Sunday, September 14, 2014

Horus (BluRay)

After expounding at some length on why I'd never give credit to more than two groups in a file name, how do I explain [tubesoda&neo1024-tipota-Orphan] Taiyou no Ouji -Horus no Daibouken-? All I can say in my defense is that every rule has exceptions, and this needs to be one.

First, though, the movie. Horus no Daibouken (The Great Adventures of Horus, Prince of the Sun, 1968) is one of the early great anime movies from Japan. Directed by the legendary Takahata Isao, it took more than three years to complete and launched the career of Miyazaki Hayao, among others. The project ran so late and so far over budget that the production studio, Toei, allowed it to play in theaters for only ten days and demoted Takahata from directing. He left Toei, as did Miyazaki. After some years working on World Masterpiece Theater adaptations, Takahata joined Ghibli, where he directed the classic Grave of the Fireflies, as well as Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, and My Neighbors the Yamadas. His latest film, Kaguya Hime no Monogatari, has not been subtitled in English.

Horus no Daibouken is an "all-ages" adventure tale set in Scandinavia. The young hero, Horus (anglicized as Hols in some translations), leaves his adopted home and returns to the village of his people to confront the evil demon Grunwald, who is determined to wipe the population from the face of the earth. Horus encounters people good and bad, as well as an enigmatic young girl named Hilda, (spoilers ahead) who despite her beautiful singing is a lot more dangerous than she appears. After thrilling adventures, Horus redeems Hilda, unites the village population to face danger head on, and leads the good guys to victory.

Horus is very much a film of its time. The hero is plucky, brave, and one dimensional. He has a comic animal sidekick. The villain is a black-and-white baddie (literally). There are lots of adorably cute children and lots of songs. Even so, it's terrific. The plot moves along briskly, the action sequences are very well animated, and the musical interludes (like the fish harvest and the wedding celebration) burst with energy. Hilda's songs are beautiful, sad, and more than a touch ambiguous. The ultimate message ("united we stand") is inoffensive and not thrown in the audience's face, but it resonated with the young Japanese of the era. Miyazaki is often called "the Walt Disney of Japan," but that's more about his towering stature in the animation scene than about his style. Horus no Daibouken feels like a classic Disney film, and it leaves you smiling the same way. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now, back to the file naming. The DVD version of Horus no Daibouken was encoded and subtitled with great care by neo1024 and tubesoda. (Information on the DVD edition, along with a lot of background about the film itself, can be found in the BakaBT torrent.) The subtitles from that version have been used here. tipota encoded the newly-released BluRay. That encode is used here. Orphan retimed the subtitles completely, restyled them, retypeset them (particularly the trailer), and did additional QC. So how can any of these groups be omitted? tubesoda&neo1024's subtitles needed very little work. A few missing lines have been added, and the grammar tweaked here and there, but no more than 30 lines have been modified. tipota's encode is unchanged. On the Orphan side, convexity filled in the few missing lines, I retimed the script, Eternal_Blizzard and I did the typsetting, and CP and Saji provided additional QC. So [tubesoda&neo1024-tipota-Orphan] it is. Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Or would you prefer [mashup]?

Enjoy Horus no Daibouken in this beautiful BluRay edition!

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