Just a few days back, I came across something very surprising and saddening news from OG-Man, who runs Yuri Nation over the translated scenes for Love Live School Idol Festival:
— OG-Man (@YuriAmbassador) May 22, 2015
I have to admit that I hate mobile games, which is why I don’t play that game and would rather prefer playing Love Live School Idol Paradise instead, which I still haven’t finish yet since I’m focused on Yokai Watch 2 and Hanayamata Yasakoi Live at the moment. However, this has to be one of the worst localization decisions I saw removing all the girls love references and force a male insert character when their school is an all-girls school. Yep, it seems that the translator has an agenda to push in protecting his/her ideal of protecting traditional family values at a time when the approval for gay marriage and rights is at an all time high.
I have to admit, by letting this localization disaster happen, K-Lab America, which is the American branch of K-Lab pretty much shot themselves in the foot. While I have seen really bad localizations, this one pretty much takes the cake as the changes made to the dialog in the translation doesn’t even match up the original in Japanese (you can see some samples over there). Their attempt is very similar to the censorship of the lesbian couple (Haruka and Michiru) in Sailor Moon.
As a whole, this is a terrible move on K-Lab’s part for the fact that by making this change, they caused a big disservice to the fans. Sure, some can argue that gender cann be ambiguous in Japanese for the fact that the subject is not usually included in the sentence/dialog since the listener usually infers it. However, there is no excuse to make an effort to censor it just because a small group of people won’t be comfortable with it. Even with their apology, I don’t believe it since I still think they will keep doing it.
In short, if you want to send them the message, just don’t play the game at all until they clean up their act. Sure, you can play the Japanese version, but since they are the same company, you should probably not play that it either since K-Lab America is a part of them. Do as you will, but most people are probably better off getting the Vita games instead. You will know full well that they won’t mess that up, especially if it gets localized by a reputable localization company and you won’t be giving money who advocates censorship of homosexual relationships in their translations. As said many times, I’m for freedom of expression and against censorship. Of course, free speech does not protect one from criticism, so don’t forget that.
Update (Jun 30th): It seems that with the latest update, they reverse the censorship that everyone complained about. I wonder if the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage has to do with it.