Goldfish Warning! 47 Annex
Trivia & Cultural Notes

May 4, 2019 — GfW47: Translator’s Notes 

WARNING! Possible spoilers.

Using foreign words just to show off: How should we translate them?

[02:00] <Yurika> *HELLO, Fujinomiya-san!*
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[02:16] <Yurika> Of course. It’s MIDNIGHT in Japan now, right?
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While speaking in Japanese, Yurika uses two English words, HELLO and MIDNIGHT. Her attitude is snobby, trying to impress Chitose by emphasizing that she (Yurika) is now having a great time in a foreign country. In our subs, these words are shown in all capital letters. We also considered an option where Yurika uses French words when speaking English (in subs), e.g. “Bonjour” for HELLO. But after all, we simply translated (or, in this case, non-translated and transliterated) the original words. When you speak in Japanese, it is very unusual to say HELLO on the phone like Yurika does (almost everyone would say moshi-moshi instead), even though the word HELLO itself is well-known in Japan too.

Animation blooper

[04:51] <Wapiko> Let it snow real soon. Go!
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Wapiko kicks her right shoe, and so, of course she does not wear it anymore…
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…except she is (magically) wearing both shoes when she says:
[05:01] <Wapiko> See? It’s going to snow!
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Superiority and inferiority

[06:18] <Aoi> Allow me to show you how to ski properly.
[06:26] <Aoi> It’s a piece of cake.
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In the original manga and also in this anime, Aoi can’t swim at all, and so naturally he hates seas. On the other hand, it seems that he loves mountains, and here, he’s depicted as a great skier.

Kamakura (snow hut)

[09:13] <Bunta> The Gyopi-chan snow hut is ready!
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The original word for “snow hut” is kamakura. One can look this word up in en.wiktionary, where it is defined as “a quinzhee-like snow hut.” As of writing this, kamakura in this sense is not yet fully explained in en.wikipedia, but there is an article for it in ja.wikipedia. Also, you can see many pictures in Category:Kamakura_(event).
File:Kamakura-yuki.jpg Credit: CC-BY-3.0 by (社)横手市観光協会
See also: Yokote, Akita#Kamakura_Festival (en.wikipedia).

A hidden message on the stained glass

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Look very carefully, and you’ll notice tiny letters written on this stained glass, which read: INAKA NO KYOKAI DESU.
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This is a Japanese sentence (written in romaji), meaning, “It’s a rural church / a church in the countryside.” The school where Wapiko, Chitose, etc. go is called New Inakano (“Rural”) Middle School. So probably this church (in Yurika’s dream) is supposed to be somewhere near it. In Japan, a wedding ceremony at a church is generally regarded as something romantic rather than something religious, and for this reason, not only Christian couples (which are relatively rare in Japan), but also a few (or many?) non-Christian couples have wedding ceremonies at churches, just because they like romantic things.

[12:35] <Priest> Will you take Fujinomiya Chitose to be your wife, and pledge…
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This priest speaks fluent Japanese with a slight foreign accent, which implies that he is a foreigner. In Japan, Christianity is generally considered as a European religion (it came to Japan via Portugal), although Jesus was technically West Asian, from somewhere in or near Palestine (and his native language was Aramaic, a cousin of Hebrew and Arabic). This priest has blue eyes, which is also a stereotypical depiction of “foreigners” in Japan, though in anime, eye colors / hair colors are often treated very freely to make each character look different (Aoi does have blue eyes too).

Nattō, chabudai, etc.

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What Tanakayama is eating here is a famous (or perhpas infamous) food in Japan, called nattō, on cooked rice. One implication is that Tanakayama is not very wealthy, even though he is a lawyer*. IIRC, Puchiko likes nattō too, and someone from Di Gi Charat also eats nattō in order to save money. Nattō is not only economical, but it’s a healthy food, just like tofu. If you want to try nattō, get a good one (even an “expensive” one costs you only a few dollars), not a normal one (less than 100 yen for 3 packs); eating nattō can be somewhat challenging for first timers (it may feel/smell/taste strange), and obviously a cheap one tastes bad, making the challenge unnecessarily harder. One possible way to sample nattō for the first time would be to get a decent nattō-maki (e.g. from a reputable sushi restaurant) and take a tentative bite.

*He is a corrupt lawyer. Both in the original manga and in anime version, he tried to embezzle the inheritance of Chitose’s father (which is said to be at least tens of billions of yen), and tried to steal Gyopi-chan (a super-expensive goldfish). He was originally working for Chitose’s family (her father was a billionaire), taking care of their property. Perhaps Tanakayama was their personal lawyer. But — using the expression from manga tankōbon — he “betrayed” them (as explained above). It’s safe to assume that he was fired by them (by Chitose, or by her mother in Switzerland). According to the official canon (manga tankōbon), he then becomes a henchman of Yurika (Chitose’s rival), now freeloading in Tokaino Gakuen (Yurika’s school). Technically he is still a lawyer, but one can easily see that he is not working properly.

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Items A–H in this scene are commonly seen in various anime shows (but usually never placed on a branch):
A = hashi (chopsticks) — this one should be obvious.
B = chawan (a china bowl for rice).
C = chabudai (a table) — perhaps you know this as chabudai gaeshi, which may look like  (╯° °)╯︵ ┻━┻ .
D = owan (a wooden bowl for soup, especially for miso soup).
E = kyūsu (a teapot for green tea).
F = kobachi (a small dish) — probably it had nattō in it before he puts it on his rice; otherwise, there could be a raw egg or a few pieces of pickles in it.
G = shōyu-sashi (a soy sauce bottle [container/cruet] used at a dining table).
H = yunomi (a cup, mainly for green tea).

Mild humor / strange joke

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The sign below reads: naika, geka, rentogen-ka, rika (内科・外科 レントゲン科・理科) — the first three words are normal ones that you might find in any clinic/hospital: “Internal Medicine, Surgery, X-ray.” The fourth (last) word rika is rather odd — it means “science (as a subject in elementary or middle schools),” which is not a branch of medicine, and obviously out of place. Perhaps animators wrote, half-jokingly, a random word that rhymes with the other three words, ending in -ka (科). As such, we could have translated this as “Internal Medicine, Surgery, X-ray, Hooray [joke],” though that might have been a bit too creative. We simply translated the sign literally, and the mild humor found in the original sign may have been lost in translation.

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In Dr. Ohashi’s office, you can see an anatomical chart of an ox’s (or a cow’s) abdomen, as if he were a vet. Obviously this is another strange joke. The chart is titled うし (ushi), that is “a cow or an ox.”

Tanakayama depicted as an ox (and a similar scene from Utena)

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Here Tanakayama is comically depicted as an ox. On its body one can see an encircled hiragana letter た (ta), showing that this animal is indeed Tanakayama. Incidentally, Ikuhara Kunihiko worked as one of the episode directors of Goldfish Warning! (though he did not do this episode) before he directed Sailor Moon and Utena. In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 16, Nanami is depicted as a cow, running toward a red thing held by a girl (Utena). Given that there are many references to Goldfish Warning! in Sailor Moon (directed by Ikuhara), this eccentric scene from Utena (also directed by Ikuhara) might have been inspired, at least partially, by Goldfish Warning!:
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