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Ouroboros Episode 1 Translation Notes

So I had to take a break from Ouroboros for a few days because episode 1 was a really intensive translating process. I haven't translated anything that long for awhile, so it was hard to keep the pace going. Thankfully, I've got a good system in place, and now I have a good timer to help me along the way.

This whole thing reminds me of when I used to help with TimeLesSubs (which I now think is dissolved, as their website no longer exists) and led the Bloody Monday project. Talk about intensive. And that was back before I really got into translating. Thankfully, again, I remembered a lot of stuff from back then while subbing the first episode. But like I said, it was five days of intensive translating while also dealing with really bad timing on the Japanese subs.

So, anyway, it's a day or so late, but here are my translation notes in case you want to know more about my style or something in the subtitles.

- Honorifics like -san, -chan, -sensei, etc. are left as is because I like it that way. It sounds strange to say "Mr. Ryuuzaki" or "Hibino, my dear." You guys know what those mean by now, right?

- The names are left Japanese-style with the last name first, like Ryuuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya.

- Handa-gumi, Matsue-gumi, Kintokei-gumi are all names of yakuza groups in "Ouroboros." The word "gumi" or, rather, "kumi" which changes to "gumi" when you add it to the name of a group or a class, just means "group" or "class" or "company." In the yakuza world, all of the groups have "gumi" added to their names, like Japan's most famous and notorious yakuza group, the Yamaguchi-gumi. It just makes it feel more yakuza-like.

- Ouroboros, pronounced oo-roh-boh-rohs, is often depicted as a snake eating its own tail. In this drama, Yuiko-sensei has an ouroboros necklace depicting two dragons eating each other's tails. It connects well with Ryuuzaki Ikuo and Danno Tatsuya, as they both have a character for "dragon" in their names. You can read more here.

- Chouno-san calls Hibino a "ni-se" which means "second generation." It's usually used to refer to second-generation Japanese people. In this case, since Hibino's father is also in the police, she's considered "second generation." He also calls her a "Royal Straight." That comes from the poker hand Royal Straight which is a poker hand consisting of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10. It's a rare combination and is basically awesome. Chouno-san probably means that her father was super-awesome, and she's super awesome.

- Danno mentions "shinogi" a couple of times. I translated it as "business" or "finances." I didn't understand what he meant at first, because shinogi are the edges of a blade. But then I found this article which states that shinogi is "all economic activities from which the members receive money." So any kind of yakuza business like owning strip clubs or pachinko parlors fall under "shinogi."

- Ryuuzaki says Sawatari lives near Yotsutani, which, as far as I can tell, isn't a real place. In the Japanese subtitles, he says "near the bank of the Yotsutani," so it might have meant a small river. Either way, Yotsutani is the neighborhood where Sawatari lives.

- The second bureau is in Shinshuku, which is also not a real place. Ryuuzaki likes to eat at "Shinshuku Kitchen," where they have the weird mixed-up menu.

- Omurice or omelet rice is a dish of cooked rice with sauce inside an omelet. It's delicious, vegetarian-friendly, and Ryuuzaki loves it. XD

Cooking with Dog's omurice recipe

- In Ryuuzaki's flashback where he arrested Sawatari, Sawatari asks for "katsudon" at the police station. Katsudon, or pork tonkatsu in a bowl with rice and egg, is traditionally given to suspects at Japanese police stations. Ryuuzaki thinks it's like a bribe to get the suspects to confess or give information. It probably is, but you'll see this in a lot of police dramas. Also, katsudon is delicious, and you all should try it if you eat pork.

Cooking with Dog's Katsudon Recipe

- Nori-no-Tsukudani is a dish of seaweed cooked in soy sauce.

ochikeron's nori no tsukudani recipe

- Gyuudon is a bowl of rice topped with beef simmered in a soy sauce mixture. Ryuuzaki says Hibino ate it for lunch. Gyuudon is typically seen as more of a "man's dish," and it's also very filling. So Ryuuzaki says Hibino isn't what she appears to be because she looks like any other woman but eats like a man. XD Also, depending on what kind of gyuudon you get, the smell can be pretty strong.

- Mahoroba is the name of the orphanage where Ryuuzaki and Danno grew up. The word itself means "wonderful place."

- "Kintokei" means "gold watch," just like you see in the drama. I left it "Kintokei" because that's the name of the group. Because they're a corrupt group of high-power officials, they could also be seen as a yakuza-like group, so leaving "gumi" at the end, again, makes them feel more like yakuza.

Thanks for all of your support, everyone! If you have any questions, leave me a comment.

Or just tell me how you liked the first episode!

I'll be honest, I'm looking forward to that bath scene in episode 2 we saw in the preview.

Ja ne!


( 8 comments — What's your delight? )
Jan. 24th, 2015 05:25 am (UTC)

Wow, you really gave the full details. So excited for more of you. Thank you for sharing your work. ^0^

Jan. 24th, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
luckily i understand quite a bit of japanese and dont need notes, but its still nice when a translator takes the time to give the facts behind meanings and such. thank you and i will look forward to your upcoming sub releases for this drama.

p.s. arashi theme song for the drama is so much win <3
Jan. 25th, 2015 07:20 am (UTC)
I forgot my d-addicts username, but luckily you have LJ! :D I just wanted to say, thank you so much for taking the time to translate this! Translating can be very intensive, especially doing a drama and by yourself x___x

I've been really excited for this ever since I heard the cast and I watched this raw (only could understand 10% and those are random words lol). I really like the music and so far the first episode was really good~
Jan. 26th, 2015 09:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much Areea-chan <333
Jan. 26th, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I had so much pleasure thanks to you! And I am so glad about all your decisions (the names order, honorifics atc.) - they made the story sound more natural, if you get me. I hate to read "Mr. Yamamoto" while watching a drama - this gives me an awkward feeling^^
Anyway - thank you SO MUCH, you did a great job, and.... I wish you luck for the next episodes!!
Jan. 26th, 2015 11:50 pm (UTC)

I couldn't thank you properly on the actual post on d-addicts.

And thank you so much for subbing Bloody Monday, one of my favorite drama series :D

I like how you left the "Kintokei" as it is... it made me laugh at the pun that the writer had put into the drama :P

Looking forward to ep 2 ~
Feb. 21st, 2015 09:50 pm (UTC)
thanks for all the details and for subbing this dorama
Mar. 29th, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC)
Hello~ thank u so much for subbing this drama and your translation notes. They were really informative! Otsukaresama deshita!
( 8 comments — What's your delight? )


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