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Localized Name in a Non-Localized Setting

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When works use a Dub Name Change this often correlates with changing the series' setting. In blatant cases, this leads to a Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change.

This trope occurs when the names are changed but there isn't a cultural change. As a result, the character names stand out in the work's setting. For example, a Japanese-set anime with one or two characters named something like "Juan Martinez" or "Robert Smith" wouldn't be too odd, but a Japanese-set anime where everyone has westernized names stands out unless it's given an in-series reason.

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Compare to Cultural Translation and We All Live in America.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Ace Attorney anime does this almost out of necessity. While the games the anime is based on are fully localized with the setting moving from Japan to California, the anime keeps the original Japanese setting, possibly because of how much more difficult it would be to change the visual assets of an anime than a visual novel. However, due to almost every character having a Punny Name and western audiences being much more familiar with the localized names than the original Japanese ones (e.g. Phoenix Wright vs. Ryuuichi Naruhodou), the dub uses the English names. Due to this unique situation, there are two different subtitle tracks included on the disc: one with Japanese names, the other with English names.
  • Beyblade:
    • The team in Beyblade is still a Japanese team, but the English dub gives them more American names like "Tyson".
    • The English version of Beyblade Burst changes names at random, but all the characters still come from their respective countries. Some characters get westernized names, some characters get shortened versions of their Japanese names, and some characters get different Japanese names, but they're still from Japan.
  • Captain Tsubasa: European and Latin-American dubs westernize the names of all the characters but don't hide the fact that they are Japanese. It's a series about Association Football and later the main characters will play for Japan's national team, and this is never changed in the dubs.
  • When Detective Conan was made into an anime, its first hundred-plus episodes got an English dub set it Japan. However, many character names were switched out for English ones.
    • The main character's real name was changed from Shinichi to Jimmy.
    • The lead love interest had her name changed from Ran Mori to Rachel Moore.
    • Ran's father's name was changed from Kogoro to Richard.
    • Conan's elementary school friends all had their names changed. In Japanese, their names were Ayumi Yoshida, Genta Kojima, Mitsuhiko Tsubaraya, and Ai Haibara; but in English, their names changed to Amy Yeager, Mitch Tennison, George Kaminski, and Vi Graythorn/Anita Hailey respectively.
    • There are too many recurring characters with their names changed to list them all here, but here is a list of some of the series' Loads and Loads of Characters that gives both their Japanese name, and if applicable, their English name.
  • Digimon:
    • Downplayed in the English dub to Digimon Adventure. Most of the characters keep their Japanese names but are referred to by their westernized nicknames. Sora and Mimi didn't get nicknames and instead are referred to with their original names, Jou had the spelling changed to "Joe", and Hikari was outright changed to just Kari with no mention of her Japanese name.
    • Digimon Adventure 02 changed Daisuke's name to Davis, Iori's name to Cody, and Miyako's name to Yolei, but kept their surnames and kept the setting in Japan.
    • Digimon Tamers changed Jiangling's name to Henry and Shaochung's name to Suzie, but they're still half-Chinese and the setting is still Japan. Juri's name was also changed to Jeri. All other names were either left alone or, strangely, changed into entirely different Japanese names.
    • Digimon Frontier changed Izumi's name to Zoey, Tomoki's name to Tommy, and Junpei's name to J.P., but kept their surnames and the Japanese setting, and the rest of the human cast kept their Japanese names.
  • The English dub to Inazuma Eleven: Ares uses western names like "Sonny" or "Johnny" yet it's repeatedly mentioned that the characters are Japanese.
  • The English translation of the Miracle Girls manga westernizes the twins names as well as their love interests, but everyone else keeps their Japanese name. Tomomi and Mikage Matsunaga are changed to Toni and Mika Morgan, but their parents and maternal aunt still have Japanese given names.
  • Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!'s English translation makes this more noticeable than in other adaptations. The series takes place in the Japanese-based Sinnoh. The Canon Foreigner characters keep their original Japanese names, but the game characters use their Dub Name Changes (aside from The Rival, who didn't have an English Canon Name until the anime named him "Barry").
  • Happened in Sailor Moon in the first English dub. While the setting was still set in Japan, many characters had their names change to be more Western. Like Serena (Usagi), Darien (Mamoru), and Molly (Naru).
  • Shaman King: Downplayed in the English dub - most characters retain their Japanese names, and the exceptions seem to be characters whose names the dub team thought would sound silly to their audience.
    • Viewpoint character Oyamada Manta becomes Mortimer "Morty" Oyamada. The "uncut" edition of the anime goes for a strange middle ground, naming him Morty Manta.
    • Big Bad Hao becomes Zeke.
    • Zigzagged with Ainu character Horokeu, who usually goes by his nickname "Horohoro". In the dub Horohoro is his real name, and his nickname is "Trey Racer".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: After the dub original series - which was made to be set in America instead of Japan - the series never bothered with clarifying which country the various sequels take place in, and any cultural hints such as the food remain unchanged even in the dub. This does not stop the consistent and excessive Dub Name Change in all the series.
    • A more blatant case happens in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, where even the already American names receive a Dub Name Change, but the setting doesn't change at all.
    • Somewhat Averted in Yu Gi Oh ARCV, where Miami city (NOT the actual one) is changed to Paradise City. Otherwise played straight, though "The City" is changed to "New Domino City" as to not confuse English speakers (the City was pronounced in English in the sub). Again, Dub Name Change is still rampant.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Video Games 
  • The Pokémon games localizes the characters names to keep the Meaningful Names and Punny Names no matter the language. At the same time, the regions are based on real-world countries and it's shown that they speak different tongues (such as people from Kalos speak French and people from Johto speak Japanese). The more traditionally Japanese characters, such as the kimono-wearing ojou Erika, keep their names Japanese but others, such as Natsume (Sabrina) and Akane (Whitney), don't.
  • Splatoon and its sequels localize the characters Punny Names while keeping the aesthetic. In this case, it works because the series is in an Americasia setting.
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