On Retitling Anime, Part 2: Higurashi License and Haruhi Order

A couple of weeks ago, I made a few comments on poor choices of English titles for anime. The official announcement of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni by Geneon has come, and it’s been titled When They Cry in English. I think this is an example of a good compromise between the sense of the original Japanese title (“When the Cicadas Cry,” which is poetic but doesn’t adequately convey that this is actually a horror show) and a sensible, easy-to-remember English phrase. Apparently, this was the way the original creators have always referred to it in English, so kudos to them for choosing wisely from the start! May their tribe increase.

On a tangentally related note, I’m also very pleased by Bandai winning the right to distribute Haruhi Suzumiya DVDs in Broadcast order as well as chronological order. Both Higurashi and Haruhi Suzumiya were standouts in 2006 partly because they played with time in creative ways, and it would have been a shame to dilute that for Haruhi Suzumiya. Actually I’m surprised the bonus DVDs that will contain the broadcast order release is a Region 1 exclusive. Are Japanese fans less finicky than American ones or something?

One last quick question: in the original title, the “Na” in “Naku” was always highlighted in red. Since I don’t know Japanese, does anyone know why that was done?

3 thoughts on “On Retitling Anime, Part 2: Higurashi License and Haruhi Order”

  1. I don’t know, but it is fun to type. And yay for actually being able to see the series in broadcast order! I don’t see why the contract said chronological anyway, but whatever.

  2. The red na in naku can be replaced by either of two kanji
    鳴く -> to ‘make animal sounds’ (ie to cry)
    泣く -> to weep (to cry)
    So the red na indicates the double meaning in the title.

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