What's in a Subtitle Anyway?
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This paper is a critical examination of the subtitling process. The film that is the subject of this paper is Rurouni Kenshin (2012), a film adapted from the previous media of manga and anime. The examination of subtitles was done by selecting four short scenes and creating titles for them in order to answer the question of whether or not analysis and examination of the film caused the subtitles to differ from a basic translation edited to fit within the requirements of subtitles. The subtitles were created for an audience that was familiar either with the Kenshin franchise’s previous incarnations or with the Meiji Restoration and post-Meiji periods in Japan. The conclusion of the study is that analysis and examination of a film certainly does affect the subtitles. While linguistic factors form an overwhelming majority of the work in creating a title, an examination of the film, its characters and elements is necessary for the subtitles to convey all that they need to communicate to the audience.