Tokyopop is a company based in North America that is best known for its extensive manga licenses. Its most notable accomplishments include popularizing the now industry-standard $10 pocket-sized graphic novels as well as making "unflopped" manga with untranslated sound effects the norm. There are of course pros and cons to the format; as a result, Tokyopop has been both praised and criticized accordingly.
Tokyopop has licensed, translated, and released the .hack//Legend of the Twilight manga, two .hack//AI buster novels, and the .hack//Another Birth novels. Most of the translations are done by Naomi Kokubo.
Tokyopop is currently infamous for repeated mistranslations when it comes to the Project .hack universe. On August 11, 2006, Tokyopop announced on their forums they had noted all major translation errors and may issue a reprint. They added, however, they would need to sell virtually all unsold copies of the books.
Legend of the Twilight
The translation of the Legend of the Twilight volumes is overall well done, albeit inconsistent at times. Of the flaws present in the first edition releases, the most notable is the mistranslation of Ouka's name as "Orca" in volume one, which is confusing since Orca of the Azure Sea and Ouka are two completely different characters. However, this translation error was fixed early on and would not be present in copies currently on bookstore shelves.
While both AI buster novels are completely readable, they contain flaws that can prove confusing to those uninitiated to the .hack franchise. The translation of the classes differs from that of Legend of the Twilight even though they are the same class. In fact, the Long Arm class was translated as "Pole Arm" in the first novel while they are "Long Arms" in the second one (except in one instance in which Albireo is referred to as a Pole Arm). Also, the Twin Blade class, which was translated as "Twin Swords" in Legend of the Twilight are referred to as "Twin Users." Also, Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground was mistranslated into Hidden Forrbidden Sacred.
Another Birth is one of the best .hack translations Tokyopop has done, but it still has its mistakes, like the role reversals of Kite and BlackRose when they first meet. Upon reading the novel, it seems Tokyopop actually looked up information regarding .hack because the mistranslation of Alph being a boy carries on into the novel.
- See the Mistranslations in the .hack series article.
After criticism received from their errors in translating .hack//Another Birth Volume 1, Tokyopop advertised for and recruited unpaid "Fan Consultants" to help them avoid future errors in the series. Due to an error in the publishing process, the Fan Consultants were not included in the credits for the first printing of Another Birth Volume 2. The fan consultants are: