Come for Keanu’s deep-voiced dub, stay for the localisation lesson. 

No Hollywood celebrity is quite as loved or quite as “breathtaking” as Keanu Reeves. On one hand, he’s quietly reserved yet charmingly playful, as we found out when we interviewed him back in 2017, yet on screen he can be a ruthless badass, as we saw when he posed for us as John Wick back in 2019.

Ever since he visited Hideo Kojima at his office in Tokyo last year, we’ve been waiting anxiously to play with Keanu again…this time in his role as Johnny Silverhand in the long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077.

As the scheduled 19 November release date for the CD Projekt-developed RPG inches ever closer, fans have been treated to a series of tantalising trailers and teaser clips, and today we have another one to gaze at, this time showing Reeves, as himself…dubbed in Japanese.

This “Seize the Day” trailer first appeared on the official Cyberpunk 2077 YouTube channel on 1 October, shortly after it was screened as a TV commercial during the NBA Finals in North America. On 21 October, the trailer was uploaded to the channel’s official Japanese site, giving us Japanese-dubbed Keanu for the first time.

▼ Take a look at the Japanese version below.

After watching that, we only have one thing to say: “Whoah.”

Truthfully, though, there’s a point of difference that’s interesting here, as some of the original script gets lost in translation, particularly at the end, where Keanu says, “So seize the day…then set it on fire” in the English-language original.

In the Japanese version, however, Keanu signs off with, “Yume wo tsukamu. Soshite, hi wo tsukeyo”, which translates as: “Grab onto your dreams. And let’s set them on fire.”

It’s an understandable localisation change, seeing as “seize the day” is a phrase that hasn’t caught on here like it has in the West following its mention in the 1989 Hollywood movie Dead Poet’s Society. In that movie, “Seize the day” was translated as “Ima wo Ikiru” (“Live now“) for Japanese audiences, which was also the title of the film in Japan.

▼ “Live now” would be a bit too wishy-washy for the world of Cyberpunk 2077.

Japanese fans were thrilled to hear Johnny Silverhand speaking their language, while also giving props to Toshiyuki Morikawa, the 53-year-old voice actor and singer famous for dubbing every Keanu Reeves role released in Japan, including the role of Johnny Silverhand.

“OMG this is too cool!”
“Relieved to know Morikawa is dubbing Johnny Silverhand!”
“I just love Morikawa’s voice!”
“As expected from Morikawa – brilliant.”
“So is this what Keanu would sound like if he could speak Japanese?”

As for that last comment, well — we know what Keanu sounds like when he speaks Japanese, because he once treated us to “Me wo samase yo, samurai” (“Wake up, samurai“) during his last visit to Japan.

▼ Keanu says the iconic line in Japanese at the end of this clip.

With less than a month to go until the release of Cyberpunk 2077, we don’t have too long to wait now until all is revealed. The only thing that makes us feel a tinge of sadness for the release is the fact that current travel restrictions mean Keanu probably won’t be able to come to Japan to promote it.

And as we’ve seen in the past, Japan — and furry Japanese mascot Kumamon — loves it when Keanu comes to visit.

Source: YouTube/CD PROJEKT RED JAPAN via Hachima Kikou
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