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.