Saturday, August 19, 2017

Daishizen no Majuu Bagi (Blu-ray)

Orphan and M74 are proud to bring you a new version of Tezuka Osamu's 1984 TV special Daishizen no Majuu Bagi (usually translated as Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature). This release features a high-resolution, 720p encode and, for the first time, a professional translation. With this show, we've reached the halfway point in our collaboration with Beatrice Raws to release all of Osamu's NTV "Love Will Save the Earth" TV specials in high-definition.

Bagi tells the story of a human-cougar hybrid created in a super-secret government lab. Bagi escapes and is adopted as a normal kitten by a boy named Ryousuke, whose mother actually created Bagi as an experiment. As Bagi grows up, she starts to exhibit human traits, including the ability to stand on two legs and to write. Realizing that she is attracting suspicion, Bagi runs away. The devestated Ryousuke turns rebellious and joins a biker gang. Nine years later, the gang encounters the now fully grown Bagi. She tears everyone to pieces except Ryousuke, whom she recognizes. Together, they set out to discover the secret of Bagi's origin and to find Ryousuke's mother. Many wild adventures ensue.

The show is filled with nice touches. While the young Bagi looks like a normal kitten, the grown Bagi is a full anime cat-girl, complete with (fur-covered) breasts. This allows for some fanservice interludes, but they're not over the top. Bagi is very loyal to Ryousuke, a trait not normally associated with cats, particularly big cats, and she has the perplexing habit of sometimes dressing up in clothes and sometimes going bare, without any particular rationale for the choice. At one point, Ryousuke is guarded by Cerem Bond, a sort-of James Bond parody, at least if the background music can be taken as a clue. Bond leaves every decision to chance, kind of like Two-Face (Harvey Dent) in Batman. And various members of Osamu's "star system" show up as bit players.

According to Wikipedia, Bagi was Tezuka Osamu's protest against the Japanese government's decision to allow research on recombinant DNA. Today, the furor over gene manipulation has only grown, with large companies creating genetically modified organisms (GMO) for commercial profit, and a growing segment of consumers demanding clear labeling (fiercely resisted by agribusiness) and GMO-free food. The advent of inexpensive techniques for DNA manipulation, such as CRISPR/Cas9, means that recombinant DNA research will become ever more widespread - and potentially ever more dangerous.

I've chosen to use the literal translation of Bagi's name (バギ) rather than Baggy, which appeared in previous English translations. (Baggy would be バギー.) There's no reason to alter the Japanese title. For this release, M74 transcribed and timed the subtitles and encoded the BD source. I edited and typeset. We both did QC, along with Nemesis.

The adult Ryousuke was played by veteran seiyuu Inoue Kazuhiko. He has had starring roles in many shows, playing Yuki Eiri (the seme) in Gravitation, Saruwatari Gotou (co-lead) in Moonlight Mile, Tojo Iori (the noble gangster) in Tomoe ga Yuku, and Hatake Kikashi in the Naruto franchise. However, he's best known to me as the glorious comic voice behind Nyanko-sensei (and its alter ego, Madara) in all six seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou. Shimazu Saeko, the voice of Bagi, has also had a fine career, playing Yuri, one half of the eponymous Dirty Pair, as well as featured roles in the Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura franchises. Haneda Kentarou, who composed the music, has worked on many shows, including Barefoot Gen 1 and 2, Odin: Starlight Mutiny, Sherlock Hound, and the original Macross TV series and movies. Tezuka Osamu co-directed; he needs no introduction.

So enjoy this Tezuka Osamu classic. You can get it from the usual torrent sources or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

1 comment:

  1. Inoue Kazuhiko also played Yamaoka Shiro, the lazy employee at Tozai News (he's almost as lazy as I am).

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