Outside of the fact there's 96 volumes with Zolo in them. If they'd made the switch back when they originally did the catch up and there were only a handful of volumes with the wrong name it'd be one thing, but it'd be insane to change it now.
While this is true it is completely dishonest to say people would be confused by Zoro ESPECIALLY since it is Zoro in the funimation dub and subtitles.
Personally more than Zolo I hate that Nami's joining chapter was changed from "The Second Person" to "The Other Villain" because the translator at the time missed the entire meaning, and that mucked up the symmetry with all future crew joining chapters and that's the one big error that bothers me because its decidedly changing the meaning entirely. But I know what it was originally so I know what goes there, and anyone that doesn't will never be bothered by it at all. It was a one line translation error made 19 years ago, I'm not going to hold that forever against the entirety of a nearly 100 volume series… though I do use it as a go-to example on these boards because its an easy thing to point at.
4KIDS didn't license One Piece until 2004. In the first 4 volumes of the Viz manga it was Zoro…..you could say this is being anal but your time frame is a little off, it was more like 15 years ago that Zolo changed to Zoro. Also, Shonen Jump issue one came out January 2003....not 19 years ago.
There are tons of people who just buy physical copies of things, or watch a movie once, and don't look further. I practically live on these boards but I couldn't tell you anything about the differences between Kimetsu No Yaiba's official translation and the scanlation, or even the differences between the manga and the anime. I haven't looked, I'm fine with what I've gotten from watching the anime dub and have no greater curiosity to look deeper. I know One Punch Man had different jacket covers in the japanese, but I couldn't begin to tell what the differences are between One's version, Murata's version, and the anime.
I have read and follow most of the popular WSJ series and, weirdly enough, the official KnY has some things you usually see in fan translations while some of the fan translations do not have this. In the official version they call top level of the demon slaying corps. "hashira" while the fan translation actually translated it to pillar. Weird.
My Hero Academia uses (basically) dubtitling in their official subtitles of the series (Changing Tsuyu-chan to….Tsu. Changing references that are on screen such as a Precure reference to Glitter Force [dubbed Smile Precure] but the text on the screen is in English….).
Dr. Stone actually may be the best for translating stuff to get the same meaning across in the manga. They aren't allowed putting translator's notes in the manga but the official translator has a bunch of notes and cool things on his twitter page. One of the characters, Gen, speaks in a flamboyant and odd way that actually equates really well to pig latin (like saying goisu instead of sugoi). In the anime official subtitles this is completely ignored and he speaks normal but the manga has him speak pig latin every once in a while and changes all of his -chan usage to "dear" which I found works really well.
How many people that saw Infinity War/Endgame and made it 2 billion dollars then went out and read the original comic story? A few sure, but not all. How many people watched the Teen Titans cartoon and then went out and bought the 80's comics? Not many probably.
For the second one….me :ninja:
But I would venture to say....almost no one haha. Comics got a lot more popular in recent times but it doesn't feel like that equated to reading older comics (even though The New Teen Titans is amazing and one of the few comics that had a long continuity where the characters actually aged).
Just because you CAN look and research something if you want to know more doesn't mean that you DO. Most people just consume the story put in front of them, they don't do extra research. Obviously people visiting a One Piece forum are going to be more invested in One Piece than most, and its hard to imagine someone liking the series enough to buy 100 volumes without looking deeper, and yet… that IS the case.
This, right here, though is the cold, hard truth.
We are the hardcore fans. Although I find it unlikely a western fan that read the whole series would have never looked the series up (it's not exactly like you can just pick up the newest volume at a 7-11 like in Japan) there are so many people who just enjoy the story for what it is and don't put much more thought into it.
A good example I can provide is Game of Thrones. There are so many people who watched every single episode of this show but have never read a single page of the ASOFAE books nor do they even remember most of the characters names. The whole series is 4215 minutes. Putting in that time and not remembering even character's names…..it's not something I could do but many people are like that.
My own sister, back when she was a teen, watched all the way through Alabasta of One Piece. I bet you she couldn't name 5 characters in the whole series (after seeing around 120 episodes).
Now, on to the discussion at hand, do I personally like the name changes? No, but I buy the Japanese volumes anyway so it never affected me. I stopped caring about that stuff a long time ago, there was no comparison to what 4kids did so anything is a million times better. Viz will not change their terminology so, knowing that, there are people who think that there is someone better to do the translation than Stephen?
I guess there are a lot of newer fans now but his translations BEFORE he was being paid were considered top class for One Piece. We had to deal with scans that translated from Chinese transliterations at the time for many of the characters names let alone wondering if the story details were even a little accurate. His translations helped refine and correct a lot of the ways the fandom could come to understand things and I think people are getting too stuck on minor details. Since no one was paying for scanslations anyway, and now you aren't paying for the FREE Viz release, I don't think there is much room to complain to the one person who actually has saved the series from what could have been had they not gone with someone who actually cares about the series.
FWIW, on my end, all of the things I hate about what Viz does are nothing he has control of. Also, Animal Kingdom Pirates is actually an accurate translation even if people don't like what it sounds like.