Saturday, March 17, 2018

Purple Eyes in the Dark

Here's another anime music video or AMV, 1987's Purple Eyes in the Dark. It's based on an award-winning, 12-volume shoujo manga by Shinihara Chie about a teenage girl who finds she sometimes turns into a leopard, with appropriately bloodthirsty instincts.

There has never been an anime of this title; however, it has been made into a series of light novels and a live-action TV series.

The AMV is based on a pair of image albums for the manga, Purple Eyes in the Dark from 1985 and Purple Eyes in the Dark part 2 from 1987. Of the 17 songs on the two albums, seven are included in the AMV: two instrumentals, two in Japanese, and three in English:
  1. Destiny Again (instrumental)
  2. Mysterious Purple (English)
  3. Kizuna/Secret (Japanese)
  4. Tell Her Tonight (English)
  5. All By Myself (English)
  6. Set Me Free (instrumental)
  7. Lullaby of Twilight (Japanese)
Because there's no dialog, the AMV can't convey much, if any, of the plot. Fortunately, the complete manga has been scanlated into English by Aerandria Scans.

Purple Eyes in the Dark centers around four characters:
  • Ozaki Rinko, a seemingly ordinary high-school girl who transforms into a large and powerful golden leopard when stressed or angry.
  • Her boyfriend, Mizushima Shin'ya.
  • Her biology teacher, the evil Sonehara Kaoruko, who wants Rinko for "experiments."
  • Odagiri Mitsugu, a freelance reporter who can transform into a large black panther (not the superhero kind). He's on the prowl for a mate.
The AMV uses images, incidents, and actual panels from the manga, but not in chronological order.

The songs are fairly typical late 80s Japanese rock, with heavy, simplistic guitar riffs. The music is by Nitta Ichirou. He also did the music for Nanako SOS and Dallos. The English lyrics were written by Linda Hennrick, who was the go-to lyricist for English anime songs in this period. She also did songs for Starship Troopers, Area 88, Record of the Lodoss War OVAs, Armitage III, and the first City Hunter series. Two of the English songs are sung by Yamaguchi Yoshiko and are awkwardly pronounced, but the hymn to female (feline?) empowerment, All By Myself, is sung by US artists, Derek Jackson and the Purple Girls. It's the best song in the OVA, IMHO.

Although there are only two Japanese songs, the AMV has quite a few signs. This includes stills from the manga with dialog balloons, sometimes too small and blurry to read.  Sunachan translated the songs and most of the signs (Aerandria's translations were used where the dialog was unreadable), ninjacloud timed, I edited and typeset, and Nemesis and Calyrica did QC. Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions encoded from his own Japanese laserdisc. Iri purchased Purple Eyes as part of a bloc buy of titles in Japan, but it turned out Erik already had it, so he sent the duplicate on to me. I can now amaze the young 'uns by showing them what optical discs looked like 30 years ago. Unfortunately, I can't play it, but it's real shiny.

Purple Eyes in the Dark is the fourth AMV Orphan has released (the other three are Cathexis, Rainbow Signal Hi-Fi Set, and Borgman Madnight Gigs). The team is going to take a break from the genre for a while, so enjoy this last one. You can get it from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on