Monday, July 30, 2012

NIS Announces Umineko: When They Cry BLURAY Premiums for December!

NIS has sent over the paperwork for their Umineko: When They Cry BLURAY premium releases, which they announced Friday at Okakon, and we now have them up on the store site for pre-order:

Umineko: When They Cry Collection #1 BLURAY (Eps #1-18) (Premium Edition) - Dec 4
Umineko: When They Cry Collection #2 BLURAY (Eps #19-26) (Premium Edition) - Dec 4

Each collection includes a hardcover art book (full color, approx. 28 pages) which will provide a deeper understanding of the series with an in-depth story analysis, detailed character bios, and character sketches.

Both sets will be subtitled only and published on BLURAY format (no standard DVD version), and are scheduled for release on Dec 4th.

Synopsis: The affluent Ushiromiya family patriarch, Kinzo, is on his deathbed, and his family has assembled at their private island to discuss the division of his estate. As they bicker over their father’s immense inheritance, a typhoon closes in, trapping them on the island. They suddenly receive an eerie word of warning...and then, in the dead of night, the murders begin. One by one, family members are discovered murdered in bizarre and inhuman ways. Some within the family turn to superstition, blaming it on a witch rumored to inhabit the island. But one of them—the young Battler Ushiromiya—refuses to accept the supernatural and vows to uncover the real killer behind the seemingly impossible slaughters. He soon finds himself confronted by the apparent witch, and enters into a life-or-death battle for the truth.

Also, at NIS's Otakon panel over the weekend:

Our friend Mitsu Hiraoka discussed the company’s approach to releasing anime as a premium product. While they recognize the interest for English dubs, Hiraoka stated “…we wouldn’t be here as a publisher” if the company were to try releasing dubbed products and they didn’t do well. Acknowledging the problem of fansubs and piracy, Hiraoka pointed to their use of high quality packaging and extras such as their full color art books to differentiate their product and offer something more to fans. Hiraoka also talked about their standards for the anime they release, commenting that they are generally “anti-Fan Service” and that the company looks for “story-driven” anime and comedy such as Ghastly Prince Enma or Toradora.

After Hiraoka finished, NIS's localization director Eugene Chen discussed the localization of English subtitles. Using clips from Ghastly Prince Enma, Chen demonstrated three different approaches to translation: a “literal approach”, “westernization” and translation of meaning. The clip for the literal approach included obscure references to Japanese pop culture in the 70s, while the westernization clip substituted a reference to Mick Jagger for the original reference to a Japanese singer. The clip for the translation of meaning included an exchange dealing in language puns, with one character saying “there’s norway out!” and another saying “Let’s finnish this!” The original Japanese contained a similar joke that would have made no sense with a literal translation, so NISA went this option. Chen remarked that they want to get the spirit of what the original show was going for.

As for the process of subtitling itself, Chen explained that they read or watch anything related to the shows the company is working on and work from the same script the voice actors use. After a translator translates a script into English and an editor edits that the script, they screen their show throughout the company and then do a final proofread. Chen stated that takes about three months to get a product ready for viewing. During the panel’s Q and A session, it was also made clear that NIS America creates its subtitle scripts in-house from scratch; they never draw on subtitle scripts from Crunchyroll or anywhere else.
The folks at NIS really are class acts, and we really appreciate the efforts they are putting into their Anime releases. I could not imagine an easier company to work with, and they show a dedication to Anime fans that demonstrates a real love for the medium. We desperately need more of that in the industry these days.

No comments: