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MangaGamer The House In Fata Morgana Localization Sparks Fan Criticism

The House in Fata Morgana localization which translated “tsundere” to “fragile male ego” has triggered criticism from western visual novel fans.

Originally released in 2016 by developer Novectacle and written by Keika Hanada, The House in Fata Morgana follows a spirit that has lost their memories. With the guidance of a mysterious maid, the spirit relives the past of the mansion in search of clues to their identity.

The maid guides the spirit from early in the mansion’s history in the 11th century, to as recent as the 19th century. The house mysteriously seems to change location throughout the game, begging the question of whether what the spirit is seeing is even real or relevant to their situation.

The translation controversy came to light despite the games age after a recent live-tweeting of the “Backstage” extras by Twitter user irisposting, who noted how the character Jacopo was diminished for having a “fragile male ego.” Twitter user yukinogatari– a freelancer translator who worked on the game- retweeted this part of the thread and provided greater context.

She explained that originally the game called Jacopo a “tsundere”, which typically refers to anime characters who act harshly towards those they actually adore. It’s worth noting that the extras are intended to be non-canon and joking in tone, with the characters breaking the fourth wall as if they were actors.

The translator also pointed out after the controversy caught steam, that she has translated “tsundere as-is in other projects” and that the decision in this particular instance was due to consideration of “setting, time period, character voice, target audience.”

Both MangaGamer and the official English Twitter for Novectacle have come out saying that they support the translation decision made. MangaGamer also condemned harassment directed at the translator.

The House in Fata Morgana is available on Windows PC (via MangaGamer, and Steam), PlayStation 4, and Playstation Vita.

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Brandon Lyttle

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.