Thursday, June 1, 2017

Grim Douwa - Kin no Tori

Here's a bluebird, or more accurately, a golden bird - the 1987 movie Grim Douwa - Kin no Tori (Grimm's Fairy Tales - The Golden Bird). Released as part of Toei's Manga Matsura series, it was actually animated by Madhouse and released after a three year delay. The delay earned it a reputation as a "lost masterpiece." That's a bit overstated, but it's a beautiful and comic cartoon "for all ages" - rather different from Toei's faux Disney fare in the 1960s. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As one of the QCs said, it's adorable.

Kin no Tori is based on a fairy tale (number 57) collected by the Brothers Grimm. As is often the case, the original tale includes grim elements - such as attempted fratricide - not considered suitable for modern audiences, so the anime is considerably toned down. In this version, a wicked witch sends out her tame golden bird to steal the golden apples of the king of Kaiser Castle. He sets this three sons to watch for the thief, but only the youngest, Hans, stays awake and sees the bird. He tries to shoot it and succeeds in dislodging a golden feather. The three brothers are sent to pursue the bird, but only Hans really takes the task seriously. After many adventures and hazards, Hans reaps his reward. And they all lived happily ever after... sort of.

The summary can't convey the movie's humor, its imaginative visuals, and its outstanding voice cast. Madhouse not only did the animation, but the head of the studio, Maruyama Masao, did the layout. Here are two examples of the visual imagery:





The voice actors are amazing, led by legendary seiyuu Tomiyama Kei's bravura (and cross-gender) performance as the wicked witch. Kei, who won a posthumous Special Achievement Award in 2007, appeared in numerous series and OVAs before his untimely death in 1995. Yanami Jougi gave a hilarious turn as the wine-loving Big Bird (no relation to Sesame Street). He's better known to me as Ozora Ibari in Stop!! Hibari-kun. Takiguchi Junpei, who played the villainous king of Kanemacchi Castle, and Miyauchi Kohei, who played the more virtuous king of Kaiser Castle, also each appeared in one episode of Stop!! Hibari-kun. The female seiyuu playing the children (male or female) are uniformly good as well. The music, by Kawachi Kuni, is mostly lighthearted and fits the mood well, and the songs are a lot of fun, particularly the witch's insert song. The director, Hirata Toshio, directed numerous other movies and TV shows.

Iri translated the movie. M74 did the pre-timing before translation, and ninjacloud did fine timing after translation. I edited and typeset (there are only two signs, although one of them accounts for 80% of the script). Nemesis and konnakude QCed. The raw is an HDTV encode from heponeko.

Enjoy this golden-age classic in beautiful high-definition! You can get the release at the usual torrent sites or bot Orphan|Arutha in IRC channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net

5 comments:

  1. This style has a lot going for it. Thanks for the release.

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  2. Thank you for this! what is the source of this? I only got the VHS tape. Didn't know there were any other releases

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    1. No idea, actually. The raw was released by heponeko (check nyaa.si for more of his releases). He often encodes from HDTV broadcasts.

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  3. https://myanimelist.net/anime/23699/Kumo_ni_Noru
    PLZ trans this OVA

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  4. Movie was also dubbed in European countries. I had only seen the very good VHS dub but seeing the Blueray version is something else! Thanks for this forgotten gem. I had read about it on Anipages

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