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Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 04

Sorry for the delay. Two people were sick this week, including the TLC.

In this episode, Subaru is given a nickname: Barusu. The name is created by swapping the “su” to the end of his name. So Subaru -> Barusu.

The name is actually a meme in Japan originating from the anime movie Castle in the Sky. The word barusu is used as a blinding curse in it and referenced as the same in this episode. You can read more about it here.

We’ve decided to follow the common conventions of how to romanize this word and the meme. Therefore his nickname is localized as “Balse.”

If you have any complaints about this choice, please vocalize them in the comments.

Would you die to save best girl? What if I told you that fansubbing will help you do that? Join us in saving best girl. We’re in need of KFXers, Translators, and Translation Checkers as well as skilled editors, timers and typesetters. If any of these positions appeal to you, head over to our recruitment page to get started.

77 comments to Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 04

  • Kamiyanstinx

    I sucked my first dick!

  • Sage009

    Why not “Balus”?

  • Jestery

    Woot finally

  • Heya

    Yeah, it is okay and all.
    But why not leave it a “Barusu”? No one is going to blame you for that.
    Why it has to be “Balse”? Okay, you like to “localize” things, but does it really matter?
    In this case it just seems especially forced. Just saying, do whatever you like, in the end it does not matter like said before. We are watching a Japanese focused medium after all, why not stay close to it?

  • Randomacts

    I swear.. I told you to kick the sick members out of the harem bed … otherwise this will happen. ;_;

    • Randomacts

      Episode 5, never.

      The whole team is suffering a plague… Nothing can stop it….


  • Heya

    Please be more specific, otherwise no one will be able to comprehend what you are on about.

  • Bunny

    While TL notes in the middle of the subs are definitely distracting, why don’t more groups use the “Notes in an accompanying text file”, or better yet, the “Notes in a still image at the end” techniques?

    • Anonymous

      Because having to brief yourself at the start of the episode on things that could easily be translated is fucking retarded. And having notes at the end is even worse because when the things actually pop up in the episode, they’re not going to make sense.

  • Heya

    Do not at all want to attack you. Even if it is construcive feedback. Why not let them do their thing, as in they edited those subs and they can do whatever the fuck they want. It is their effort, so just respect their work. Again, no offense.

    • 0Kill

      Sure, but they ask for our opinion of whether they should stay doing this or should not, so i don’t see why we should hold our opinions back
      I’m not complaining, but i prefer to keep that to barusu…

  • Definitelynotafanofarrogantsubbers

    When the Hell did DDY become so focused on localisation, is there some kind of “damn commie” infiltration going on? lol

    • It’s not even a matter of localization here. It’s literally just the word. It’s a reference and it had to be noted so that people would understand it. We didn’t even choose the localization, it’s straight from Ghibli.

  • Definitelynotafanofarrogantsubbers

    The comment was intended with 100% sarcasm comrade (at least as far as this series is concerned).

  • Would have preferred you kept it as Barasu, but thanks for the release none the less.

    • I argued for Barasu also. Especially considering the meaning of the word is eerily synonymous with Subaru’s experiences in the show.
      I’m not really a fan of recycling memes from other shows, just like I would never secretly typeset a reference to one of our previous shows.

      • Mystic Vegan

        Thank you itsP-san for advocating for ‘Barasu’. I myself may tend to lean towards less ‘localization’ when feasible to do so with more direct or literal translation. Although, I’m not fluent in the Japanese language in the least I personally may prefer honorifics present when they are spoken.

        I do kinda miss the old days when there was translation notes in the subs. Where they may have a second or third track option for those who may prefer further explanation of what’s expressed in a scene without having to pause to try to search for it online. But, it’s understandable that may be a lot of extra work so I don’t expect anyone to actually do that.

        And if there happens to be a sizable amount of people who either prefer ‘localization’ or to a certain extent ‘non-localization’ then maybe there could be two tracks, one with less ‘localization’ & one with more ‘localization’. Yet, again that may be a lot of works so I don’t expect anyone to do so.

        Whether or not you choose to keep whatever other ‘localizations’ may pop-up in the future thank you all for choosing to put effort into putting these subs together & to kindly listening to others suggestions whether or not you choose to implement them. It’s you group so it’s your choice what you do. Thank you for whatever you choose.

        May the day be treating you all most veganly.

  • Sairin

    Guys will you sub the special episodes?

  • Bob

    Aussie here. The trouble with localisation is that not everyone is from the same part of the world. I get different groups versions of some things because the Americanising (for example) jars.
    Personally i’d prefer generic english that’s closest to the real meaning over slang that I don’t hear alot of.
    My 2cents.

  • osky

    really like the hair of this show

  • Why not have 2 sub tracks then? One with localized translation, and one with the romaji for the name. That way you’d be pleasing both audiences simultaneously.

  • God bless his soul and his godly KFX, whoever he is.

  • yuyuko9thdeg

    I haven’t watched this show yet but that girl looks like Chaika and so now I want to.

  • Statix

    Never like localized translation and I prefer straight translation. I choose Barusu.

  • Prologue

    I appreciate the research into the name. And if Ghibli says that’s how it’s spelled, that’s how it should be spelled in my book

  • kageKun

    Sorry, I prefer Barusu to Balse. The localization change is too jarring from what is said and what is displayed.

  • monstervong

    I hear Barusu so I want to see Barusu. I’d prefer it if you guys left a note or bit of trivia when things like this pop up.

    • Kamiyanstinx

      You do? It sounds more like “Balse” for me. Welp, begna has tricked me with fake subs!
      And Balse is 100% fine btw.

      • monstervong

        Hmm, now that I’ve rewatch the DDY version it does sound like Balse. It’s fine but does make more sense to see Barusu cause we could all recognise that it’s an anagram of his name.

    • Seraphel

      Except, you know, they kinda DID have a ‘trivia note’ about it on the release post. While Barusu would have sufficed, using Balse instead brought some attention to it which made all of you irked by it come here and MAYBE (if you didn’t just complainpost+leave) learn the meaning behind the sentence Subaru speaks after that – instead of only going //lol she switched part of his name around – wait what is he talking about?//.
      Damn you, DDY. You’re quite possibly some conniving people… pointing us to this meme knowledge after pulling us here.

      And to the person down below me somewhat – stating a made up statistic for your argument about what other people care about THEN calling it all an opinion. Shame.

      • Kamiyanstinx

        Hell, no. It still sounds like some variation of Subaru. And btw, most people do know that “ru” is often written as “l”.

      • monstervong

        I meant trivia in the scene like some other fansubbers do.

  • noname

    I’d rather barusu as well, as mentioned above, I had no idea what was meant by balse, but its instantly recognizable that barusu is derived from subaru.

  • Ishiro

    I don’t know about how you “localize” the shows your doing but names, nicknames or not should be left as it is simply because it’s a name translating it is weird both reading and hearing, same with kabaneri, are you going to translate Hitomi as eyes and Akai as red even if it’s used as names? and that ghibli meme thing, 90% of the people watching your subs don’t really care about it, let the japanese meme be with the japanese people… just giving my opinion is all up to you if your take it in or not…

    • Paer

      Ishiro, they didn’t translate any name. They simply localised Barusu using the official romanised spelling, as suggested by Studio Ghibli. Barusu and Balse are pronounced the same way.

  • JoshyBoy

    Awesome KFX!

  • Dunan

    I work in a field involving cataloguing and with dual language citizens. Names in cataloguing, especially title information whether there’s a spelling mistake to be perceived has to be catalogued as presented.

    With people’s names, they’re often named not by their english names even though their names have a dual meaning much like Japanese names but I don’t go and call someone who’s base name translate to song or music. We use the country of origin’s name, not the english translated meaning.

    Names are names, stick to the original, especially if you hear it as such.

    • Paer

      So if someone’s name is Michael and the Japanese pronounce his name as Maikoru, does that mean he’s name should be changed from Michael to that? Balse is not a translation. It’s the official romanisation of Barusu.

    • Kamiyanstinx

      >Names are names, stick to the original, especially if you hear it as such.
      Weeaboo stinx.

      • Dunan

        ” Subaru is given a nickname: Barusu.”

        “…romanize this word and the meme. Therefore his nickname is localized as “Balse.””

        The preference is for Barasu and my reasonings were there.

        There’s no need for personal attacks unless you feel threatened for some reason.

        • Toi

          I second that. Boy fighto.

        • Toi

          This days more and more fansubs are localizing things as hell. I can’t think of any good reason for that. :(

          • Kamiyanstinx

            Localization = you understand (more or less).
            No localization = you don’t understand.

            Actually, it’s 2016 now, and most people don’t give a single damn about japanese culture, their language, and such things. Hell, these are just chinese cartoons. I’m way too lazy to google search some irrelevant stuff because someone didn’t bother to TL this for me. And here’s protip for you: people are lazy these days.

          • moozooh

            >This days more and more fansubs are localizing things as hell. I can’t think of any good reason for that. :(

            Any given translation job has to do with a sliding scale where one of the poles is “the wide audience doesn’t understand anything” and the other is “the wide audience understands everything”. An untranslated source defaults to the former, more or less. A translator’s job is to bring the mark as close as possible to the latter. By localizing things that CAN be localized in a way that doesn’t detract from common sense*, you are moving the mark towards the right way of the scale. Particularly thorough translators will mainly localize the necessary stuff and footnote the rest.

            People who make a living translating books, movies, or games, will tell you the same thing.

            * One of the manga translations for Re:Zero localized “barusu” as “Balls”. I believe you can tell which one conforms to common sense and which one doesn’t.

          • Statix


            > Actually, it’s 2016 now, and most people don’t give a single damn about japanese culture, their language, and such things

            You might as well just watch god awful eng dub or not at all because “most people don’t give a single damn about japanese culture.” ;)

            It’s 2016 if you can only understand in your native language, obviously you are too stupid to live in this world today.

            > Hell, these are just chinese cartoons.

            Well, you on a wrong part of internet, this is Japanese anime. If you really can’t tell the different between Japanese and Chinese then you are too stupid. Even more stupid if making fun of anime while visit fansubs sites (like this one) or anime torrent sites (like Nyaa) frequently just to download anime. Hypocrite.

            > And here’s protip for you: people are lazy these days.

            You are.

            Localization = for stupid groups of people like those who too “western” or “white” to understand other cultures.



        • Statix

          Obviously, the 6 years old did that because he somehow feel threatened by your opinion. :P

        • moozooh

          The problem with your reasoning is that your professional experience has, metaphorically speaking, shaped it into a hammer in search of a nail. Translating a work of fiction is NOT the same as cataloguing. Instead of conveying precise spelling, word order, etc., which are required in your line of work to maintain disambiguation, a translator’s job is, first and foremost, to convey the intended meaning—the actual message behind whatever is said—and only then attempt to keep it as close to the original form as possible. Mangastream has a great line of articles on the topic, here’s just one of those that deals with localization issues: http://mangastream.com/blog/78

          The other problem is the inconsistency of your preference. You want “Balse” (an OFFICIAL romanization of the exact word in the exact context referred to by the character) to be changed to “Barusu”, but do you also want “Emiria”, “Pakku”, “Rainharudo”, “Eruza”, “Beaturisu”, etc., which are, unsurprisingly, the original names given to them by a Japanese author, for a Japanese novel, in Japanese katakana? You either have to go with a brutish syllable-by-syllable katakana conversion, or accept the existence of official romanizations of existing proper nouns.

          • Kamiyanstinx

            >To keep it as close to the original form as possible.

            Oh, I would argue with you about that. Especially, when it comes to animes. Most of them have copy-pasted dialogue lines. TBH, reading same dialogues 9802382 times is kinda annoying (Japan, get your shit together). Some groups can do smth about that. For instance, FFF’s release of Shinmai Maou no Testament makes this anime more enjoyable. Dialogues just don’t seem to be as retarded as original ones.

            Btw, Saeval, WHERE IS OUR TESTAMENT BURST? Hell, where is your taste, dude!

          • moozooh

            @Kamiyanstinx (apparently there’s a limit to comment tree depth so I can’t respond directly)

            > Oh, I would argue with you about that. Especially, when it comes to animes. Most of them have copy-pasted dialogue lines.

            Am I understanding you correctly that you basically want fansubbers to entertain you in the author’s stead? In this case you have no real ground for the argument because you seem to be confusing translation with fanfiction, i.e. a derivative work. It’s neither a translator’s responsibility nor their liberty to invent sense where there is none to begin with; after all, if the original work is bad, that’s exactly what it boils down to. Now, I’m not opposed to derivative works per se (I rather enjoyed Berserk Abridged and One Pace), but that’s just not a translator’s job.

            The extent of translators’ liberties when adapting a work of fiction—and any translation that deals with foreign cultural codes automatically incurs some degree of “lossy” adaptation—lies in mimicking the original semantics with the optimal tools available in the target culture’s language: dialects, inflections, syntactic reduction, and other stylistic elements. The Mangastream link I posted above explores this in some detail. One of the reasons Crunchy/Funi/etc. are considered bad is because they tend to omit all the stylistic editing and opt for a straight everyday English whenever possible, so it’s not unusual for the official translations to present a grad schooler from 2010 and a middle-aged aristocrat from 1960 (or even just two same-age characters of different subcultures) speaking exactly the same language in exactly the same way—which might also be the reason you think the lines are copy-pasted. This is why even shows without obvious translation errors attract fansubbers who pick up the officialsubs’ slack. But fixing the stylistics to make it closer to the original is one thing, and entertaining the viewer with memes and whatnot that take it further away from the original is another. DDY in particular have done both, but I’m thankful they have treated the better shows (at least this season) professionally.

  • hg

    How about Balus?

  • Toi

    I second that. Boy fighto.

  • Duck

    Timer sick?

    • Yes. He got the flu. I got everyone in the group sick. It’ll be released tonight.

      • Randomacts

        Still not as bad of a luck as my history prof…

        It is a 18 week class that meets twice a week and on average she has missed class once per a week.

      • Ambigravity

        Hope everyone gets better. Being sick sucks.

  • Shineek

    Wow than those guys are not too lucky, Tell em not too rush and take their time getting back to full health.

  • Thanks! The new OP kfx looks great!

  • Mizuhashi Yusuke


  • wait.. did the animators mention anywhere that they were referencing ghibli or did y’all just assume they were referencing ghibli because of the barusu/balse/balls/whatthefu*kever thing? the whole barusu thing was because maid girl (can’t remember her name) was making fun of his name cos he’s from a different world but they don’t know that (or do they?) whatever.. his name is subaru, she says barusu, leave it as barusu..

    my $0.02 worth..

    you asked, just sayin..

    • Yes. That’s the joke. She rearranges the syllables from Subaru to Barusu which is the word from Castle in the Sky. Subaru then says “don’t change my name into a blinding curse”. Barusu is a “blinding curse” in castle in a sky. It’s a direct reference.

  • You all can say what you like, I had a more solid grasp of references made in Gintama when there were explanations (are you guys calling them “localization”?) about certain cultural references. Personally, I found this page by googling “What does Barasu mean”.

    I don’t care whether or not a large portion of the Anime fanbase is proud to be woefully ignorant of other cultures. INCLUDE the explanations, and those who don’t care *WON’T BOTHER*, while the rest of us can remain in-the-loop.

    I’m still not 100% why he keeps getting called “Barasu”. We need to stop making excuses for the mentally underprivileged, and be willing to put forth a little extra effort for those of us who like learning about other cultures.

  • Ah, thank you, @begna112. I love learning things. :)

  • 00SaS

    I just noticed this as another group released a BD vol of this show… Everyone in the world knows that names (be it nicknames, etc…) Should not be translated, whatever the meaning, trivia, meme, or history behind it. It should be used as it is, in the translations… As this was an obvious wordplay on Subaru, it should have been Barusu. Some argue it’s heard as Balse and a reference to Laputa (or Balsu, well duh… You should know that Japs pronuonce R as L many places, and vice versa). And if you guys really care about the meme of it, just make a footnote for it. What’s wrong with that???

    And as I checked the BDs u guys released, it wasn’t fixed…. Itll be a big minus for DDY in my book as a fan of you guys if it stays as is… Hope you’ll get it fixed for the Batch. Tnx

    • 122aliens

      This argument has been done to death here.

      Balse is not a translation of Barusu, it is the official romanization of the word that Studio Ghibili made “バルス”. They are even pronounced the same.

      DDY decided to follow the official romanization of the word given by Studio Ghibili.

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