Throughout the process of localizing a video game from one language to another, a number of regional differences can appear. Besides changes in the script to befit the target audience and culture of a particular region, changes towards other elements of the video game, such as art assets, references, and game mechanics, can also be made for various reasons. This article goes over the regional differences found in The World Ends With You, from the original Japanese version to the North American and European versions, and NEO: The World Ends with You.
In Japan, a "Wonderful World Edition" Nintendo DS Lite was produced, marked with the Reapers' skull symbol and the name of the game.
Voices & Text
Most text is translated from Japanese to English.
In Japan, the game is titled すばらしきこのせかい (Subarashiki Kono Sekai, abbreviated to "SubaSeka" within the Japanese community) and known as It's a Wonderful World. Subarashiki is the noun or verb acting prenominally for the adjective Subarashii.
There were some localization changes in the script. For example, Uzuki no longer uses star symbols in her speech, Neku and Shiki are ruder in the English version. A more extensive look at script changes can be seen here.
Tin Pin Slammer is called Marble Slash in Japanese. At the start of a game, the announcer says "Slash in!" instead of "Slam on!"
The large sign on the 104 building at the start of the game says "YOU HAVE 7 DAYS" in the English version, but says "TIME LIMIT WITHIN 7 DAYS" (sic) in the Japanese version.
In the Japanese version, the difficulty flavor text (Face the Noise, Erase the Noise, Hush the Noise, Crush the Noise) is just the names of the difficulty levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, Ultimate).
The names of some of the days were slightly changed:
Reaper's Game (死神のゲーム,Shinigami no Gēmu)
Don't Kill Me
Don't Kill Me (私を殺さないで,Watashi o Korosanaide)
Who 2 Trust
Trustworthy People (信頼できるヒト,Shinrai Dekiru Hito)
Empty Urban Legends
Empty Urban Legends (空虚な都市伝説,Kūkyo na Toshi Densetsu)
Pride and Inferiority Complex (プライドと劣等感,Puraido to Rettōkan)
Wakeless Dream (醒めない夢,Samenai Yume)
Roamin' the Streets
Drifting the Streets (ストリートを漂流,Sutorīto o Hyōryū)
Beast on the Prowl
Dashing Beast (疾走するケダモノ,Shissō Suru Kedamono)
Clash of Desires
Clash of Desires (欲望のさめぎあい,Yokubō no Samegiai)
Common Sense, No Common Sense. (常識、非常識。,Jōshiki, Hijōshiki.)
The Composer (コンポーザー,Konpōzā)
Indelible Guilt (消えない罪悪感,Kienai Zaiakukan)
Another Day: This Day Ends With You!
Another Day: It's A Wonderful Day. (アナザーデイ すばらしきこの一日。,Anazā Dei Subarashiki Kono Ichinichi.)
The soundtrack had some music tracks replaced as follows:
The lyrics for Owari-Hajimari and Lullaby for You were changed from Japanese to English.
Slash and Slash was renamed Slam Brothers in international versions. However, the song is titled Slash Brothers in the Japanese version of the game: the soundtrack is the only instance where it is titled Slash and Slash.
Rush Hour is an "unused" song that is not used in either version of the game. The song is still purchasable from AMX or Towa Records in-game, but does not appear in any other context in-game.
Both soundtracks would be eventually combined for the international version of Solo Remix for mobile devices, and subsequently Final Remix on the Nintendo Switch.
The Udagawa mural, Towa Records sign, and the Brainy Cat pin were slightly changed to remove religious symbolism. For more info, see CAT.
The Japanese version had four pins (Polytan, Gemaga, Nindori-kun, and Famitsu) that were references to Japanese gaming magazines (Dengeki, Gemaga, Nintendo Dream, and Famitsu respectively). Their icons and descriptions were changed to Fuji Yama, Daruma, Sushi, Shinobi in the NA/EU version. The stats of the pins did not change.
(Confirmed) Character or Noise attack/defense have changed slightly. Some enemies, mostly Boss Noise and Taboo Noise, do more damage in the Japanese version. Regular enemies such as Grizzlies also do more damage in the Japanese version.
Mingle PP rewards were increased in the US/EU version:
Espers from 20 to 50 MPP each.
Ordinary People (AKA Civvies) from 3 to 20 MPP each.
Aliens from 20 to 100 MPP each.
Many items' stats were improved: below is just one example.
Angel Feather: from ATK -24, HP +600 in the Japanese version to ATK +30, DEF +30, HP +2000 in the US/EU version
Eden's Door evolved into 1 Yen in the Japanese version - a devastating punishment for evolving the Holy Field pins incorrectly. In the NA/EU version, it evolves back into One Jump from Eden.
There's one more ESP'er Rank after "Demon," the "God" rank. In the Japanese version, it was earned at exactly 65,535 ESP'er Points. This was reduced in the NA/EU version to 10,000, but was erroneously left as exactly 10,000 points instead of being changed to at least 10,000. The rank reverts to "Demon" at 10,001 and beyond.
NEO: The World Ends With You
The game is titled Shin Subarashiki Kono Sekai (literally "New 'It's a Wonderful World'") in Japanese. The English translation of "NEO: The World Ends With You" still appears below the logo on the title page.
The game's script has had some changes with more pop culture references and modern English language. For example, Fret seems to reference Among Us when he mentions "kinda sus" next to "impostor" and makes a Dr. Doolittle reference with "Dr. Zoolittle". Shoka makes a Avatar: The Last Airbender reference with the phrase "that's rough, buddy." Nagi calls herself "Nagi the Edgelord" and what was originally akin to "I'll strike back" has become "face my edgy wrath". Ken Doi wonders if his curry made as a Japanese man is inauthentic, while he asks himself "Is this cultural appropriation?" in the English version. MKN is specified to be an anti-capitalist in the English version.
The names of the player teams are shorter, although the longer English names are still used as well. The Wicked Twisters are just "Twisters", the Variabeauties are "Vari" or "Valley", the Purehearts are unchanged, the Ruinbringers are just "Ruin", and the Deep Rivers Society's name is "幽川舎" (Yuusensha) which is literally "Deep River Society" translated into Kanji; the symbol visible on the English logo is also the Kanji for "deep".
Some characters' names are spelled differently due to the differences between natural English pronounciation and literal romajization of Japanese. For example, Rindo's name is Rindou, which is pronounced in Japanese the same as "Rindo" in English (if spelled "Rindo" in Japanese, it would be pronounced like "Rindoh" in English). Likewise, Shoka is Shouka and Shiba is Shiiba.
The @ sign before a character's name or description when Scanning was an addition to the English version, as a reference to social media handles, such as on Twitter.
On all versions other than the English version, the text when a non-Noise encounter is completed reads Victory!; only the English version shows Threat Muted.
Motoi Anazawa's memes are similar but fall into some standard poetic forms, such as haiku. For example, the English meme "If you shed a tear, don't fret; that just means your eyes are wet" is the haiku 涙とは / 身体の中に / あった水だよ (Namida to wa / Karada no naka ni / Atta mizu da) "Tears are the water that was within the body".
Several characters pronounce "Shibuya" incorrectly, over-emphasising the "bu", even though their characters are Japanese. For example, Shiba Miyakaze pronounces it correctly, but Tanzo Kubo doesn't.
A number of the standard terms used for game items are described using English words, but different English words to the actual English translation:
Beatdrop / Drop The Beat
God Tier Pin
As in the previous game, the names of the days are different, sometimes significantly:
Reaper's Game (死神のゲーム,Shinigami no Gēmu)
Get x Twisted
Beyond the Deep Dive (深く潜った先に,Fukaku Mogutta Saki ni)
True Lies (真実のウソ,Shinjutsu no Uso)
HEAD 2 HEAD
Psychicer x Psychicer (サイキッカー×サイキッカー,Saikikka x Saikikka)
In2 the Xing
Truth of Reversi (リバーシの真理,Ribaashi no Shinri)
Target: Legend (ターゲットは伝説,Tagetto wa Densetsu)
Sound Surfer (サウンドサーファー,Saundosaafaa)
Follow the Urban Legend! (都市伝説を追え！,Toshi densetsu o oe!)
The destination of desire (欲望の到着地,Yokubo no tochaku-chi)
Vanishing Mode (ヴァニシングモード,Vanishingumoodo)
Butterflies, Flowers (蝶よ花よ,Choyo Hanayo)
Come Back (再来,Sairai)
River of Betrayal (裏切りの川,Uragiri no kawa)
Shi Bu Ya
Party in the 'Buya
Shibuya Festival Day (シブヤフェスの一日,Shibuyafeesu no ichinichi)