Researching the Four Heavenly Kings

For a big ol’ upcoming article, I’ve been researching which games and anime feature 四天王, the Four Heavenly Kings. The Elite Four in Pokemon count, as do the original four bad guys in Sailor Moon (the English dub called them the Negacommanders). Oddly enough, the Four Kings from Dark Souls are not called 四天王 in Japanese.

The funniest 四天王 I’ve found today are from Cromartie High School. There’s five members and four of them look like KISS:

And the most perplexing one is a group from Dragon Ball Z that’s called the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon Clan in Japanese. They got their name changed to… the Spice Boys in English.

5 thoughts on “Researching the Four Heavenly Kings”

  1. No doubt because they are named after condiments, and the Spice Girls were at their peak as Funi was dubbing that bit. Pop culture references may well be awful, but at least that one’s almost never actually *used* — they’re only referred to en masse once, I believe.

    1. Yeah, but it’s still really unfortunate. They had such a badass name in Japanese and it got dumbed down to something not even a teen would laugh at.

  2. I’m having flashbacks from the Pokemon manga fan translation deciding to transliterate the Elite Four instead of translating, because reasons. I still can’t get over it.

    1. My wife used to be quite active in the internet Sailor Moon fandom, and encountered any number of people who insisted on transliterating names, very much including names that are originally transliterations of English words into Japanese. There was one girl I recall who insisted that the show should be called “Seramun” for that reason

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