Overwatch has built up a lot of hype thanks to the elaborate Pixar-esque animations introducing its squad of heroes and what drives them to defend a slow-moving vehicle against a squad of five Reapers. The latest one is about Hanzo and Genji, the two “Japanese” characters who happen to be a samurai and a cybernetic ninja, which means it uses kanji. And either it gets the kanji completely wrong or hilariously right.
The various quirks of the Japanese language can trip up inexperienced speakers quite easily, so it’s easy to assume that’s what happened when the creators used this set, which looks cool, and literally translates to “dragon’s head snake’s tail.” But it doesn’t mean that; instead, it’s an idiom that translates out to “anticlimax.”
In fact, as Kotaku points out, a quick Google translate will tell you that exact thing. But at the same time, it seems odd that Blizzard, a detail-obsessed game company that’s spent years working with Asian cultures, would make such a ridiculous gaffe. And, oddly enough, it does fit with the story, which is an anti-climax in an emotional sense. It could just be Blizzard was too clever for its own good here.
Either way, it’s a nice reminder that if you’re outside a culture, it’s always worth double-checking the meanings behind something. It’s also a good reminder to stop playing Reaper and Junkrat so much. Seriously, we’d take a team of Bastions at this point! Play something else, people!