Stepsisters (1985) – Episode 01


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 adapted from the 1934 Nobuko Yoshiya novel “This Road, That Road.” The novel also had a 1936 movie adaptation directed by Yasushi Sasaki, and a 2005 Fuji TV drama titled “A Winter Round Dance”.



The first episode starts out somewhat slowly with a bit of exposition, but this show doesn’t take very long to get just as bonkers as any of the other Daiei dramas. It even features a moody biker gang leader who expresses his rage through jazz trumpeting, 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!

Get the softsubbed mkv from Nyaa or Mega.

Or the hardsubbed mp4 from Nyaa or Mega.

This is a joint project with GUIS (Grown Ups in Spandex), a tokusatsu subtitling group that mostly specializes in 1980s and early 1990s entries in the Toei Super Sentai genre. I’ve been a fan of theirs for many years…my favorite show they’ve subtitled is Jetman, and my favorite that they’re currently working on is Flashman. I’ve long wanted to do a joint project with GUIS. Several years ago when they dropped Shotaro Ishinomori’s JAKQ, I was hoping to interest them in re-starting it as a joint project with TSHS, but I never got around to asking (and of course now Love & Care is doing a fine job of subtitling that show.) So I was pleasantly surprised when Shir from GUIS got in touch with me about the possibility of working with them on a joint project, and even more pleased to hear that the project being proposed was a classic 1980s Daiei drama.

Obviously 1980s J-Drama isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but my subtitling has always been about offering a wide variety of different projects to suit niche audiences that were being undeserved by the various fan-subtitling communities. For those of you who take the plunge and check this show out, you may find yourselves enjoying an unusual change of pace.

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22 Responses to Stepsisters (1985) – Episode 01

  1. Zemus says:

    Wow. Out of Daiei TV dramas, I could picture Janus no Kagami (seeing as it’s one of the more popular shows, if not the most popular) being picked up, but not ‘Stepsisters’. What a surprise. I’m most curious to revisit the show again with English subs. Oh, I actually own a copy of this on DVD, as well as most other Daiei series that were commercially released. Kudos to you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Janus no Kagami is a show I’d love to subtitle some day, perhaps after I’m done with Stepsisters and Sukeban Deka II. Who knows if I’ll ever get to it, but it would be fun to do eventually.


      • Somebody says:

        Nanto, out of curiosity, what happened to your live action Patlabor subbing project?


      • Nanto says:

        Patlabor: TNG isn’t cancelled or on hold or anything. The translator has just been very busy with real life stuff. Assuming it doesn’t get licensed or picked up by another subbing group, we will release more episodes as soon as humanly possible.


    • FortMax says:

      There’s a very simple reason for Shir picking Stapsisters: Megumi Mori.


      • Nanto says:

        Was Liveman the very first series G.U.I.S. subtitled, or am I forgetting something?

        Yeah, Shir is a big fan of Megumi Mori. For people who don’t know who she is, she played Blue Dolphin in Liveman, and in Stepsisters she plays Shinobu’s little sister Taeko (the girl on the right in the larger screenshot). She’s done quite a bit of acting work, and had a pretty successful singing career as well.


  2. Nagaregumo says:

    I can’t wait !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the joint project with G.U.I.S.! I’m looking forward to watching this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Daizyujin says:

    How many episodes are there? I am having a lot of trouble tracking down any information on this series.


  5. White Waters says:

    It’s great to have an opportunity to discover more about Japanese 1980 *television* in general, and not just anime or toku. I don’t have much of an attraction for modern drama, but I’d love to see more subtitles for stuff from the 70s and 80s, and not necessarily animated or featuring people in monster costumes. Cop Drama would be great as well. I’d love to get a taste of Playgirls or Taiyo ni Hoero with its multiple leading characters biting the dust from one season to the next. I heartily encourage this kind of venture, because heaven knows there might not be enough of an audience for these products to get subtitles through ordinary distribution channels, all the more so that everyone is obsessed with HD these days. Thanks again for the initiative. (I also love it when you post episodes with their vintage commercials left in! So informative about the era!)


  6. White Waters says:

    Sorry for being such a luddite, but… Will there be an MP4 hardsub release ? Once more, as it so often happens, this MKV didn’t sit well with the toaster connected to my TV. That’s one of the many reasons TSHS is my favorite subbing blog: most of the time, it’s always in a format I can easily watch on my TV set.


    • Nanto says:

      There actually is a hardsubbed mp4 available from the G.U.I.S. site. I didn’t include a link to it on my site (yet) because it has one extremely minor error…the font I used for the series title wasn’t installed on the computer that was used for encoding. Probably won’t affect your enjoyment of the episode!

      I have a 3D HDTV that I use for watching movies and newer TV shows, but I also keep an old 4:3 CRT television around for watching older TV. So in the case of subtitled programs, hardsubs are my preference as well.

      I’d love to tackle some other genres of older Japanese series that aren’t anime or toku. We’ll just have to see if I ever have the time and/or money to do so.

      Glad to hear that you’re enjoying the original broadcasts project as well…more of those are in the works!


  7. White Waters says:

    Okay… I finally managed some time to watch episode 1 and I’m officially hooked. The grumpy motorcyle gang leader who also happens to be a nice young man helping out old ladies while looking like a younger, angrier Kenji Oba with curls definitely won me over. Yep, the basic plot is old as time and you’ll guess what’s the big deal with these two girls within the first 10 minutes, but I just want to see it unfurl. I hope episode 2 is not too far down the road. Thanks again for this gem.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sakurafire says:

    Hope more of this will be released in the future. This was awesome. I love 1980s dramas. =D

    Liked by 1 person

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