Lensman: Galactic Patrol (1984) – Episode 09

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This episode pays off some of the mysteries that were set up in the last couple of episodes. In particular we learn some important details about Zelda’s past, and the reasons why she is so devoted to Buskirk’s home planet of Valeria.

Get the softsubbed mkv from Nyaa, Anidex or Mega.

Or get the hardsubbed mp4 from Nyaa, Anidex or Mega.

This is a joint project with the /m/subs crew. Be sure to check out their site here!

Many thanks to Dougo13 for providing the rare video source, recorded on a Betamax videocassette by his friend in Nagasaki on December 8th, 1984. Very nice quality for a home video recording made over three decades ago!

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April Fools! English dubbed Mazinger Z & Gaiking?!

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First issue to get out of the way: these are not episodes of Tranzor Z or Force Five. Before either of those shows existed, Toei tried the experiment of hiring an English dubbing studio (M&M Communications, in Honolulu) to dub some of their shows to try and crack the US marketplace. These dubs are interesting in that they stick very closely to the original scripts (unlike, say, Tranzor Z or Force 5). The voice acting is a bit amateurish, but in that way where the actors almost make up for their lack of experience by really putting their hearts into it.

Second issue to get out of the way (and the one that explains why this is an April Fool’s release) is that I’m (to put it mildly) not a fan of English dubbing. This doesn’t just extend to anime…for just about any film or television show made in another language, I’d much prefer to watch it in its original language with subtitles. The whole “subbing vs. dubbing” debate has already played itself out in fandom for the last few decades, so I’m not trying to re-start that debate…pretty much everything has already been said on both sides. One thing I will say is that seems somewhat ironic that for someone like myself who considers most English dubs to be equally unwatchable, I actually kind of have a weird affection for these M&M dubs. I’d be willing to bet that for the people who can distinguish between what they call a “good dub” and a “bad dub” would be likely to put these in the latter category. But you know how it is, different people like different things.

Third issue: both of these series are available with English subtitles from Discotek (highly recommended by me!), and as many of you have noticed I generally don’t release stuff that’s commercially available in North America. But of course these dubs are rare, and not featured on those box sets, and I don’t really see them as competing with the official releases.

For the Mazinger episodes, big thanks are due to Beta8 for somehow finding the rare English soundtracks, and Chili for remastering them to a DVD source. I got the Gaiking episode in a VHS trade many years ago, and it’s the only one that I know of to exist in the hands of collectors. For now Gaiking is presented as a grungy multi-gen VHS rip, but if anyone wants to help me remaster it to the DVD version, that would be much appreciated.

Supposedly Toei also got M&M to dub some Grendizer episodes as well  but I have never actually seen an episode. Who knows what other shows from their 1970s output got the same treatment. If anyone out there who worked for M&M or has any other source of information about these rare dubs, I’d be very interested to hear about it.

Get English dubbed Mazinger Z 01-02 from Nyaa or Mega.

Get English dubbed Gaiking 11 from Nyaa or Mega.

This release is dedicated to the late Jerry Fellows, a really nice guy who sadly taken from us way too soon. It was Jerry who first told me (at a con, natch) about the existence of this Toei commissioned Mazinger Z dub, and I still remember how hard I laughed when he told me that Dr. Hell’s Kikaiju were referred to as “evil mechanical brutes!”

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X-Bomber (1980) – Episodes 01-02

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So a few years ago I subtitled the first episode of this puppet series created by Go Nagai, in homage to the classic 1960s UK Gerry Anderson Supermarionation series that were just as popular in Japan as they were in their home country. Ironically X-Bomber wasn’t as popular in Japan, but the English dubbed version was a smash hit in the UK. The US only got a few compilation movies on pay-cable, and eventually a poorly done VHS release.

A friend of mine recently alerted me to the Star Fleet/X-Bomber Homepage, a UK site devoted to the series. On their forum, a member called Bladez636 had posted an English translated script for episode 2, translated by DragonQuestWes. Apparently they were planning to subtitle episodes 1-3 and 18 (the latter being the recap episode that was never dubbed into English) but the project stalled and the translator never got around to working on episode 3.

In any case, I asked Bladez636 for permission to subtitle episode 2 with their unused script, and he kindly agreed. Of course as long as I was subtitling episode 2, I had to do some clean-up work on my old version of episode 1 (ya’ll know how I am) and here is the result.

Get the episodes from Nyaa or Mega: 01  02

Who knows if I’ll get around to subtitling more of these. I’d like to do the test pilot episode, and possibly that recap episode 18. But the X-Bomber thingy I’d really like to subtitle is this rare behind the scenes special that aired the week before the series premiere. It’s on YouTube in Japanese with original commercials here. If only I could find a better copy of this, preferably MPG but at least an h264 640×480 at a decent bitrate. Shame it wasn’t included as an extra on the DVD set, but these type of specials often get wiped after they air, and sometimes only fan recordings like this one exist.

 

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Lensman: Galactic Patrol (1984) – Episode 08

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The joint project between TSHS and the /m/subs crew to subtitle this rare series continues. Here is the second episode in Souji Yoshikawa’s four part Zelda story arc.

Get the softsubbed mkv from Nyaa, Anidex or Mega.

Or get the hardsubbed mp4 from Nyaa, Anidex or Mega.

Special thanks to Laurine and AnimeSennin for providing the VHS source material. Also thanks to drmecha from sakuga80 and the Gunsight Team for help with translation of the staff credits. An anime researcher from Argentina, drmecha runs a network of Spanish language reference blogs. You can check out some of those blogs here:

Collections, research and interviews, such as Shinji Aramaki of Artmic

Encyclopedia of the 80s and early 90s OVAs

Staff database, mainly animators from the 80s and early 90s, with some 60s and 70s

More Lensman episodes to come, stay tuned…

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

Sabu and Ichi’s Detective Tales (1968) – Episode 25

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The scent of cherry blossoms in the air heralds the return of spring for the people of Edo. But for Ichi, the season of renewal only brings painful memories of lost love…

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

This is a joint project with our manly friends at Hokuto no Gun. Be sure to check out their site here!

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Sukeban Deka II (1985) – Episode 40

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There’s a pretty major spoiler in this week’s episode title. If you want to avoid it., close your eyes at around the 4:54 mark.

Shiori has both pendants, and Kyoshiro has the iron mask. Will these childhood friends be able to join forces against the elder Shigaraki, or has it been their destiny to fight each other all along?

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

40 down, 2 to go. Special thanks to Phillip S. and Aardvark, I never would have gotten this far without both of your help.

Apologies for being even slower than usual in responding to some comments and private e-mails. I do read them all, but my time on the computer has been somewhat limited recently, due to a family member with health issues that has needed quite a bit of medical attention in the past few months. I don’t usually talk about personal stuff on this site, just wanted people to know I’m not ignoring them. And I still manage to keep making slow but steady progress on subtitling, you can look forward to lots more favorites and surprises from TSHS in 2018!

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Video Warrior Laserion (1984) – episodes 01-03

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MATRIX IN! Time for our final release of the 2017 (or first release of 2018, depending on what time zone you live in.) This joint release between TSHS and Luurah Productions has been in the works for a long time, but after a lot of hard work from some very dedicated people, I’m very happy to finally get these episodes released. The initial translations were done by Kiseki 83, with a few problem lines translated by Afternoon Teasan, doanobu and of course the mighty Ametuchi.

Piles of thankitude to Pundercracker of MegaBeast Empire Fansubs for his detailed translation QC on episode 1, which included some research on Japanese-language Laserion websites. Shout out to HeatMetal for one last pass on episode 1, and full translation QC of episodes 2 and 3. And a special thanks to Auron_Kenobi.

Get them from Nyaa or Mega. Also Anidex and Userscloud links are available from Luurah’s site, you can find those links here.

Laserion is very much a product of its time. In the previous year, the Matthew Broderick film WarGames had introduced computer hobbyist culture to a mainstream audience. Following this film’s release, the people running computer bulletin boards noted a sudden surge in BBS traffic as kids dragged their parents to Radio Shack or Toys R Us to buy a precious 300 baud acoustic dial-up modem. That high pitched whine (of the modem, or possibly the begging for the trip to purchase it) signaled the entry to a magical world where you could hack into the school computer and change your grades, or at the very least get into a text based conversation with strangers about how Captain Kirk might go about defeating the Daleks.

I grew up watching rerun of English dubbed anime series like Prince Planet and Speed Racer. I had fond memories of “those weird old Japanese cartoons,” but 1984 was really the year when I became an anime fan. A friend of mine had brought his portable Betamax with him on a vacation in Canada, and the friend he was staying with there introduced him to a show she had videotaped off a French-Canadian TV station, a Japanese cartoon dubbed into French called “Albator.” All three of us became obsessed with the show, which we eventually learned was titled Space Pirate Captain Harlock in its original Japanese version. The dealer’s room at a local SF convention provided an opportunity to purchase the cel-reproduced Anime Comics for the feature My Youth in Arcadia, as well as bendy figurines of the characters. Voltron hit the UHF airwaves, a hideously dubbed and brutally censored package of episodes from two Toei robot shows, GoLion and Dairugger XV. The American version had kind of a catchy theme song, but I quickly discovered that the English dubbing made it more fun to watch with the sound off. All of that badly written and campily acted dialogue that attempted to cover up character deaths and explain why these two combining super robot shows that looked nothing like each other were actually set in the same universe made my brain hurt.

How many of you are aware of the 70s-80s anime club, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, better known as the C/FO? I’m sure there’s an article about them somewhere, probably on Let’s Anime. I used to go to a lot of SF and/or comic book conventions back then. It was at a con that I met the guy who was at that time the President of the Chicago branch of the C/FO, and went on to create one of the earlier US comic books inspired by mecha anime, Dynamo Joe. He was showing Japanese cartoons on one of those VHS & TV A/V Club carts like they used to have in schools and hotels. I’m pretty sure he was tape trading directly with a pen-pal in Japan, because many of the episodes he was showing had aired really recently, stuff like Deadworld Sunsa episodes of Votoms, Mospeada #3 with that fantastic knife fight in the saloon and Yellow’s gender-bending reveal at the end of the episode, and the very first episode of this series, Video Senshi Laserion. This was the day I got to finally see anime in Japanese, which led to an interest in VHS tape trading during the dinosaur era of fan-subtitling. and it wasn’t long before I was wishing I could get affordable subtitling equipment of my own. It actually would turn out to be nearly 15 years before the consumer grade $500 DeltaScan GL genlock box and the freeware program SubStation Alpha would make subtitling a realistic thing that I could finally pursue.

 

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