From TOM: Why Grimgal Changed Its Name
This is part 3 of 4 of a narrative post about a recent encounter with the demon TOM, since TOM wants you to know why we may now be Grimgar. Part 4 is here. Parts 1 and 2 can be found here, but parts 1 and 2 do NOT contain any important messages TOM wants you to read. Unless you consider cute girls a “message” in and of itself.
“Anyway, that’s all I have to say about the troubling use of the word ‘trap’ in anime fandom,” said Ame with a yawn, but hikaslap had already gone to see if he could escape through one of the four massive stone doors.
It was only distantly that he heard her say, “Next on the agenda, let’s talk about this whole Grimgar versus Grimgal business.” Not that he would’ve cared. He was really hungry, too.
“Hey!” piped Ame from far away. “You listening to me?!” Trying not to, thought hikaslap.
“Don’t you even care?!” she yelped. “The title of your whole blog is changing because of the anime and you just ignore the explanation?! Jeez loueeeeze! Come back here!”
”To unlock this door, give an example of an infinite group with an element of order two,” said the inscription on the stone. What the hell does that mean?
hikaslap couldn’t make heads nor tails of it, so reluctantly, he drifted back to the center of the empty stone room. She handed him something. It was Hai to Gensou no Grimgal, Level 5.
“Okay?” said hikaslap.
She turned it to a color page. “Have you seen this?” There it said Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.
Okay, this caught his attention. “Wow. No, I haven’t. But that’s just a dumb name! Wait, is this the official English title? This is actually in the book?”
“Yeah, but it’s dumb, right? It’s bad, right? TOM thinks so too!” She was smiling at him for the first time in seven hours, or maybe hikaslap was only now paying enough attention to notice. “But why doesn’t it say Grimgal?”
hikaslap kind of knew this already, though Kuro-pi and Ayumi made fun of him for not knowing any Japanese. “I think that’s because Japanese doesn’t have different sounds for L and R. So you can just choose.”
She nodded. “Well, more exactly, there’s only one sound that’s sort of in the middle between L and R. So when you pronounce Grimgal in the Japanese way, ‘gu-ri-mu-ga-ru’, any of those R’s can be thought of as L.”
“Oh yeah, the second syllable has an R.”
“Yeah, but Glimgal or Glimgar sound kinda dumb. Like it’s a fashion show or something. And Grimgar…”
Her voice trailed off, but hikaslap told her, “I always thought it sounded like a bad pirate’s name.”
Her expression became very serious, and she struck a pose. “Fear me! I am Pirate General Grimgar! Be very afraid of my Grim name that ends with ARRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
He laughed. “Yeah, like that.” And then hikaslap realized he was fraternizing with TOM’s minion aka the enemy, and that he was not allowed to be enjoying that right now.
She smiled again, and said, “But think of how much trouble they have with it. When they try to learn English, they mess up basic words like ‘light’ and ‘rice’… but you can’t blame them for that, and you can’t blame them for making up an English title that sounds terrible, either.”
They are masters of Japanese, after all, not English, thought hikaslap, but did not say because that would be fraternizing. hikaslap recalled learning that “My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong as Expected” was the official LN title for Oregairu. God, was that bad.
But it was probably the same thing as here. And the localizers did change it back then. Now the English title is “My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU”.
“Hopefully the localizers have the sense to change ‘Fantasy and Ash’ into something that reads better,” said Ame, like she could read his mind. “It’s their job, and TOM’s, and yours, to make Japanese stuff sound cool and keep all the sense and style. Not copy-paste anything English-y they see. After all, this is fiction, and fiction is meant to be enjoyed, right? Reading bad English, written by Japanese people who barely know it, isn’t enjoyable. Even if it is ‘official’… and that’s our job here. At least, he thinks so, and I agree…
She sounded very passionate, and hikaslap had to remind himself that all her emotions were not real, and that also she had no soul. It was getting increasingly difficult.
“Remember ‘sekuhara’?” she said.
Like he was going to forget. Similar to the English words “seku-harassment”. Sexual harassment. Ame said, “Well, do you know what donmai means?”
In spite of himself hikaslap replied, “Uh, no? Is that Japanese?”
“Well, look, it comes from English,” replied the girl, gesturing helplessly. “It sounds like the words ‘Don’t mind!’ But in Japanese, what it means is ‘Don’t let it bother you.’ And some people just copy and paste the words ‘Don’t mind’ instead of translating it properly! This Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash business is just the same thing, except kinda less obvious.”
“Oh. Okay.” hikaslap thought for a moment, and said, “Wait, so then do you think they’ll decide to use Grimgal with an L after all? Like with Oregairu?”
“Honestly? I don’t think so!” She threw up her hands. “In January, when the anime comes out, we’ll get to see what they do and don’t change. If we have to change the letter and stuff, fine, we’ll live. But whatever they decide, ‘Ashes and Illusion’ is the better title. Right? Right?”
Well, hopefully the fans understand, thought hikaslap. “Right,” said hikaslap, and temporarily forgot that this person in front of him was TOM’s minion and also evil.
She smiled at him shyly. They hadn’t really made eye contact for the past seven hours, but they were now. “That’s all I have to say about why Grimgal changed its name,” she said.
Part 4 is here.