Okay, here’s another insanely rare find courtesy of dougo13’s massive collection of old videotapes. This should please some of the J-Drama fans out there, as well as anybody who likes watching incredibly weird Japanese TV.
Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari (“The Strangest Story I Have Ever Heard”) is a thriller anthology that aired on Fuji-TV sporadically from 1990 to 2003. One could describe it as a low-budget, shot on videotape Japanese version of The Twilight Zone or Tales of the Unexpected, but this doesn’t get across how off-the charts bizarre this show is. Enjoy!
Get the episodes from Nyaa, Anidex, or Mega.
The Hawaiian pay cable channel Nippon Golden Network showed a bunch of these in the early 1990s. Their notoriously shoddy subtitling was at least getting a little better by the time these were shown, the subs are about as good as the ones they did for series 3 of GeGeGe no Kitaro. As with Kitaro, there are a few abbreviated or even skipped lines of dialogue, but the subtitles do provide enough information for English speaking viewers to follow the story. In any case, we owe dougo13 a lot of thanks for rescuing these rare, subtitled episodes from his archive, and sharing them with all of us.
Another thing worth mentioning is the early 1990s J-Pop songs used in the soundtrack. The English language songs in the above pictures segment for example, have to be heard to be believed. Here’s one that gives new meaning to the term “cheesy pop song:”
The Wolf Revolution has been put down by the Ryozan Alliance, but Ranmaru has stolen the iron mask, and it is now in the hands of Kyoshiro (aka Kage no Soto, the Shadow President.) Soto cannot figure out what the secret of the iron mask might be, but there is someone who does know: A mysterious old man held prisoner for years by Kamakura in the Black Rose Mansion. Using intelligence gained from a captured member of Seiroukai, Saki, Yukino, and Okyo storm the “Young Wolf Alliance” headquarters, but the place appears to have been deserted. All that remains is a cryptic message from Kyoshiro, telling Shiori (Saki) about the prisoner at the Black Rose Mansion…
Get it from Nyaa.si or Userscloud.
Whew, these last few episodes really push the story forward at a frantic pace. This is actually the very first episode of the Sukeban Deka shows that I ever saw, thanks to a VHS trade with Laurine over 20 years ago. She sent me the last 6 episodes of SDII and the first episode of SDIII. This led to a search for more episodes via VHS trading, and I eventually bought some of the laser-discs when I started fan subtitling in the late 1990s.
Special thanks to Phillip S. and Aardvark!
So, somewhere around 2010 or so I was uploading a lot of GeGeGe no Kitaro episodes from different seasons to YouTube. This included episodes I was subtitling myself, as well as episodes of the 1985 series that aired with English subtitles on Nippon Golden Network (a Hawaiian pay-cable channel) in the early 1990s. There was another user named dougo13 who was also uploading subtitled Kitaro episodes from NGN to YouTube, and when we exchanged some PMs I discovered that he was a mutual friend of some other people that I used to trade tapes with (shout out to Laurine and George!) back in the day. Then Toei shut down both of our YT channels, and with that private message channel cut off, I had no way of contacting him for several years.
Anyway, thanks to some helpful friends, I’m finally back in contact with dougo13, and holy crap does he have a lot of rare tapes that he’s eager to share with the anime fan community! So here’s the first of many batches of the 1985 edition of GeGeGe no Kitaro. Nippon Golden Network was infamous for their rudimentary and sloppy subtitles, even by the very low standards of subtitled anime shown in a few American television markets (see Let’s Anime article here.) But their subtitles for Kitaro are actually pretty decent, not as good as a fan-subtitle but quite watchable. They refer to Yokai as “Goblins,” but that makes sense if you’re showing it to a 1992 American audience not as familiar with Japanese folklore as we are in the days of teh interwebs.
A lot of the episodes have little snippets of news, commercials, promos, and station IDs at the beginning or end. I decided to leave these little clips in to add more nostalgic flavor in the vein of watching old VHS tapes. Apologies if anyone finds these extra bits annoying. The quality varies from episode to episode due to reception quality, the Hawaiian cable company that carried NGN used that old fashioned sine-wave scrambling system for their pay channels. Episodes 1-5 and 18 are from VHS dubs that I got in a tape trade with Laurine some 20-odd years ago. Episodes 6-17 are from dougo13’s master VHS recordings, so they are somewhat better quality.
Get the episodes from Nyaa.si, Anidex, or Userscloud.
The owner of the Nyaa.eu site (little known fact: this person also goes by the screen name Nyaa) was spooked by a recent EU court decision, and decided to shut the site down permanently. That’s a personal decision that I’m not going to criticize. Much thanks to Nyaa for years of thankless service to fandom.
Things are currently in flux and I haven’t made a decision yet on how I’m going to handle this. Anidex is one possibility, or maybe I could just start posting stuff to one of the larger public trackers that doesn’t specialize in Japanese media.
Some of the former staff members of Nyaa have created a new version of the site, at nyaa.si. My torrents have been migrated and can be found here. None of them are currently seeded, but I can seed any of them on request. Or if there’s something I’ve subtitled that you want to download and can’t find a Mega link for, feel free to ask for it in the comments section and I will add it when I get time. I might start posting new stuff at nyaa.si as well, but as mentioned above I haven’t come to a firm decision yet.
This is an inconvenience, but these type of things have happened before, and they will again. As a kid, I used to get bummed when my favorite TV shows would disappear from the schedule, which is why I started putting an audio cassette recorder next to the television to make poor quality audio recordings of a few episodes. Fortunately that isn’t the world we live in today, where a myriad of ever-changing options has replaced the tyranny of a single digit number of television channels and the $27 blank videocassette. I have fond memories of the past, but I really enjoy living in the future.
Slow and steady progress continues on my projects, with a few things getting very close to release. I try to get a bit of subtitling work done just about every day, even on days when I don’t have a lot of free time to spare.
006 speaks broken Japanese with a thick Chinese accent, and it’s tricky to get across his tortured grammar in the subtitles. I certainly don’t plan on taking it in a Benny Hill style “Me so solly, flied lice” direction.
This episode concerns this disappearance of the world’s first atomic supertanker (Professor Gilmore seems to think this is a great idea that will change the world). The villain of the piece claims to be the Old Testament prophet Moses, but I’m pretty sure the 8th commandment applies to jacking tankers.
Get it from AniDex, Mega or Userscloud.
Special thanks to Ramza! And be sure to check out Hokuto no Gun, our partners in this joint venture.
While Nishiwaki restrains Saki in the same holding cell she was brought to in episode one, a trio of assassins causes reversals of fortune in the struggle between the Ryozan Alliance and Seiroukai’s Wolf Revolution. Then of course, there’s the more important matter of the iron mask…
Get it from Nyaa or Mega.
Also, I’m releasing a corrected version of episode 35, because I goofed on the name of Saki’s mother. Get that from Nyaa or Mega.
Speaking of corrections, it’s looking like I’ll be able to finish subtitling SDII in the near future, and I know people are going to want a batch torrent of the entire series when it’s complete. So one of the projects I’ve been working on this year is going back and checking old episodes, making little fixes here and there.
Special thanks to Phillip S. and Aardvark!
Mizuki wrote lots of comics about Kappa, the turtle-eqsue humanoid Yokai, and he even created a live-action show about them in 1968. But as far as I’m aware, this is one of only three times Kappa make a major appearance in the Kitaro anime (the others being #85 of the third series, and #19 of the fifth series.)
Get it from Nyaa, Mega, or Userscloud.
And don’t forget to check the website of Hokuto no Gun, our partners in this and other projects.