The next game on my list is ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生 (Danganronpa: Kibō no Gakuen to Zetsubō no Kōkōsei). It’s a visual novel style game that’s supposed to be very, very good. So let’s begin!
First of all, let me give you some exposition real quick. As always, no spoilers. Everything I write about here is happening in the intro and tutorial part of the game. 安心してください。
The premise of this game is that there is this prestigious high school in Japan, and only the most excellent students are invited to study there. They invite the best baseball player, the best writer, the best swimmer… You get the picture. And then they invite one random dude, chosen purely by chance, making him or her the student with the best luck. The part of this “lucky” student, a boy named 苗木誠 (なえぎ まこと), goes to the player. Now comes the twist: When the students arrive at their new high school, they find themselves locked inside. They are greeted by a creepy remote-controlled bear doll that calls itself モノクマ and has something horrifying planned for the students…
The first thing I noticed about the writing in this game is that it uses plenty of slang. Slang like I never seen, crazy, mind-bending stuff. Actually, I bet it’s a pretty normal mix of slang and dialects, I’m just not used to things like that yet. The reason for the large amounts of slang expressions is of course that all of the protagonists are high school students. Darn those teenagers forcing foreigners to learn their weird way of talking!
Now here’s the line I’m going to look at today. The students are gathered in the auditorium, where モノクマ gives them a welcome speech and lays out its plans for them. It says some pretty gruesome stuff, and one of the students snaps and takes a swing at it. The doll goes flying into the room and explodes.
Mere seconds after the モノクマ doll is destroyed, a new one enters the room! This prompts one of the students – the baseball player 桑田レオン（くわた レオン） – to say the following line:
I have no idea what the やがった-suffix there means. It shows up quite a lot in the students’ speech. Disregarding the suffix for a second, the sentence appears to mean, “What the-! Another one appeared …”
My first instinct is to look やがった up in Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese, and it’s an immediate hit in the section titled Casual Patterns and Slang:
「やがる」 is a verb suffix used to indicate hatred or contempt for the person doing the action. … In order to use 「やがる」, you simply attach it to the stem of the verb. After that, 「やがる」 is conjugated just like a regular u-verb.
This comes with a warning that this is an extreme form of slang that should not be used in regular conversation. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! So, “hatred or contempt” – it makes a lot of sense in this context, because the students are pretty much terrified of this creepy robotic doll, so of course they wouldn’t approve of its actions.
How to translate this, then? I guess it would be fine to just go with “What the-! Another one appeared …”, relying on context and the exclamation to make it clear that レオン is not pleased with the fact that a new doll showed up. If you want to bring out the contempt, the やがるness a little more in the English version, and also boost the tough-guy slanginess a bit, I guess you could try something like,
What the-! Another one of those damned things showed up!
Substitute your favorite flavor of f-word for the damn. 😜
That’s about it for my first piece of grammar from ダンガンロンパ. With the exposition out of the way now, next time I’ll get to the meat of the article a lot quicker.
Thanks for stoppying by, and remember to be afraid of small fuzzy bears! Happy Halloween! 👹
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