Created By: Pichu-kun on August 30, 2017 Last Edited By: Snowy66 on October 13, 2017

The Mascots Name Goes Untranslated

Most characters have Dub Name Changes, however the protagonist does not

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trope
In many series where characters names are changed in translations, there is often one exception: the Series Mascot or main character(s). Often times this ends up making them stand out amongst the characters, which actually helps distinguish them. The reason for this trope is in order to increase international brand recognition. The mascot, or lead if no mascots exist, having the same name in all areas helps people recognize them no matter where they're from with no language barriers.

Compare to Too Long; Didn't Dub.


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Despite the English dub taking place in America, the protagonist of Hamtaro has the same name as he did in the original.
  • Most honorifics in the English dub of Azumanga Daioh are translated, which the exception being Chiyo. She is always called "Chiyo-chan". This led some fans to believe "-chan" was a part of her name and everyone was on a Full-Name Basis with her. Part of why it was translated was possibly due to this, however it's also hard to translate "Chiyo-chan" to something that both sounds right and fits the Mouth Flaps.
  • For Yu-Gi-Oh!, most characters will be given an English name in the dub. However The Protagonist of each respective series will retain their Japanese name: Yugi Muto/Moto, Yusei Fudo, Yuma Tsukumo, and Yuya Sakaki. The only exception is Yu-Gi-Oh! GX protagonist, Judai Yuki, whose name got changed to Jaden in the dub.
  • In the Cardcaptors dub of Cardcaptor Sakura, almost every human's name is changed except for main character Sakura's. She was going to be called "Nikki," but the dubbers relented because of backlash.
  • Played with in Dragon Ball, where many characters names get spelling changes in dubs such as Kuririn to Krillin or Freeza to Frieza. However The Protagonist Goku and his sons' names remain unchanged, although western adaptations tend to drop his family name "Son" and just call him by his given name.
  • Inverted in TokyoPOP's translation of Miracle Girls. Everyone keeps their Japanese names except the twins and their two love interests.

Comic Books

Video Games
  • Pokémon:
    • The mascot Pikachu is one of the few Pokemon characters whose name is the same in every language. The only exceptions are Cantonese, Mandarian. and Arabic as Pikachu's name is given the transliteration treatment, causing it to sound slightly different
    • The Mascot Legendaries and Pikaclones never have their names changed, and the majority of Legendaries in general are the same across languages starting in Gen II.
  • Yo-kai Watch has Jibanyan. Most other yo-kai have different names in translations. This stands out even more as the translations remove references to the games taking place in Japan, yet Jibanyan and his Verbal Tic are untouched. The Disney dub of the anime keeps them as is, however the Toonami dub, by contrast uses "meow" as his Verbal Tic.

Western Animation
  • In the Dutch dub for As Told by Ginger, pretty much all characters had their first and/or last names changed from English to Dutch names (Carl became Bram for example), but the main character Ginger kept her original English first name even though "Ginger" is not a common name in Dutch.

Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • August 30, 2017
    Snowy66
    Anime and manga
    • For Yu-Gi-Oh!, most characters will be given an English name in the dub. However The Protagonist of each respective series will retain their Japanese name: Yugi Muto/Moto, Yusei Fudo, Yuma Tsukumo, and Yuya Sakaki.
      • The only exception is Yu-Gi-Oh! GX protagonist, Judai Yuki, whose name got changed to Jaden in the dub.
  • August 30, 2017
    acrobox
    in pokemon, the Mascot Legendaries and Pikaclones never have their names changed, and the majority of Legendaries in general are the same across languages starting in Gen II.
  • August 30, 2017
    Snicka
    Comic books:
  • August 31, 2017
    Omeganian
    Roger Corman's Ilya Muromets dub fits to a letter.
  • September 17, 2017
    Snowy66
    • Played with in Dragon Ball, where many characters names get spelling changes in dubs such as Kuririn to Krillin or Freeza to Frieza. However The Protagonist Goku and his sons' names remain unchanged, although western adaptations tend to drop his family name "Son" and just call him by his given name.
  • September 16, 2017
    IniuriaTalis
    • In the Cardcaptors dub of Cardcaptor Sakura, almost every human's name is changed except for main character Sakura's. She was going to be called "Nikki," but the dubbers relented because of backlash.
  • September 17, 2017
    Maniago
    In the Dutch dub for As Told By Ginger, pretty much all characters had their first and/or last names changed from English to Dutch names (Carl became Bram for example), but the main character Ginger kept her original English first name even though "Ginger" is not a common name in Dutch.
  • September 25, 2017
    Snowy66
    Another Yo Kai Watch example:

    • Secondary mascot and Breakout Character Komasan along with all of his expies also go by their Japanese name in all other translations.
  • October 12, 2017
    Maniago
    Harry Potter: In pretty much any translation at least some of the characters get a new first and/or last name, but Harry himself always remains Harry Potter.
  • October 12, 2017
    PhantomDusclops92
    An expansion to the Yo Kai Watch example:

    • Most foreign translations, based on the English one, leave the English names for the two main characters (Nathan Adams and Katie Forester) while giving local names to all the other human characters. This goes extremely weird in the quest in the game where Nathan/Katie brings documents to his/her dad, since the dad's names are translated in the different languages but they keep the English surnames, ensuring in some weird name/surname matchups.
  • October 13, 2017
    Prime32
    A similar effect can occur in title translations - the reason why the English translation of Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (literally When the Cicadas Cry) was titled Higurashi: When they Cry is probably because the name "Higurashi" had brand recognition.
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