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: NyaaMega
Or hard-boiled for your SmartTV, Roku, Apple TV, etc.: NyaaMega
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…
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.
Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama (Giant Robo, Mahou Tsukai Sally, Babel II, God Mars, etc.) with a release celebrating his most successful character, Tetsujin #28 (known in the US as Gigantor).
Regular followers of my blog may notice that this release is quite similar to the way I celebrated Osamu Tezuka’s birthday last year, with Tetsuwan Atom episodes from different eras.
Here are the first two episodes of the live-action version, which debuted the year after the successful adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atom. I particularly like the actor they chose for Chief Otsuka; his acting, costume, and makeup are all very faithful to the way the character looks and acts in the manga.
Next, three of the later episodes of the first anime adaptation. The show ended a very successful 83 episode run of in late May of 1965, with Tetsujin being locked away in the Peace Memorial Museum after vanquishing all of the evil on Earth. But as we all know, evil never sleeps. Just over three months later the series returned with 13 new episodes. These are the first three of those episodes, featuring Magna X, a new robot antagonist from outer space. These episodes begin with Tetsujin being taken out of retirement and souped up by Professor Shikishima so that it can fly through space (obviously a hot topic in the midst of the space race era.)
And finally, an original broadcast of the first episode of the 1980 series revival, complete with subtitled commercials. Major thanks goes to Dougo13 for providing this from his amazing collection of old videotapes. The episode was recorded on Betamax by his friend in Nagasaki on October 3, 1980, two days after the first color episode of Tetsuwan Atom.
While I’ll always prefer the original anime, the 1980 color remake does have its strong points. I like Yasuaki Shimizu’s BGM soundtrack, which often has a jazzy and funky style. The show’s animation was produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, one of my favorite studios. TMS is well known for its work on countless anime series (Lupin III, Orguss, Space Adventure Cobra, Famous Detective Holmes, Adventures of Gamba, Glass no Kamen, etc.) They’ve also carved out a niche for their work sub-contracting animation for American cartoons, such as Mighty Orbots, Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, and some of the best episodes of Batman: the Animated Series.
Some people may remember seeing the edited English dubbed version (“The New Adventures of Gigantor”) on Cartoon Network in the 1990s. But I just discovered that the entire original, uncut version is available from Discotek in a Bluray box set, in Japanese with English subtitles. I still can’t believe how much amazing classic anime that company has released in the last several years, usually at a fairly reasonable price per episode. Also, someone pointed out in the comments that Amazon Prime members can stream 1980 Tetsujin for free. I’ll make a guess that this even works on one o’ them sci-fi future phones that shoots video and takes your blood pressure. Advertising keeps telling me I need one, but it feels like most times when I see someone staring at their little Star Trek radio, they don’t look quite as happy as the people in the ads.
It’s time for another Sabu & Ichi episode, along with new encodes of the last two episodes (I used the wrong de-interlace filter when I encoded those two previously).
This is a joint project with our friends at Hokuto no Gun. When the forces of Hokuto and Nanto are combined, we are unstoppable!
The new episode involves the artificial island of Odaiba, which was built offshore of Shinagawa to defend Edo from attacks by sea. The corrupt official in charge of the island has been using it for a human trafficking operation: kidnapping young women from Edo, and holding them on the island while waiting to be shipped overseas.
In this episode, we find out more about Wolf’s true identity. Apparently years ago he was an Earth government soldier romantically involved with Chris’ late grandmother Catherine, and both of them were also close friends with Haynes.
Thanks to the folks from /m/subs, including sky79 for the translation, starseeker for translation QC, and Marty McFlies for final checks. Check out Marty’s site, Lonely Chaser Fansubs, for some cool stuff including the hilarious mecha comedy Galatt, now subtitled through episode 7.
And of course massive thanks to Dougo13, for providing us with his original broadcast recording of this episode, taped on a 1/2″ Betamax cassette by his friend in Nagasaki on February 9, 1985.
Some of my favorite anime series come from the 1960s. Domestically made cartoons on Japanese television were still a new phenomenon, and the way they were still working out how to put together weekly animation on a limited budget made for some very unique shows.
The character of Ogon Bat is generally considered to be the first Japanese superhero, created by Takeo Nagamatsu in 1931 for the “kamishibai” paper theater. If you’ve never heard of kamishibai, there’s a very helpful review of this book on the Let’s Anime site, you can read that review here.
Thanks to Hailey for providing the source material, doing a lot of the encoding work and sponsoring the translations for episodes 2 and 3. Thanks to Garrett for help in setting up the encoding workflow, and encoding some of the early episodes. Thanks to Kingmenu for allowing me to use their script for episode 1, translated by my long-time collaborator Tetris no Miko. And thanks to Nightrocket for sponsoring the translation of episode 4.
And don’t forget about the groovy Golden Bat live action movie, subtitled as a joint production between TSHS and Love & Care. Filmed in widescreen Toeiscope, this low-budget gem manages to cram approximately 2.4 metric tons of fun into a 73 minute bag. It even stars Sonny Chiba, years before he became known as a cinematic badass with movies like the Street Fighter series.
As we rejoin the Daimaru family, the characters are still dealing with the fallout of Chizuko trashing her own engagement party in the previous episode. Gozo reveals that he had been planning to announce Masato as the heir to the Daimaru Corporation at the party, and the businessmen and politicians he invited to witness the event were not impressed by Chizuko’s behavior. In order to satisfy these offended power players who are key to the future expansion plans of the Daimaru Corporation, Gozo decides that it is necessary to publicly reject and disown his now delinquent daughter.
As Masato and Shinobu desperately search for the runaway Chizuko, Pastor Wakayama tries to convince Gozo to accept her back into the Daimaru family. Unfortunately Gozo’s right-hand man Teshima has other ideas…
…or crunchy hardsubs for the player of your choice, via Nyaa or Mega.
We’ve almost reached the halfway point of the series, and like so many of the J-Drama series produced by Daiei TV in the 1980s, the bonkers level seems to increase with every episode. Stay tuned, more episodes are in the works!
I suppose you could call Shotaro Ishinomori the Stan Lee of Japan, if you were the sort of person that likes those types of comparisons. Both men created a vast number of popular characters, which have been adapted into numerous successful TV and movie projects. You know that popular “team of five superheroes” trope that’s been used in countless anime and tokusatsu shows? Ishinomori came up with that in the 1963 manga Rainbow Sentai Robin. He is the holder of the Guinness World Record for most comics published by a single author. He created the incredibly popular Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises for Toei in the 1970s, both of which are still thriving on Japanese television to this day. Cyborg 009, Sabu & Ichi, Kikaida, Flying Phantom Ship, Robot Detective, Inazuman, Genshi Shonen Ryu…seriously, anyone who who hasn’t seen the Ryu anime would be well advised to do so, and the entire series has been subtitled by Hokuto no Gun. In 1992 he did the manga adaptation of the popular Legend of Zelda video-games, which more recently would be translated and published in the US, becoming the highest-selling manga on Diamond’s ranking of 2015 graphic novels.
But here’s an oddity that a lot of people have never heard of: the Toei Fushigi Comedy Series, a string of 14 different shows created by Ishinomori from 1981-1993. All of these featured young protagonists, some had puppety oddball sidekicks, some were Magical Girl series, and all of them were weird beyond belief.
Dokincho! Nemurin was the fourth show in the series. It stars child actress Sayuri Uchida, who seven years later would portray Ako Hayasaka (the Blue Swallow) in Jetman. The show is about three fairies (one puppet and two suit actors) who awaken from an 800 million year nap and move in with a unbelievably average Japanese family, causing much disruption in their lives.
I first became aware of this bizarre show when several episodes were subtitled by Dead Fish Fansubs in 2009-2010. DFF was a one-man subtitling army that appeared out of nowhere, started cranking out tons of older tokusastu shows that none of the other subtitling groups would touch, and then just as suddenly retired from subtitling to join a rock band.
This year I decided to put together a batch of all the Nemurin episodes that have been subtitled so far. There are a couple of insert songs missing or incomplete, and one of the next episode previews is missing a couple of lines, but I decided to just get all of these out there so people could enjoy them. Hopefully I can fix these few missing bits at some point in the future, and maybe even subtitle some more episodes.
Thanks go to Sinistar of Dead Fish Fansubs, who originally subtitled episodes 3,4,16 and the first half of 19 (I finally got the second half translated 12 years later). Also thanks to Champstice and Pundercracker of MegaBeast Empire Fansubs for their invaluable help with several episodes. MegaBeast Empre also subtitled the first episode of Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine, which you can get here.
I just discovered (in the comments) that Bistrot Jurer Subs has been subtitling the second of the Fushigi Comedy Series, Batten Robomaru, which is freaking hilarious. Be sure to check out their site here.
Okay, Leiji Matsumoto fans! Apologies that we only got one Starzinger episode released in 2020, I’m hoping to be a bit more productive with this series in 2021.
As always, thanks to my good friend Gou no Ken, who helped me rescue this project after the dissolution of the group that was originally working on it, ILA Fansubs. Be sure to check out Gou no Ken’s website, The Old School Anime & Retro Cave, for lots of rare soundtrack rips from vinyl LP as well as rare OVA rips from VHS.
And of course thanks to all of the original members of ILA (I Love Anime) Fansubs for all the work they did on this series, especially GXseries for the translations, and FreekieDee for providing me with their script files after the group disbanded.
We’re making our comeback releasing this series with a particularly good episode, one of Gou no Ken’s favorites and one of mine as well. This one was written by the show’s head writer Tatsuo Tamura and directed by its chief director Yugo Serikawa. The tragic hero is not only a great example of Matsumoto-style anguish and regret, he’s also portrayed by one of my favorite voice actors, Makio Inoue. With a prolific resume that includes characters like Goemon from Lupin the Third and Zabitan from Akumaizer 3, Inoue is probably best known for his work as one of Leiji Matsumoto’s most famous characters, Space Pirate Captain Harlock.
Okay, /m/subs and TSHS keep the party rockin’ with another subtitled episode of the Lensman TV series, aired once on Japanese television and then consigned to obscurity for decades.
This episode kicks off the series’ penultimate story arc. When a load of beryllium (an element necessary for the production of neutron bombs) is stolen from Galactic Patrol base, Admiral Haynes fears that it will be used to develop a new super-weapon. Kim and Buskirk are sent on an undercover mission to Hormuz, a satellite frequented by the criminal underworld, hoping to discover the identity of the beryllium thief.
We’re also treated to one of the Lensman TV series’ very occasional nods to the books. Kim’s undercover space pirate identity is named Cartiff, the same assumed name Kim uses pretending to be a a shady gem merchant on an undercover mission in Second Stage Lensman.
Thanks as usual to the team that makes the magic happen: sky79 for the translation, starseeker for translation QC, and Marty Mcflies for final checks. And of course we can’t forget old-school anime collector Dougo13 for providing the rare off-air Betamax recording of this episode, taped by his friend in Nagasaki on February 2, 1985. That was around the same time that rumors were flying through US anime fandom about an upcoming syndicated series that would combine English dubbed episodes of Macross, Southern Cross and Orguss, from the same company that produced the dubbed VHS release of the first three episodes of Macross.