Sunday, July 13, 2014


Adachigahara is the fifth part of a Tezuka Osamu anthology series called "The Lion Book Series." It consists of six standalone episodes:

1 The Green Cat 1983
2 Rain Boy 1983
3 Lunn Flies into the Wind 1985
4 Yamataro Comes Back 1986
5 Adachigahara 1991
6 Akuemon 1993

Orphan has already released The Green Cat and Rain Boy. With Adachigahara, we've reached the halfway mark in this series.

This version of Adachigara is the first translation in English. It's also the first Orphan project with an original encode since Kage. I bought a used DVD in Japan, and a colleague over there kindly encoded it. We'll do the same for other projects, occasionally, as funds and friends allow.

Adachigahara is a departure from the tenor of The Green Cat and Rain Boy. Rather than a gentle fable about friendship and growing up, it's a dark tale of betrayal and death, with deliberate horror overtones. The hero, agent fourth class Yuukei, is a former revolutionary turned professional assassin for the revolutionary government. He's sent to a desolate planet to kill a "witch" who has supposedly been luring spaceships to their doom and eating the crew. He does indeed find the witch, wrecked spaceships, and human remains, but the surface appearances hide a dark truth about Yuukei's past and present. Indeed, you can sum up the theme with a line from The Who: "Meet the new boss... Same as the old boss."

convexity did the translation, and as usual, it's fluid and accurate. archdeco did the timing, I did the editing and typesetting, and CP and Calyrica did the checking. Last, but hardly least, my colleague Skr from the Yawara! project did the encode. Whether this reflects the quality of the DVD or his use of stabilization technology, the encode shows much less frame-to-frame jitter than The Green Cat and Rain Boy.

As I've said before, Orphan will do the remaining three shows, but real-life commitments by the team members make the schedule uncertain. In the meantime, enjoy this never-before-translated Tezuka Osamu episode.

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