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Friday, November 21, 2014

Gimu nan desu.

Hai hai~! Okay everyone, let's talk about how HAPPINESS is your duty!

... no please, don't go. I'm only joking. Don't give me that look.

So, I got my hands on the english copy of Project DIVA f 2nd. (Figures, it takes Miku to draw me back out into open...) The game's completely blown me away in terms of content and presentation. Really, it's the kind of jump in quality that extend saw from 2nd. But what really stands out so far is the game's setlist. In a rhythm game, you'll always find a song here or there that you don't particularly care for. While the DIVA games typically feature a good mix of likeable songs, this game features a setlist that's practically full of amazing music.

Another thing that really impresses me is the level of effort put into the localization. There's actually translated subtitles available for the songs now! And what's more, they're actually pretty good!

Today, I'd like to focus on one translation in particular:

The game features the song, "We Are the Happiness and Peace of Mind Committee" (a.k.a. "Kochira, Kofuku Anshin Iinkai, desu"). The song itself is about a dystopian society where everyone is forced to be happy or face execution.

... no, seriously.

The lyrics actually contain a list of the executions available to the public if they're not happy, followed up with a cute "Pick whichever one you like~" by the singer.

But what really amps up the creepy factor of this song outside of the chanting in refrain (which is now sadly stuck in my head after trying to perfect this song), is the very last line: "If you're not happy... then die."

This line is actually censored in both the japanese and english editions of the game. For reference, the japanese version has "Oね", the romaji has "5H1N3", and english has "you're [)34[)".

It's curious isn't it? In a song depicting various means of cruel death, the only thing censored is the word "die". Even more curious is that in the PV, the monitor that shows up during the part that outlines each available torture actually has a crude graphic depcting each one.

So why is it this line was censored?

Then let me explain to you about the things you're curious about!
... okay I'll stop. I promise.

This is my guess: While the DIVA games typically feature songs with suggestive themes (e.g. "Eh? Ah Sou." and "Miracle Painting"), they typically get away with them because of the vaugeness of their lyrics. However, this particular song has a lyric that doesn't leave much to the imagination. Really, the end line practically sums it up for anyone who still hadn't put two and two together yet.

And it doesn't help that the PV and note charts both draw emphasis to the lyric: The PV has a nice clsoeup of the singer's mouth as they say it, and the notechart requires you to press buttons in timing with it. In fact, the note chart makes it stand out even more because the words are offbeat.

Though the song is extremely well written, the lyrical content does present a bit of a problem. After all, this is a musical game using popular characters designed for a general audience. Somebody must've figured that as unnerving as the song already is, the bit about dying might just offend somebody. There's a chance that that somebody just might be a person with the CERO or ESRB in charge of going over the lyrical content for the game, and that final line juuuuust might bump the game's rating up a notch.

So for the sake of not jacking the game's rating up too high, they decided to censor the final line to make the song only slightly more ambiguous, just like the rest of the songs featured in the game.

But again, that's just my guess.

As for the english version sporting the same censor, my take on that is that the localization team is very good at what they do. The line was censored in the original, so the person in charge of the subtitles creatively found a way to maintain the censor. I think it was a great translative move!

It's also quite possible that the localization team also found the line unnerving, so they kept the lyric censored.

Personally speaking, I think having the line censored actually draws more attention to it given its vague nature. It's not very hard to figure out what the lyric is supposed to be, and that moment of realization only makes things a bit creepier. Really, I think it would've worked just as fine if they were to just use a graphic with the words "Paradise" and "Dystopia" instead of the closeup, as was done in the original video. (And I know Sega does their homework on these things, given the quality of the games.) After all, they did something similar with the videos for "NegaPosi*Continues" and "Sadistic Music Factory", so I imagine they'd be able to come up with something of similar quality.

But yeah, that song is way too creepy. Otherwise, I think it's hilarious that the "Himitsu Keisatsu" module is unlocked through this song as well. In fact, I used it before unlocking the Siren module without even knowing that was the case...

That's that for now! We'll see you folks when we see you!

(Side-note: Speaking of Miku and music, "vocalize" is still in the works. IRL has completely domineered my time as of late. I should probably be playing less and working more I know...)

(Side-side-note: X4 is still in the works too! It'll be finished, and won't end up like X7! I promise!)

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