie" often refers to the creature of Aladdin-style mythology most of us are familiar with, "djinn" can signifiy a free spirit of immense power that greatly differs from the genie in that he isn't bound by any similar limitations (or at least not by a lamp).

If the original Japanese text translates to "Majin," I think that Viz should have used exactly that (particularly if even FUNimation had done so) . . . but I think that "djinn" could be applied to Majin Buu anyway, since he does have amazing powers/abilities and isn't bound by anything once he kills Bibidi.

At any rate, this is a fascinating avenue of discussion.
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Post by Ash » Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:19 am

In Chinese, 魔 doesn't _have_ to mean a demon/evil spirit, but can also just be used to denote 'magic'. A magician would be 魔术师, moshushi.

So a 魔人 could be a 'magical being' of a 'being of magical powers'. Which I think Djinn covers...?
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Post by lost in thought » Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:05 am

Just for the sake of ability, I am going to share my thoughts.

Now, as far as the Djinn/Majin debate goes, I don't have any input on the matter, and since it has been so thoroughly dissected already by other helpful posters I won't even begin trying.

Moving onto the change itself, I think as a whole it's trivial, and serves little more purposes than to diversify the translation from the normal DragonBall lot we've come to know, and expect. As I am sure many of you have noticed, Viz is taking a lot of liscense with the production, in some good ways and some bad. But in general just like trying to make something different than the dub, and shit.

Anyway, I lost my train of thought a little more than half-way through with this, so take what you may from it, because I think I lost my point somewhere...

I am sleepy.

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