Friday, February 9, 2018

Smash Hit! (Hit wo Nerae!)

As promised (threatened) when Orphan released Cosprayers, here's the first companion series, Smash Hit! (Hit wo Nerae!). The second companion series, Love Love?, is licensed; go buy or rent the DVDs if you want to watch it.

The premise of Smash Hit! is that Cosprayers is not an anime but a "live action" CG special-effects hero show. Through a series of mishaps, fortuitous or not, diminutive 25-year-old Ikuta Mitsuki is suddenly thrust from the quiet of the Copyright Department into the role of lead producer of Cosprayers. She finds a show in chaos: a crew of eccentric misfits; a squabbling set of young actresses ranging in age from 11 to 17; and a scriptwriter who's not the industry veteran she expected but an 18-year-old high school student, Ooizumi Naoto. Her nominal superior, Kurume Kenjirou, is a cold and sneering seasoned producer whom she refers to as Dracula. Her female co-producer at the TV network, Hayakawa Kazumi, is a voracious vamp brimming with ideas for "improving" the show by adding more bishounen.

Much of the humor derives from linking the insane plot twists in Cosprayers to "real life" events in Smash Hit! For example, the White Goddess shows up because the company that sells Cosprayers toys wants another gadget to sell; and the Goddess turns out to be gray because the prototype toys tested better in that color. The Black Mikos appear because Hayakawa wants to add the handsome boys of idol group Gekokujou to the show. Another repeating joke is the outraged audience letters about Cosprayers, rightly pointing out its exploitative qualities and unsuitability for its target audience of children. Mitsuki must cope with all the ups and downs of production, aided really only by the young scriptwriter, while she simultaneously learns the job of a producer and struggles to overcome her image as a "little kid." And all this is accompanied by a cornucopia of gratuitous boob, butt, and pantsu fanservice shots; and in the last episode, a cornucopia of corn as well.

Back in 2005, when I first saw this show, it all seemed pretty harmless. That was before #MeToo. Now when I watch, all I really see is the relentless harassment, sexual and otherwise, of Ikuta, her female friends, and the young actresses by most of the older men in the show.


(Ikuta is also sexually harassed by her female colleague, Hayakawa, to add "balance," I guess.) When Ikuta is not being harassed, she's being dismissed as too young, too small, too female to do the job of producer. The only male who doesn't make life miserable for her is the young scriptwriter, Oozomi Naoto. Dracula himself, Kurume Kenjirou, doesn't make advances but uses a "tough love" management style that, on the surface, offers little support to the rookie producer. Ikuta eventually succeeds, of course, in spite of all the obstacles, but the harassment itself goes unnoticed (except by Ikuta) and unpunished. That doesn't sit well now.

Noto Mamiko (Ikuta Mitsuki and opening vocals) has had a prolific career as both a singer and a voice actress. She played the title role in Nogizaka Haraku; the siren Benten in both seasons of Uchouten Kazoku; Alex in Gangsta; Ai Enma, the Hell Girl herself, in all four seasons of Hell Girl; Rin Asogi in Mnemosyne; and too many others to list. Miyano Mamoru (Ooizumi Naoto) is probably best known as Light in Death Note. He also played the leads in Ajin and Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~; the boxer-turned waiter Eiji in Antique Bakery; Dazai Osamu in Bungo Stray Dogs; and too many others to list. Kusao Takeshi (Kurume Kenjirou) played the lead role in Junk Boy and the teenaged Tezuka Osamu in Tezuka Osamu Monogatari. The director, Takahashi Takeo, has done many other somewhat ecchi projects, including Cosprayers, Love Love?, Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai, Yosuga no Sora, and this season's Citrus.

As with Cosprayers, Smash Hit! consisted of eight TV broadcast episodes and four DVD-only episodes. We've numbered them consecutively in this release, with the original fansub numbering in parentheses. Interestingly, the fansub numbering of the first DVD episode is "1.5," indicating it fell between TV episodes 1 and 2; but the previews make clear that it actually follows episode 2.

The original subs are by Triad Fansubs (episodes 1-6, 8-11) and yu (episodes 7, 12). I OCRed the subs, and Yogicat timed them. The transcribed subs were fully checked and extensively revised by gamnark, convexity, and tenkenX6 for episodes 1-4, and by Sunachan for episodes 5-12. I edited and typeset. Calyrica and konnakude did QC. Nemesis encoded from R2J DVDs. For the short promotional videos, gamnark did the translation, and Sunachan checked it.

So if you're ready for more of m.o.e.'s trademark ecchi fanservice, mixed in with some decent comedy and a helluva lot of harassment, you can find Smash Hit! on the usual torrent sites or on IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.




2 comments:

  1. Thank you for continuing to do this for all of these years. I can't wait to see what else gets released this year. Without you and your team I would have never got to watch a bunch of the stuff I've been wanting to watch for years.

    I already know the answer is going to be no but I still want to bring attention to this show that's basically been abandoned by the original team. If at all possible could you rescue or partner up with the original team and help finish Goldfish Warning? They have translated and released the first 46 episodes and have translated the 47th episode. It's been almost 4 years since episode 46 came out and they only have 8 episodes left. The only I'm bringing it up is because it's a shoujo comedy which you said interested you.

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    1. Three problems with any orphan rescue operation:
      1. Are there raws? (I don't see any.)
      2. Is there a translator? (No one on our team has shown interest in this show.)
      3. Has it actually been abandoned by the fansubbing group? (They still appear to be active.)
      So the answer would be as you expected.

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