Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A-Girl v0

Here's a bluebird that happened by and flew through the release process in a flash: A-Girl, an OVA from 1993.

In 1992, Madhouse and Margaret Comics collaborated on an OVA of the shounen-ai romance Zetsuai 1989. This was successful, and in 1993, Madhouse issued six additional OVAs based on Margaret Comic properties:
  • Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru
  • Singles
  • Pops
  • Oeda wa Nemurenai!
  • Kiss wa Hitomi ni Shite
  • A-Girl
Unfortunately, these additional OVAs were not successful and quickly sank into obscurity. None of them made it to Laserdisc, let alone DVD.

A-Girl is based on a 1984 shoujo romance manga by Fusako Kuramochi. It tells a very simple story: girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy. High-school student Mariko and her elder sister Mayu are forced out of their apartment by a fire and move in with their landlord. Mariko meets the landlord's handsome son, Natsume, who is also a model. They fall in love but break up when Mariko discovers that Natsume is seeing other girls. Eventually, they are reunited, and the end credits roll, except...

The raw we have - and the only one available - is defective: it is small (512 x 384) and is missing the end credits. Apparently, it was stitched together from three pieces on YouTube. Accordingly, we've labeled this release a "v0". If a better raw turns up - complete, and hopefully at 480p - we'll reissue the show.

A-Girl was the directorial debut of Kousaka Kitarou. (He also did the character designs.) He later worked for many years as an animation director and key animator on Ghibli films before achieving prominence as the director of the award-winning Nasu: Anadalusia no Natsu. For A-Girl, he chose a novel approach: he made a "silent movie." A-Girl has no dialog and is performed against a background of Japanese pop songs composed by Okada Tooru and sung (in English!) by SEIKA. Dialog placards provide continuity, like in old silent films. It works pretty well and doesn't interrupt the flow of the story.

Iri found the raw (after sitting on a dead torrent for a year) and then translated and timed it. I edited and typeset the captions, and Nemesis QCed.

So enjoy A-Girl in its truncated form. This will have to do, until a better source turns up. If you like the music, the soundtrack is available on BakaBT.

1 comment:

  1. Having no voiced dialogue was an interesting idea. Thanks for the release.