Seven Seas has released a statement confirming they made “heavy-handed” editorial changes to the content of multiple light novel series. These changes are present in at least Mushoku Tensei and Classroom of the Elite.
According to Anime News Network, who has reportedly received this confirmation through e-mail correspondence multiple scenes were changed or omitted in the two aforementioned titles. These changes were made in order to balance “word-for-word accuracy with fluidity” according to the statement released by Seven Seas Entertainment.
The entire statement from Seven Seas Entertainment can be found on Anime News Network and below.
“The localization process, especially with novels, involves multiple stages of editing after we receive the raw translation. The process of creating smooth and readable English language prose often involves condensing or rearranging text, so line-by-line translation comparisons are not always 1:1. Seven Seas‘ goal is to provide accurate translations that reflect the author’s intent, yet at the same time, we pride ourselves on providing polished English versions that are commercially viable and enjoyable to read. Our accomplished editors, many of whom are critically acclaimed writers as well as diehard manga and light novel fans, are tasked with carefully threading the needle and balancing word-for-word accuracy with fluidity. In most cases, we are quite pleased with the results, and are confident that our translations stack up with our competitors’ translations and other professional prose novels in English.
That said, the localization process is always a judgement call. In the case of Classroom of the Elite Vol. 7, fans rightly drew our attention to a heavy-handed editorial approach in certain portions of the text. We appreciate this criticism and have taken it to heart. As a result, we have now re-edited the book and will release a new version shortly (both digital and print) that strikes a more carefully considered balance. As for Mushoku Tensei, we are currently re-evaluating our editorial choices, and will be making necessary adjustments on some volumes soon.
We thank fans for their invaluable feedback. Localization is not a science; it is an art form. We will continue to refine our in-house editorial standards to ensure that our localizations remain faithful, yet artful.”
Fans of Classroom of the Elite on Reddit were among the first to notice the changes that Seven Seas Entertainment had been making to the localization. While the changes in Mushoku Tensei became obvious thanks to a scene in the anime.
In the Seven Seas localization of the Light Novel, protagonist Rudeus Greyrat pulls down a sleeping girl’s shirt to politely cover her stomach so she doesn’t catch a cold. In the original scene, Rudeus takes the opportunity to grope the sleeping girl; thus changing the entire context of the scene.
Although Classroom of the Elite Vol. 7 will be re-printed with the omitted content returned, Seven Seas has only said they are “re-evaluating” their editorial choices for Mushoku Tensei and the details of the “necessary adjustments” are unknown.