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So a few months ago last year
I went to the cinema where I found myself sitting through numerous trailers for upcoming movies
And there was one trailer that really caught my eye. It was for a film with Chris Hemsworth
Cate Blanchett
and even Jeff Goldblum in it
Now to you and most audiences around the world you know this movie as 'Thor Ragnarok'
The latest movie in the seemingly never ending Marvel Cinematic Universe
But here in Japan it goes under a completely different name and one that is far more eye-catching
In my opinion because over here Thor Ragnarok is actually called Mighty Thor: Battle Royale
Now everybody knows the words 'Battle Royale' makes everything better and when I saw it
I was really excited at the time because I thought it was some kind of Japan exclusive
But unfortunately it turned out it was just Thor Ragnarok
With a different name it got me thinking what other Western films have been rebranded for Japanese audiences?
And it turns out there are some spectacular examples
So today, I wanted to share with you 21 film titles they've been translated for Japanese audiences often with questionable results
I mean looking at these film titles it can often feel like viewing them through an alternate universe or something
Take for example, the 2003 movie 'Anger Management' with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson
'Anger Management' had a much more positive spin on it when it was released in Japan
Avoiding the word 'anger' altogether and instead calling it 'New York Style Happy Therapy'
'New York Style Happy Therapy', I don't know about you, but happy therapy to me, sounds like some sort of sinister dystopian
education program and that image of Jack Nicholson doesn't do any favours
The movie 'Being John Malkovich' doesn't come off, too well
'Being John Malkovich' is a film title that could have probably been translated into Japanese quite easily
And yet instead it was simply retitled as
'Malkovich's Hole', I'm not... I'm not too sure what hole is before being referred to there
But it certainly conjures up some different imagery to the Western title doesn't it?
The Fast & Furious franchise in which Vin Diesel
drives a car that has been completely rebranded over here the 'Fast Five' for example is known in Japan as
'Wild Speed Megamax'...
it sounds like a brand of condoms as opposed to a billion-dollar franchise
including the sequels 'Fast and Furious 7' known in Japan as
Still say what you will about 'Wild Speed Megamax' at least they put some degree of effort into
rebranding the franchise unlike 'American Pie: The Reunion', which they rebranded over here as
I'm not even joking that's genuinely the title and yet somehow
I suspect more time went into rebranding that title than was spent writing the script of the actual movie itself
Another franchise which was branded to questionable effects was the 'Final Destination' franchise
Now in the movie 'Final Destination 3' a lot of people die when a roller coaster
falls off the tracks and the Japanese title of the movie kind of
spoils that surprise somewhat because 'Final Destination 3' over here is known as
'Final Dead Coaster'. Roller coaster, dead coaster
I don't know
It seems like someone was trying to think up a clever pun
And then they just gave up
The title for 'Final Destination 5 'continues this spoileriffic trend
In 'Final Destination 5' lots of people die when a bridge collapses
And with that piece of information in mind, let's see if you can guess the title of 'Final Destination 5' in Japan
Final... Dead...
Yep, say it out loud now.
Yeah 'Final Deadbridge'.
Congratulations. You got it right 'Final Deadbridge'
And yet somehow, It's still not the worst spoilers
you'll find in a Western title that's been adapted for Japan
That award goes to one of my favorite James Bond movies 'You Only Live Twice'
which in Japan is simply called '007 DiesTwice'
Yeah, it's not it's not quite as romantic and mysterious as the original title is it?
Here's another few movies where the adapted titles give away
a little bit too much information in order to reel in potential audience
Life of Pi is:
Despicable Me is:
The Spongebob movie: Sponge Out of Water
Very clever turn of phrase.
Over here, though it's:
And the classic Pixar movie 'UP'
has a bit more of a blunt rendition in Japan where UP is called:
That's said, at least by reading the title you know kind of what it's about
Unlike the next title which wins the award for worst translated movie ever.
now you might think 'The Karate Kid' is a title that would work well in Japan right?
Especially given that the word Karate is a Japanese word and yet NO.
In Japan, 'The Karate Kid' is called 'Best Kid'
The one title that didn't need to be translated or adapted, and they still did it.
Here's a few other titles that probably didn't need it either.
'The Shawshank Redemption', one of the best titles of the '90s is:
and if only Andy Dufresne had been able to ascend into the Shawshank sky...
would have been a far more pleasant means of escape than crawling through that sewage pipe.
'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' is:
Now fair enough, Green destiny does have some relevance. It's the name of the sacred sword in the movie.
And yet it still lacks some of the poetic punch of the English title.
To me, 'Green Destiny' seems less like a martial arts movie and more like a documentary about vegans
but the most unpleasant sounding film adaption has to go to 'Nine Lives'
A movie in which Christopher Walken turns Kevin Spacey into a cat called Mr. Fuzzypants
and I'm genuinely not making up that synopsis, but the Japanese title is quite literally called 'Men in Cat'
'Men in Cat' sounds like well...
I'm not even going to go there to be honest.
Still in my opinion some of the titles that they've adapted do actually sound better
For example, 'The Evil Dead'. Sam Raimi's 1981 classic is:
'Friends With Benefits' is:
Which sounds more like life advice than a movie title
'Olympus Has Fallen' in which Gerard Butler saves president Harvey Dent is:
'Hot Tub Time Machine' is:
and 'Tooth Fairy', a movie in which the Rock becomes uhh...
becomes a tooth fairy... is there anything he won't do?
It has a much more violent edge in the Japanese version where it's called:
But I've saved my two favorite ones until last.
The first one is 'Army of Darkness'.
the third movie in the 'Evil Dead' franchise in which the protagonist, Ash Williams,
ends up in medieval times taking on well, an army of Darkness
But for whatever reason the artwork and the title seemed too dark for Japanese audiences, and it was retitled as...
Taking a violent antihero and making him sound like someone who volunteers at Walmart
But shockingly shit title aside, actually quite like the artwork on this one. The retro kind of artwork
Especially how they managed to fit Bruce Campbell's name, the name of the actor, onto the Campbell's Soup tin at the bottom there.
But my favorite adapted title ever.
Goes to a movie that I imagine few people watching this video will have seen
Even though it's allegedly one of Bill Clinton's favorite comedies
And that is the movie 'Who's Your Caddy?'
a movie in which a hip hop star tries to get into a country club by bribery
basically
That's the plot
Unsurprisingly the pun 'Who's Your Caddy' doesn't really translate well into Japanese
and so to attract audiences in Japan instead of 'Who's Your Caddy?'
They retitled it as:
'We Are Hip Hop Golfers' imagine being in a situation
where you can legitimately use that phrase
but between the title 'We Are Hip Hop Golfers' and the artwork, that is my favorite title
So there you have it. 21 titles that have been readapted for Japanese audiences
But which one's your favorite?
Let us know in the comments section below
And a huge shoutout to my good friend Hanuka.
Who helped me compile this list. He spent the last year tweeting out these titles
I think there's over 150 now, and they're a joy to behold every week
So if you want to check them out follow him on Twitter, and he's also got a really awesome
underrated Youtube channel called 'Bomb Arrow'
Which has a lot of Japan based content, as well as skits and parody videos with the kind of videos
I often dream of making but lack the after effects skills to actually pull off myself
You can check out his videos such as 'When Gamers Play Russian Roulette'
or 'Using DOCTOR STRANGE's Magic!' at his channel in the description box below
But for now guys as always many thanks for watching. I'll see you next time.
I'm off now to get some 'New York Style Happy Therapy',
or as I like to call it 'a hamburger'.