Download links are near the end of the post, for anyone who wants to scroll past the rambling history lesson.
In the mid 1980s, the very first anime feature film I ever saw in Japanese with English subtitles was My Youth in Arcadia, on a crackly, multi-gen VHS tape. The rumor was that the original tape that this was several generations down from was recorded somewhere in Canada, possibly as part of a series of other subtitled anime films. Decades later I would discover that original tape was actually the property of Dougo13, recorded for him by a friend from cable TV in Vancouver.
The 1979 version of Cyborg 009 was the first subtitled anime series that I got the chance to see. It aired in California on one or more regional UHF stations, and I still remember a tape from Laurine that was labeled “Cyborg 009 with(out) subtitles,” because some of the earlier episodes were shown in pure Japanese (see also: Galaxy Express 999 broadcasts by Entel Communications in New York, which didn’t start subtitling them until episode 6). I don’t have any of my old Cyborg 009 broadcast tapes, but if I remember correctly the credits were something like “Subtitled by Fuji-TV San Francisco, Translated by Laura Noda.”
Fast forward about 15 years, and I discover that the series is being fan subtitled by a group called Nora Inu “G” (people who like fansub history can check out his old web page here, courtesy of the amazing folks at archive.org.) I did some VHS trading with Getta G back when that was still a thing, but we ended up losing touch for several years after he retired from the fansub scene.
Finally after all these years Getta G is subtitling once again, be sure to check out the NoraInuG YouTube page here. I’m hoping I can release his subtitled Cybot Robotchi episodes on this site fairly soon, and the series he’s currently working on, Moeru! Onii-san (The Burning Wild Man), has to be seen to be believed.
Sadly he no longer has any of his old scripts or VHS tapes, which like so many old VHS analog subtitles have become darn near impossible to find these days. A few Nora Inu “G” gems resurface on the internet occasionally, but at least now his subtitles of the entire run of Cyborg 009 ’79 can be enjoyed by all.
Analog VHS subtitles can seem somewhat primitive given how much better subtitling technology has gotten in the last couple of decades. The scripts for the first 16 episodes were available for download from his old site a long time ago, which of course means they made their way to the various script sites and got a DVD remaster at some point. I’m pretty sure those are still available on Nyaa, but for this collection I’ve chosen to stick with the original VHS versions, in all their grimy old-school analog glory. At some point I’ll get around to making shiny new digital versions from the BD sets, but for now the whole series is finally available to download in one batch.
If you like this release, be sure to leave a comment thanking Getta G for all of his hard work. Better yet, visit the Nora Inu “G” YouTube Channel, and thank him there personally. Thanks are also due to The MASter K for translating the first eight episodes, and the aforementioned Laura Noda for the 1980s Fuji-TV translations, many of which were used as starting references for the more detailed Nora Inu “G” translations. Editing assistance was provided by Zen-Zen for 1-24, Sandra for 17-50, and Eric for 17-20 & 25-50.
If you only have time to watch one episode, I highly recommend #12, the Masaki Tsuji masterpiece that really got my attention and sold me on the show when I was watching that first tape from Laurine. Also, there’s a very random coincidence in the soccer episode (#31) where one of the rival players is named Beckham (at a time when the real-life Beckham was about 4 or 5 years old).