SENRAN KAGURA Estival Versus - Localization Blog #3
The Way of the Waifu By Ryan Graff, with
contributions from Brittany, Tom, Mai, Liz, Junpei, Billy, Jason, Ken, Alyssa, and Nathan
XSEED was quite a change of pace and style from my last job,
which was working QA for the usually T-rated Square-Enix. A few weeks before my
first day here, Ken and Jess sent me some reference materials for my first
XSEED project, wrapping up the European version of Valhalla Knights 3. I remember reading through the game’s text
files, reading descriptions for items called “Survibrator” and
“Congratulotion,” and wondering exactly what I’d signed on for.
It wasn’t long after VK3
went gold that I started my second major project here, co-localizing the
main script for SENRAN KAGURA Shinovi
Versus. Since I hadn’t played Burst before
coming to the office, I took a crash course, reading up on the characters’
histories, relationships, and personalities.
SENRAN KAGURA has
always gone out of its way to make each of its many characters as distinctive
as possible in every way. Each girl has her own personality, visual style,
fighting style, vocabulary, and personal history, and their stories grow and
develop from game to game.
It’s not always easy for storytellers to juggle ensemble
casts. Audiences need time, screen time, to bond with your characters, and it
can be tough to balance the audience’s attention and affection amongst a large
cast while also keeping the story moving forward. But when a storyteller pulls
it off, the payoff is that each audience member, no matter who they are, gets
at least one favorite character, someone they can personally relate to and root
With that in mind, one of the most frequently asked
questions about SENRAN KAGURA is,
“Who’s your favorite?” Since we write for the English version of the
game, that question sometimes comes in different flavors, like “Who do you
enjoy writing for the most?” or “Who would you most want to hang out
with?” In short, which girl is XSEED’s waifu?
Me personally, I like writing for Haruka most, because I
enjoy writing “eloquent, haughty young lady”-type characters (writing
for Nero in Fate/EXTELLA was fun for
the same reason), and because she’s so crafty and unpredictable. In terms of
who I’d most want to hang out with, I think Mirai would make a fun writing
buddy, Homura would make a kickass personal trainer, Shiki reminds me of my
first crush, and Murasaki could always use a hug.
(We also occasionally get asked who our least favorite
character is, but I like them all too much to really say, other than to note
that I hope Minori gets more onscreen character development in future titles.)
But I’m not the only one who works on SENRAN KAGURA — credit goes out to everyone who proofs, tests,
helps market, and otherwise contributes to the games (especially by playing
them at home and spreading the good word!) — so let’s go around the office and
see who’s down with who: Brittany: Haruka. She’s a true queen and I’d thank her if
she stepped on me.
Billy: I would say my SK waifu is Asuka. She is the first character I used. I also like her fighting style and her clumsy personality. But Rin is cool too.
Tom: Hard to pick only one, but I’d have to go with
Hikage, whose struggle with emotionality makes her extremely endearing,
but is more than made up for with awesome moves and general kickassness.
Honorable mentions go to Mirai for the amazing outfit, Ayame for having the
cutest face in the series (seriously, how is she so cute?!), and Imu for her
admirable devotion to the one she loves (which makes her less viable as
“waifu” material, but more awesome as a character IMHO).
Liz: Hikage, all day. - has no emotions - is sometimes a berserk snake - licks uses knives - chill af I was into masochistic gun ballerina for a while but she too hyphy.
❤ - super loyal - love the way
she call herself (I believe it’s “I” in English but in Japanese, she calls
herself “Jibun” instead of “watashi”) - fashionista
(her hoodie and arm warmer thing) - bubble gum❤ - not so
Junpei: My SK waifu is
Yozakura. - She speaks the
Okayama dialect, which sounds super cute when girls speak it. - She has giant
fists. - She’s good at
Jason: I’m a nice guy and like all girls (except Minori
and Hibari). But my top 3 would be Homura, Kagura, and Renka. Homura: She’s
Wolverine and voiced by Eri Kitamura. Kagura: She’s god
and fights by ripping holes in dimensions. Renka: She drums
like no other.
Ken: Homura. Tan lines. ‘Nuff said.
Alyssa: Rin definitely stole my heart (I’ll fight you for
her, Billy!). Purple hair and glasses? Sign me up! But I also love her weapon
and fighting style, as well as her friendship with Daidoji.
Nathan: Shiki. Something to be said about a multilingual
As I wrap this up, SENRAN
KAGURA Estival Versus has just gone up on Steam, and the Ikki Tousen DLC characters are finally
available on PS4, Vita, and PC, after a long struggle to bring them overseas.
(Thanks again, Takaki-san!) We hope everyone enjoys reconnecting with the girls
(or meeting them, if it’s your first time), and keep your eye out — you never
know what might come next!