Overwatch Isn't Very Good At Picking Kanji Characters

Blizzard released a short animation to explain the rivalry between bow-wielding mercenary Hanzo and cybernetic ninja Genji. The animation is neat and all, but people online in Japan have been pointing out that the kanji sure is odd. [Image: Blizzard]

Japanese has a rather complex writing system that features kanji characters from China. There are also native writing systems called hiragana and katakana that are used along with kanji in written Japanese.

In the animation, Hanzo kneels before a scroll that features four kanji characters in an idiomatic expression. Often maxims, these are not uncommon and in Japanese they are called "yojijukugo" (四字熟語). As Japanese site Afternoon News points out, the idiom Blizzard picked isn't very good at all.

[Image: Blizzard]

The scroll reads 竜頭蛇尾 (ryuutoudabi) or, literally, "dragon head, snake tail". Which might underscore the motif that appears throughout the animation. Perhaps?

[Image: Blizzard]

However, Japanese people don't read these four characters literally. As previously mentioned, this is an idiom. It actually means "anticlimax". Which is why it's bizarre to see Hanzo kneeling before a scroll that means "anticlimax", because this is probably the last thing Blizzard wants to convey about Overwatch or this short animation.

[Image: Twitter]

Some Japanese Twitter users have been pointing out this strange selection, writing that it was "hilarious" and "too bizarre". Even more so when you consider how the animation ends with Hanzo once again kneeling before the "anticlimax" scroll.

[Image: Blizzard]

Or that, you know, check a dictionary or at least see what Google Translate immediately barfs up:

Oh well.


Comments

    And when your team fails to capture the point you will see Anticlimax as zero skill ultimate multikill gets play of the game again

      Hey, as long as it's not another Bastion highlight, I'm happy.

    Well I guess its only fair we (English speakers) screw up their Kanji since they do some pretty hilarious fails of English.

    Anticlimax was right, I though this was the worst of the Overwatch shorts, At least Krunkidile's version had some personality to it beyond the unbelievably cliched.

    I cringe when I hear the wo in hanzos alt. It's such a basic thing to get wrong.

    In Korea, it directly translates to 용두사미, which is often likened with 'new-year's-resolution', in that it starts all flashy but ends up in a dumpster.
    The literal meaning is 'Dragon head, Snake tail' as mentioned in the article, which also means anticlimax, but that translation isn't quite spot-on, since it mostly means a plan that got started nicely ending up as nothing much.

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