Taki’s father was a Sakhalin Husky, and his mother was a wolf who escaped from the circus. Severely injured as a puppy, Taki was taken in by a hunter’s daughter named Sanae (similar to the way Fern rescues Wilbur in E.B. White’s classic children’s book, Charlotte’s Web.) But despite the strong bond between Sanae and Taki, his wolf-like nature makes it impossible for him to fit in with the other hunting dogs in Sanae’s village. Eventually, Taki’s mix of dog and wolf instincts ends up coming in handy when the village is threatened by a man-eating bear…
Based on “King Fang’s Story,” a manga by Yukio Togawa, this mini-epic TV special was produced by Nippon Animation and sponsored by the Nippon Life Insurance Company. It first aired in 1978 (see Cap’n Dave’s article about that year in anime here), as part of the Fuji TV “Saturday Special” anthology. It was rerun again in 1980, released on home video (VHS & Betamax) in the 1980s, but it has never been released on DVD. However, it was popular enough at the time that Nippon Life ended up commissioning the “Nissei Family Special,” a series of animated TV specials made from 1979-1986. Many of these other specials are also quite rare, including Toei’s “Lupin vs. Holmes,” which to my knowledge has never been released on home video in any format. (Kaisertron might have a multi-gen VHS from a home recording, but I haven’t been in touch with him for many years.)
This is a joint project with Orphan Fansubs, a unique fan subtitling operation run by Collectr that has been releasing rare, often forgotten gems of anime for over a decade. Be sure to check out Collectr’s Blog here.
Thanks to everyone involved in this project, including Moho Kareshi for the translation, laalg for translation checks, Collectr for typesetting & QC, drmecha for help translating the cast & staff credits, and M74 for encoding. And of course a special thanks to my dear friend of many years, Gou no Ken, for getting his hands on this rare old pre-recorded VHS tape and sharing it with us. Check out his site, The Old School Anime & Retro Cave here, for lots of rips of rare classic anime vinyl soundtrack albums and VHS tapes.