Last year I received a message from someone who goes by the screen name Banana Man, who managed to obtain this three-volume set of the Hokuto no Ken stereo compilations. I used to own these tapes myself, but my VHS collection thinned out considerably when I moved across the country several years back. I had a vague memory of them being included as a DVD bonus on the Japanese box set; later I discovered that they are included with the 25th anniversary box, but at the time mistakenly thought I was confusing it with the Votoms box set. So Banana Man mailed me the VHS tapes and I digitized them.
In the 1980s, the idea of releasing an entire anime series on home video was a long way off. Early releases on VHS, Betamax & LaserDisc tended to be compilation videos, or perhaps a few episodes. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the ball really got rolling on full anime series being released on video in Japan. By the 2000s they finally got around to long overdue massive box sets of popular long-running series such as Dragonball, Hokuto no Ken, and Dr. Slump.
A lot has been said about the fact that the current audio on most Toei series rerun or released on DVD is taken from the optical track on film prints, and that most of their higher-quality audio files long since been junked after airing. But this is an even more interesting oddity, since these compilations not only used the higher-quality broadcast audio, but were remixed into stereo.
The compilations themselves are fairly well done, although in my opinion they should have been done as a four volume set. Cutting the series down to three volumes means they simply skip the third story arc entirely.
For the past few years Dougo13 has been kindly providing me with excellent rips of original broadcasts of many classic anime & tokusatsu series from his Betamax and VHS collection, complete with original Japanese commercials. I’ve long been a collector of original broadcast recordings (from the US, UK and Japan) because the old commercials make for a very interesting time warp into whatever era the tape was recorded in. Many of the Hokuto no Ken episodes he has sent have been shared on Nyaa by my friend bubibinman of shiteatersubs (who I also help out with Dr. Slump releases), and several of them have been shared on Reddit as well. This is my attempt to put together a mega-pack of all the original broadcasts that Dougo13 has shared with me, along with some from an unknown source provided to me by Banana Man. As long as I was doing this, I decided to index mark the commercial breaks, which is one of the reasons this took longer to complete than I intended.
Get it from Archive.org.
A user named ColaCola2000 has posted a similar pack of audio-only tracks from these broadcasts to Nyaa.
So far this year I’ve made progress on several of my subtitling projects, should have some cool stuff to release soon. The Lensman TV project got delayed a bit due to real life issues, but will be moving forward again in the near future. Thanks to everyone who watches my releases, and especially those who watch my releases with their friends and families! More stuff to come…