« on: August 30, 2007, 12:51:27 am »
Weighing in with my own views on this subject... I am heavily weighted towards Cless's philosophy of things, and official localizations in general. My idea is that these scripts should be enjoyable to the target audience as much as possible while keeping as close as is reasonable to the original text. There's a reason why practically every official localization follows this method: accessibility.
Any work coming from any country is bound to be colored by that country's culture. Does that necessarily mean that everyone experiencing the work should go through the same color - especially when it might not make sense to them? Not in my eyes.
Take Phoenix Wright. Sure, they could have left in all the Japanese terms, places and names - especially since it took place IN JAPAN - but it would have been a far less enjoyable game to me, and those names would have been far less useful or memorable.
There are exceptions to this, of course. There are certain names that are fairly well-known even among non-Japanophiles. These include Murasame (which has been in countless games by now), oni, saki, katana (TMNT had one of those), etc. I'd argue that onsen is not one of them. Kunoichi is borderline. Including names that are direct pieces of Japanese mythology is fine by me. It's only when dealing with more mundane things (like onsen or oden) where people might start getting confused, and thence lose some of their appreciation for the material. (There are still times where leaving in the Japanese makes sense - for example, where something is *supposed* to be exotic or foreign, like in the Ninja village - but there are still limits.)