My Deer Friend Nokotan Fans Convinced Dreadful Subtitles Are AI – But They’re Wrong

The premiere of My Deer Friend Nokotan has left fans slightly disappointed with the absurdist comedy, not because of the show itself, but due to the localization.

The anime series My Deer Friend Nokotan generated a lot of excitement due to its unique and unusual concept, which was heavily promoted through marketing. The show follows the story of a high school girl and her unconventional friend, a girl with deer-like qualities. Compared to other currently airing shows, this anime stands out with its eccentricity.

Despite some subpar subtitling, viewers were let down by the first episode of My Deer Friend Nokotan on HIDIVE. While translations can be inconsistent, fans incorrectly attributed the issue to the use of AI translations.

User vytah conducted a thorough investigation on Reddit, analyzing a variety of lines and comparing them to the official subs in order to determine if AI was used. The conclusion consistently points to human error as the true culprit.

The first example illustrates the variances.

Once more, the maidens who congregate in the gardens of the wisdom king are seen crossing the Tama river today, their smiles as pristine as those of the Shinsengumi troopers.

The young women who come together in Fudo Myoo-sama’s garden are like Shinsengumi soldiers as they cross the Tamagawa stream with pure, innocent smiles today.

The AI translation consistently uses formal titles, such as “Fuco Myoo-sama”and “Tamagawa,”rather than local abbreviations. Additionally, unlike the first translation, it does not make typographical errors with capital letters. Most of the inaccuracies in the script can be attributed to minor differences that a machine would not make.

Subtitle: “Should I contact the authorities? a medical professional? Detective Co… No, Hajimeeeee!”

AI tools are not equipped with conversational direction such as elongated vowels, and they also do not have the ability to recognize a half-reference, such as the mention of Detective Conan being interrupted. However, if the machine were to identify this as a reference to Conan, it would include the character’s full name.

The thread also presents various other instances, including typos, temperature conversions, and other minor details that would not typically be included in machine translations. These are probably indications of human involvement, as noted by the Reddit thread, as translators and subtitlers strive to meet strict deadlines.

Anime translations play a vital role in the medium, but those involved are often constrained by tight deadlines for each release. It is hoped that the team working on future episodes of My Deer Friend Nokotan will have more time and flexibility to improve their subtitles and refine their work.

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