Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stop!! Hibari-kun! Episodes 19-24

Towards the end of this group of six episodes, Stop!! Hibari-kun! finally and irretrievably jumps the shark.

The first 18 episodes had roughly three episodes of anime-original material; the last 17 have 14 episodes that are anime-original. It shows. The anime not only repeats itself, it also borrows material from other Eguchi Hisashi manga and ramps up the parodies and references in a desperate quest to find funny gags. Less time is spent on the relationship between Hibari and Kosaku and more on side characters. Episode 22 (based on chapter 23 of the manga) features dated stereotypes of gay men as effeminate leather boys. The same stereotypes would appear in 1994's Otaku no Seiza - not surprising, because it was also based on character designs by Eguchi Hisashi. Episode 23 introduces a multi-episode story arc in which the Ozora yakuza group tries to reinvent itself as a detective agency. And it's downhill from there.

The translation notes seem to be getting more voluminous and complicated as the series goes on:

Ep19. An American mafia bigwig (named Don Corleone, of course), come to Japan seeking a bride for his son, Michael. This episode has so many gags and references that it needs its own blog entry. 

Ep20. Kosoku and Hibari receive a home visit from the yakuza-groupie homeroom teacher, Iwasaki-sensei.

  • Takakura Ken was a famous Japanese film star, known for his brooding presence. He starred in numerous crime dramas and action films.
  • Tetsuya Watari was another Japanese film star, known for his yakuza roles.
  • Iwasaki-sensei says hello to Sabu with "Ohikaenasu," a special greeting between gamblers.
  • Ibari mishears "young leader" as "Yamamoto Linda," a well-known singer of the 1970s.
  • Ibari consults a manga book 日の丸劇場 (Hinomaru Gekijo), which is a parody of Egushi's own manga ひのまる劇場 (Hinomaru Gekijo). The page shown in the anime is a real page from ひのまる劇場.
Ep21. Hibari-kun and Rie-chan become involved with women's pro wrestling.
  • Panther Yokohata is based on Mimi Hagiwara. She was an idol before she became a pro wrestler. She released a song called "Sexy Panther." 
  • Rikidouzan was a Japanese-Korean pro wrestler. His signature move was a karate chop.
  • The Sharpe brothers were Canadian pro wrestlers. They worked for Rikidouzan’s Japan Wrestling Association.
  •  The line "Come on! Get up, Joe!" and Ibari's eyepatch are an Ashita no Joe Tange parody.

Ep22. Otari Jun, the captain of the girls' volleyball team, becomes smitten with Hibari.
  • The title is, literally, "The School's Lovely Takarazuka Star." Takarazuka is a famous musical review in Japan. It has been localized to "Broadway." 
  • "The sky lies far above the mountains." This is from Carl Hermann Busse's Uber den Bergen, as translated by Ueda Bin.
  • Sign: Matsuzawa, are you watching? Matsuzawa was one of the assistant producers on the show.
  • The audience at the volleyball match includes Fujiko Fujio's Obake no Q-taro and Hulk Hogan.
  • V for "Victory!" is from a 1968 shoujo manga and live action TV drama.
  • Ibari's pinky gesture connotes sexual activity.
Ep23. To ease the financial difficulties, the Ozora Group forms a detective agency, with the expected results.
  • Computer Ittosai (also appearing in episodes 27 and 33 as Coffee Ittosai and Occult Ittosai). Ito Ittosai was a famous swordsman.
  • Ibari's freak-out uses the Japanese children's song Ito maki maki. It is also featured in other episodes.
Ep24. The Ozora detective agency tries to solve a terrifying (i.e., ridiculous) mystery on a southern island.
  • Nakamori Akina was one of the most popular singers in Japan in the 1980s.
  • "Can't you see this police notebook?" A Mito Komon parody. The hero always say "Can't you see this family crest?" after he beats up the bad guys.
  • "When the Nue cries, people die." A line from the Kindaichi Kousuke books of the 1940s and 1950s. The "Village of the Eight Tombs" is from the same series.
  • Akado Suzunosuke was a cartoon samurai from the 70s.
  • The Tanokin Trio was a male idol group from the 80s.
  • Shibugakitai was another male idol group from the 80s. 
  • Tengu are bird-like demons or spirits in Japanese folklore. Kurama Tengu was the title of several Japanese movies.
The staff is the same as for the previous mini-batch. Moho Kareshi translated; laalg checked the translation, added additional signs, and decoded many of the references. Yogicat timed; I edited and typeset. Juggen styled the OP and ED; and Nemesis and konnakude QCed. M74 encoded from a remastered DVD box.

You can get this group of episodes at the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on

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