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FFX Honorifics in original Japanese

...and a few random observations I never posted because they weren't interesting enough to deserve a post.

1. I think maybe Auron's voice actor is actually the first voice we hear in FFX after "Listen to my story." I think he may be voicing Zanar, the sports announcer in Zanarkand. No credit listed anywhere I can find, however.

2. There is a Buster Sword sprite in FFX which a hacker has said (unconfirmed) was used during testing. Hacking lets you swap it in place of a regular weapon.

3. I just found these notes I scribbled months ago and never posted. They're a little longwinded and rambly, and I'm sure a native Japanese speaker would peer at some of my fumbling/guessing. (My favorite bit: Lulu's relationship with Zuke may be illuminated by the title she uses for him. Though I fear it erodes my head-canon that Lady Ginnem had taken young Lulu under her wing.)

I've been poking at the Japanese dialog in FFX again, thanks to this International version of FFX with English subtitles, Japanese sound: FFX Plot Playlist -- all cutscenes (movies and in-game)

Honorifics used in game

Lulu refers to Auron as Auron-san before he first shows up.
The first time Yuna sees Auron [4:15] she addresses him as "Auron-sama." Late in the game she says Auron-san," a bit less formal.
Auron just says "Yuna" (no title).
Sounds like Yuna said "Jekto-sama" as well. When talking about the Jecht Shot earlier with Tidus, she said "san."
The Jecht shot has the name "jekto-sama" in it -- appropriately grandiose as a self-reference.

The Maesters Arrive [6:30]
Several clear references to Mika-soroshi.   -shi is common in several titles/honorifics, but I donno what "soro" is.
Or is it just roshi? I hear a couple instances of Seymour-roshi. [9:45] Roshi is a Zen Buddhist title for Master. Maybe soroshi is Grand Maester?

Wakka calls Seymour -sama.
Seymour calls Auron "Auron-dono". Not quite as elevated an honorific as Sama, but archaic: "Milord" or "Master".  

Miihen Command Center [6:00]
Lucil addresses Yuna as shokanshi-sama for Lady Summoner. Sounds like she said "Kinoki-roshi" for Maester Kinoc. Maybe just a slight vowel between the k and r to make it easier to say. Seymour says "Kinok[uh] Roshi".
Yuna refers to Kinoc as Kinok-sama.
Kinoc doesn't use honorifics for anybody-- "I'd heard from Seymour" or "Auron!" Is this irrelevant, or an insight into his character?
Then again, I don't think present-day Auron uses an honorific for anyone .

What's that word? Post-Operation Miihen [0:55].
When Seymour's telling Yuna to buck up, and says, "Yuna, take me as your pillar of strength," he addresses her as something like nanima. I think Cloud called Tifa that in Advent Children. Hmmmm.

Isaaru refers to Braska as Braska-sama, and consistently addresses Yuna as "Yuna-kun". Maroda always calls Isaaru aniki. (Pacce says "ni-san", and is, incidentally, adorable [9:50]. Using children to voice child characters, what a concept).

[9.60] Barthello runs the gamut. You are-- Auron? [Auron-tono, though it sounds like 'tona']. "Auron. No, Sir Auron!" = Auron. Iie, Auron-san! He's another who's better in the original.

During Yuna's trial, when Mika freaks her out, she says "Doshi?!" for "[senior] master!] rendered "Maester" in English.

Lulu calls Zuke "sensei," both as honorific and by itself. Whereas she addresses Lady Ginnem as "Ginnem-sama."  Very interesting.
I've written Ginnem as a mentor to Lulu, but that strongly suggests Zuke was Lulu's mentor. That would add more depth to their brief exchange: "You came all this way just to tell us that?" "To tell the truth, I wanted to see this summoner you're guarding." 

Lulu says Kelko-sama.
Yuna says Jsycal-sama, Yunalesca-sama.
Lilith [my fanon name for Yocun's guardian, the Sin that Braska defeated] addresses Yocun as "Yocun-sama."
Shelinda says Yuna-sama. When Tidus forgets an honorific, she scolds him. It's Seymour-roshi or Seymour-sama, you dope!

In flashbacks, [2:00] Jecht and Braska drop honorifics when talking to each other and Auron; Auron always uses -sama for Braska (of course). Braska sounds amusingly exasperated with Auron when he storms off. Ah, in Zanarkand,[3:50] Auron finally drops the -sama just as Braska and Jecht leave to meet with Yunalesca. Donno what honorific Auron's using, but I'm guessing it's the first and only time he refer to Braska as a friend, not simply "Lord." Braska-so! Jekto! 

Random observations:
Lulu is a helluva lot more emotional.  She breaks down in tears at the beginning of the scene with Lady Ginnem. By the end of that sequence her voice has changed drastically; you can really hear her coming to grips with her sorrow and going back to steely resolve. Lulu throws a  hissy fit at Yunalesca as well. The cold reserve is there most of the time, but the original Lulu has more of a range. In fact she reminds me strongly of Advent Children's voice for Tifa.

And of course, Tidus is ten thousand times better. Seymour, too: far more charismatic, less smarmy; he sounds very trustworthy and honorable. It's a lot easier to understand how Yuna could've felt a passing attraction, and how others could have looked up to him.
Sin sounds like "Shinma" in Japanese, which is the same coined word used in Vampire Princess Miyu for god/demon. Am I hearing that right?

Rikku's scream in the Thunder Plains [4:40] could shatter a Dalek. (For 1000 points: name the Doctor Who reference.)

Voices of Braska, Jecht and Auron in Jecht Sphere [0:40]. Auron sounds like he has the empire state building up his ass. Jecht is a lot better; Auron is one of the few whose English dub is distinctly better. More flashbacks, and more insufferable Auron-plosions, in Zanarkand.

Kuro Madoushi = Black mage.
Sayabu = "Boss" in the Japanese mafia, which is what Reno and Rude call Rufus. Why had I not realized that the Shinra company was modeled on the mafia before now? 2 + 2 = .... uh...er...wait... I know this...



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Despite my preference for the original language with anime, for some reason I've never cared in my video games. And yet, now I find this fascinating! Honorifics don't translate well into English, and they can lend some interesting insights. Oddly enough, Seymour's English voice is a major reason I find him attractive. Weird, huh? (but the Japanese voice kinda has the same... sexiness).

My thoughts: I love Rikku's voice! It's pretty similar to the English one, actually. For some reason, Lulu's is too expressive, at least in the Ginnem scene, for her face. But it does kinda support my Ginnem/Lulu shipping. I think I prefer the English for hers (and certainly for Auron's!)

I like the English VAs though. I think this is the best FF game in terms of voice acting. I mean, I liked quite a few of the ones from FF12, but the audio quality was oddly muffled. Of course, it could just be my immense fondness for the game talking. I'm so-so about most FF games, but FF10 is just unbeatable. They really got "it" with that one. The characters and their relationships to each other feel more well-developed. Maybe that's why.
Dec. 6th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
I think I prefer the talent of FF12 voices more, because I don't notice Shatnering (largely an artifact of people trying to lip-synch to the Japanese animation). And young people get young VAs.

Otherwise I agree with you. I prefer both Auron's and Lulu's English VAs, Auron by a WHOLE lot, Lulu's a little (the Japanese one is too demonstrably emotional for the Lulu I'm used to, who seems to keep everything stuffed tightly in her corset except the boobs).

I do love Rikku's Japanese VA, despite the shrieks. Also, I prefer the original Tidus and Yuna. Most of all, I prefer the Japanese Elma, who sounds like a younger, more cheery version of Utena, thus indulging in my Elma/Lucil = Utena/Juri headcanon. (I don't know what's up with the English Elma, whose lines are some of the poorest-delivered in FFX; her VA is also Yunalesca and Drace in XII, both of which are superb. I don't think she does "ordinary chick" very well.) For balance, Belgemine's buttery voice in the English dub makes me all squishy, whereas she's got a gruff, abrasive "sensei" drill sergeant voice in Japanese that is an entirely different archetype (I can understand that choice, but I MUCH prefer the English Belgemine).

Edited at 2010-12-06 05:00 pm (UTC)
Dec. 6th, 2010 04:30 am (UTC)
Interesting points. I should ask one of my chums who is does translations for me for more information. ^_^

Now about the Seymour-voice. When he's talking to other people [addressing crowds or superiors] I -like- his voice and it sounds strong and controlled. When he talks to anyone that may be perceived as his 'station', his voice is smoother and more unctuous. Bothers me. Then when he's taking down to someone, his voice gets higher-pitched with overtones of mockery and that just outright annoys me. I assume this is done on purpose, which makes me -love- the voice-acting - and want to gag Seymour [for my naughty thought that also involved snipping off that silly forelock].
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
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