Friday, April 10, 2015

Discotek licenses Gorg, Dororo, Orguss!

Well, here's a nice surprise! Would have been a bit nicer if they'd done it two years ago, or if my crystal ball were a bit more accurate, but good news nonetheless.

Ironically enough I was working on my last pass of episode 8 when the e-mails started to come in. So that will probably never see the light of day, unless the license happens to lapse in a few years from now. But I did promise you guys some Gorg goodies, so here they are. Zeonikfreak sent me some scans of the booklet from the last volume of laserdiscs, with some beautiful artwork by Yas and others. You can download that here. Amamori sent me the double CD set of the show's soundtrack (and if you've watched the show you'll know how great that is). I ripped it at 320kbps and you can download it here. Thanks, guys!

Big shout-outs to Studio Scorch, Anime-Classic, BROhgami Ichirou, Gunlord and of course the mighty Ametuchi!

But that's not the only good news. Sad as it is that Anime Sols is shutting down, Dororo will now be getting a DVD release from Discotek.

And let's not forget Orguss. If you were not one of the five or six people lucky enough to snag the ultra-rare and almost completely under the radar DVD on-demand release from ImaginAsian, the show will once again be available for purchase in this hemisphere.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Southern Cross (1984) - Episode 07 with original commercials

Here's the first entry in a secret project I've been working on for quite some time. A few of my favorite episodes of various older shows, presented as originally broadcast on Japanese television complete with subtitled commercials. Oddly there aren't any ads for Southern Cross toys or models in this episode, but there is an ad for the 45rpm single of the opening theme, as well as a couple of ads for Macross Plamodel kits.

This is a project I've dreamed about for many years. Don't expect to see that many of these right away, but I will try to get them out as time permits. Massive thanks to Laurine for providing the rare tapes from her amazing anime VHS collection, and to AnimeSennin for digitizing them.

Also thanks to Starseeker from /m/Subs for helping me out with a missing line from one of the Macross commercials.

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dokincho! Nemurin (1984) - Episode 16

Shotarto Ishinomori is in the Guiness Book of World Records for "most comics published by one author" (you can check out his entry here.) His creations have led to numerous anime and tokustasu shows, including Cyborg 009, Sabu & Ichi, Kikaider, Robot Detective and the monstrously popular Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises. But one thing that most of his American fans have never heard of is the Toei Fushigi Comedy Series, a set of 14 different shows he created that aired in Japan from 1981 to 1993. These shows are just weird beyond belief, and this particular episode (about a war between summer and winter snack foods) is so out there I won't even try to describe it. You may laugh or you may smash your computer screen, but either way it seems like an appropriate release for April Fool's Day.

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

Toku fan trivia: Sayuri Uchida, the child actress who plays Mako, later went onto play Ako Hayasaka, the Blue Swallow in Jetman.

This episode was originally subtitled by Dead Fish Fansubs, a one man tokusatsu subtitling army that appeared out of nowhere, subtitled 200 episodes of all kinds of cool shows, and then disappeared just as quickly when its founder lost interest in subtitling and joined a rock band. (Oddly enough there's a current subtitling group called Deadfish Encodes, but they have no connection with the original DFF.) He started out using the screen name Booji when his early work was a bit technically primitive and often missing bits of dialogue, but his subtitles improved quickly and he changed his handle to Sinistar. I actually manually transcribed this episode myself from one of his early efforts and got my translator to do QC and fill in the missing bits of dialogue. If you come across this post some day Sinistar, thanks for all your great work. You made me and a lot of other old-school toku fans very happy.

I was originally going to make this post a lame April Fool's joke about how I'm dropping all of my existing projects to focus on subtitling more episodes of Nemurin, but I figure that kind of joke would probably cause more trouble than it's worth. Speaking of dropped projects though, it occurs to me that I probably never got around to announcing that Dororo has been dropped, due to the fact that you can now legally stream subtitled episodes of it on Anime Sols. They have lots of other great anime too, more Tezuka stuff like Wonder 3 and Goku's Great adventure, Tatsunoko classics like Space Ace, Time Bokan & Yatterman, Polymer and Gordian. I don't even want to say how many shows in that last sentence were projects that I was secretly working on at one point, but thankfully I didn't get very far on any of them and now I can just relax and enjoy watching them.

I've probably said this before, but when I decide to subtitle a show it's usually something that I've wanted to watch myself for years, and also that I figure will never be subtitled by anyone else, much less be released professionally in this country. If you have a favorite show that I've been working on and it seems like forever since I've released an episode, don't despair. If I've released more than one episode of something, and it hasn't been officially licensed for subtitled DVD release or streaming, you'll see more episodes eventually.

Also, I know a lot of people get into subtitling around college age, do it for a little while and lose interest. That's not the case with me. Subtitling has been a dream of mine for decades, and barring any unforeseen health issues or other personal disasters I'm in this for the long haul.

EDIT: As someone pointed out in the comments, AnimeSols will be closing on May 1st. I finally get around to giving them a plug and they announce a shutdown on the same day?! D'oh! And it's not an April Fool's joke as far as I can tell. Bummer.

In happier news, MegaBeast Empire just released the first episode of another Toei Fushigi Comedy series, Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine (from 1990). Check it out here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sukeban Deka II (1985) - Episode 23

Koji and Tetsu (the two delinquents who fell for Saki in the previous episode) have transferred to Ryozan High to pursue her. Sort of like that episode of Andy Richter Controls the Universe where Andy's fratboy neighbors were both in love with his friend Jessica.

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

Special thanks to Phillip S. and Aardvark!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hustle Punch (1965) - Episode 01

Here's Toei's answer to the American Saturday morning imports that were quite popular on Japanese television in the 1960s. You can see how creator Yasuji Mori's character designs were clearly influenced by Ed Benedict, the designer on many early Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Despite the limited animation necessary for turning out episodes on a weekly basis, I'd say the actual style of the show's humor has more in common with classic American theatrical cartoons, albeit with a uniquely Japanese flavor added as well.

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

I'd explain the premise and characters of the show, but the Shonen King has already written an article about it on his excellent Black Sun blog, chock full of great articles on classic Japanese kaiju films, tokustatsu and anime. You can check out his Hustle Punch article here. Shonen King and I both grew up in the Chicago suburbs and we used to get our non-subtitled anime & toku tapes at the same Japanese video rental store, although we never actually met.

Also Charles B. wrote another very helpful article about Hustle Punch on Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research site, you can check that article out here.

There are some really great characters in this show, but my personal favorite is Professor Garigari's lead henchman Black (pictured above), who looks like an evil gangster cousin of Top Cat. There are lots of moments when this character steals the show, my favorite one in this episode is a purely visual gag at around the 14:30 mark where Black tries in vain to cover up the fact that their latest plan to get rid of Punch and his friends has failed yet again.

I don't do quite as much video trading these days as I used to in the VHS era, but that doesn't mean I've given it up entirely. One thing I'd been trying to find for ages is those out of print Toei Monochro Kessakusen sets that were released in the 2000s. Each volume had four selected episodes of a rare black and white anime series that previously had been gathering dust in the Toei vaults. Some of these shows eventually got the full box set treatment, but as far as I know only those four random episodes of Hustle Punch have ever gotten any kind of home video release (unlike Rainbow Sentai Robin, which was available in its entirety on laserdisc.)

Anyhoo, a guy named Charles B. got in touch with me about possibly subtitling an episode of another old series (more on that eventually) and after some e-mail correspondence we ended up doing a trade which included the Hustle Punch disc. Look forward to seeing the other three episodes subtitled here eventually.

This talk of trading reminds me that I've been meaning to post some of my top anime wants on here for a while, and this seems like a good opportunity to do so. So here goes.

First of all, does anyone out there have the DVD-Rs of B't X that were out out by Vortex Fansubs in the early 2000s? Vortex lost her scripts for the show in a computer crash, and she needs the next episode previews for volumes 4 and up. I've been remiss in not posting this request sooner, she asked me about it ages ago.

One particularly difficult show to find is the original 1965 black and white version of Obake no Q-Taro. It's never (to my knowledge) been released on laserdisc or DVD, but I think a few episodes may have come out on VHS at some point. Also it may have been rerun on Japanese cable TV in the 2000s.

I'll try to post more wants soonish (I have a pretty long list of them) but I might as well get this episode released because I could go on about my want list all day!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mahou Tsukai Sally (1966) - Episode 48

In this episode, Sally's father makes a wager with God to see how Sally will fare without her magic powers.

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

This is the last of the color episodes that I'll be doing for now, I plan on going back to episode 7 and subtitling the rest of the black and white episodes when I get time. An extra special shout out to Bill S., the guy who commissioned the scripts for episodes 1, 4 and 43-48. Bill and I did some VHS trading back when I was first starting out as a fan subtitler in the analog (laserdisc->genlock box->S-VHS) subtitling era. He paid to have the episodes translated from a VHS source, and the plan was for them to be subtitled by Garasu no Bara Productions, another one person subtitling "group" run by Elora. Garasu no Bara was working on subtitling some great shows such as Queen Millennia (if I had to pick one anime series to bring with me to a desert island this would be the one), Tezuka's Ribon no Kishi (aka Princess Knight) and of course Garasu no Kamen. But sadly Elora suddenly vanished from the internet without a trace. I miss you, Elora! If you're still out there somewhere, leave me a comment. Come to think of it, there were quite a few fan subtitlers in those days who were putting out releases on a regular basis and then just suddenly disappeared without saying goodbye.

In any case, after my five year hiatus from subtitling (while I was waiting for digital subtitling technology to mature) I got into contact with Bill again and he provided me with the aforementioned scripts, which were among the first things I started tackling when I was learning to use Aegisub and uploading some test episodes to YouTube. Without Bill it's extremely unlikely that I ever would have decided to subtitle this series, so I owe him a debt of gratitude.

Okay, now it's time for some random, off-topic plugs of other people's stuff. For some reason I've never been able to add Live-eviL's site to my Blog List. So for Amamori and all the other people who love Queen Millennia as much as I do, the big news is that with the double release of episodes 20 and 21, Live-eviL has finally reached the halfway mark of the series! Check their site out here.

I've long enjoyed D. Merrill's writing for various fanzines, and his Let's Anime blog provides more great articles of the same high quality. I've wished for a while that someone would write an article about the airing of subtitled anime and tokusatsu on broadcast and cable television in Hawaii and other American markets in the 1970s through the 1990s, and now you can read such an article right here. I can't believe I still haven't gotten around to writing anything in the comments section.

As you can see from my blog list to the right,the fine folks at SkewedS Translations have just released episodes 16-18 of the original Sukeban Deka series! Great work, guys and gals. Episode 16 was particularly enjoyable for me as it features guest appearances by Michiko Makino of Bioman and the legendary Ban Daisuke (best known for playing the title roles in Kikader and Inazuman). I've uploaded the episodes to my seedbox to help get them fully seeded faster.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sukeban Deka II (1985) - Episode 22

When Saki discovers that Ryozan High's cheering squad only consists of one boy, she decides to take a break from her usual missions to show some school spirit. Nishiwaki is glad to see her take some time to build happy memories...after all, he knows what battles await her in the show's final story arc.

Translator's note: "In Japanese high schools, the cheering squads are made of boys, rather than girls. They usually wear gloves and cheer very seriously in growling voices, often with taiko drum accompaniment. I personally think they’re hilarious, but it’s a normal, serious thing."

The torrent is here. Direct download link is here.

EDIT: As you can see from my blog list to the right,the fine folks at SkewedS Translations have just released episodes 16-18 of the original Sukeban Deka series! Great work, guys and gals. Episode 16 was particularly enjoyable for me as it features guest appearances by Michiko Makino of Bioman and the legendary Ban Daisuke (best known for playing the title roles in Kikader and Inazuman). I've uploaded the episodes to my seedbox to help get them fully seeded faster.