Teen heroines suddenly discuss the importance of hiding their narcotic heroin.
While anime narratives can take their characters to some pretty dark and gritty places, those aren’t really words that would appropriately describe the plot of ongoing TV series BanG Dream! Yes, the title may sort of sound like it indicates each episode will focus on a different sexual fantasy, but in reality, BanG Dream! is another innocuous entry in the “high school girls form a band” genre that’s taken root over the past few years.
▼ One of the many musical numbers of BanG Dream!
The premise of BanG Dream! (first-year high school student and newbie guitarist meets new friends and recruits them into a plucky musical group) suggests pretty predictable story arcs. And yet, Japanese Twitter user @RinPANA10101254 was in for a big surprise when he flipped on the closed caption subtitles while watching BanG Dream! through the Bandai Channel video service.
炊飯鬼 (@RinPANA10101254) March 16, 2017
Those girls may be smiling cheerfully in the scenes shown in the tweet, but the story being told by the subtitles isn’t nearly so lighthearted. For example, the top left screen shot, where the girl with the bow on her head seems to be relating some innocent anecdote to her friend, bears the much more violent subtitles:
“I scared them off with my gat.”
And in the top right scene, where the characters are holding instruments? According to the subtitles, they aren’t discussing an upcoming concert but how to cover up a crime.
“Grab the dead guy’s body and bury it in the woods.”
Meanwhile, as they sit on the grassy lawn in the bottom left:
“People tend to get emotionally unstable after their wife gets whacked, you know.”
And finally, all those chipper schoolgirls at the bottom right are raising their hands in enthusiastic support of the statement that:
“The important thing to do is to get rid of the heroin.”
Sadly for fans of subversive anime, it turns out that none of these captions accurately matched what the characters of BanG Dream! were actually saying at the time. “There was a glitch with the subtitles, and I got the captions for some overseas TV drama,” says @RinPANA10101254.
Now we can’t help wondering if someone else sat down to watch a hardboiled crime story, and instead got subtitles in which a group of violent drug dealers engaged in lengthy conversations about doing their best at the school festival and staying in touch after graduation.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he really wishes anime would stop putting punctuation in their official titles.