Friday, February 9, 2018

Smash Hit! (Hit wo Nerae!)

As promised (threatened) when Orphan released Cosprayers, here's the first companion series, Smash Hit! (Hit wo Nerae!). The second companion series, Love Love?, is licensed; go buy or rent the DVDs if you want to watch it.

The premise of Smash Hit! is that Cosprayers is not an anime but a "live action" CG special-effects hero show. Through a series of mishaps, fortuitous or not, diminutive 25-year-old Ikuta Mitsuki is suddenly thrust from the quiet of the Copyright Department into the role of lead producer of Cosprayers. She finds a show in chaos: a crew of eccentric misfits; a squabbling set of young actresses ranging in age from 11 to 17; and a scriptwriter who's not the industry veteran she expected but an 18-year-old high school student, Ooizumi Naoto. Her nominal superior, Kurume Kenjirou, is a cold and sneering seasoned producer whom she refers to as Dracula. Her female co-producer at the TV network, Hayakawa Kazumi, is a voracious vamp brimming with ideas for "improving" the show by adding more bishounen.

Much of the humor derives from linking the insane plot twists in Cosprayers to "real life" events in Smash Hit! For example, the White Goddess shows up because the company that sells Cosprayers toys wants another gadget to sell; and the Goddess turns out to be gray because the prototype toys tested better in that color. The Black Mikos appear because Hayakawa wants to add the handsome boys of idol group Gekokujou to the show. Another repeating joke is the outraged audience letters about Cosprayers, rightly pointing out its exploitative qualities and unsuitability for its target audience of children. Mitsuki must cope with all the ups and downs of production, aided really only by the young scriptwriter, while she simultaneously learns the job of a producer and struggles to overcome her image as a "little kid." And all this is accompanied by a cornucopia of gratuitous boob, butt, and pantsu fanservice shots; and in the last episode, a cornucopia of corn as well.

Back in 2005, when I first saw this show, it all seemed pretty harmless. That was before #MeToo. Now when I watch, all I really see is the relentless harassment, sexual and otherwise, of Ikuta, her female friends, and the young actresses by most of the older men in the show.


(Ikuta is also sexually harassed by her female colleague, Hayakawa, to add "balance," I guess.) When Ikuta is not being harassed, she's being dismissed as too young, too small, too female to do the job of producer. The only male who doesn't make life miserable for her is the young scriptwriter, Oozomi Naoto. Dracula himself, Kurume Kenjirou, doesn't make advances but uses a "tough love" management style that, on the surface, offers little support to the rookie producer. Ikuta eventually succeeds, of course, in spite of all the obstacles, but the harassment itself goes unnoticed (except by Ikuta) and unpunished. That doesn't sit well now.

Noto Mamiko (Ikuta Mitsuki and opening vocals) has had a prolific career as both a singer and a voice actress. She played the title role in Nogizaka Haraku; the siren Benten in both seasons of Uchouten Kazoku; Alex in Gangsta; Ai Enma, the Hell Girl herself, in all four seasons of Hell Girl; Rin Asogi in Mnemosyne; and too many others to list. Miyano Mamoru (Ooizumi Naoto) is probably best known as Light in Death Note. He also played the leads in Ajin and Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~; the boxer-turned waiter Eiji in Antique Bakery; Dazai Osamu in Bungo Stray Dogs; and too many others to list. Kusao Takeshi (Kurume Kenjirou) played the lead role in Junk Boy and the teenaged Tezuka Osamu in Tezuka Osamu Monogatari. The director, Takahashi Takeo, has done many other somewhat ecchi projects, including Cosprayers, Love Love?, Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai, Yosuga no Sora, and this season's Citrus.

As with Cosprayers, Smash Hit! consisted of eight TV broadcast episodes and four DVD-only episodes. We've numbered them consecutively in this release, with the original fansub numbering in parentheses. Interestingly, the fansub numbering of the first DVD episode is "1.5," indicating it fell between TV episodes 1 and 2; but the previews make clear that it actually follows episode 2.

The original subs are by Triad Fansubs (episodes 1-6, 8-11) and yu (episodes 7, 12). I OCRed the subs, and Yogicat timed them. The transcribed subs were fully checked and extensively revised by gamnark, convexity, and tenkenX6 for episodes 1-4, and by Sunachan for episodes 5-12. I edited and typeset. Calyrica and konnakude did QC. Nemesis encoded from R2J DVDs. For the short promotional videos, gamnark did the translation, and Sunachan checked it.

So if you're ready for more of m.o.e.'s trademark ecchi fanservice, mixed in with some decent comedy and a helluva lot of harassment, you can find Smash Hit! on the usual torrent sites or on IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.




Friday, January 26, 2018

Orphans Dashboard

Except for short-runtime shows, few current series are left orphaned, because almost everything gets streamed and captured. Thus, orphaned series are mostly a matter of the back catalog.

Orphans rescued since I started this blog (aka, the Honors List):
  • 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (Marco) (neo1024)
  • Aim for the Ace! (Bluefixer)
  • Akai Hayate (Orphan)
  • Alps Stories: My Annette (Licca)
  • Amuri Star Ocean (mixed groups)
  • Before Green Gables (ARR)
  • Black Jack: the last OVAs (Bluefixer)
  • Blue Dragon (Takeo84)
  • Busou Chuugakusei - Basket Army  (Migoto/anon)
  • Code Breaker OVAs (Orphan)
  • Cutie Honey (TSHS)
  • D4 Princess (tipota) 
  • Daa! Daa! Daa! (Aozora & TMUsubs) 
  • Dream Dimension Hunter Fandora (OnDeed)
  • Gallery Fake (Muji) 
  • Gyagu Manga Biyori S2 (sulez_raz) 
  • Haita Nanafa second series (Omen then Glitch)
  • Hakugai: The Legend of Moby Dick (tipota)
  • Hal & Bons - last episode found subtitled on YouTube
  • Hell Teacher Nube (ARR)
  • Hi-Speed Jecy (Orphan)
  • Hyouge Mono (Doremi)
  • Kakyuusei (1995) (Orphan) 
  • Kakyuusei (1999) (C1) 
  • Kiss Dum (Doutei)
  • Kyou Kara Ore Wa!! (Saizen & Yabai)
  • Jang Geum's Dream (ARR)
  • Les Miserables Shoujo Cosette (Licca & Wasurenai) 
  • Lime-iro Ryuukitan X Cross (Kiteseekers) 
  • Little Women II (Licca)
  • Love Get Chu (Oyatsu, Yoroshiku)
  • Maple Story (Linguistic) - Korean audio
  • Marie & Gali S1 (Wasurenai)
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch (KiteSeekers) 
  • Miyuki (FroZen-EviL)
  • Mizu Iro Jidai (Kiteseekers) 
  • Perrine Monogatari (Licca & KiteSeekers & Wasurenai)
  • Porphy no Nagai Tabi (Licca)
  • Rakugo Tennyo Oyui (ARR)
  • Saint October (ReDone)
  • Showa Monogatari (GotWoot)
  • Sonic Soldier Borgman: New Century 2058 (Orphan)
  • Souten Kouro (Gotwoot & Doutei) 
  • Tetsuko no Tabi (m.3.3.w) 
  • Tokimeki Tonight (Orphan-Saitei)
  • Tono to Issho S2 (anonymous)
  • Ultraviolet Code 44 (KiteSeekers)
  • Yamato 2520 (Orphan)
  • Yawara (FroZen-EviL)
  • Yoshimune (ARR)
Note that the list only includes series that were started by one group and abandoned and then picked up and redone or finished by a different group. Subbing old series that were never done before doesn't count; nor does resuming a series after a long pause. ARR's subs are often derived from Hong Kong or Taiwan DVDs and tend to be rather garbled.

Orphan rescues in progress (aka, the Fingers-Crossed List):
  • Dash Kappei (Shindoi)
  • Hidamari no Ki (Orphan)
  • Idol Densetsu Eriko (Kiteseekers & Licca) 
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure (Licca & Wasurenai) 
  • Ninku (SolZen), using the new Blu-Ray release 
  • Stop!! Hibari-kun (Orphan)
The note from the previous list applies here as well. Mermaid Melody and Eriko had one episode done by a different group.

Orphans stuck in limbo (aka, the Series Broiler list):
  • BAR Kiraware Yasai
  • Corrector Yui
  • Dibetagurashi
  • Dragon Quest
  • Gene Diver
  • Hakuouki - Otogisoushi
  • Hiatari no Ryouko
  • Kuruneko
  • Lady Georgie
  • Maichingu 
  • Marginal Prince
  • Neon the Animation 
  • Onara Gorou
  • Onegai My Melody S3
  • Patalliro
  • Piropoppo 
  • Robin Hood no Daibouken 
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms (2010)
  • Shinshaku Sengoku Eiyuu Densetsu Sanada (Sanada 10)
  • Sonic Soldier Borgman TV
  • SunakiNishi 
  • The Kobocha Wine
(Updated 18-Feb-2018)

The Soul Business

The roly-poly salesman with the shark-like smile


comes strolling towards the camera, and in the unmistakably resonant tones of Oohira Tooru he introduces himself:
My name is Moguro Fukuzou.
People call me "The Laughing Salesman."
However, I'm no ordinary salesman, because I'm in the soul business.
Human souls, that is.
The world is full of lonely men and women, both young and old.
I'm here to fill the gaps within your lonely souls.
Completely free of charge, I might add.
A satisfied customer is the only compensation I desire.
And today's customer is...
Yes, it's time for another darkly comic ten minutes of Warau Salesman (Laughing Salesman), a show that seems more fitting today than when it was made more than 25 years ago.

The premise of Laughing Salesman is deceptively simple. Moguro Fukuzou is a traveling salesman who provides things that give his customers their heart's desire. Once his deals are made and their desires are satisfied, Moguro's customers are often left with terrible repercussions, especially if they break the rules of his deals. Yet despite his warnings, and against their better judgment, his "customers" just can't resist the temptation to do a bit more, grab a bit more, go a bit too far. Retribution is swift - sometimes violent, sometimes comic, always disastrous. Then the episode is over, and Moguro is off to fullfill the needs of the next lonely soul.

Laughing Salesman is nominally a joint project between Saizen and Live-eviL, but it's more like a collaboration of the old anime kairetsu. onibaba and tenkenX6 translated the first few episodes; kokujin-kun (who did Yawara!) has done all the rest. Eternal_Blizzard timed the first group of episodes; sangofe has been handling that recently. I've edited all but the first few episodes. zegond typeset the first twenty episodes; she was reclaimed by Real Life, so I've done all the rest, with occasional help from Eternal_Blizzard. QC has varied a lot but has included Calyrica, Skr, konnakude, Eternal_Blizzard, sangofe, pheon18, Mamo-chan, and at the start, our late colleague CP. Eternal_Blizzard did the initial encodes, BakaProxy took over when the project switched to HD raws.

The project started off using the released DVDs, which were fairly terrible - muddy, jittery, and cropped. Last year, high resolution remastered web streams became available, along with closed captions. That has greatly sped up the fansubbing process, in particular translation (because of the captions) and typesetting (because of the much stabler image). I don't know if the team will ever go back and redo the first 25 DVD-based episodes; there's a long way to go to finish the series.

Laughing Salesman is best taken in small doses. Marathoning it can be hazardous to your (mental) health. Instead, next time the nightly news leaves you steaming and ready to chuck a brick at your TV, spin up another of Moguro Fukuzou's adventures. You'll soon see that no matter how bad things seem to be now, they can get much, much, much worse - and probably will.







Thursday, January 25, 2018

Status

Here's a status report on current projects:
  • Stop!! Hibari-kun. All episodes encoded, translated, timed, typeset, and through QC. Episodes 1-12 released. This project needs a dedicated translation checker. Awaiting translation check on episodes 13+.
  • Hidamari no Ki. All episodes translated and rough timed. Episodes 1-6 released. Episodes 7-13 in QC. Episodes 14-25 awaiting fine timing.
  • Kasei Yakyoku. A joint project with Iquix. Episodes 1-4 translated. We have new VHS raws for episodes 1-2, and laserdisc raws for episodes 3-4. We would really like to find a laserdisc of episodes 1-2. Awaiting translation check.
  • Condition Green. All episodes ecoded, translated, timed, edited and in QC.
  • Starship Troopers. Resub from Yoroshiku Fansubs scripts. All episodes encoded, timed, edited, and in QC.
  • Smash Hit! All episodes translation checked, timed, and typeset. Episodes 1-9 complete; episodes 10-12 in QC
  • Every Day Is Sunday. Episodes 1-3 complete; episodes 4-6 awaiting translation check.
  • Bremen 4. Encoded and timed; in editing.
Projects on the shelf include Boyfriend, Chameleon, Dokushin Apartment, Greed, MapleStory, Marginal Prince, Sanada 10, and Techno Police 21C. In addition, there are a number of resub projects on the back burner, including Blue Sonnet and Kashou no Tsuki. We also have two gigantic jigsaw puzzle to do: putting together a script for the Dallos movie from the TV series, and assembling scripts for AWOL Compression Remix from the VHS tapes of the original AWOL TV series. And new, interesting raws arrive all the time.

If you'd like to help with any aspect of the process, but in particular translation or translation checking, please let me know.

[Updated 05-Feb-2018]
 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Orphan Chooses Projects

[I'm republishing this because I keep getting the same questions.]

Orphan doesn't get a lot of comments on its releases, but along with the "thank yous" (always appreciated) are invariably requests of the form, "Can you translate or resub XYZ?" Just as invariably, the answer is no, so perhaps I should explain how Orphan selects projects to work on. The process is different for original translations versus resubs, so I'll describe them separately. 

Original Translations 

Orphan was formed to translate abandoned series, OVAs, and movies - shows that were abandoned by other fansub groups or stranded on obsolete media like VHS tape or Laserdiscs. That remains the group's core mission. However, it's not possible to do every incomplete or untranslated show. A couple of severe filters get applied to any project idea.

The most important factor is the interest and availability of a translator. While translators can sometimes be coaxed into taking on other people's ideas, mostly they want to work on what interests them. The Orphan team includes a number of translators, but they all have real life commitments as well as projects they want to do. Like everyone on the team, they are volunteers, and like everyone on the team, their time is precious.

A second factor is the availability of source material. Some shows simply have no original source or existing encodes. Over the years, I've become more finicky about the quality of Orphan's encodes, so there's more emphasis on original encodes from primary sources, like LaserDiscs, DVDs, or BluRays. (We have VHS transcription capability too.) But a viable source is no guarantee that a project can get done; Dokushin Apartment has been languishing for more than a year, despite the availability of a primary source. Ecchi is a hard sell.

A third factor is the interest of the team as a whole. If the team is not interested in a particular project, that project is unlikely to get finished in a timely fashion, if ever. And if I'm not interested, well… you can imagine.

Resubs 

While translation is much less of a factor in resub projects, it still matters. Wherever the subtitles came from, they need to be checked. For fansubs, translation checking looks for errors in the original subtitles. For commercial sources, the focus is on excessive localization or script simplification. Sanctuary, Hashire Melos, and Chameleon illustrate the sort of problems translation checking will catch in R1 subs.

Source material is perhaps more important in resubs than in original translations. After all, there already is a subbed version; a new version needs to improve not just on the subtitles but also, if possible, on the video and audio quality. I'd be very reluctant to base a resub project on random Internet raws. This has led to some strange and expensive quests for rare LaserDiscs or DVD sets.

In addition, there has to be a compelling reason to do a resub. For Next Senki Ehrgeiz and Sanctuary, it was to improve the video and subtitle quality (LaserDisc softsub vs VHS hardsub). For Nagasarete Airantou, it was to have subtitles that were actually readable. For Yume Tsukai, it was to have a full resolution softsub version from DVDs of a show that was only subbed from TV captures.

Also, the show has to interest me (or another project leader). I like comedy, slice-of-slice, historical, sci-fi, seinen, josei, shoujo, and cats. I don't like sports, mecha, or shounen. And I don't have the patience for really long series anymore.

Finally, Orphan will not resub shows that have active licenses in English-speaking countries.

Orphans and Orphan Fansubs 

I'll close by reminding my readers that the original purpose of Orphan Fansubs was to finish orphaned projects. These projects often mix resubs (the episodes that were completed) with original translations (the episodes that were never finished). True orphans must satisfy the criteria for both types of projects: a translator must be interested; there has to be source material (at least for the unfinished episodes); the team as a whole has to want to work on the show; and there has to be a compelling reason to complete the series. And there's one other factor: the project needs to have been formally abandoned by the original group, or the original group must have disbanded.

Many orphan series fail on one or more of these criteria. For example, Techno Police 21C has source material but no translator. MapleStory doesn't interest the team very much. And Hiatari Ryouko has not been formally abandoned, even though the group subbing it has not released a new episode in more than three years.

[Revised 23-Jan-2018]

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hidamari no Ki, Part 1

In my look back at 2017, I said that Orphan would be undertaking two larger series this year. The first is the continuation of Stop!! Hibari-kun!, from 1983. And now, here is the second, Hidamari no Ki (A Tree in the Sun), from 2000. This historical drama has been on my wish list since I started pursuing orphaned shows. A fortunate chain of circumstances has allowed Orphan to bring it to you, at last.

First, the series appeared on streaming sites in Japan. This provided translation raws with reasonable video and audio fidelity. Second, the eleven volume manga became available online, both in Japanese and in (scanlated) English. Third, and most importantly, a new translator, Sunachan, joined Orphan. Sunachan had the stamina - and the experience with medical terminology - to undertake such a large project. And finally, an anonymous donor offered to purchase the Hidamari no Ki DVDs. This provided pristine material for generating final video and audio. Orphan will be presenting Hidamari no Ki in four "mini-batches" of six, seven, six, and six episodes respectively, with a full series batch at the end.

Hidamari no Ki is based on a manga by the legendary Tezuka Osamu. It tells the story of two young men during the Bakumatsu - the waning days of the Tokugawa Shogunate that followed the "opening" of Japan by Western countries. One is Manjirou Ibuya, a samurai raised in the strictest traditions of bushido. The other is Tezuka Ryouan, a doctor-in-training equally interested in women and the latest scientific discoveries. (Ryouan's last name is no coincidence; he is Tezuka Osamu's great-grandfather) Both have a penchant for getting into trouble. Ibuya inadvertently crosses an experienced samurai and is wounded in a duel. Ryousan ends up treating him. Then, Ryouan deliberately crosses the powerful official physicians of the Shogunate, who want to prevent Ryouan and his father from opening a smallpox vaccination facility. Ibuya ends up saving Ryouan from an attack by anonymous assassins. Ryouan goes to Osaka for further training and encounters both opportunity and tragedy. Ibuya exhibits exemplary leadership skills during the great Ansei-era Edo earthquake and is assigned to guard the new US consul to Japan. And that's just the first six episodes!


As the screencap shows, the male character designs are vintage Tezuka Osamu - large eyes paired with real noses, chins, Adam's apples, facial blemishes, and so on. The female character designs run more to type - either classic Japanese beauties, like Oseki, Oshina, and Okon, or dumpy matrons, like Ryouan's mother. This demonstrates Eguchi Marisuke's versatility as a character designer. The designs look nothing like his Adachi-inspired characters in Hiatari Ryouko and Nozomi Witches.

The Bakumatsu was a remarkably complex period, with factions promoting all kinds of views. The three most prominent were the bakufu - the military bureaucracy of the Shogunate, who wanted to defend their prerogatives; the neo-Confucians (Joui), who wanted to restore power to the Emperor as a prerequisite to expelling all foreigners; and the Westernizers, who wanted to embrace western scientific and political thought and modernize Japan along Western lines. Dividing lines were not clear-cut; for example, all factions wanted to embrace some aspects of Western military technology, for their own reasons. The eventual solution - the Meiji restoration - was a sort of "none of the above" answer and allowed Japan to avoid the fate of China.

The voice cast is stellar. Yamadera Kouichi (Ryouan) has had a spectacular career. Among his many roles are Spike Spiegel in Cowboy Bebop, Sukeroku in Shouwa Ginroku Rakugo Shinju, Ryouga in all the Ranma 1/2 properties, Melos in Hashire Melos! (an Orphan project), and the nameless hero of Otaku no Seiza. He also dubbed all the Mike Myers characters in the Japanese versions of the Austin Powers movies. Miyamoto Mitsuru (Ibuya) has appeared in numerous series, from H2 to this year's Kekkai Sensen sequel. Orikasa Fumiko, who voiced their mutual love interest, Oseki, played Rukia Kuchiki in all the Bleach properties as well as the heroine Okonogi Yuuko in Dennou Coil. The late Nagai Ichirou (Ryouan's father Ryousan) appeared in numerous shows, including Nora and Gosenzosama Banbanzai! He also dubbed Albus Dumbledore in the Japanese versions of the Harry Potter movies. Matsumoto Rica (Okon, a prostitute in Osaka) played Jim Hawking in Outlaw Star, the hero Fuusuke in the Ninku properties, and Satoshi in the Pokemon franchise. The director, Sugii Gisaburou, has done many outstanding shows, including the Mitsuru Adachi shows Nine, Touch, and Hiatari Ryouko; Nozomi Witches (an Orphan project); and several recent movies. The music is by the jazz/fusion composer and keyboardist Matsui Keiko and works well to underscore the series subtly.

Sunachan translated the episodes. Beyond that, she re-checked the episodes through editing and QC to ensure that the nuances of the translation were not lost. Eternal_Blizzard timed the episodes. Juggen provided a subtle karaoke for the ending theme, Hikari no Mukou e by Charcoal. I edited and typeset (not many signs). bananadoyouwanna, Nemesis, and VigorousJammer did QC. Skr encoded the original workraws that allowed translation to get started, and M74 encoded the final versions from the DVDs. The DVDs themselves were purchased by an anonymous benefactor. The entire team is intensely grateful to him for investing in this show.

Hidamari no Ki is a dense series, and there are lots of people, places, and things that need explanation. I've tried to keep on-screen translation notes to a minimum, but there are a few. Here are some additional notes for this batch of episodes:
  • Ep01. "Countless districts of Edo." Literally, the 808 districts of Edo. The number 808 is purely symbolic.
  • Ep01. "...with its pay of 15 bales for two people..." The combination of bales and people provides the measurement of a samurai's rank; in this case, not very high.
  • Ep01. "300 mon." An old unit of currency, not directly translatable to yen because of devaluation and inflation.
  • Ep01. "Hokushin Ittouryuu" is a school of martial arts, founded in 1820, focused on sword fighting.
  • Ep04. Ogata Kouan was a physician and scholar. His academy, the Tekijuku, taught medicine and Western learning. It was one of the foundations for Osaka University.
  • Ep04. Ryousen twirls his pinky when talking indirectly about a beautiful courtesan. The pinky signifies love affairs or sexual liaisons.
Because of the long delays in releasing more of Stop!! Hibari-kun, some viewers may wonder whether Hidamari no Ki will suffer the same fate. I expect this show to go faster because it doesn't require translation checking. We've restarted Stop!! Hibari-kun, of course, but an experienced, dedicated translation checker is needed for the show to progress more quickly.

Meanwhile, dig into Hidamari no Ki. It's a treat, a true overlooked gem. You can get this mini-batch from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.






Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stop!! Hibari-kun! 7-12

As I said in my end-of-2017 summary, Orphan will be working on two relatively long series this year. One of them, of course, is Stop!! Hibari-kun!, the 1983 comedy series. It's taken a loooong time, but here are the next six episodes. I won't repeat all the background from my introductory post on the series. Nothing has changed - or does change, for that matter, because the show is completely episodic. Cross-dressing/transgender son Ozora Hibari is still the best-looking girl in the Ozora family; the family's adopted orphan, Sakamoto Kosaku, is still utterly confused about his feelings toward Hibari; and the rest of the family is still perplexed, apoplexed, bemused, or amused about the whole thing, often at the same time.


Moho Kareshi translated the entire series. Onibaba and tenkenX6 did translation checking on this second batch of episodes. Yogicat timed; I edited and typeset; Juggen styled the OP and ED; and Nemesis, konnakude, and VigorousJammer QCed. M74 encoded from a remastered DVD box. A few translation notes:
  • Ep07. Kotatsu means "little dragon."
  • Ep08. Utagoe Kissa means "Chorus Cafe." It originated in Japan around 1955 and lasted until the 70s. It's a "cafe" where people sing songs as a group, often accompanied by piano or accordion music.
  • Ep10. Kosuke's rivalry with his childhood friend Daisuke is illustrated with historical events, such as the famous duel between 17th century swordsmen Miyamato Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro, and references to the match between Rikiishi and Joe in Ashita no Joe, the fight between Amuro and Char in Mobile Suit Gundam, and between Take-chan Man and Black Devil Jr in Fuji TV's live-action "variety show" of the same name. (Thanks to Sunachan for tracking these references down.)
All of the episodes in this batch are canon, that is, they're taken from the manga, although episodes 8 and 9 are padded considerably.

The typesetting continues to be a PITA, and as with P**** B*** Cafe, I'm doing fewer signs as the series goes on. Episodes 10 and 11, in particular, have repeating signs that would require endless hand-clipping. At some point, with the scripts approaching 10,000 lines, I simply gave up. Feel free to do the rest yourself. ;)

When will the next batch be coming out? I don't know, so please don't ask. It's entirely at the mercy of the translation checking process. (Always looking for help there.) In the meantime, you can get this group of episodes at the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.