This review is pretty damning of the new book Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan. Translation was either totally botched or intentionally rendered as bad English. The original manga artist’s name is basically nowhere to be found on the cover.
I was watching some Mahha Go Go Go last year on Japanese cable and realized that at least half the reason this particular anime struck me as so “strange” as a kid was the fault of the American localizers, who stuffed very reasonable and almost Zen scenes of no dialogue with mile-a-minute narration and unnatural speech patterns. Seems like something similar is going on with the Batman book: the Orientalization of Japanese culture requires everyone to pitch in. The source material may be slightly “off” by Western standards, but it’s the foreign localizers who really amp up the eccentricity in the material. They are like the enablers of “crazy Japan.”
(Hat tip to Matt Alt for sending the article my way.)