Cult of Pop Subtitles: Berryz Koubo’s Flets Self-Introductions

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

Cult of Pop is now branching off into subtitling Jpop clips. The wife and I have provided for your viewing pleasure a subbed version of the Flets Self-Introduction clips from the individual members of Berryz Koubo. Just right-click and save from each picture in this blog entry to download the clips, each roughly 3 MB. And please keep in mind, this is our first time trying this – be gentle in assessing the results, lest we crumble under harsh criticism and never fansub again.

I’d actually been wanting to try subtitling with the wife for a while now, but the right project and opportunity never seemed to present itself until now. This seemed a good way to ease into the process and get a feel for it. Admittedly, we started off small as these clips are only thirty seconds long each and follow a specific format: name, date of birth, blood type, personality… Apparently, the members of Berryz all debuted with the same song on the same date – except some of them debuted as singers earlier with Aa! and Zyx, so I think that was misleading. The length and routine of these introductions meant we were able to sub them rather quickly over the course of a mid-afternoon.

For the record, my wife does the actual translating as we watch, I handle the timing on the software we use and we talk about the best way to convey what they say in English – which often involves me pointing out that what she’s translated literally has redundancies that can be boiled down to a simpler phrase. By necessity, we’ve fallen into the roles of championing strict translation (her) and a looser, more English-friendly take (me), with compromise – the bedrock of all marriages and fansub collaborations – winning out in the end. Actually, she gets her way more often than I do.

As a viewer, I must say that some of the Berryz are not being shown off to their best effect with these clips. Risako suffers somewhat, as does Miyabi. These self-introductions seem to have been a case of grabbing the girl, ready or not, while they’re backstage at some show and making them recite a given set of information. Sadly, this is to be predicted in the world of idols, where the girls assume personae that fit a certain model that is all about sweetness and being ambitious and wanting everyone to root for you.

A couple of the girls admit to flaws – Saki most notably, which is admirable of her. She tries hard to be a good captain for her unit, and it shows. But no one said anything like, “I can’t wait to look good enough in a bikini so I can do my first Alo-Hello,” or “I sometimes wanted to punch Maiha in the face because she annoyed me,” or “I once saw Ayaya backstage making out with Mikitty and wondered what that felt like.” You know, interesting details.

If we really want to understand these girls better, why not throw them a curveball or two? Why not ask them my favorite question personality-revealing question: If you were a cannibal, which celebrity would you eat first and why? (Personally, I’d go with someone young and tender, not poisoned by drug or alcohol abuse, and not too fatty or too stringy. So Haley Joel Osment is my frequent answer. And yeah, I really do ask this of people. Some people choose celebrities they hate, one person I know chose Arnold Schwarzenegger because of muscle mass – but really, Arnold would taste horrible, don’t you think?)

Once again, the pleasant surprise was Maasa, who was very confident and energetic in her allotted thirty seconds and even asserted. She seemed to be enjoying herself more than the others, as well, for reasons I can’t quite fathom. Her final comment was puzzling, though maybe I’m missing some kind of in-joke that the other Berryz would find amusing.

Chinami brought the most grief to the husband-and-wife subtitling process. Barbara heard her voice and mimicked the admittedly too-cute mannerisms of the idol I want to name my child after. When she saw how deeply my feelings were hurt by this character assassination, she backed off and assured me that we’ll still likely name the baby after Chinami. But there was a definite note of sly triumph when she told me she now knows what I like in my idols…

And I must admit, saying “I’m bright” twice doesn’t exactly convey brightness, does it? Still, I thought Chinami was both charming – and a little Charmy – in her half-minute, though others fared better.

Oddly enough, she found no fault in Momoko, though I guess that figures because we’re not planning on naming the baby after her. Momoko is actually quite charming in her introduction, and like Maasa manages to convey her personality with fast-talking ease. The part where she says “I don’t like to lose” made me think immediately of her blinking contest on Music Fighter, for some reason, and her sheer Momoko-ness was a pleasure to bask in.

Anyway, there’ll be another subtitled clip coming out soon, hopefully by the end of the week. It’ll be considerably longer but worth it for the sake of posterity, and BBS members will get a first look at it because the forum should be useful for something.


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5 Responses to “Cult of Pop Subtitles: Berryz Koubo’s Flets Self-Introductions”
  1. Julia says:

    Heh, I really did enjoy Maasa’s and Momoko’s. And good for Maasa…rice crackers are yummy.

  2. niji says:

    That’s so cute when Momoko looks to her right in the middle of her speech. Sadly (for me, and just somewhat), Momoko’s speech was more kawaii than Foehr’s, despite Foehr being cuter in general. 🙂

  3. Craig says:

    Thank you Ray & Misaki;

    Well done!

    I definitely wasn’t expecting the last girl to say she had a temper … So this is the power of subtitles! 🙂

  4. Serene says:

    Just like to say thank you for taking the time to do this!

    Saki’s birthday seemed like quite a mouthful. XD

  5. bbc says:

    wow thanks for these clips.
    I love to know every little things about the girls.