Emotional scenes, in-your-face translation notes part of preview of acclaimed anime film.
In 2016, anime director Makoto Shinkai Your Name was the biggest theatrical hit in Japan, animated or otherwise. But less than a month after Your Name hit theaters, yet another beautiful, emotional anime film saw release.
Instead of the location-hopping, body-swapping sci-fi of Your Name, A Silent Voice keeps its story grounded in reality, which includes the ugly-but-true element of children with disabilities getting bullied in schools. The film follows the shifting relationship between male lead Shoya and female lead Shoko, through their first meeting in elementary school, Shoya’s heartless bullying of the deaf girl, and his attempts to reconcile with her and redeem himself once they meet again as teens.
The film went on to critical and popular success, and was even shown in a Japanese-captioned format at select screenings for hearing-impaired audiences. This fall, moviegoers in the U.S. will also get to see A Silent Voice on the big screen, and distributor Eleven Arts has just unveiled the official English-subtitled trailer for the film’s American release.
The scenes shown in the trailer, down to their sequence, are an exact match to their Japanese counterpart, but with English translations of the dialogue and on-screen text.
The preview gives away a few major plot beats, but considering that it’s the same one that the very satisfied Japanese audiences saw prior to A Silent Voice’s domestic release, it doesn’t seem like the trailer’s spoilers entirely spoil the anime’s impact and ability to leave an impression on the viewer.
What’s a bit more concerning is the presence of some clunky on-screen translation notes, which are more the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a fansub, or at least a home video release, rather than an official trailer for a theatrical feature.
But as we’ve seen before, Japanese wordplay and miscommunications are often tricky things to render smoothly in English. On the bright side, Eleven Arts still has about a month and a half until A Silent Voice’s October 20 release in the U.S., so maybe their translators and scriptwriters will take another swing at those lines before then.