Quick update post

Since I didn’t get any episodes released in March, I just wanted to make a quick post to let people know that I’m still very much in the game, just currently busier than usual with family stuff. Current works in progress include the final story arc of Lensman, a new version of last year’s rare King Fang TV special (using the Fabre-RAW release as a video source and with some spiffy new typesetting courtesy of Collectr), and another pack of anime original broadcasts with subtitled commercials. As usual there are lots of other projects in various states of completion, those listed above are ones currently nearing the end of the workflow.

Those of you who are fans of Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump might know that I help out bubbinman with an extra layer of Nanto polish on his releases. More of those are coming soon as well. I try to do two episodes a month, but I don’t always meet that goal.

As the legendary Stan Lee would say, “Stay tuned, true believers!”

Posted in status update | 5 Comments

Stepsisters (1985) – Episode 15

Okay, time for G.U.I.S. and TSHS to kick off the second half of Stepsisters with our subtitled version of episode 15: “Two Delinquent Girls.”

Get the softsubbed mkv from Nyaa or Mega

…or the hardsubed mp4 from Nyaa or Mega.

More episodes to come, on this as well as several other pending projects.

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[RAW] Hokuto no Ken Digests 1-3 (VHS HiFi stereo) plus original broadcasts (HiFi mono)

Kenshiro vs. Shin
Volume 2: Rei vs. Yuda
Volume 3: Kenshiro vs. Raoh

Last year I received a message from someone who goes by the screen name Banana Man, who managed to obtain this three-volume set of the Hokuto no Ken stereo compilations. I used to own these tapes myself, but my VHS collection thinned out considerably when I moved across the country several years back. I had a vague memory of them being included as a DVD bonus on the Japanese box set; later I discovered that they are included with the 25th anniversary box, but at the time mistakenly thought I was confusing it with the Votoms box set. So Banana Man mailed me the VHS tapes and I digitized them.

In the 1980s, the idea of releasing an entire anime series on home video was a long way off. Early releases on VHS, Betamax & LaserDisc tended to be compilation videos, or perhaps a few episodes. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the ball really got rolling on full anime series being released on video in Japan. By the 2000s they finally got around to long overdue massive box sets of popular long-running series such as Dragonball, Hokuto no Ken, and Dr. Slump.

A lot has been said about the fact that the current audio on most Toei series rerun or released on DVD is taken from the optical track on film prints, and that most of their higher-quality audio files long since been junked after airing. But this is an even more interesting oddity, since these compilations not only used the higher-quality broadcast audio, but were remixed into stereo.

The compilations themselves are fairly well done, although in my opinion they should have been done as a four volume set. Cutting the series down to three volumes means they simply skip the third story arc entirely.

Get the VHS stereo digests from Archive.org. The DVD version was uploaded by someone anonymously to Nyaa last year, although it’s not always seeded.

For the past few years Dougo13 has been kindly providing me with excellent rips of original broadcasts of many classic anime & tokusatsu series from his Betamax and VHS collection, complete with original Japanese commercials. I’ve long been a collector of original broadcast recordings (from the US, UK and Japan) because the old commercials make for a very interesting time warp into whatever era the tape was recorded in. Many of the Hokuto no Ken episodes he has sent have been shared on Nyaa by my friend bubibinman of shiteatersubs (who I also help out with Dr. Slump releases), and several of them have been shared on Reddit as well. This is my attempt to put together a mega-pack of all the original broadcasts that Dougo13 has shared with me, along with some from an unknown source provided to me by Banana Man. As long as I was doing this, I decided to index mark the commercial breaks, which is one of the reasons this took longer to complete than I intended.

Get it from Archive.org.

A user named ColaCola2000 has posted a similar pack of audio-only tracks from these broadcasts to Nyaa.

So far this year I’ve made progress on several of my subtitling projects, should have some cool stuff to release soon. The Lensman TV project got delayed a bit due to real life issues, but will be moving forward again in the near future. Thanks to everyone who watches my releases, and especially those who watch my releases with their friends and families! More stuff to come…

Posted in original broadcast with commercials, RAW release (no subtitles) | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

GeGeGe no Kitaro (2007) – Episode 46

Every decade Toei reboots the GeGeGe franchise, and every iteration has had its own distinct visual style. Here’s another episode of our joint project with Skeweds Translations on the 2007 version. It’s still kinda weird for me to wrap my head around the fact that the 2000s were kind of a long time ago, but here we are.

The way we’re collaborating this time is a bit different than how we’ve worked in the past. Skeweds will be releasing only scripts going forward (the raw media to go with the scripts can be found in various other places on the internet.)

A couple weeks (or however long it takes, depending on what else I’m working on) after Skeweds drops a new Kitaro script, I will release my own “Nanto style” version of the episode, with dialogue edits and credit translations. It’s kind of fun working on this kind of collaboration, as both groups can indulge our own stylistic preferences. For example, the Skeweds version uses the English translations of the main character names (Rat Man, Catgirl, etc.), while the TSHS edit uses the Japanese names like my subtitles of the earlier Kitaro series, among other differences.

Get the Skeweds-TSHS softsubbed version of episode 46 from Nyaa or Mega

…or the Skeweds-TSHS hardsubbed version from Mega

…and the script of the original Skeweds version can be found here. Thanks to everyone from Skeweds for their work on this episode!

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TechnoVoyager/Thunderbirds 2086 (1982) episode 01 (with bonus original broadcast versions)

Some of you may be familiar with the work of Gerry Anderson, creator of many Supermarionation puppet series for Lew Grade’s ITC Entertainment such as Stingray, Thunderbirds, and Captain Scarlet. Anderson also later produced live action SF series for ITC, like UFO and Space:1999.

Anderson’s puppet shows were a huge hit in the UK, but never quite managed to achieve the same success in North America, despite building a devoted cult following here. However they were very popular in Japan, dubbed into Japanese. I used to own a Japanese LaserDisc with their collected opening titles, both the originals and the Japanese versions with their different theme songs. I imagine this is probably available on YouTube somewhere.

Gerry Anderson’s most iconic and well remembered creation was the 1965 puppet series Thunderbirds. This show, set in the futuristic world of 2065, featured the adventures of International Rescue, a secret organization that used high-tech land, sea, air and space vehicles in their rescue operations.

TechnoVoyager’s version of the Thunderbirds shout of “F.A.B.!”

In 1982, Jin Productions (the company behind X Bomber in 1980) came up with an anime series heavily inspired by Thunderbirds. There were many differences: the TechnoVoyager team isn’t a literal family like the Tracy clan, and there’s no real espionage equivalent to Lady Penelope & Parker. There are also deliberate similarities: just as the original Thunderbirds used to respond to commands with the iconic: “F.A.B.!”, the TechnoVoyager team shouts out: “I.R.O.S.!”, the acronym for their international rescue organization.

I’ve subtitled the first episode, big thanks to drmecha for providing the DVD source. Probably a one-off, but I might get around to subtitling more eventually.

I’ve also included a couple of original broadcasts of the same episode with this release…

Thanks to Dougo13 for providing his original off-air Betamax recording of episode 1, taped by his friend in Nagasaki on April 17, 1982. If people enjoy these “original broadcasts with subtitled commercials” releases and want to see more, let me know in the comments.

This promo contains a reference to one of my all-time favorite tokusatsu shows…
Who shot J.R.?

Because of the show’s many similarities to the original Thunderbirds, the English-language rights to series ended up getting bought by ITC and rebranded as a sort of reboot to the franchise. TechnoVoyager was set in the year 2066, right around the same time as the original series, so the dubbed version was moved 20 years further into the future. It’s not generally considered to be Thunderbirds canon by Gerry Anderson fans, but more like a fun re-imagining of the show.

English scripts for the dubbed version were written by Owen Lock and Robert Mandell. Like much dubbed anime of this era, there’s little evidence that the writers made any use of actual translated scripts as a reference, although they would occasionally make a lucky guess based on the visuals. These English scripts also tended to contain jokes and references to various movies and TV series, such as A Clockwork Orange, or (in the case of this episode) The Honeymooners. The dubbing supervisor was Peter Fernandez, best known as the voice of Speed Racer, as well as being the English dubbing director for that show and many other classic anime series.

I first became aware of Thunderbirds 2086 around 1983 or 1984, when several 3-episode compilation “movies” aired on cable TV and were available in video rental stores. Does anyone else remember the “IRO Data Cube” that linked these episodes?

The full series started airing in the Chicago area on WGBO-66 in 1986, and here is a Betamax recording of the same episode dubbed in English. TechnoVoyager #1 was actually shown as episode #11 of TB2086, but since this one was a self-contained rescue story that doesn’t touch the show’s loose story arc, it really doesn’t matter what order it was slotted in.

Get all three versions of TechnoVoyager #1 from Nyaa or Mega.

Several years ago I subtitled the first couple of episodes of X Bomber, the Go Nagai series from Jin Productions that was heavily inspired by Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation shows. I removed those from my site when the entire series became available in both English-dubbed and English subtitled versions on a single SD-BD from Discotek. I bought this myself and highly recommend it, still available from online retailers. I would be very happy if eventually Discotek ended up buying the rights and doing the same type of dual release of TechnoVoyager and Thunderbirds 2086. I don’t know how complicated the rights situation is with the different versions, but I can dream…

Posted in original broadcast with commercials, subtitled video release | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Halloween with GeGeGe no Kitaro & Dororon Enma-kun

GeGeGe no Kitaro – episodes 01-22

Because I watch every episode many times to check for typos and such before releasing it, batch releases can be a real challenge in terms of the time commitment involved. But I somehow managed to get this batch completed in time for Halloween, plus it also includes a newly subtitled two-part episode where the Earth is overrun by Tanuki.

While my attempts to subtitle the 1968 series date back to the late 1990s (back when there were only a handful of selected episodes available in Japan on pre-recorded VHS tapes), I actually didn’t get around to releasing any episodes until 2008. In 2011, I was contacted by fellow subtitlers Hokuto no Gun, who ended up partnering with us on this and several other joint projects for the past decade. Now the earlier episodes that I subtitled on my own have had a more through translation check by the HnG team. Here’s to ten years of Hokuto and Nanto joining forces, and working together to make these classic shows finally available with English subtitles!

Get 1-22 from Nyaa or Mega.

Dororon Enma-kun (1973) – episode 06

And here’s another episode of Go Nagai’s Yokai series, Dororon Enma-kun. Remember, if that late-night taxi-driver seems too polite, they just might be a Yokai…

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

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Lensman: Galactic Patrol (1984) – Episode 20

The four-part story of Wolf (aka Bob Muhn) comes to a climax, as Boskone test out their super-weapon created with beryllium stolen from Galactic Patrol. There are several things in this episode that seem like an “homage” to the original Star Wars trilogy, but it’s important to remember that the Star Wars films (and most other modern SF where the adventures don’t all take place within our solar system) also owe a debt to E.E. “Doc” Smith’s original Lensman novels.

Softserve from from Nyaa, Anidex, or Mega

…or hardwired from Nyaa, Anidex, or Mega.

Well, that’s 20 episodes down and 5 left to go in this joint project with /m/subs. All of the initial scripts are completed, and the last of the raw files are encoded (thanks to some help from RetroAwesome and drmecha). There’s still quite a bit of work that needs to be done, but it feels good to be heading towards the final lap. I’m hoping we can release a complete batch of all 25 episodes in early 2022, plus a new encode of the movie and various additional bonus goodies.

Thanks to sky79 for the initial translations and timing. Thanks to starseeker for translation QC, and for reading the Lensman novels (which comes in handy when names and terms from the books pop up.) Thanks to Marty Mcflies for the final checks, and also for inspiring this project in the first place with his work on the movie. And of course we never would never have gotten this far without the help of legendary old school anime video collectors, massive thanks to Dougo13 (for off-air Betamax recordings) and Laurine (for VHS).

Posted in joint project, subtitled video release | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

King Fang (1978 TV Special)

Taki’s father was a Sakhalin Husky, and his mother was a wolf who escaped from the circus. Severely injured as a puppy, Taki was taken in by a hunter’s daughter named Sanae (similar to the way Fern rescues Wilbur in E.B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Web.) But despite the strong bond between Sanae and Taki, his wolf-like nature makes it impossible for him to fit in with the other hunting dogs in Sanae’s village. Eventually, Taki’s mix of dog and wolf instincts ends up coming in handy when the village is threatened by a man-eating bear…

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

Based on “King Fang’s Story,” a manga by Yukio Togawa, this mini-epic TV special was produced by Nippon Animation and sponsored by the Nippon Life Insurance Company. It first aired in 1978 (see Cap’n Dave’s article about that year in anime here), as part of the Fuji TV “Saturday Special” anthology. It was rerun again in 1980, released on home video (VHS & Betamax) in the 1980s, but it has never been released on DVD. However, it was popular enough at the time that Nippon Life ended up commissioning the “Nissei Family Special,” a series of animated TV specials made from 1979-1986. Many of these other specials are also quite rare, including Toei’s “Lupin vs. Holmes,” which to my knowledge has never been released on home video in any format. (Kaisertron might have a multi-gen VHS from a home recording, but I haven’t been in touch with him for many years.)

This is a joint project with Orphan Fansubs, a unique fan subtitling operation run by Collectr that has been releasing rare, often forgotten gems of anime for over a decade. Be sure to check out Collectr’s Blog here.

Thanks to everyone involved in this project, including Moho Kareshi for the translation, laalg for translation checks, Collectr for typesetting & QC, drmecha for help translating the cast & staff credits, and M74 for encoding. And of course a special thanks to my dear friend of many years, Gou no Ken, for getting his hands on this rare old pre-recorded VHS tape and sharing it with us. Check out his site, The Old School Anime & Retro Cave here, for lots of rips of rare classic anime vinyl soundtrack albums and VHS tapes.

Posted in joint project, subtitled video release | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Stepsisters (1985) – Episode 14

In this episode, Gozo is still reeling from the shock of both Chizuko and Shinobu running away from home. Shinobu’s attempts to find a new job are blocked by Teshima, who sends Daimaru Corporation thugs to scare off potential employers. And of course as usual the episode ends on a crazy-ass cliffhanger that raises the stakes of the story yet again.

Soft-boiled to watch on your computer from: Nyaa Mega

Or hard-boiled for your SmartTV, Roku, Apple TV, etc.: Nyaa Mega

It had long been an ambition of mine to subtitle one of those wonderfully over the top 1980s Daiei-TV J-Dramas. Grown Ups In Spandex is a group that specializes in subtitling 1980s Super Sentai series, and Stepsisters features Megumi Mori from Jetman playing the supporting character Taeko. I was a fan of their previous subtitling work (especially Liveman and Jetman), therefore I was thrilled when they reached out to me about subtitling Stepsisters as a joint project. With the release of this episode, we’ve finally reached the halfway point of this 28 episode series. More to come…

Posted in joint project, subtitled video release | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Lensman: Galactic Patrol (1984) – Episode 19

Desperate to stop Boskone’s new super-weapon, the crew of the Brittania heads off with a plan to lure Wolf out of his hiding place.

Get it the hardsub from Nyaa or Mega

…or the softsub from Nyaa or Mega.

One more episode to go on the Wolf story, and then we’ll be on the final story near the end of the series. Thanks to our friends from /m/subs for all of their help on this joint project: particularly sky79 for translation, starseeker for translation QC, and Marty McFlies for final checks. And of course we can’t forget to thank Dougo13 for providing us with his rare original Betamax recording of this episode, taped by his friend in Nagasaki on February 16, 1985.

Posted in joint project, subtitled video release | Tagged , , | 5 Comments