Localisation An Investigation on Nuances Lost or Changed in Bloom Into You

Localised content
Thread Description
Seven Seas Entertainment's mishandling of the manga, light novels, and anthologies

Macadate

varishangout.com
...and inconsistencies such as poor characterization, terminology, screentones, lettering, retouch, spelling, grammar, names, dates
basically, these are fanmade errata webpages
since everyone has different values, distinguishing which differences matter is left as an exercise for the reader
(but I recommend starting with these ~50 examples)
if anyone wants me to add, further explain, or remove examples, feel free to comment

motivations for this project
as a fan, I want English and Japanese readers to be able to relate to the story and its characters as similarly as possible
as a translator of impressions and commentary, I want to quote from the licensed translation but some lines don't fit
as a scholar, I want to see which and how nuances translate across cultures, and whether I can convey the ones lost
as a consumer, I want to let buyers decide for themselves if the publisher's claim of "producing quality content" holds water

timeline
2016-02-14: Seven Seas licenses Bloom Into You
2016-05-31: Seven Seas says they will "absolutely take good care of" the series

2017-01-03: volume 1 (print) is released
2017-01-09: (earliest documentation I could find) a reader posts about the misspelling of two main characters' names

2017-05-16: volume 2 (print) is released
2017-05-20: a reader posts about mistranslations in volume 2
2017-06-22: the mangaka mentions a mistranslation in volume 2 in an interview
2017-08-30: (date based on BOOK☆WALKER's site) volume 1 (digital) is released. Presumably this is when the main characters' names were corrected. No way to confirm because Seven Seas didn't announce it. Seven Seas says they corrected it in a reprint, but there is no mention of it on their website and readers who bought the print as recently as 2021-10-07 still have the errors

2019-07-05: Seven Seas licenses Bloom Into You: Regarding Saeki Sayaka
2019-08-17: I review volume 1
2019-08-22: one of the translators for the light novels comments on my review in the YagaKimi Discord server (more on this later)
2019-09-01: I review volume 2
2019-09-30: the aforementioned translator mentions the existence of term sheets/style sheets (doesn't this validate my complaints about inconsistent terminology?)
2019-10-04: I review volume 3
2019-10-26: the aforementioned translator says mistranslations are more likely in light novels compared to manga (CYA? also, a fan translated the light novel volume 2 in two months with less errors)
2019-11-01 to 2019-12-06: I review volume 4 in four parts; Touko, Yuu, side characters, and miscellaneous issues
2020-01-15: I review volume 5
2020-02-20 to 2020-03-11: I review volume 6 in two parts; first and latter
2020-05-11 to 2020-05-29: I review Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 1 in three parts; chapter 1, first and latter half of chapter 2
2020-07-21: I review volume 7
2020-10-23 to 2020-11-25: I review volume 8 in three parts; first, middle, and last
2020-12-03: I post my master list to the Bloom Into You subreddit
2020-12-04: Seven Seas licenses Bloom Into You Anthology
2021-01-04: I tweet about two clusters of content cuts in Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 2 chapter 1
2021-03-23 to 2021-03-24: I post about content cuts in volumes 2 and 3 and volume 1 to the J-Novel Club forums. It is shared to the Light Novels subreddit
2021-03-25: the aforementioned post is shared to the ANN forums

2021-07-21: I review Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 2 chapter 1
2021-07-22: I post about content cuts in volume 2 chapter 1 to the Light Novels subreddit
2021-07-27: Seven Seas says they're re-editing Regarding Saeki Sayaka light novels and plan to release them later this year (source: ANN forums and Light Novels subreddit)
2021-09-03: I post a selection of mistranslations and nuance changes to the manga subreddit
2021-09-28: Anthology volume 1 is released. I post about a mistranslation in Anthology volume 1

2022-01-16: I post a selection of translation issues in the free previews of volumes 1 and 2 to the Light Novels subreddit
2022-01-18: Anthology volume 2 is released
2022-01-20: I post about mistranslations, nuance changes, and various inconsistencies in Anthology volume 2
2022-02-22 to 2022-04-08: I review the rest of Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 2; first and latter half of chapter 2, chapter 3 and miscellaneous issues
2022-06-26: I review Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 3 chapter 1
2022-07-12: I post a selection of translation issues in the free preview of volume 3 to the Light Novels subreddit (and get accused of blaming the translators; more on this later)
2022-07-26: I review Regarding Saeki Sayaka volume 3; the first half of chapter 2
2022-08-05: I post artwork comparisons showing how Seven Seas provides less visual details to the manga subreddit

2019-08-22 anecdote
the YagaKimi Discord server is public, if you are so inclined to know the names of the users who aren't me or that translator
for context, this is the (only) example the translator specified:
hikkurikaeru.png

2019-08-22  jmitsu_2330 01.png
2019-08-22  jmitsu_2330 02.png
2019-08-22  jmitsu_2330 03.png
however, being more fluent with the language and culture doesn’t negate the fact that they read the word incorrectly
I point out that the verb is intransitive, not transitive (wiki explanation about mediopassive and active voice)
2019-08-22  jmitsu_2330 04.png
as for their other comments about my post... read it yourself and see if you agree with their assessment

perhaps the root of our differences is that I believe the translation exists for readers to interpret from; it shouldn't draw conclusions for the reader

Regarding Saeki Sayaka light novels
Seven Seas said they were revising the volumes nearly 50 weeks ago
they were much timelier with I'm in Love With the Villainess (<5 days), Classroom of the Elite, Mushoku Tensei, and Mo Dao Zu Shi (~5 weeks after they gave a statement addressing the complaints)
a small sample of content cuts and/or mistranslations (read my blog posts for more):
Seven Seas said:
Growing up in that house, I knew I had no choice but to be talented. No one actually said as much, but I knew instinctively that it was true.
original text said:
そこに生まれて生活する自分は、できない子でいてはならない。
私は、誰かに教えられることなく自然とそう考えていた。当然、誰かに聞いたわけではないから本当に正しいかは分からなかった。
my attempt said:
Growing up in that house, I had no choice but to be capable.
I naturally thought as such without being taught by anyone. Of course, I had no idea if I was actually right since it wasn’t as though I had asked anyone.

Seven Seas said:
I was a little late leaving school that day, so I had to start running on the way home.
I felt that summer day like rain on my skin, as though I were leaving a trail of sweat behind me.
As I ran, my breath going ragged, the ground seemed much harder than usual.
When I put my shoes on in the entryway to leave for swim class, the house cats came over to brush their heads against my legs, which was unusual for them. I couldn’t just leave, so I petted them until I completely lost track of time. They were so cute, and it was so satisfying—right until I had to start running again.
original text said:
その日は少し遅れたので、途中から少し走ることになった。
夏の日が雨のように肌を伝い、後を追うように汗が流れていく。
息を弾ませて走ると、地面の固さをいつもより意識した。
玄関で靴を履いていたら、家の猫が珍しく、私の足に頭突きしてきた。逃げないのでつい相手をしていたらすっかり時間が経ってしまっていた。かわいかったし、いいかなと走り出すまでは満足していた。
my attempt said:
I was a little late that day, so I had to break into a light run on the way.
The summer sun travels along my skin like rain, and my sweat flows as if following it.
As I ran, my breath going ragged, the ground seemed harder than usual.
When I was putting on my shoes in the entryway, the house cats had come over to brush their heads against my legs, which was unusual for them. They didn’t run away, so I petted them until I completely lost track of time. They were cute so I thought it would be fine, and my satisfaction lasted until I started running.

Seven Seas said:
As I watched her overflowing with uncertainty, I ended up feeling a little embarrassed. I must have come off this way during my first time at the manju place, too.
original text said:
初々しさに溢れているその様子を見て、自分が最初に来たときも、周りからこんな風に見えていたのだろうかとやや照れる。
言及されなかったのか、しなかったのか。同級生の性格を褒めるべきかもしれない。
my attempt said:
As I watch her overflowing with uncertainty, I feel a little embarrassed, wondering if I also came off this way during my first time at these places.
Did my classmates not mention it to me, or did they not mention it at all? Maybe I should commend their character.

Seven Seas said:
I was starting to grow concerned about what she thought I was.
original text said:
先輩は一体、私をなんだと思っているのか気になるところである。でも聞くとなにかまずいものを見てしまいそうで、喉の奥で二の足を踏む。
my attempt said:
I was starting to grow concerned about what she thought I was. But if I were to ask, it seems like I’ll end up looking at something unsavory, so the question stops at the back of my throat.

Seven Seas said:
Because I had gone to the bookstore that day, the sun was at a steeper angle than it normally would be, but that was all. While it was still midday, the light had started to mix with a bit of yellow.
original text said:
でも今日は本屋に寄ってきた分、日が傾いている。昼の中に、やや黄色がかった明かりが混じり始めていた。
my attempt said:
But today, the sun was lower by the amount I had stopped by the bookstore. While it was still daytime, the light had started to mix with a bit of yellow.

Seven Seas said:
But why? I plumbed the depths of my heart for the answer.
It was the flippant way Senpai had said goodbye, after I had revolved around her as though I lived to serve her.
original text said:
それはなぜか、と心の底よりそれを掬い取る。
答えは、付き添うように巡り続ける先輩の、軽薄な別れの挨拶。
my attempt said:
But why? I scoop the answer out from the bottom of my heart.
It was the frivolous words of parting from Senpai, who had been going around in circles as if to look after me.
Seven Seas said:
“That’s what she said, but someone might be confessing their love to her again,” I replied jokingly but was a possibility.
original text said:
「と言っていたけど、また告白でもされているのかも」
冗談めかしてそう返す。でもその線もあり得た。生徒会室までの道のりを少し逸れると程良く人影から離れることができて、そこは告白の舞台としてよく選ばれる。燈子はその舞台に立つことが多い花形だ。演じる役はいつだって、高嶺の花なのだけど。
my attempt said:
“That’s what she said, but someone might be confessing to her again.”
I replied jokingly. But it could be happening. If you deviate a little from the path to the student council room, there is a place away from the crowd, which makes it often chosen as the stage for confessions. Touko is a frequent star on that stage. The role she plays is always that of an unattainable star, though.

Seven Seas said:
Besides, I thought this might be a chance to get even a slight glimpse of how Koito-san had captivated Touko.
Perhaps I said it because I knew she felt the same way I did.
People act as though they don’t see themselves, but in actuality, they’re very self-involved. When a person evaluates others, they use themselves as a standard of comparison. People are very familiar with their own appearances.
original text said:
それに。
小糸さんが燈子をどういう風に捉えているのか、朧気ながら見えるようだったから。
同じ思いを持っている相手だからだろうか。
人混みの中でもしも自分の背中を見かけるようなことがあれば、きっとすぐに見分けがつくだろう。人は自分のことが見えていないようで、実はとても気にかけている。
他人の姿を見るとき、自分を基準にして、比較している。
だから、自分の姿をとても見慣れているのだった。
my attempt said:
Besides…
I seemed to have a vague idea of how Koito-san perceived Touko.
Perhaps it was because she was someone who felt the same way I did.
If you were to catch sight of your back in a crowd of people, you would likely be able to recognize it right away. It might seem like people aren’t be able to see themselves, but in fact they’re very self-involved.
When a person evaluates others, they use themselves as a standard of comparison.
That’s why people are very familiar with their own appearances.

Seven Seas said:
“You’re trying to get closer by moving ahead…but when you do that, you see the other person from an angle you hadn’t seen before. The backdrop changes, and things that were hidden before become visible. Even the things you liked about the person might look entirely different.”
But when you changed positions, the other person’s view of you changed, too.
original text said:
「それを、相手と距離を詰めようとして、前に出て……そうすると、今まで見えていなかった角度から相手を見ることになる。背景も変わるし、隠れていたものも見えてくるし。好きだって感じたものがまるで別の形に見えてくるかもしれない」
以前は燈子にもそんな疑いのような思いを抱いたことがある。でも、それは杞憂だった。
私にとって燈子は、どの角度から見ても綺麗なものだった。
そんなことを確認するように心の中で呟いて、少しだけ満ち足りる。
胸に生まれた美しさは、どんなことがあっても損なわれない。
「でもね、そうして距離が変わっていって……最初がなくなっているのは相手も、向こうも同じなんだってようやく気づいた」
相手だって、位置が変わればこちらを見る目も変わる。
my attempt said:
“You’re trying to get closer by moving forward…when you do that, you see the other person from an angle you hadn’t seen before. The backdrop changes, and things that were hidden before become visible. The things you felt you liked about the person might look entirely different.”
I used to feel that kind of uncertainty towards Touko. However, it was needless.
To me, Touko was beautiful from every angle.
I mutter it in my mind to affirm myself, and feel a little satisfied.
Beauty born from the heart will never be tarnished, no matter what.
“But you know, the distance will continue to change…you finally realize it’s the same for them, that they also lose what they saw at first.”
When your position changes, the other person’s view of you changes, too.

Seven Seas said:
By the time I raised my head, they were already far ahead of me.
“Why don’t you change with her?” If that’s what Touko wants. Though I couldn’t say everything I wanted to, I tried to convey it to Koito-san in a roundabout way. I think we understood each other.
“You’re right.”
original text said:
足踏みを終えて顔を上げた頃には、彼女たちはとても遠くにいた。
追いつくことも難しいくらい。それこそ、星を見上げるくらいに。
でもそれは、仕方のないことだった。
良いも悪いもなく、自分で選んできたのだから。
誰が後悔を肩代わりしてくれるわけでもない。
後悔があるのなら私が自分の生き方を悲しんで、受け入れて、前を向くしかなかった。
どうにもならないなら、遠くを、ぼんやりと見る。
まだ綺麗なものがそこに見える限り。
「よかったら一緒に、変わってあげて」
燈子がそれを望むなら。
言葉は全てを語らず、遠回りで。どこまで明確に伝わったかは定かじゃない。
でも全部を声に出してしまったら、きっと酷く味気ないものになる。
そういうものを、私たちは共有している。
心は声や文字だけでなく、全身で感受するべきだった。
「はい」
my attempt said:
By the time I put an end to staying still and raised my head, they were very far away.
It’d be so difficult to catch up. Just like looking up at the stars.
But that was just how things turned out.
Rather than good or bad, it was simply what I had chosen for myself.
It’s not as though someone would shoulder my regrets.
If I had regrets about my way of life, I could only be sad, accept it, and face forward.
If nothing can be done about it, I will absentmindedly look into the distance.
As long as I can still see something beautiful there.
“If it’s okay with you, will you change with her?”
If that’s what Touko wants.
Instead of saying everything I wanted to, I went in a roundabout way. I’m not sure how clearly I conveyed myself.
But if I had said everything out loud, it would likely become terribly dull.
That’s how it is between us.
The meanings should have been picked up not just through voices and words, but with the entire body.
“Okay.”

Seven Seas said:
I wasn’t just saying it, either—I really did see her that way.
original text said:
贔屓目とかではなく、本当にそう見える。燈子は上を見ているように思えなかった。
直進しているはずなのに、まるで別の場所を見て歩いているようで。
危ういんじゃないだろうか、と時々思う。
my attempt said:
I’m not saying it with a partial eye—I really do see her that way. Touko didn’t seem to be looking at something above her.
She’s walking straight ahead, yet it’s as if she were heading elsewhere.
Isn’t it dangerous? I would wonder at times.
Seven Seas said:
“I process things quickly,” she said.
The face that stared back at me wore a slightly different expression from the pleasant smile I’d grown accustomed to seeing. Something glossy, like droplets of water, inched down her obviously blushing cheeks.
“Process?” I asked, holding back the slight bewilderment that crept over me.
“That’s right. I guess you could say I’m practical or that I don’t lose sleep over things I can’t control.”
A shadow came over her face again. It was as though the sun had set, and something dark was reaching out from afar.
“I’m never angry or sad for long. I can’t do it, even if I try. It hurts when your feelings don’t mesh with someone else’s and things don’t go over well. It hurts, a lot. But it’s like my heart dries up fast. It’s the same for anger—I can’t be angry at a person for more than thirty minutes.”
I supposed thirty minutes really wasn’t very long. Personally, I could stay angry for a whole year, or even two.
original text said:
感情の回転率がいい、と彼女は言った。
見つめ合うその表情は、知り合ってからよく見る、気持ちのいい笑顔とは少し違う。
彼女のいかにも分かりやすく紅潮させている頰に、水滴のような艶が這う。
「回転率?」
近寄る微かな戸惑いを押さえながら、彼女に問う。
日々の中、あまり縁のないその言葉を彼女が語る。
「そう。他の言い方だとさっぱりしてるとか割り切りがいいとか、そんな風に言うのかも」
お互いの声が近い。そして彼女の顔つきもまた、段々と陰を帯びる。
日が沈み、暗いものが遠くから伸びるように。
「怒ることや悲しむことが長続きしない。というか、できないの。誰かと想いがすれ違って上手くいかなくて、そりゃあ悲しい。すっごく悲しい。でも、すぐにそれが辛くなくなっていく。心が乾くのが早いのね、きっと。怒ることだって同じ、わたしは三十分も同じ相手を怒れない」
彼女の改まった自己紹介のようなものが、私に降る。三十分は確かに、短いかもしれない。
私はなんなら、一年か二年は怒り続けていられる。
今となってはその憤りも風化するように、どこかへ散ってしまったけれど。
my attempt said:
“My emotions have a high turnover,” she said.
The face that stares back at me has a slightly different expression from the pleasant smile I’ve grown accustomed to seeing.
A luster like water droplets inches along her obviously blushing cheeks.
“Turnover?”
I ask, holding back the faint bewilderment that comes over me.
She speaks of a term that I have little connection with in my daily life.
“Right. To put it another way, they clear easily or end cleanly, or something along those lines.”
Her voice is close to mine. Then, her face gradually takes on a shadow again.
Like how, when the sun sets, something dark extends from afar.
“I don’t stay angry or sad for long. Or rather, I can’t. I get real sad when my feelings don’t meet with someone’s and things don’t work out. Like, really sad. But it soon becomes less and less painful. My heart dries up fast, I bet. It’s the same for anger—I can’t be angry at a person for more than thirty minutes.”
Something like her formal self-introduction falls upon me. Thirty minutes may indeed be short.
Personally, I could stay angry for a year or two.
Now, though, that resentment has dissipated as though faded with time.

Seven Seas said:
We left the protection of the parasol, the sun beating down upon our heads. The summer of my twentieth year awaited me under that intense sunlight. At times, my high school days felt like a far-off dream, while other times it was like they had just happened yesterday.
original text said:
友人とお茶を飲み終えて、パラソルの庇護から離れる。
途端、迫りくる輝きが前髪に降りかかった。
「……………………………………」
二十歳と夏が目前の、強い日差しの下。
高校生の頃を空の彼方の出来事みたいに、そして時折昨日のことのように感じながら。
大学二年生になっていた。
「じゃあがんばってね」
「ええ」
がんばらないことを決めた人に応援されるというのも、なんとも妙なものだった。
my attempt said:
I finish my drink and leave the protection of the parasol with my friend.
Immediately, the pressing radiance came down on my bangs.
"........."
Summer and my twentieth year awaited me under the intense sunlight.
At times, my high school days felt as distant as the skies, while other times it was like they had happened just yesterday.
I was in my second year of college now.
“Well, do your best.”
“Right.”
It was rather strange to be cheered on by someone who had decided not to do their best.

Seven Seas said:
I suspected that if I had walked in the opposite direction, she would have found a destination that way instead.
original text said:
それは恐らく、私が正反対の方へと歩きだしたらひっくり返るのだろう。彼女は、私がお気に入りのようだった。
この後輩と出会ってから一か月と少し。理解するもの、感じるものはそれなりにあった。
my attempt said:
I suspect that if I started walking in the opposite direction, her arm would be thrown back. She seemed to have taken a fancy to me.
It's been a little over a month since I met this underclassman. There was a certain amount of things that I understood or sensed about her.

Seven Seas said:
“I may have drunk some cooking alcohol before…” My underclassman averted her eyes slyly.
original text said:
「本当は調理用のお酒をちょっと飲んだことがあったり」
なかったり、と後輩が目を逸らす。戻した缶を一瞥して、少し考えて、口元を緩めた。
思ったよりも、経験の多い後輩だ。
my attempt said:
"I've had a little alcohol meant for cooking before, actually."
Or not, my underclassman averted her eyes. I glanced at the can she put back on the table, thought for a bit, and my mouth softened.
This underclassman has more experience than I expected.

Seven Seas said:
All I knew was that it wasn’t a scale. Even strangers who were irrelevant to each other could establish equilibrium.
I sank back into silence. Edamoto-san looked at me and the window as she tilted her glass. Since my body had nothing to do while we were silent, I sipped the beer little by little in spite of its sourness.
original text<break /><break /><break /><break /><break /><break /> said:
でも天秤ではないはずだ。均等であることが正しいとは思えない。均等なんて無関係同士の他人でも成立してしまう。だからなにかが違って、でも正解に辿り着くことができなくてもどかしい。
考え続けていると自然、口をつぐむ形になる。枝元さんの方も私や窓の向こうを向きながらグラスを傾けている。そうして無言が続くと身体はなにもすることがなくて、つい苦いばかりのはずのビールを少しずつ口に含んでしまう。
my attempt said:
Still, it shouldn't be a scale. I don't think a relationship is about how well it evens out. Even strangers who are irrelevant to each other can establish equilibrium. So something is off, but it's frustrating that I can't figure out what would make sense.
I keep thinking about it and naturally become closemouthed. Edamoto-san is also quiet, looking at me and out the window as she tilts her glass. The silence continues, and since my body has nothing to do, I end up sipping the beer little by little in spite of its bitterness.
I don't understand why they cut content in the first place, since novels are supposed to depict the character's thoughts, tangents and all
not to mention some of the lines that the editorial process deemed "unnecessary" were important enough to show up in the stage reading adaptation
(I believe the adapted material generally matches better with my interpretations too)

if Seven Seas is waiting for me to finish reviewing before they finish revising, I would like them to send me the proofreader's pay plus the translator's pay

Anthology
it's been over 9 months since the mistranslation in the first volume was pointed out, and over 5 months for the second volume
I thought the errors in the anthology volumes would be quickly corrected, since they are much simpler compared to the manga and light novels
but maybe the publisher is fine with leaving readers confused about the birth month of a main character, the meaning of the mangaka's short story's title, and such

it should be noted that the person credited for the manga and anthology's translation is credited for the light novel's adaptation
this makes inconsistencies between the stories more conspicuous or perhaps helps explain their quality...

2022-07-12 anecdote
a reddit user accused me of blaming the translators instead of the editors, peripherally through the title of my post
I list some issues that seem attributed to translation errors rather than misediting
their response was to encourage me to read Meru's self-described "word vomit" on translation errors & criticism and apply to Seven Seas
(their comment was removed, so it's only visible on their profile and not on my post)

I cannot puzzle out what they or I would gain from reading that "word vomit"
I believe I presented the mistranslations with decent explanations and I did not suggest any harassment
it also seems that they think I should get paid working for a publisher that gives me no say in the final translation
perhaps they didn't consider the possibility that I had applied to Seven Seas with a goal other than getting hired

in any case, it is good to know that the Light Novels subreddit's AutoMod has some sagacity

Seven Seas says they do fix things and encourage using the contact form on their website, but I have been doing so since at least 2019 (and others have been informing since 2017)
I wonder how this series can get the same attention as the five other series the publisher addressed
 
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