Stepsisters (1985) – Episode 05

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While Gozo Daimaru is away on business travel in New York, Shinobu and Taeko must deal with the silent treatment from Chizuko, and a campaign of bullying at school.

Get the mp4 hardsub from Nyaa or Mega.

Or the mkv softsub from Nyaa or Mega.

More episodes are on the way, from your friends at G.U.I.S. and TSHS.

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Akira Toriyama V Jump Festival double feature: Go, Go, Ackman! (1994) / Savings Warrior Cashman (1997)

V-Jump '94 box cover

V-Jump '94 tape

V-Jump '97 bix cover

V-Jump '97 tape

Back again, with more Toriyama madness as served up by our friends at shiteatersubs! These are a pair of rare 15 minute OVAs, based on manga written by Tori-san for V Jump magazine. Most anime fans have heard of Weekly Shonen Jump, the boys’ manga magazine published by Shuiesha that launched a million franchises. (Otoko Ippiki Gaki Daisho, Mazinger Z, Space Cobra, Kinnikuman, Dr. Slump, Hokuto no Ken, Dragon Ball, City Hunter, Sakigake!! Otokojuku, Saint Seiya, Rurouni Kenshin, One Piece, Naruto, etc…) V Jump is a sister publication that is largely devoted to video games and collectible card games, and the manga included often ties in with such games.

These OVAs were taken from the 40 minute “V Fest Videos” that you see above. These are each comprised of 25 minutes of footage from the V Fest convention, where fans could en meet manga and game creators, ending with a 15 minute “V Fest Original Animation” that had premiered at that year’s convention. Also, if you look closely at the covers, you’ll notice that there is no suggested retail price as you will find on most Japanese media; I think these tapes were exclusive freebies given away to the magazine’s subscribers.  Therefore they are fairly rare collectibles, sought after by Toriyama fans on the auction sites. Special thanks goes to Amer for his help in purchasing both of them. Luckily I still have a working VHS HiFi transfer setup,  and the stereo mix on both of these OVAs is quite good…watch the opening scene of Cashman with headphones for an example of a studio that knows how to properly mix foley effects in stereo.

 

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Go! Go! Ackman (1994)_001_4831

Go! Go! Ackman (1994)

Ackman is a young demon who awakes from a 50 year nap, just in time for his 200th birthday. His parents explain that as a 200 year old demon, it is time for him to go out and start murdering humans and collecting their souls. Ackman will do the killing, and collect the souls (in a jar, the job of his winged sidekick Gordon) to sell to the Dark Demon Lord. A hapless angel who tries to stop this potential killing spree only ends up making things worse. But along the way, the angel discovers that Ackman does have one weakness…

 

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Savings Warrior Cashman (1997)

Chapat is an alien whose spaceship has crash-landed on Earth, after his fuel tank is punctured in a space battle. Since his spaceship runs on gold, Chapat must become a superhero for hire…Savings Warrior Cashman! Only two things stand in his way of his plan to save money to buy enough gold to re-fuel his ship: the space monsters who shot him down, and the gold-digging girlfriend trope.

Get them both from the friendly folks at shiteatersubs.

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Dokincho! Nemurin – Episodes 16 & 20

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I had been vaguely aware of Shotaro Ishinomori’s “Toei Fushigi Comedy Series” for many years before I actually saw any episodes. They re-ran them all on cable TV in Japan at some point in the 2000s, and a bunch of raws from these reruns showed up on Henshin Justice Unlimited forums at one point.

HJU is also where I found out about Dead Fish Fansubs, a one-man subtitling army that appeared out of nowhere in 2010, 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. His subtitles started out a little rough, but improved dramatically as he gained experience. And remember, this was one dude translating, timing, encoding, the whole deal.

Today there are plenty of groups working on older tokusatsu series, but 10 years ago the toku subtitling scene was mostly (though not entirely) focused on newer shows. DFF cranked out episodes of shows that I thought I’d never see with English subtitles, like Akumaizer 3 (and a couple episodes of its sequel, Bibyan), Robot Detective, Juspion (now available legally on SD-BD, buy it!), Metalder, and several of the Sentai shows like Goranger and Flashman.

DFF also subtitled a bunch of episodes of Dokincho! Nemurin, the fourth show in the Fushigi Comedy 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 ancient mystical creatures (one puppet and two suit actors) who awaken from an 800 million year nap and move in with a typical Japanese family, causing much disruption in their lives.

When Sinistar closed down DFF to pursue his music dreams, he posted all of his scripts, and gave blanket permission for anyone to use them. Many groups took him up on this, including Hi no Tori Fansubs and MegaBeast Empire, who did some very nice editing and cleanup work on some of the Robot Detective series.

My own little contribution involved polishing some of those Nemurin episodes, which I would occasionally release as April Fools Day gags. This show is off-the-chain bizarre, even by the usual standards of the Fushigi Comedy series. I haven’t watched every episode, but these are certainly the weirdest two that I’ve seen so far. I’ve also included a rare clip from one of the original broadcasts, with cast members introducing a viewer mail and prize drawing segment at the end of the episode.

Get them from Nyaa or Mega.

A huge thanks to Champstice and MegaBeast Empire Fansubs for all of that group’s help with the Dokincho! Nemurin episodes. Episode 20 actually wasn’t one of the ones that DFF subtitled, and MBE deserves the lion’s share of credit for that one, providing me with translation and timing.

And now, an announcement, for any tokusatsu fans who haven’t already heard. Monday, April 6th will see the launch of the Toei Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel. Check out that link for the complete announcement. Toei will be posting Japanese language versions their 1960s-1990s Tokusatsu series on this channel, including the Fushigi comedy series, and some super robot anime as well. When the channel launches, they will be posting the first two episodes of each of these 70 different shows in all, complete with English subtitles!

They will then start releasing weekly two episode blocks from selected series on the channel, which will vary over time. At least at first, these episodes (apart from the first two of each series) will be in Japanese with no subtitles, something I misunderstood initially. To quote from the announcement: “Further episodes will be available in Japanese for now, but there could be frequent updates. We plan on making a public call for subtitles in any language.”

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Dr. Slump/Queen Millennia crossover short?! (1981)

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April Fools Day arrives two days early this year! It’s weird how I didn’t even know this two minute curiosity even existed, since I’ve been such a big fan of both shows for decades. This is an excerpt of an an hour-long promotional “Summer Anime Festival Special” that aired after Queen Millennia episode 9, featuring clips from both shows, as well as this two minute crossover segment.

A lot of you already know that Dr. Slump is currently being subtitled by shiteatersubs. Since I love the show but don’t have the resources to subtitle it myself, I’ve been assisting with the project as much as I can by pitching in with typesetting and QC.

Supposedly this two minute crossover appeared on one of the Queen Millennia DVD box sets, but it’s not on the version I have. There are some de-interlacing issues on this rip, so if anyone out owns the printing of the QM box set that contains it, please let me know! Even better would be if someone out there has a recording of the full one hour special that it came from.

Links available from our friends at shiteatersubs. And be sure check out their site later this week for a pair of rare Toriyama OVAs.

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Skull Solider (1992)

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By request, here’s a re-post of a joint project with Hi no Tori Fansubs that we worked on together in the early 2010s. This is the same file we originally released, I haven’t updated or changed anything like I often do with re-releases.

Skull Soldier is a live action movie starring and directed by Masaki Kyomoto, a guitarist who branched out into acting (his many roles include guest appearances in Kamen Rider Black, and the main villain in the second Sukeban Deka film.)

This movie seems clearly influenced by Shotaro Ishinomori’s Skull Man, and despite its flaws, many consider it to be superior to the official live action adaptation of that manga. Viewer discretion is advised: it’s a horror film, with graphic violence, sex & nudity. The comic relief bits seem somewhat forced, and often homophobic (the same sort of stuff that can make certain American films of the 1990s seem rather cringe-worthy to some). The film is no masterpiece, but it’s got enough good bits to make it worth a watch in my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

The film also features Kenji Ushio, playing a character who looks quite similar to Mephisto, the character he played in the live action Akuma-kun TV series. (I have got to subtitle more episodes of that show, it is amazing.) The Skull Soldier suit was designed by Keita Amemiya, and the action/stunt director was Eiji Takakura, veteran of classic tokusatsu shows such as Red Baron, Iron King and Silver Kamen.

Keita Amemiya is a legendary character designer and director who has worked on shows like KR Black, Jetman, Jiban, Liveman, Winspector, and Spielban. Ash is putting together a batch of the feature films that Amemiya worked on, and requested a copy of this to include. This reminded me that the subtitled version of Skull Soldier has been out of circulation for several years, and is not that easy to find these days.

Get it from Nyaa or Mega.

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Stepsisters (1985) – Episodes 01-04

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April 13, 1967 was a fateful night, when both Shinobu Mastumoto and Chizuko Daimaru were born under the same mysterious star. Their backgrounds couldn’t have been more different. Chizuko was born into a Tokyo family of power and wealth, and her mother died during childbirth. Shinobu grew up in a rural fishing village, and her mother struggled to raise two daughters after her father abandoned the family and became a petty criminal, drifting in and out of jail for years. But despite their differences, Shinobu and Chizuko share a common destiny, intertwined by a secret that could end up tearing both families apart.

Chikyodai (commonly known in English as “Stepsisters”) is one of those wonderfully over the top 1980s J-Dramas produced by Daiei TV. This series was based on the 1934 Nobuko Yoshiya novel “This Road, That Road.” The same novel was also adapted into a movie directed by Yasushi Sasaki in 1936, and a Fuji TV drama titled “A Winter Round Dance” in 2005.

The first episode starts out somewhat slowly with a bit of exposition, but things don’t take very long to get just as bonkers as any of the other Daiei dramas. The show features a moody biker gang leader who expresses his rage through jazz trumpeting, a pastor who loves drinking and fighting, and a theme song that’s a cover (with very different Japanese lyrics) of the cheesy 1980s bubblegum pop-metal classic “Runaway” by Bon Jovi.

This is a joint project with G.U.I.S. (Grown Ups in Spandex), a tokusatsu subtitling group that mostly specializes in 1980s and early 1990s entries in the Toei Super Sentai series (including two of my favorites, Liveman & Jetman). We started work on this together a few years ago, but the project stalled after the first three episodes due to the translator being very busy in real life. Now we’re back on track, with a brand new episode, and new revisions of the first 3. Several more episodes are in the works, so look for those in the near future.

Get the softsubbed version from Nyaa or Mega.

Or the hardsubbed version from Nyaa or Mega.

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Pocket Monsters (1997) – Episode 63

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Pocket Monsters - 063 - Tokiwa Gym! Saigo no Badge! [RAW-KIDS][WinxBloom1980][BF17048B]_001_19693

Pocket Monsters - 063 - Tokiwa Gym! Saigo no Badge! [RAW-KIDS][WinxBloom1980][BF17048B]_001_23911

Satoshi and his friends arrive at the Tokiwa Gym in hopes of winning the 8th badge, but the gym leaders are not quite who they bargained for. Satoshi’s narcissistic rival Shigeru has a humbling encounter with a fearsome Pokémon that isn’t recognized in the official computer listings (but will definitely be recognized by fans of the series).

I’ve also made a few revisions to episode 62. Nothing major, mostly punctuation and typesetting fixes.

Get them from Nyaa:  062  063

Or from Mega:  062  063

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