Hey guys! I’ve got insomnia, so I figured it’d be a great opportunity to bring you guys another Lost in Translation! For this entry, we get a bunch of cryptic lines from a random mob member who gets his car stolen in the first episode of Re:CREATORS.
I actually saw a comment on a board in Animesuki asking what this guy was talking about, but I want to make it clear that there’s an error in the subtitles, in both instances due to misheard acronyms. And I can’t really blame the translator, because Japanese pronunciation can be a bitch to figure out. In the first instance, the acronym isn’t BTI, but VTi, referring to “Variable Valve Timing Technology” found in car engines. There are several different acronyms adopted by different car manufacturers, but the VTi convention is used to refer to engines that were developed in a joint project between PSA Peugeot Citroën and BMW codenamed the “prince engine”. This was used in the Mini Hatch a.k.a. “Mini Cooper S“, which is a car made by BMW and — yes — is the car that’s being driven by the mob character in the show. He’s basically bragging to whoever he’s talking to that he just got the car he’s currently driving.
Which is why it sucks to run over something in a car you just got, right? That’s exactly what this guy’s expression is trying to say… except that the translator got the acronym wrong again. Instead of MDY, it’s supposed to by MTY, which is an acronym for the phrase maji (tsy)ou yabaku ne? (まじ超ヤバくね？ lit. “really super bad”). It’s an online phrase similar to WTF or OMG that basically equates to something like “holy shit”. Ever since this mob character was introduced, he’s actually been using lots on online phrases and other weird l33t-speak like terms in normal speech. It’s basically a typical depiction of an internet-savvy Tokyoite.
And lastly, we leave our unfortunate victim of car napping with the phrase gakuburu (ガクブル), which is a shortened form of gakugaku-buruburu (ガクガクブルブル) that literally means “to tremble” or “to shiver”. This is similar to saying LOL out loud, except you don’t enunciate each individual letter, rather, you say it as it is — LOL. Gakuburu is also the term used to describe any of the following emojis, which share the same basic idea of being scared as shit:
（（（ ；゜ Д ゜）））
So there you have it! Hope this clears things up for any of you who were wondering what the hell that guy was saying. Understanding Japanese l33t-speak really is tough and requires you go on Japanese websites more often. Otherwise, I don’t blame the translator for missing out on these. Because truth be told, it doesn’t really affect the story anyway. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this little trip into Japanese internet speak, something that is quite easily lost in translation.
See anything you think might be lost in translation? Or basically anything you didn’t understand in a show you’re watching? Do let me know by sharing it in the comments and I’ll try figure it out for you. So until next time, ciao!