Is Zeroigar a quintessentially Japanese game? Yes. Should the work's Japanese pride shine through in your translation? By all means. Should you leave the kanji screen titles completely untranslated just for the sake of reminding the player that an anime-style game with ethnically Japanese characters set in post-WWII Japan was - surprise! - developed in Japan and intended for Japanese audiences? Probably not. If you're that worried about the art, at least add subtitles.
I get what you're saying ... which is why everything that it's useful/informative/entertaining for the player to actually know is translated or subtitled (depending upon the screen).
But there are some (only a very few) screens where there isn't room for a subtitle, or where the subtitle just wouldn't look good.
The important parts of those screens that give information to the player are already translated ... but, and again, I'm sorry if this offends some people, I just don't want to replace those specific kanji titles with English.
Those Japanese titles don't offend me in the least ... but the thought of changing them, actually does ... considerably.
I'd personally like to believe that when you've selected "Trial Mode" on the Main Menu, and you're faced with a new screen that gives you the option to "Start Game" or "Exit Trial" ... then most people aren't going to be offended that the screen's title, which says "Trial Mode" in Japanese, is left in the 42-pixel-high anti-aliased font that the original artists thought was right for that screen.
If you're running a game that you know was for a system that was only released in Japan, and you've got your way passed the system's initial Japanese boot-up screen without fainting at the sight of kanji ... then I'd hope that you're the kind of person that can appreciate the artistic beauty of the Japanese language, even if you can't understand it, and not just quit the game because there are a couple of untranslated (but attractive) menu titles.
IMHO, there's only one screen where a player has even the slightest
question of what to do, and that's on the "Ship Select" screen in the "Normal Mode" ... a game mode where I still don't fully get the point even and after months of playing the game.
That's a complex issue that's better dealt with in the manual ... and it's not because one single screen in that whole game mode doesn't say "Ship Select" in English, when your only choice on that screen is to select one of three possible ships/pilots ... and after which, absolutely everything else is translated.
I really do appreciate the feedback, and if there is a massive outcry from unhappy players when we release the translation, then I'm willing to reconsider my position.
But I'd prefer to wait until everyone here can actually see the game as we intend it, rather than compromise on something that I do feel pretty strongly about ... just yet.
BTW ... you (and anyone else) that does feel equally strongly about this, is absolutely welcome to come over to the PC-FX section of the PCEngineFX forums and discuss the matter there with some actual PC-FX owners. You'd also have the chance to see a bunch of screenshots and see exactly what has and has not been translated.