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Rumor Guide

Fansub Dialog


Many of today’s fans would probably have a hard time understanding what it was like to take a trip into Chinatown or the local flea market and pick up VHS volumes of Dragon Ball Z episodes, usually one to three episodes per tape, for $5-10 a pop. The video quality ranged from watchable to scrambled, the audio tended to drop out a lot, and the translations… oh, the translations…

Most notorious is the fansubbing group named “Anime Labs,” well-known for their relentless (and incorrect) additions of “colorful” language into the word of DBZ. At the time, lots of fans really thought Vegeta was dropping “F-bombs” all over the place. Wow, this show is so much more cool in Japanese! Everyone is cursing all the time! Right? Right…?!?

Not exactly.

Our attempt with this section is to point out some of the most ridiculous examples of ye olde fansub dialog “enhancements” and give you some comparisons. You will get the translations by Steven J. Simmons used on the official FUNimation DVDs, and you will get an additional translation by us (done “blindly” with no former knowledge of Steve’s translations). While these fansubs are now irrelevant with mostly-proper releases across the world, they are no doubt fascinating to take a look back upon, and realize just how far we have come as a fandom. Enjoy!

Example #1: Dragon Ball Z Episode 096

An extremely angry and newly Super Saiyan Goku is not about to let Freeza shoot his son down out of the sky.

Original Japanese Dialog:

“Ii kagen ni shiro, kono kuzuyarō!”

Anime Labs “Translation”:

“Cut it out, you piece of shit!”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“Enough is enough, you scumbag!”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“Knock it off, you piece of trash!”

Thoughts:
Anime Labs’ “translator” confused “kuzu” (“trash”) with “kuso” (“excrement”). However, in this case, it is probably not so much “confusion” as much as it is just typical Anime Labs wanting to throw in as many curses as possible. It is important to note that while Goku does speak somewhat differently (firmly) when he has first turned SSJ, he does not suddenly start speaking with a foul mouth.

Example #2: Dragon Ball Z Episode 120

Freeza, his usual conceited self, tries to give Trunks a little advice about strength and power, but Trunks shoots it right back in his face with even more sly conviction.

Original Japanese Dialog:

“Sonna sugata ni made narihatete, yoku ome-ome Chikyū made korareta mon’ da… waza-waza korosareru tame ni.”

Anime Labs “Translation”:

“It take balls to come all the way to Earth, half-dead in a tin suit… just to be killed.”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“Having been reduced to that ridiculous form, it must have taken a lot of nerve coming all the way to Earth, just so you could be killed.”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“[After] being reduced to such a [pathetic] form, you’ve got some nerve to have come all the way to Earth… just to be killed.”

Thoughts:
That is definitely taking some liberties with Trunks’ generally polite speaking style. Granted, he is not exactly being the nicest guy here, but he is not being a complete jerk about it.

Example #3: Dragon Ball Z Episode 130

Dr. Gero has blasted off and is hiding in the mountains. A somewhat peeved Super Saiyan Vegeta lands and calls for the Artificial Human to show himself.

Original Japanese Dialogue:

“Doko da! Detekoi! Hikyōmono! Sugata o misero!”

Anime Labs “Translation”:

“Come out, you candy-ass faggot!”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“Where are you!? Come on out! You Coward! Show yourself!”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“Where are you ?! Come out, you coward! Show yourself!”

Thoughts:
Well hey, they got the “Come out…” part correct…

Example #4: Dragon Ball Z Movie 7

The three new Artificial Humans start attacking Goku, Trunks, and Vegeta. Just as we think our heroes ain’t doing so well, Vegeta smirks and gets right up in the little runt’s face…

Original Japanese Dialog:

“Chōshi ni noru na yo, kusoyarō!”

Yagami Studios “Translation”:

“Now it’s my turn, you over-sized tin can!”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“Don’t get too carried away, you piece of crap!”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“Don’t get cocky, you piece of crap!”

Thoughts:
“Piece of shit” (or perhaps “little shit”) would work equally well here. This is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. What is interesting is that the fansubber was just completely off… and it was actually something they could have used more colorful language with! It may carry a similar message, but it is a very easy translation that did not need any further adaptation.

Example #5: Dragon Ball Z Movie 12

As Janenba screams in frustration, Goku and Vegeta have successfully fused into Gogeta. Clearly, it is time to announce and introduce oneself.

Original Japanese Dialog:

“Ore wa Gokū de mo Bejîta de mo nai… ore wa kisama o taosu mono da!”

Standard Fansub “Translation”:

“I am neither Goku nor Vegeta… I am the instrument of your defeat!”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“I am neither Goku nor Vegeta… I am he who will defeat you!”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“I am neither Goku nor Vegeta… I am the one who will defeat you!”

Thoughts:
The translation with the word “instrument” has become so prevalent, that FUNimation / WebFoot / Atari actually used that line verbatim in the GameBoy Advance video game Boo’s Fury! It is not so much that said translation is “wrong” as that it is just slightly embellished.

Example #6: Dragon Ball Z Movie 13

Vegeta arrives on the scene after Gohan is smacked by Hildegarn, crashing down through Capsule Corporation. Needless to say, he is none too happy.

Original Japanese Dialog:

“Katte ni hitosama no ie o buchikowashi yagatte…! Kyō no ore wa ki ga tatte ‘ru n’ da! Chikazuki sugite, yakedo suru n’ ja nee zo!”

Anime Labs “Translation”:

“You fucking bastard! You dare to destroy my house! Now you’ve really pissed me off! Fuck you!”

Steve Simmons Translation:

“Smash up another man’s house, will you?! I am in a foul mood today! Don’t come too close, or you’ll get burned!”

Kanzenshuu Translation:

“How dare you just go and destroy someone else’s [read: my] freakin’ house?! I’m pissed off, now! Don’t come too close; you’ll get yourself fried!”

Thoughts:
We just don’t know what else to say about this one. This is the single example that fans not “in-the-know” like to use to try and convince people that Dragon Ball Z is somehow a show for adults, and in reverse, it is an amazing example to directly combat them back with… because it is so grossly incorrect. Special thanks to Anime Labs for a decade of headaches with this one…