English-Japanese Names

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English-Japanese Names

Post by Blackjack » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:36 pm

Often times, either due to trademark reasons, homage reasons or simply opting for a name that makes more sense for the target audience, when Transformer shows are imported from America to Japan and vice versa, some names gets changed. Here is a list.

Note: For the sake of sanity in relation to the Armada Minicons and Fun Publications' steamrolling of perfectly good names, only those that appear in the main line will be listed.

The Transformers
Originally made by USA, some names got changed when the show was imported to Japan. Mostly it's just shortening of some long names, or different pronounciation. English names first, then Japanese names.
-Autobot: Cybertron
-Decepticon: Destron
-Cybertron: Seibertron (differently pronounced compared to Cybertron the faction)
-Optimus Prime: Convoy
-Jazz: Meister ('cause, he's, you know, very American)
-Sideswipe: Lambor (because he's a lamborghini)
-Mirage: Lieger (or Rijie, it's a reference to the type of his F1 alternate mode)
-Bluestreak: Streak
-Bumblebee: Bumble
-Brawn: Gong
-Cliffjumper: Cliff
-Windcharger: Charger
-Huffer: Drag
-Swoop: Swarp
-Shockwave: Laserwave
-Laserbeak: Condor
-Ravage: Jaguar
-Hook: Glen
-Devastator: Devastar
-Cosmos: Adams (in reference to his alternate mode)
-Red Alert: Alert
-Air Raid: Air Rider
-Fireflight: Firebolt
-Slingshot: Sling
-Blades: Graze
-Defensor: Guardian
-Blaster: Broadcast
-Vortex: Vorter
-Drag Strip: Dragstripe
-Hot Rod: Hot Rodimus
-Springer: Sprung
-Kup: Cha (Cha as is tea-cher)
-Rodimus Prime: Rodimus Convoy
-Metroplex: Metroflex
-Ramhorn: Amhorn
-Swerve: Wave
-Freeway: Runaway
-Searchlight: Looklight
-Goldbug: Goldback
-Computron: Computicon
-Trypticon: Dinosaurer
-Blot: Boot
-Octane: Octone
-Camshaft: Downshift
-Downshift: Camshaft
-Flywheels: Flywheel

Generation Two
What little G2 toys were released in Japan, some of them got new names. Then again, Europe also renamed many of these G2 guys...
-Air Raid (Cyberjet): Aero Raid
-Volt: Autovolt
-Sizzle: Firebot
-Jolt: Hot Row
-Windrazor: Sky Tornado
-Eagle Eye: Hawking
-Road Pig: Road Big

Beast Wars
When Beast Wars was imported into Japan, most characters bar Optimus Primal retained their names or have them slightly modified, but the pronunciations have been slightly altered. A bunch of the toy-only characters got new names, though.
-Maximal: Cybertron (the same name for Japanese Autobots)
-Predacon: Destron (the same name for Japanese Decepticons)
-Optimus Primal: Convoy
-Cheetor: Cheetus
-Rattrap: Rattle
-Scorponok: Scorpos
-Tarantulas: Tarans/Tarantulus
-Waspinator: Waspitter
-Terrorsaur: Terrorsaurer
-Blackarachnia: Blackwidow
-Transmetal Optimus Primal: Metals Convoy
-Ravage: Jaguar
-Optimal Optimus Primal: Powered Convoy
-Tigerhawk: Tigerfalcon

BW Toyline-only
-Armordillo: Armor
-Polar Claw: White Claw
-Panther: Jaguar
-Optimus Primal (Bat): Convobat
-Wolfang: Howlinger
-Beetle: Insecticon
-Insecticon: Kuwagiger
-Iguanus: Iguanar
-Manta Ray: Manta
-Megatron (Alligator): Megalligator

Beast Machines
The Japanese version of Beast Machines retains whatever Japanese names from Beast Wars, but the rest of the names were unmolested.
-Maximal: Cybertron
-Optimus Primal: Convoy
-Cheetor: Cheetus
-Rattrap: Rattle
-Blackarachnia: Blackwidow

Robots in Disguise
Being a Japan-originated show titled Car Robots, many of the names are Japanese original. Thus the entire cast, barring Gas Skunk and Wars, have their names changed to better suit the English audience. Because names like 'J7' or 'Gusher' don't work. Although why they changed perfectly great names like 'Speedbreaker' and 'Eaglekiller' to rubbish ones like 'Side Burn' and 'R-dot-E-dot-V-dot' is a little beyond me.
-Autobots: Cybertron
-Predacon: Destrongen
-Decepticon: Combatron
-Optimus Prime: Fire Convoy
-Optimus Prime Super Mode: Super Fire Convoy
-T-AI: Ai
-Side Burn: Speedbreaker
-Prowl: Mach Alert
-X-Brawn: Wildride
-Hot Shot: Artfire
-Crosswise: X-Car
-Mirage: Counter Arrow
-R.E.V.: Eaglekiller
-Ironhide: Ox
-Railspike: J5
-Rapid Run: J7
-Midnight Express: J4
-Rail Racer: JRX (short for Japanese Rail Xpress)
-Skid-Z: Indy Heat
-Tow-Line: Wrecker Hook
-Ultra Magnus: God Magnus
-Omega Prime: God Fire Convoy
-Wedge: Build Boy
-Grimlock: Build Hurricane
-Hightower: Build Cyclone
-Heavy Load: Build Typhoon
-Landfill: Build King
-Fortress Maximus: Brave Maximus
-Emissary: Brave
-Cerebros: Plasma
-Megatron: Gigatron
-Galvatron: Devil Gigatron
-Sky-Byte: Gelshark
-Slapper: Gusher
-Darkscream: Guildor
-Scourge: Black Convoy
-Mega-Octane: Dolrailer
-Movor: Shuttler
-Ro-Tor: Hepter
-Armorhide: Dangar
-Rollbar: Greejeeper
-Ruination: Valdigus

Like Robots in Disguise, being a Japan-imported show meant lots of name changes when Micron Legend became Armada. A huge chunk of the cast got their names altered for the English market. As usual, English names first. There is a whole buttload of Japanese-exclusive Minicons, some of which have received English names from Fun Publications. I lost track, and decided I couldn't be bothered to go beyond the original toyline's Minicons.
-Autobot: Cybertron
-Decepticon: Destron
-Optimus Prime: Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Jetfire): Jet Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Overload): Magna Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Overload + Jetfire): Magna Jet Convoy
-Hot Shot: Hot Rod
-Red Alert: Ratchet
-Smokescreen: Grap
-Hoist: Grap Super Mode
-Scavenger: Devastar (reference to Devastator)
-Jetfire: Skyfire
-Blurr: Silverbolt
-Side Swipe: Stepper
-Overload: Ultra Magnus
-Galvatron: Megatron Super Mode
-Cyclonus: Sandstorm
-Demolishor: Ironhide
-Wheeljack: Rampage
-Tidal Wave: Shockwave
-Sideways: Doubleface
-Nemesis Prime: Scourge
-Laserbeak: Cyberhawk
-Grindor: Bank
-High Wire: Wheelie
-Sureshock: Arcee
-Perceptor: Bumble
-Sparkplug: Prime (what? The name Optimus Prime isn't commonplace in Japan)
-Longarm: Hook
-Rollbar: Dirt
-Incinerator: Turbo
-Liftor: Lift
-Refute: Lift
-Nightbeat: Cha
-Comettor: Sonar
-Rollout: Magnus
-Over-Run: Surge
-Leader-One: Barrel
-Swindle: Grid
-Blackout: Search
-Crumplezone: Cannon
-Inferno: Thunder
-Ramjet: Sonic
-Wind Sheer: Hawk
-Rook: Bright
-Crosswise: Shadow
-Dead End: Bug
-Jetstorm: Mach
-Sonar: Shuttler
-Runway: Jetter
-Dirt Boss: Drift (no swords on this Drift)
-Downshift: Spin
-Mirage: Indy
-Skyboom Shield: Cosmotector
-Astroscope: Mir (the Russian space station)
-Sky Blast: Apollo
-Payload: Move
-Requiem Blaster: Astro Blaster
-Bonecrusher: Bomb
-Knock Out: Crack
-Wreckage: Shot
-Gunbarrel: Glide
-Terradive: Recon
-Thunderwing: Flame
-Dualor: Duster
-Buzzsaw: Wheel
-Drill Bit: Crush
-Backtrack: Auto
-Spiral: Jiku
-Oval: Nitro
-Iceberg: Junk
-Ransack: Winch
-Dune Runner: Spike
-Oceanglide: Sail
-Waterlog: Knot
-Stormcloud: Float
-Firebot: Draft
-Makeshift: Twist
-Run-Over: Sweep

As Armada's sequel, Energon (Superlink in Japan) changes many of the names when it is imported from Japan. In Japan 'Hot Rod' got changed into Hot Shot to better tie in with Armada, though.
-Autobot: Cybertron
-Decepticon: Destron
-Optimus Prime: Grand Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Wing Saber): Wing Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Omega Supreme): Omega Convoy
-Jetfire: Skyfire
-Ironhide: Roadbuster
-Roadblock: Inferno V
-Rodimus: Rodimus Prime
-Prowl: Red Alert
-Bulkhead: Sprung
-Cliffjumper: Overdrive
-Downshift: Wheeljack
-Arcee: Ariel
-Strongarm: Blast Arm
-Skyblast: Air Glide
-Storm Jet: Afterburner
-Sky Shadow: Sling
-Terradive: Skydive
-Treadshot: Air Rider
-Windrazor: Firebolt
-Superion Maximus: Superion
-Megatron: Galvatron
-Demolishor: Ironhide
-Demolishor (upgraded): Irontread
-Tidal Wave: Shockwave
-Mirage: Shockfleet
-Cyclonus: Sandstorm
-Snow Cat: Snowstorm
-Starscream: Nightscream
-Shockblast: Laserwave
-Scorponok: Megazarak
-Battle Ravage: Command Jaguar
-Divebomb: Shadowhawk
-Cruellock: Dinobot
-Insecticon: Chrome Horn
-Barricade: Onslaught
-Blight: Swindle
-Kickback: Brawl
-Blackout: Blast Off
-Stormcloud: Vorter
-Bruticus Maximus: Bruticus
-Duststorm: Long Haul
-Sledge: Scrapper
-Wideload: Glen
-Steamhammer: Scavenger
-Constructicon Maximus: Buildron
-Slugslinger: Storm Jet
-Grindor: Runway
-High Wire: Hopper
-Sureshock: Charge
-Perceptor: Cliffjumper
-Scattor: Pulse
-Wreckage: Laser
-Skyboom: Beam

Like its predecessors, Cybertron (Galaxy Force) was a Japanese-originals show. So nearly the entire cast gets new English names. Cybertron is supposed to be a sequel to Energon, while its Japanese counterpart, Galaxy Force, was not. So some characters like, for example, Exillion and Dreadrock gets retconned to represent counterparts Armada-Energon era transformer, Hot Shot and Jetfire respectively. You can imagine how badly continuity is for Cybertron. As usual, English to Japanese.
-Autobot: Cybertron
-Decepticon: Destron
-Cybertron: Seibertron
-Optimus Prime: Galaxy Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Leobreaker): Liger Convoy
-Optimus Prime (w/ Wing Saber): Sonic Convoy
-Jetfire: Dreadrock
-Landmine: Guardshell
-Cybertron Defense Team: Vanguard Team
-Hot Shot: Exillion
-Hot Shot (post upgrade): Exigeyser
-Scattorshot: Backpack
-Scattorshot (post upgrade): Backgild
-Red Alert: First Aid
-Red Alert (post upgrade): First Gunner
-Overhaul: Jackshot
-Leobreaker: Ligerjack
-Wing Saber: Sonic Bomber
-Override: Nitro Convoy (also got a gender change into female when redubbed)
-Clocker: Skids
-Brakedown: Autolander
-Backstop: Saidos
-Snarl: Fangwolf
-Evac: Live Convoy
-Crosswise: Autovolt
-Metroplex: Megalo Convoy
-Quickmix: Blender
-Megatron: Master Megatron
-Megatron (w/ Nemesis Breaker): Liger Megatron
-Galvatron: Master Galvatron
-Ransack: Gasket
-Crumplezone: Landbullet
-Dark Crumplezone: Armbullet
-Thunderblast: Chromia
-Dirt Boss: Inch-Up
-Scourge: Flame Convoy
-Undermine: Dinoshout
-Brimstone: Tera Shaver
-Mudflap: Demolishor
-Nemesis Breaker: Dark Ligerjack
-Lugnutz: Roadstorm
-Menasor: Moledive
-Sideways: Noisemaze
-Laserbeak: Killer Condor
-Scrapmetal: Ramble
-Cobybot: Coby Ramble
-Jolt: Hop
-Six-Speed: Bullet
-Reverb: Bumper
-Safeguard: Roots
-Drill Bit: Horribull
-Stripmine: Killbull
-Heavy Load: Bullbull
-Oval: Cyana
-Spiral: Gagenda
-Backtrack: Sullow

Live-Action Movies
In contrast to past shows, the Japanese did not change any names for the live-action movies. So we get Autobot instead of Cybertron, Optimus Prime instead of Convoy, Decepticon instead of Destron, Bumblebee instead of Bumble, etc. as a better marketing strategy and to unify both sides of the franchise. Plus, 'Bumblebee' makes more sense than 'Bumble', even to Japanese kids.

Like the Movies, Animated kept most of the names, even Autobot and Decepticon, when being imported to Japan. With the exception of two, of course:
-Bulkhead: Ironhide (to represent Movie Ironhide, whose name became popular due to the live action movies)
-Ironhide: Armorhide

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Post by Cliffjumper » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:13 pm

Go-Shooter is a repaint of Siren (or vice-versa) - white instead of grey, and IIRC a different blue and police markings instead of Fire Chief. I seem to remember Ranger had a couple of colour differences to Joyride and Quick Switch as well, maybe Doubledealer and Darkwing/Dreadwind too. A fair few of the Micros were recoloured too, while RiD Armorhide at least probably qualifies as a repaint

Always thought Kup was "Cha" with no R, but is pronounced the same as the Gundam character.

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Post by Blackjack » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:20 pm

Aye, I'd remove the Masterforce guys from it when I think about it... They're just too different. And the Micromasters were recoloured? Off they go as well.

Because if I start keeping track of recolours then my brain will explode sooner or later. By the way, I watched an episode of Energon. Now I'm avoiding it like the plague.

-checks Kup's name-

Eh, so Armada Nightbeat shares Kup's name in Japan. You learn something new everyday...

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