What happens when Japanese companies choose English names

I just ordered some anime DVDs, including a preorder for Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact!, a series whose English subtitle release had originally been announced with the title Shin Mazinger Z Impact, which seems to make more sense in English even with a word left untranslated.

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But it’s not Discotek/Eastern Star’s fault; according to them “Actually the name is requested by the licensor“, and there is also apparently some copyright issue; presumably something like “Toei owns the copyright for ‘Mazinger Z’ in the field of animation”.

Well, the second part is understandable, and the Japanese name of this series didn’t contain “Mazinger Z” without anything in between either. That doesn’t explain why they’d insist on that particular exact title, though.

The name of the series in Japanese is Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen. A literal translation would be “True Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter”. Translating “Z Hen” as “Edition Z” by itself isn’t too bad, but they also shuffled the words into a nonsensical order.

But the results when Japanese companies insist on specific name changes for English translation are usually weird, so I guess this is just no exception. I don’t really know what to call the series for short now, though.

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