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.
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.
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?