Monday, May 21, 2018

Dallos Special

The Dallos special is an edited compilation of the four episode OVA series. Like most compilation specials, if you've seen the original show, you don't need to watch the special. However, the Japanese (but not the US) version of the special has one unique feature: it includes the so-called "pilot film," a five minute series of clips and sketches that supposedly provides the background for the show.

The excisions made in the special to compress the running time from roughly 110 minutes to 83 are not serious. Mostly, the cuts eliminate dangling plot threads and complexities, such as the mystery around Shun Nonomura's older brother Tatsuo and the Bartholemew incident; the political intrigue against Alex Riger by the Vice-Consul and shadowy players back on Earth; and the role of Earth's army in the climactic showdown. However, the cuts exacerbate the jumpiness of some of the transitions, which was already a problem in the original OVAs.

A different sort of issue is the pilot film. While it is supposed to supply background, it actually differs in significant respects from the OVAs.
  1. In the pilot film, the lunar city is called Genesis. In the OVAs, it is Monopolis.
  2. In the pilot film, the Moon is ruled by a small upper-class elite called "scholars." In the OVAs, it is ruled by a more traditional colonial government, headed by a Consul.
  3. In the pilot film, the conflict among the lunar settlers is between the first- and second-generations. In the OVAs, it is between the first- and second-generation settlers and the third-generation settlers.
  4. In the pilot film, Dallos was built by the settlers. In the OVAs, it was built by the first scientists to land on the Moon, or perhaps even earlier.
The pilot film actually confuses rather than explains what's going on in Dallos. That's probably why it was left out of the US version of the special.

I pasted the script for the special together from the high-definition release of the OVAs. Yogicat retimed the script for the inevitable digital-to-analog discrepancies, and I did a release check. Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions encoded from his own Japanese laserdisc. Compared to either version of the OVAs (DVD or HDTV), the video in the specials looks rather washed out, and the sound quality is not as good either. Well, it is a laserdisc.

There really wasn't a compelling reason to sub the special, but I wanted to practice my script detective and pasting skills as a warmup to the much harder task of putting together the scripts for AWOL Compression Remix from the AWOL TV series. That promises to be much trickier, because the TV episodes were not only cut but also rearranged sequentially. So don't hold your breath for that one.

If you'd like to watch the Dallos special, you can get it from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on Even better, you can watch everything in the Dallos special, and more, by purchasing the DVD.

1 comment: