Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Kaguya-hime: Taketori Monogatari

So... Princess Kaguya hentai. Because...well, why, Japan?

The idea of subbing the 1987 hentai OVA Kaguya-hime: Taketori Monogatari (Princess Kaguya: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) has been floating around for two years, ever since a raw turned up. I commissioned a script from an h-anime translator, but this OVA actually has a plot, drawn directly from the folktale, and a fair amount of complicated, non-hentai dialog. (It even includes poems in kobun, or old Japanese.) Accordingly, it stayed on the shelf until another translator was willing to check the script. Now, it's ready to be released on an unsuspecting world that is only familiar with Princess Kaguya through Isao Takahata's masterpiece Kaguya-hime no Monogatari.

Kaguya-hime: Taketori Monogatari is not a masterpiece or anything near it , but it's not the otaku fap-bait that modern hentai anime has become. It has a plot, the sex scenes aren't fetish-of-the-month, and there's even some erudition about the origin of Japanese idioms. The story is carried through from the discovery of Kaguya-hime in a glowing bamboo shoot to her tearful departure for the Moon. The principal change from the folk tale is that the full moon doesn't make Kaguya melancholy, it makes her horny, with predictable consequences.

From what I can tell, Kaguya-hime: Taketori Monogatari was never released on laserdisc, let alone digital media. The only raw is a truly awful VHS rip. If the artwork needed censorship, the lack of definition and the frequent encoding defects in this raw make it unnecessary. No better copies have surfaced, either encoded or on the VHS second-hand market, so I think that WYSIWYG. If you find a better raw or an actual tape, please let me know.

There are no credits in the raw, other than a production credit to Tokyo Studio, so I don't know anything about the cast or staff. Tokyo Studio has no other releases, although there's an announcement at the end of Kaguya-hime about an anime of Yuki-onna (The Snow Woman); apparently, it was never made. The narrator's voice is very familiar, but I'm no expert at identifying seiyuu by voice alone. On the other hand, the opening and closing theme, played under jerky live action shots of a real bamboo forest, is an oriental spin on the second movement of Rodrigo's famous Concierto de Aranjuez. I guess the mountains of Spain and the bamboo forests of Japan are spiritual cousins. Who knew?

This is an Okizari release, rather than an Orphan project, so there are no staff credits. Frankly, I've forgotten who did the original translation, and everyone else who worked on it declines to be identified. The raw is from eMule; no credits there either. If you're interested in this twist on the classic folk tale, you can find it on the usual (h-)torrent sites or download it from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

1 comment:

  1. Any chance that the old Okizari releases can be added to Orphan|Arutha? More specifically the five done for these shows: Kininaru Kimochi, Kunoichi Bakumatsu Kitan, Lunatic Night, Inma Daitoshi.