Zack Wasn't Actually Aeris's Boyfriend In The Japanese Version Of Final Fantasy VII

Let's Mosey: A Slow Translation Of Final Fantasy VIILet's Mosey: A Slow Translation Of Final Fantasy VIIPart Japanese grammar lesson and part meditation on the impossibility of a "perfect" translation, Let's Mosey presents a "slow translation" of Final Fantasy VII.

I’ve been playing Final Fantasy VII in Japanese and English at the same time, and I’m noticing a lot of neat little differences. This is part three of a video series in which I present those differences for your appreciation.

Today, we’re going to meet Tifa and Aeris. Everyone in the English version refers to Cloud and Tifa as “childhood friends”, though does that mean something more interesting in Japanese? The answer (which is, “sort of”) may blow your mind—or it might just entertain you. I would appreciate it if it did either of those for you.

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Maybe the biggest thing I notice in this episode is that in Japanese Aeris definitely does not refer to Zack as “My first boyfriend” in the Japanese version. Instead, she calls him “The first guy I liked”—an important difference!

Also, why does the English version sometimes use the word “Shit” and sometimes write it as “SHIT!”? I think I figured that out, too.

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As always, a warning: any Japanese you learn over the course of this video might never be of any use whatsoever to you.

If you want to catch up on all the previous episodes, we’ve got this handy playlist right here.

I make videos for Kotaku. I make video games for myself and my friends. I like writing fiction. Someday I will publish a novel. Who knows!

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DISCUSSION

tillmandesign
Randy Randerson

I was coincidentally thinking about FFVII’s legacy this week after a conversation with a friend about FFXV and Kingsglaive, given the easy comparisons between Kingsglaive and Advent Children. It’s just so strange to me that Square could not once, but twice, make movies that not only shit on the character arcs, lore, and everything else established during the core game, but just seem to genuinely not even understand the game itself.

Advent Children is basically fan fiction garbage that idolizes the most superficial aspects of both Cloud and Sephiroth, which only ends up making them two dimensional. Side characters don’t fare any better, but they also barely register. Worse to me, the movie completely rewrites how the world functions in favor of lame DBZ fight sequences - part of the core appeal to FFVII’s characters was that they all felt like normal people out of their league, whether they were rising up against a corrupt government or chasing Sephiroth. An early plot development in the game has Cloud seemingly fall to his death from ~20 stories, while in AC he’s suddenly become Peter Pan. Also, the materia and summons (one of the coolest aspects of the game) are abruptly removed from play in AC to focus on hand-to-hand combat. And if FFVII is about protecting nature from human greed, what the fuck is AC about?

But for the damage that AC does, Kingsglaive is somehow worse. As a lead-in to FFXV, it barely makes sense, and it sloppily and inconsistently builds its own lore that doesn’t seem to be part of FFXV. So the Kingsglaive powers draw from the king, who channels it through the crystal? Where does Noctis draw his power from, and how is it affected by the crystal being captured? Does that mean that the bros’ powers draw from Noctis? We see Insomnia ‘captured’ from a distance in FFXV, but in KG it’s completely wrecked by the battle between the Knight mecha and the Weapon knock-offs, then at the end of FFXV it’s mostly intact again. But most importantly - what’s the point of this movie? Nothing actually results from all this that provides any more useful context, except seeing Sean Bean die again.

*screams into the void in rage*

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