Hey all, Deadborder here! I’m doing another side edition of the Names and Etymology pages that Eva usually takes care of, and this one’s a little different – it’s based on the fake card sets we created for April Fool’s this year, Dragons Awakening and Force of Legacy!
To get you up to speed on exactly what’s going on here, Dragon’s Awakening (DWAI) and Force of Legacy (FOOL) are an 80 (plus one)-card set and a bonus 10-card set, respectively, made up of fake cards devised mostly by Eva and myself. It’s something we just sorta did on a whim, starting around late November/early December.
Of course, since we’re both translators for the site, we got the idea to create separate English and Japanese names for all 90 cards made! And since I’m assuming a lot of you readers aren’t super well-versed in that area, I’ll explain some of the thoughts that went into making those names here (well, as best I can for Eva’s).
So without further ado, let’s get rolling!
DRAGONS AWAKENING (DWAI)
Well, I guess I’ll make a note about the name here. While Force of Legacy shortening to FOOL is fairly obvious, this one’s more of an in-joke, with DWAI also being an abbreviation for “don’t worry about it.”
What’s the point, you ask? what did I just say
Also, naming a pack Dragons Awakening is more fun when there’s absolutely zero Dragon-Type monsters in the entire set.
Most of these guys, as in the TCG, have pretty straightforward names.
Really, the only one whose name is different in Japanese is Madolche Macaribbit, who becomes Madolche Makeron. The pun, of course, is on makaron (macaron) and kero (ribbit).
While the names didn’t change, the reasoning for naming the two Pendulums after cinnamon and mint was simply to play off the red-blue color scheme of the Pendulum Scales, and Plum Puddingcess was partially based on shortening “Pendulum Puddingcess”. Do note that that last one only works in English, though, so it’s just a play on “plum pudding” in Japanese.
Oh yes, Tiara Finale is also the same in Japanese – and yes, it’s based on the special attack of a certain trigger-happy magical girl.
Like the Madolche, pretty much all of the monster card names are the same in English as they are in Japanese. I would like to point out, though, that Ghostrick Brocken Specter is not a typo; it’s a play on Ghostrick Specter (duh) and the phenomenon known as the Brocken Specter, hence his “growing” monster effect.
The Spells and Traps I had a bit more freedom with: Ghostrickery was originally “Ghostrick Prank” in Japanese, which is also a slight nod to a card called Trick Prank in the Battle Spirits card game. On the other hand, Ghostrickstravaganza’s Japanese name is simply “Ghostrick Happy Halloween”, my less-than-subtle attempt at playing off the names Madolchepalooza and Madolche Happy Festa respectively.
Regarding Ghostrick-or-Madolche Pumpuddingcess, the name was the same in Japanese, a sort of forcing the card into both archetypes while retaining the “trick-or-treat” allusion. “Pumpuddingcess” also works out a little better in Japanese, with the “pumpudding” (panpudin) part of the name being only one sound apart from “pumpkin” (panpukin).
Each of the 4 “elemental” Charmers (Aussa, Eria, Hiita, and Wynn) use the same kanji in their name as the Dragon Ruler in the same Attribute – hence the English naming using the same titles as the English Dragon Rulers’ names (Boulder, Waterfall, Inferno, Storm). The titles Dusk/Dawn Charmer for Dharc and Lyna are pretty much literal; the new kanji in their name refer to dusk and dawn, respectively.
The Spiritual Arts, much like the originals, have a kanji with some sort of meaning attached to it. The kanji for these Arts are as follows:
– Zen, from the field spell, is a kanji meaning “all”.
– Ichi, from the first continuous trap, is a kanji meaning “one” or “first”.
– Hoshi, from the second continuous trap, is a kanji meaning “star” or “planet”.
– Moto, from the normal trap, is a kanji meaning “origin”, “base”, “root”, etc.
Incidentally, Eva also mentioned that “Ichi” and “Zen” are also references to techniques used in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga.
While the English name for Traptrix Drosera simply falls in line with the other TCG names for Traptrix (based on the Drosera sundew plants), its Japanese name is a little different.
The way each of the Japanese names was formed was to take a word related to the organism and to corrupt it somehow:
Atrax (atorakusu) got the “–x” cut off, becoming Atra (atora);
Myrmeleo’s Japanese name, Tlion (torion) is based on a corruption of the English “antlion”, though seeing as it’s pronounced “t-lee-on” and not “t-lie-on”, I get the sense someone misread the English word;
Nepenthes’ name, Kazuura, is a corruption of the Japanese utsubokazura (pitcher plant);
Dionaea’s name, Tio, appears to be a corrupted shortening of Dionaea itself, though with the “di” (ディ) changed into a “ti” (ティ), maybe to get around allusions to the famous vampire.
In this way, I took the name Drosera and made a similar corruption, pulling out the “rose” and messing with it a bit, turning it into “Traptrix Rooze” (roh-zeh).
As for Traptrix Queen Mariana, the character used for “queen” in her name is a little obscure, but that’s not really the main pun in her name. The wordplay is twofold, and comes from her name, Mariana: first, it’s based on the Marianas Trench, the deepest ocean trench in the world; second, it includes “ana”, the Japanese word for “hole”.
The field spell Traptrix Territory also includes a pun in its Japanese name, “Kowakuma no Hanto” – while “hanto” means “territory” with the given kanji, “hanto” written in katakana is the English word “hunt”.
The trap Traptrix Banquet Hole’s name flows a little better in Japanese than in English, but it’s pretty straightforward. It uses a partial forced reading, giving the kanji string meaning “banquet hall” the English reading of “Banquet Hall”. The play here is that in Japanese, the English words “hole” and “hall” are both written the same way – “hooru”.
The Phantom Beast monsters are essentially straight translations, though the “Naturia” in Naturia-Fang is naturally (haa) “Natul” (ナチュル) for the Japanese name of the card. Looking at the stats of this card, however, seems to reveal a connection to a certain Naturia Synchro monster…
Meanwhile, Illusion-Drake is meant to reference Leodrake, the poor effectless fellow.
These cards, much like the actually existing Herald cards, has a name using specific kanji but a forced katakana reading. In the case of Voice of the Heralds, the kanji string means “Prophet of Those Who Declare Verdicts” (with “Those Who Declare Verdicts” being the kanji used for “Herald”), but is read as “Declarer Voice” (with “Declarer” being the Japanese name for the “Herald” monsters).
The Field Spell “Hall of Heralds”, on the other hand, is a bit different from its Japanese name. The forced reading is “Declarer Chorus”, while the kanji string literally means “Divine Song of Those Who Declare Verdicts.” Interestingly enough, the word used for “divine song” here, “kamikyoku”, is also the Japanese title for The Divine Comedy.
Guide of Nephthys: the Japanese name for this card is “Nephthys no Annai”, or “Guide/Guidance of Nephthys”. This is a play on the Japanese name for “Hand of Nephthys”, “Nephthys no Michibiku Te” – literally “Guiding Hand of Nephthys”.
Divine Phoenix of Nephthys: the Japanese name for this card is “Nephthys no Shinhouou”, or literally “God Phoenix of Nephthys”. This is a play on the Japanese name for SACRED Phoenix of Nephthys, which is “Nephthys no Hououshin”, or “Phoenix God of Nephthys”.
There’s really only one Alien card that has a different Japanese name – but in a way, you could say its name is still the same, through a neat play on kanji. Literally, the Japanese name for “A” Cell Bio-Chamber is “A” Cell Cultivation Room, but “cultivation” here is read as “baiyou” in Japanese. In other words, it’s technically a “bio” chamber regardless of language.
All of the Duston cards are the same in Japanese, but I did want to mention this: Yes, Duston Chute is supposed to be a play on Trap Dustshoot (which, looking at the card art, might be mistranslated).
The three main deck Mokey Mokey all follow a similar naming scheme, using repetitive adjectives to mimic the sound of “Mokemoke”, the original Japanese name:
Carefree Mokey Mokey is “Boyaboya Mokemoke”, with “boyaboya” meaning “careless”. He’s supposed to be “chill” to match the blue Pendulum Scale.
Grumpy Mokey Mokey is “Iraira Mokemoke”, with “iraira” meaning “getting irritated”. He’s supposed to be a little on edge to match the red Pendulum Scale.
Swirly Mokey Mokey is “Guruguru Mokemoke”, with “guruguru” being a sound effect for “rolling round and round”. This is supposed to reference the “spiral” often seen on Fusion Summoning cards, and his body is a light purple to match.
Meanwhile, Gold Mokey Mokey is a bit of a pun. One way to say “gold” in Japanese is “kin” – which is one kana off from “kingu”, as in the English word “king”.
No-Eyes Wight Dragon, as you may have guessed, is a play on the famous Blue-Eyes White Dragon. This actually attempts to match the Japanese style of writing Blue-Eyes’ card name, another one of those kanji strings with forced readings:
青眼の白龍 (ブルーアイズ・ホワイト・ドラゴン) – “White Dragon of Blue Eyes” (Buruuaizu Howaito Doragon/Blue-Eyes White Dragon)
空眼の白骨龍（ノーアイズ・ワイト・ドラゴン）- “Skeleton Dragon of Empty Eyes” (Nooaizu Waito Doragon/No-Eyes Wight Dragon)
Funnily enough, one of the ways to write “skeleton” in Japanese uses the kanji for “white” and “bone”, so it was still possible to fit the “white” kanji into No-Eyes’ name.
Continuing the Blue-Eyes parallels is the Spell card Cursed Scream of Corruption, or “Kusari no Cursed Scream”. Again, it uses a forced reading, like the original Burst Stream:
滅びの爆裂疾風弾（ほろびのバーストストリーム）- “Explosive Gale Bullet of Destruction” (Horobi no Baasutosutoriimu/Burst Stream of Destruction)
腐りの呪縛死霊叫（くさりのカースドスクリーム）- “Curse Ghost Cry of Rotting” (Kusari no Kaasudosukuriimu/Cursed Scream of Corruption)
The Spirit naming was pretty much all Eva’s doing, being the one who made these cards in the first place; they all follow a similar pattern. That is, they use obscure kanji that can be read certain ways to spell out the names of these Japanese mythological figures.
Amaterasu, normally written as 天照 (something like “shining on the heavens”), is written here with 天纏晸瓓主 – which doesn’t really translate into anything, but can be read as “Amaterasu”.
The same can be said for Ame no Uzume and Himiko – in other words, they’re all written to be ornate and over-the-top. Technically, though, the kanji used here for Himiko, 妃御子, can be translated as something like “honorable princess”.
On the other hand, both Takamagahara and Kojiki are written as they usually are; literally, they mean “the plain of high heaven” and “ancient writings record” respectively.
The Solenaut pair is based on the idea of a solenoid, the wire coil in an electromagnet. Of course, an electromagnet already has both poles, but this idea was more fun. Just imagine them as two rock dudes with coiled wire around their left or right arm.
As for their name, it’s another forced reading. The names are read in Japanese as Solenaut N/S, but the kanji string means something like “spiral magnet warrior”. Yep, the “magnet warrior” part is the same kanji string used on Yugi’s Magnet Warrior monsters.
Meanwhile, Diamond Golem Adamantle actually has two puns in him, but one only works in Japanese. The Adamantle part, of course, is a play on adamant (i.e., diamond) and mantle (like the earth’s mantle), which is the same in both languages. But the Japanese name also uses a forced reading, turning the kanji string meaning “diamond doll” into “kongolem”, a play on the Japanese “kongou” (diamond) and “gooremu” (golem, duh).
The card known as “Lost Lapis Lazuli” is similarly named in Japanese, as “Wandering Lapis Lazuli” – or, more literally, “Samayou Ruri”. And yep, the Ruri we all know and love uses those kanji in her name.
While these guys are mostly straightforward translations, there are a few small notes I’d like to add.
The Dragon Rulers followed a pattern of being (in Japanese) “X Ruling Dragon, Name”, where X was a single kanji related to the dragon’s element. For these guys, I wanted to make them seem “bigger”, so I used words with two kanji instead of one (and also added in the kanji to turn “dragon” into the Japanese term for what we call “Wyrm” monsters).
The only dragon name that wasn’t quite a literal translation was Prominence, Wyrm Ruler of Sunlight – technically, he’s just the Wyrm Ruler of the Sun, but that throws things off a bit in English.
Maiden of the Oracle and La Pucelle Joan are named the same in both languages – they’re both references to the literal Joan of Arc.
Accel Gear, while semi-referencing the Accel Synchro mechanic, is also apparently named after Accel World according to Eva.
For those wondering, yes, Desert Eagle is supposed to be a play on the gun of the same name. Imagine a cowboy-dressed eagle wielding a gun, and you’ll have my mental image of the card.
The two Sadistic cards, Sadistic Angel and Sadistic Temptation, both use forced kanji readings. However, if you literally translate the kanji strings, you’ll get “Queen Angel” and “Queen’s Temptation”…oh my.
Bird of Paradiso’s Japanese name, Senraku no Chou, is a play on the word “xianle”, a Chinese word literally meaning “song of the immortals”, and uses the same kanji as “senraku”. It’s apparently used in wuxia stories as a poetic term for beautiful music. The card is also a play on the phrase “gokurakuchou”, or “bird of paradise”, replacing the “goku” kanji with the “sen” kanji.
The Japanese name for Deep Horror of World Wake is quite different from its English one: it’s a forced reading of the kanji string “Ancient Demon, Star/Planet Eater” as “Archdemon Hoshikui”. According to Eva, the over-the-top sounding name is also a reference to the final boss of a certain game in the Tales series.
Rank-Up-Magic Gaia Force has the same name in both English and Japanese; at the same time, however, the name should remind you of a certain Digimon…
The Ally of Justice Field Spell, in Japanese, is essentially the same, being “Ally of Justice Optimize Area” instead of “Optimization Area”. But since Ally of Justice is written using English letters in Japanese, as AOJ, why not take it a step further and make a field called “AOJOA”?
Then there’s the ever-popular “Accept Frog the Jam”. As many guessed, it’s a play on the dreaded phrase “except Frog the Jam”; the Japanese name is “Issho ni Kaeru Slime”. This is a play on “Kaeru Slime”, the Japanese name for “Frog the Jam”, and “issho ni kaeru”, meaning “to return together”. So you could potentially literally translate it as “We’re Going Home (Slime) Together” or “We’ll Go Home Together, Slime.”
Full Fool is a simple forced reading; while the Japanese for the English words “full” and “fool” are already quite similar (フルand フール, “furu” and “fuuru”), the kanji string translates to “all knuckleheads”, roughly speaking. In fact, the word I used was “bonkotsu”, or the “underdog” from Heart of the Underdog.
Finally, there’s Buy-Bi-Zebras. While I assume you all know what the main joke behind this card is, the kanji string was pretty entertaining to come up with as well. Literally, it’s “The Buying-and-Selling, Two-Horned Zebras”; funnily enough, though, the word for “buying and selling” (売買) is already read as “baibai”.
FORCE OF LEGACY (FOOL)
These ten cards aren’t quite as punny as the others, but they do reference each of the anime series in some way.
Overlapping Voice is rather simple: the Japanese name uses a kanji string literally meaning “Overlapping Voice”, forcefully read as the English phrase “Overlap Voice”. It’s a nod to “Overlap”, the final opening theme of the original Yugioh anime, and “VOICE”, its first opening theme.
Enemy Controller – Burst White Version shares its name in both languages, and is, of course, a reference to the famous Enemy Controller meme. “Burst White”, naturally, refers to the Blue-Eyes White Dragon and its Burst Stream attack.
Wake Up Your Glory follows the pattern of some older Japanese cards; translated, its Japanese name is literally “Wake Up (Your) Glory – WAKE UP YOUR GLORY”. Its name draws from “Wake Up Your Heart”, the second ending theme in Yugioh GX, and “Precious Time, Glory Days”, its final opening theme.
Ancient Gear Academy follows the pattern of Japanese Ancient Gear – or rather, Antique Gear cards. The kanji string means “Ancient Machine Academy” while the reading is literally “Antique Gear Academia”. It’s referring to Duel Academia where Professor Chronos held sway, but might also be hinting towards another Academia…
Future Bonds is essentially the same in Japanese as well. It’s a reference to “Future Colors”, the final ending theme of Yugioh 5Ds, and “Kizuna” (Bonds), its first opening theme.
Road of the King is another forced kanji reading using slightly ornate kanji a la the 5Ds manga. The string itself is “Path/Road of the Absolute King”, while the reading is still “Road of the King”. Such a card could only be fitting for the
former King, Jack Atlas!
Wonder Piece is the same in both languages, and references Yugioh ZEXAL’s last and first opening themes, “Wonder Wings” and “Master Piece”.
Full Aqua Big Jaws is a play on Shark’s series of “Full Armored” monsters from Yugioh ZEXAL. It’s also a reference to the Japanese meme of “Shark’s Magic Combo” from episode 1, in which Shark summons Big Jaws and uses the Spell Card Aqua Jet on it. Some flunkies, upon seeing this, exclaim “It’s here! Shark’s Magic combo!” because I guess that’s what they think combos are.
Burning Belief, as you may guess, is a reference to the second and first opening themes of Yugioh Arc- V, “Burn!” and “Believe x Believe”. The Japanese name has a few puns in it: the kanji string reads “Hot-Blooded Belief”, i.e., NEKKETSU Belief. It also has a forced reading of “Biribaan”, a combination of “biribaa” (believer) and “baan” (burn).
Finally, there’s Bring Smiles by Dueling, or