In the latest update to the saga of Seven Seas’ intentional ‘trans-lation’ of a feminine, crossdressing male as a transgender female in their localization of I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into a Girl, following widespread backlash from even the series’ mangaka herself, the English-language publisher has promised fans that they are “looking into addressing the delicate language” used in their altering of Azusa Banjo’s original work
The backlash against Seven Seas’ localization of the yaoi manga began near immediately after fan translator Ethylene Scans, who provided said services to the series starting with Chapter 5 and going up through its official licensing, published their comparison between the publisher’s release of the series first volume and its original Japanese text.
Therein, Ethylene Scans noted that Seven Seas had changed the series’ script to depict love interest Hiura, a cross-dressing and feminine male, as a transgender woman.
A few, Western localizer Katrina Leonoudakis, whose credits include the the Atlus video games Persona 5 Royal and Shin Megami Tensei V would claim that this change was intentional, affirming, “I know the translator and they’ve done their homework on this series, reading future volumes, consulting with trans people, and working hard to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.”
Following these discoveries and revelations was a storm of outspoken debate between supporters of the change, who believed it was both a necessary step-forward in trans representation and the true intent of Banjo’s story, and opponents, who conversely asserted that it was actually a blatant critical gender theory-based failing of the translators’ job.
Ultimately, the latter reached out to Banjo directly to inform her of the extreme alterations made by Seven Seas to her work. which in turn resulted in the mangaka directing those who “have comments about translations” to voice their complaints directly to the series’ Japanese publisher, Ichijinsha Inc.
Likewise, the official Ichijinsha Inc. Twitter account would invite aggrieved readers to “please contact us via DM or contact us below,” as well as to “please refrain from contacting the author directly.”
Subsequently, on June 10th, Seven Seas’ officialy Twitter account finally offered the publisher’s first comments on the debacle – though it did little to actually address any of the complaints.
“To those reaching out about I THINK I TURNED MY CHILDHOOD FRIEND INTO A GIRL, we’ve heard your feedback and are looking into addressing the delicate language in this story,” said Seven Seas. “We thank you for your passion and your patience.”
Further, it appears further changes will be made to the localization scripts for the series’ future releases, as Seven Seas also delayed the publication of the second volume of I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into A Girl without a public announcement
What are your thoughts on Seven Seas’ response to the outrage against their translation of th I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into A Girl? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!