Whew, barely faster than Subsplease. Kaleido proudly presents: Reincarnated as a Sword! If you've kept an eye on the progress bar to the right, you may have seen this show there since March. It's been a show we've been looking forward to for a while, so we hope you enjoy it! Our goal is to release an episode every week (ideally no later than Monday), but due to how many signs there are, as well as how much we need to double-check everything (and I do mean everything), release schedules may vary wildly. Every episode will hopefully also contain a bunch of fun TL notes.
The video is sourced from Abema and Bilibili, merged together because one had better lineart and overall less starvation, but also worse-looking grain, which the other preserved much better. Audio is Abema (because Bilibili post-processes theirs). ED translation will be added in the batch, or left for BDs if we don't get around to the former.
Let's start with a fun note straight out of the gate: the eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed that Teacher has the "魔法使い" skill. This is most commonly translated as Wizard (with Mage being a more RPG-esque translation). Given he used to be 30 years old prior to being reincarnated, this is a pretty on-the-nose joke to make, and of course we had to oblige. Whether we'll continue this trend for other characters with this skill will remain to be seen, but for Teacher it was the most obvious translation to go with.
And speaking of Teacher, let's move on to the most annoying part about translating his character: his name. "師匠" (Shishou) is what Fran ends up calling him throughout the series. Of course, this may seem simple at first glance: call him "Master" (as that is the common translation). However, it's really not that easy. The most instantly glaring reason is that "master" is something a slave would call their owners. For Fran, who literally just got freed, to call her savior "master" is eyebrow-raising to say the least. But even if that weren't the case, we have the Clairvoyant EX skill. In the light novels, at some point she mentions that she was taught by "師匠". "Master", given the world is no stranger to slaves and slave traders, should by all means give most regular listeners a bit of a fright that she's enslaved. This makes "Teacher" generally the safest option to go with. Of course, I still don't quite like it as a name, so we looked for other options, but nothing really fit well as both a name and keeping future scenes in mind. "Coach", "Sensei", etc. all had issues (although I'd be lying if I weren't thinking about memeing by putting "Sensei" in the honorific track). In the end though, the most convincing answer is that this follows the official Light Novel translation, which should make reading that after watching the anime a lot less jarring. And speaking of the Light Novel translation...
The menus are, bar none, the most annoying things to translate in this show. Fortunately, trying to think of names for every skill is simple enough: let the official LN translation be our lighthouse. But much to our dismay (and what I suspect was probably the impetus for this tweet by Katrina), the LNs are also kinda inconsistent about it. To illustrate, sometimes the LNs translate "鋭敏嗅覚" as "Enhanced Olfaction". Other times, as "Enhanced Sense of Smell". This isn't even the end of it, as for "腕力", you sometimes see "STR", and other times "ATK". It's wildly inconsistent, making it difficult to use as the terminology Bible. So, we have our own terminology Bible which we're slowly constructing (and just trying to ensure everything is consistent this episode, and if not we'll update it for BDs). However, with there being so many freaking skills and terms, this is about as difficult as you'd expect. Moral of the story, if you're translating something, always have a glossary for common terminology! (Oh, and just to wrap it around to the examples, we went with "Sense of Smell" and "STR" for these terms).
Furthermore, there are also a lot of puns. Aria, our TLC (who was the fill-in TL for this episode because our regular TL was unavailable—He'll be here next week!), noted that Teacher makes a reference to the Shinsengumi motto or something alike when he follows the Goblins back to their cave (hence the "gobbies" and "slay immediately"). These are jokes you may have heard in other anime as well, like for example Gintama. There's a lot of lines like these we're sure are subtle references all over, but seeing as we're not super familiar with everything the author may have enjoyed in their childhood, I'm sure there's plenty jokes and memery we were unable to translate entirely accurately. However, we made sure to keep his tone and speech register very casual and almost gamer-like (minus the racial slurs). He's just a fun guy, saying funny things (unlike what Bilibili's TL would have you believe, what with how flat his voice is there...).
Now, on to the more fun parts! I've already talked a bit about Teacher's characterisation before, but I must stress that he's speaks super casually for the most part. He's having a blast, and even when he's panicking, he still sounds like he's joking around. Fran is his foil in this regard, being a lot more stoic and quiet (although she loosens up more and more over the series, and Teacher becomes a bit more serious over the course of their journey as well). Characters like Fran are typically the hardest for me, Light the editor, to edit. You want to make them sound "neutral", but that's easier said than done. It's too easy to go too far in the "stoic" direction (like, say, no contractions, very flat line delivery, etc.), but also too easy to go a bit too casual and not really sell the way she talks all that well (too many idioms, casual words, too many contractions where a more serious person may use them sometimes and not other times, etc.). It's a fine tightrope to traverse, and something I think will simply become more convincing in the actual script the further into the show we get. Sidenote for those hoping for it, but they do not hook up. It's very much a daughteru/father kinda bond they form, and it makes their dynamic a lot of fun.
Anyway, that is basically all I have to say for episode 1. We hope you guys enjoy it, and we hope we can keep up a relatively consistent release schedule, as well that our translation holds up against Katrina's TL, who's doing the official translation over at Hidive. We urge you to compare our scripts and pick whichever you enjoy most, but should we end up delaying our release, don't feel bad about going with Hidive's script! Between these releases, I can guarantee you'll have two high-quality options to choose from either way (just please, don't go with Bilibili. Lots of mistranslations (just goes to show "sounding literal" does not mean it is literal, huh?), as well as just reading very poor. If you wanna enjoy a show and "learn" English through them, honestly, read good English translations).
As a final note, if you notice any issues, us messing something up in the menus, or have any questions, we are unlikely to respond on the cat website. Leave a comment here, or better yet, join our Discord and ask your questions in
#public-qc! See you next time!