Surviving the Town of Duwang (It’s Beautiful)

By far and large, Part 4 (Diamond is Unbreakable, alternatively DIAMOND IS NOT CRASH) of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is my favorite JoJo arc. It boasts a lovable, eccentric cast of characters and a laidback atmosphere that I wasn’t sure to like, after the rollercoaster ride that is Part 3 (Stardust Crusaders). The main draw of Part 4 is that the cast is composed of ordinary people who gained superpowers overnight; their motivations and conflict are more nuanced than “take over the world”/”defeat bad guy”.

The problem is that the only complete English translation of it is awful.

what_a_beautiful_duwang

A group of Chinese students had to do a paperwork for their English class, so they decided to do a translation of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure’s Part IV: Diamond is Unbreakable. The scanlation was incredibly unnacurate, badly edited and overall low quality, to the point that the students actually failed that subject, but for many years, it was the only Part IV translation circulating on the internet. Due to this, the translations acquired memetic status and recieved the name Duwang, as it was the name for Morioh City used in the translations.

Source: http://jjba.wikia.com/wiki/JoJo_Influence_on_Internet_Culture

Hell, I don’t know if this article is telling the truth, but it well could be!

I’m not even talking about the AnimeJunkies kind of bad; it’s the HK subs kind of terribad, so much that it adds a whole new dimension to one’s JoJo reading experience. As quoted above, the town of Morioh is inexplicably named Duwang instead, some character names change every now and then, and a whole lot of questionable word choices.

But it works. Between you and me, JoJo isn’t a hard manga to understand–until Part 5 (Vento Aureo), where Stand battles becoming increasingly intricate and abstract, JoJo is pretty straightforward. It’s not a manga where dialogue or exposition drives the plot. I was able to get by the Duwang translation pretty fine, and even got a few laughs out of it. At the end of the day, I’m a firm believer in a bad translation is better than no translation. Sure, there’s a good quality translation that’s making steady progress. But I wanted to finish Part 4 now. Because it’s really, really good.

I mean, I could always reread, right?

Have you done this before, dear reader? Can you?

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4 Responses to Surviving the Town of Duwang (It’s Beautiful)

  1. rikuo06 says:

    Haha! I remember reading these. Not too long ago in fact. I’m currently working my way through Vento Aureo. Indeed, thankfully Araki-sensei’s strong visuals make the bad translations tolerable. Plus, given how BIZARRE JJBA already is, sometimes you’ll hardly notice! But there sure are a bunch of people who are sticklers about these kinds of things. Hordes of anon will descend to heap scorn on poor scanlations, even with trashy 18+ H-doujins.

    • schneider says:

      I read the Vento Aureo translation as well, and it had several confusing explanations for King Crimson and I was told that it all but rewrote an important character from his dialogue choices.

      Part 4 is better though, lines like “Koichi steals? No dignity!” have a poetic goodness in them. I even enjoyed the Duwang-style subs for the anime!

  2. An example of something being so bad, it’s good

  3. jtron says:

    I got a feeling so complicated

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