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TVTropes source

''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has a few examples [...] In particular, a major game mechanic is the "PHS", [...] In Japan, it was a reference to a late-1990s branch of entry-level mobile phones with reduced features called "Personal Handiphone System" or "PHS", the joke being Cloud’s 「パーティ編成システム」Pāti Hensei Shisutemu (Party Summoning System, an existing FanNickname for the party-switching game mechanic in many RPGs of that era).

Wiktionary on "編成" says:

  1. (rail transport) make up, be formed of, compose
  2. organize, group into
  3. draw up, plan

Wikitionary's translation of "summon": "Call people together" has "召集する (shōshū suru)" instead, which is what's used in Fate/Grand Order as seen in the top right.

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  • Magical summoning won't be called 編成, but 編成 could be called (nonmagical) summoning as far as I can see from dictionary definitions. And I believe there's nothing magical about setting up a party in the game (even from within-the-game perspective).
    – sundowner
    Mar 17 at 3:20

1 Answer 1

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TLDR No, 編成 can't be translated as "(magical) summoning".


It's true that during the 90's entire Japan was addicted to PHS, as in Personal Handy-phone System. Likewise in the world of FF7, Cloud and gang would use them for communication.

Now, the act of calling Tifa and demanding her to "come here" could be expressed as "summoning" someone. For such "non-magical" summoning I'd use 呼び出し but 招集 works too.

What you expressed as "magical summoning" would be 召喚, e.g. to summon Titan using Materia.

Both of those summoning (呼び出し/招集/召喚) has nothing to do with 編成. 編成 here should be treated as either the following:

  1. the act of rearranging (used as a verb) - e.g. 編成する
  2. the outcome of rearranging (i.e. "team formation/roster/lineup) - e.g. パーティ編成

In Japanese many words can be both verbs and not a verb depending on various factors!

Although summoning doesn't mean 編成, the purpose of summoning another team member in FF7 was exactly to conduct 編成.

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