Sunday, June 17, 2018

Stop!! Hibari-kun! Episodes 25-30

So here's some more Hibari-kun hijinks and mayhem, episodes 25-30. This batch includes the wrap-up of the Kurikara Detectives arc (thank goodness) as well as the last episode adapted from manga chapters. In between are stories featuring youngest sister Suzume, old man Ibari, and the recurring joke that the prettiest women in the series are cross-dressing men.

The references and parodies are almost non-stop now, filling in for the absence of compelling stories.

Ep25. The end of the Kurakawara Detectives arc.

  • Kawahana Hiroshi is a parody of "川口浩探検隊" Kawaguchi Hiroshi's Expedition, which is full of staged bits and jokes. The parody name replaces 口 (mouth)  with 鼻 (nose), hence the close-up of his nose.
  • Shimizo no Jirocho was a 19th century yakuza.
  • Akagi no Chugi refers to another yakuza, Kunisada Chuji.
  • Momotaro is a popular hero in Japanese folklore.
  • "Ribahi" is "Hibari" spelled backwards in hiragana (りばひ vs ひばり).
  • Ribahi's pet sharks, Taro and Jiro, are named for two Huskies, from a pack of 15, that were abandoned in Antartica in 1957 and survived a full year on their own.
Ep26. Yakuza baseball! What could go wrong?
  • "Burning fighting spirit" was the stock phrase of professional wrestler Antonio Inoki.
  • When Ozora and Umiushi are fighting, they're depicted as monsters from Daimajin.
  • Geronimo knocks down Hibari's home run with Ultra Seven's iconic attack (around four minutes into the linked clip).
  • Kosaku's memories of his middle school baseball career are a parody of Star of the Giants. Hoshi Hyuma was the protagonist of the series.
  • The umpires listed on the scoreboard are different kanji that all spell the same thing - wani, or alligator/crocodile. 
The preview for the next episode is clearly from a VHS source. The original cel masters must have been lost.

Ep27. Ibari falls in love with the beautiful owner of a coffee shop. Queue recurring joke.
  • The "Three Wise Gators" are of course a parody of the Three Wise Monkeys.
  • Kosuki is reading Chuunen Jump (Geezer's Jump), a parody of Shounen Jump (Boy's Jump).
  • North Pole Story is a parody of the 1983 film Antarctica, starring Takakura Ken and Oginome Keiko.
  • The stars of Flascodance (i.e., Flashdance) are Jennifer Chiefs (literally Jennifer Typhus) instead of Jennifer Beals and Michael Youri instead of Michael Nouri.
  • "It's tough being a man" is from the series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.
Ep28. Suzume-chan takes on some juvenile gangsters.

  • Morita Kensaku, the Kid Delinquents gang, and Shadow Boss are from Eguchi's Hinomaru Gekijou.
  • The monsters in the picture are from Ultraman: white full moon monster Lunatick, center kidnapper Alien Kemur, red friendly monster Pigmon.
  • "Unbaba" may be a parody of the Japanese professional wrester Giant Baba.
  • "Ghosts don't come out in winter." In Japan, telling ghost stories is a summertime activity.
Ep29. Kosaku falls in love with the wrong girl,  yet again. The last episode taken from manga material.
  • The attack of the Korukyu Boxing Club is set to West Side Story's "Cool."
  • Yakushimaru Hiroko was an idol in the 1980s. She played the lead in Sailor Suit and Machine Gun, a story about a high-school girl becoming heir to a weak yakuza group.
  • Sayuri's "I fell in love at first sight with a pervert" is a 5-7-5 haiku in Japanese.
Ep30. The Phantom Thief Mouse Kid strikes!
  • The butler is modeled on Klaus Nomi, a German countertenor who died in 1983. 
  • "My name's not Shibari. Actually, it's Hibari." A play on the shitsuji (butler) / hitsuji (sheep) joke. Shibari is Japanese rope bondage.
  • The Ibaru/Neone/Rux/Gambar sign is a parody of Subaru and its real car brands back then: Leone, Rex, and Sambar.
The staff is the same as for the previous mini-batch. Moho Kareshi translated; laalg checked the translation, added additional signs, and decoded many of the references. Yogicat timed; I edited and typeset. Juggen styled the OP and ED; and Nemesis and konnakude QCed. M74 encoded from a remastered DVD box.

You can get this group of episodes at the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on Only five more to go... and the batch, of course.

Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo movie 1 HD

Aren't you sick of the first Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo movie yet? I certainly am. First, Orphan did the laserdisc version. Then we did the "full 480p" version. And now, here is a 720p version, encoded from an HDTV broadcast. It's certainly the best looking of the three, but watching the show for the third (and because of encoding problems, fourth) time has been a true test of patience.

The release has actually been ready for some time. Skr encoded the raw back in December, 2017, and the script was ready in March of this year. However, when I put the final version together, I discovered a video glitch. At my request, Skr had image stabilized the encode, in order to make the typesetting easier. However, that caused black bars to flicker in and out in four separate scenes of an out-of-focus figure running through a heat haze. A new encode was needed, and as this requirement was surfacing, Skr was packing up to move a new apartment. He's come back online only recently.

I've already written extensively about this movie, so I don't see any reason to rehash the plot or the cast. Iri did the original translation and M74 the original timing. I did the original editing and typesetting and bananadoyouwanna, M74, Nemesis, and VigorousJammer the original QC. For this release, Yogicat shifted and retimed the 480p script. I edited and typeset (third time's the charm). konnakude did a release check. Skr did the encode (three times as well). The raw is rather large for a 720p show, but there were banding and grain-loss issues at lower sizes. It was easier just to throw bits at it, as was done before for Hashire, Melos!

Is this the end for Kindaichi Hajime, boy detective, and the Phantom of the Opera, or could there be yet another version, based on an actual Blu-ray release? For the sake of my sanity, I hope not, but one never knows, do one? The two Kindaichi movies have clearly been remastered for high-definition. A Blu-ray is only a matter of a little bit of licensing and a lot of money.

Meanwhile, you can get this high-definition version of the first Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo movie from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stop!! Hibari-kun! Episodes 19-24

Towards the end of this group of six episodes, Stop!! Hibari-kun! finally and irretrievably jumps the shark.

The first 18 episodes had roughly three episodes of anime-original material; the last 17 have 14 episodes that are anime-original. It shows. The anime not only repeats itself, it also borrows material from other Eguchi Hisashi manga and ramps up the parodies and references in a desperate quest to find funny gags. Less time is spent on the relationship between Hibari and Kosaku and more on side characters. Episode 22 (based on chapter 23 of the manga) features dated stereotypes of gay men as effeminate leather boys. The same stereotypes would appear in 1994's Otaku no Seiza - not surprising, because it was also based on character designs by Eguchi Hisashi. Episode 23 introduces a multi-episode story arc in which the Ozora yakuza group tries to reinvent itself as a detective agency. And it's downhill from there.

The translation notes seem to be getting more voluminous and complicated as the series goes on:

Ep19 has so many gags and references that it needs its own blog entry. 


  • Takakura Ken was a famous Japanese film star, known for his brooding presence. He starred in numerous crime dramas and action films.
  • Tetsuya Watari was another Japanese film star, known for his yakuza roles.
  • Iwaki-sensei says hello to Sabu with "Ohikaenasu," a special greeting between gamblers.
  • Ibari mishears "young leader" as "Yamamoto Linda," a well-known singer of the 1970s.
  • Ibari consults a manga book 日の丸劇場 (Hinomaru Gekijo), which is a parody of Egushi's own manga ひのまる劇場 (Hinomaru Gekijo). The page shown in the anime is a real page from ひのまる劇場.
  • Panther Yokohata is based on Mimi Hagiwara. She was an idol before she became a pro wrestler. She released a song called "Sexy Panther." 
  • Rikidouzan was a Japanese-Korean pro wrestler. His signature move was a karate chop.
  • The Sharpe brothers were Canadian pro wrestlers. They worked for Rikidouzan’s Japan Wrestling Association.
  •  The line "Come on! Get up, Joe!" and Ibari's eyepatch are an Ashita no Joe Tange parody.

  • The title is, literally, "The School's Lovely Takarazuka Star." Takarazuka is a famous musical review in Japan. It has been localized to "Broadway." 
  • "The sky lies far above the mountains." This is from Carl Hermann Busse's Uber den Bergen, as translated by Ueda Bin.
  • Sign: Matsuzawa, are you watching? Matsuzawa was one of the assistant producers on the show.
  • The audience at the volleyball match includes Fujiko Fujio's Obake no Q-taro and Hulk Hogan.
  • V for "Victory!" is from a 1968 shoujo manga and live action TV drama.
  • Ibari's pinky gesture connotes sexual activity.
  • Computer Ittosai (also appearing in episodes 27 and 33 as Coffee Ittosai and Occult Ittosai). Ito Ittosai was a famous swordsman.
  • Ibari's freak-out uses the Japanese children's song Ito maki maki. It is also featured in other episodes.
  • Nakamori Akina was one of the most popular singers in Japan in the 1980s.
  • "Can't you see this police notebook?" A Mito Komon parody. The hero always say "Can't you see this family crest?" after he beats up the bad guys.
  • "When the Nue cries, people die." A line from the Kindaichi Kousuke books of the 1940s and 1950s. The "Village of the Eight Tombs" is from the same series.
  • Akado Suzunosuke was a cartoon samurai from the 70s.
  • The Tanokin Trio was a male idol group from the 80s.
  • Shibugakitai was another male idol group from the 80s. 
  • Tengu are bird-like demons or spirits in Japanese folklore. Kurama Tengu was the title of several Japanese movies.
The staff is the same as for the previous mini-batch. Moho Kareshi translated; laalg checked the translation, added additional signs, and decoded many of the references. Yogicat timed; I edited and typeset. Juggen styled the OP and ED; and Nemesis and konnakude QCed. M74 encoded from a remastered DVD box.

You can get this group of episodes at the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on