Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yawara-chan Returns!

Yes, the FroZen-EviL gang has reunited to put on another show, in this case, the Blu-Ray version of Yawara! The first two episodes have been released, and despite a mixup about fonts, it's now possible to see Yawara-chan in her HD and color-restored glory.

The process for this project will be a little different than before. For the first 40 episodes, the team is going to use the AnimEigo R1 subs as a base. For episodes 41-58, the team is using the Froth-Bite/Live-eviL subs, which will require OCRing the original episodes (the scripts were lost in one of several FTP catastrophes). From episode 59 onward, we'll use the FroZen-EviL scripts. All episodes will be scrutinized carefully to get consistent styling and terminology, and episodes 1-58 will receive a full translation check. Complete typesetting, instead of the simpler {\an8}Sign: style of the original show, will be done. Karaokes will be styled (simply) instead of just line-timed.

Editorial changes should be relatively few. The award that Jigoro wants Yawara to win is properly called the People's Honor Award, not the National Merit Award. All of the terms in the judo ring will be left untranslated, not just "Hajime" and "Matte." Judo terms will be given consistent spelling and capitalization.

Now, I must confess that I never watched the first 58 episodes of Yawara! In was easy enough to pick up the show in media res, and real-life time constraints made devoting 20 hours to catching up impractical. Now that I'm retired, I could watch the whole series, but I'm enjoying the week-by-week unrolling of the first few episodes. The main characters don't change much from beginning to end, of course. Still, it will be fun watching them run their courses over several years.

To me, the Blu-Rays (like the "Special DVD Edition" of episode 1) look gorgeous. Colors are vibrant, edge-burn is gone, interlacing and blended frame issues much less prominent. The first OP and ED - Miracle Girl and Stand by Me - are excellent. Miracle Girl is a J-pop earworm, albeit quite a good one, but Stand by Me is a soulful ballad that stands repeated listening. Be sure to get the second versions to avoid font problems with the OP karaoke.

So welcome back, Yawara-chan! I look forward to following your progress in the coming months and years.

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