This question regards the official English translation done by Yen Press. According to the copyright page, the translators are Krista Shipley and Karie Shipley.

Long Version

At the beginning of volume 7 (Fail 56), Tomoko is late to school because she got stuck watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a western animation. However, she refers to this show as an anime. Like an idiot, I got really hung up trying to figure out what the reasoning and implications were for using this terminology.

The quote from the manga is as follows:

When I randomly turned on the TV this morning, there was this anime showing... And I just ended up watching to the end, so...

So, why did the English translator choose to use the term anime here, which in English is only used to refer to Japanese animation, rather than something more accurate? I've thought of several possibilities, but have no way to determine which, if any, is right.

If I'm not mistaken, in Japan the word anime is used to refer to any sort of animation, with no distinction for its country of origin. So the translator may have chosen the term to convey that in Tomoko's mind there isn't a real distinction for foreign cartoons. But the translator did make this decision to use this term in the English adaptation, where anime has a different meaning, so alternatively it is also possible they're trying to convey that Tomoko isn't aware the show is not made in Japan.

Another reason could be for style. Tomoko talks about anime and manga a lot, so it might be a little unusual for her to use a more accurate term here, such as "cartoon" or "animation".

The translator's note at the end doesn't offer much insight onto the matter, though does seem to imply that the translator knows the show is a western animation:

The show Tomoko is watching is Hasbro's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, in which Rainbow Dash is a main character. Rainbow Dash's Japanese voice actress is Izumi Kitta, who also voices Tomoko in the WataMote anime series.

Short Version

Is there any way to determine whether the translator's choice to use the term "anime" to refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a mistake or a deliberate choice to be accurate to Tomoko's character and/or Japanese culture?


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