Friday, August 16, 2019

Tomoe's Run! - A New Version

Orphan has already released two versions of the 1991 OVA Tomoe's Run! (Tomoe ga Yuku!) - the original and a patch to fix a timing problem - so this is technically v3, but who's counting? Erik at Piyo Piyo Productions and I have both wanted to redo the show, because the original encode was done at 29.97 fps rather than 23.976 fps, and its color correction wasn't all that great. The availability of the Domesday Duplicator provided the perfect excuse to revisit Tomoe, so here's a new version, at the proper frame rate and with improved color. The show is a hoot, and I recommend it highly, despite a plot that will not withstand even the slightest scrutiny.


Our heroine, Tomoe Ojima, is a seventeen-year-old roller-skating j.d. She liked to play peek-a-boo and tag with speeding trucks on Tokyo's crowded highways, until her best friend was run over and killed during an outing. On the rebound, Tomoe joins a training school for stuntmen called Green Day. There she launches a torrid love affair with Kazusa Himuro, one of the "managers". Little Does She Know, however, that Green Day is actually the Tojo yakuza group's assassin training school, and Kazusa is the group's chief enforcer. Informed of the truth by an undercover policewoman whom Kazusa then ruthlessly executes, Tomoe makes her escape on skates and flees to the arms of Iori Tojo, the alienated son of Tojo's leader. Together, they fight to foil Kazusa's nefarious plots, take down Green Day, and restore Iori to his rightful position as heir to the group. Tomoe and Iori fall in love, but they realize that Their Love Is Not To Be.

Along the way, many parallels are drawn between Tomoe Ojima and Tomoe Gozen, the legendary twelfth century female samurai. Tomoe Gozen fought in the Genpei War at the side of her liege lord and lover Minamoto no Yoshinaka (identified in the anime by his original clan name, Kiso Yoshinaka), surviving both the war and him. Tomoe's Run! hypothesizes that Yoshinaka did not marry Tomoe because their difference in rank was too great. Iori cannot marry Tomoe Oujima for the same reason. At the end, They Must Part for their different destinies, he to rule a prominent Japanese corporation/yakuza group, she to roam the roads on her roller skates...

Even if the plot follows well-worn tracks, the show's a treat. Tomoe is a spunky heroine who makes her own decisions in life and love; for example, it's clear that her relationship with Kazusa is an adult's love affair, both emotionally and physically. The supporting characters are interesting and not just the usual wingmen (and women). And the ending is bittersweet.

The voice cast includes:
  • Yamamoto Yuriko (Tomoe) played Iczer 1 in the Iczer OVAs, Rumy in the Gall Force OVAs, Sally in Mahou Tsukai Sally 2, Sandybell in Hello! Sandybell, Georgie in Lady Georgie, Nora Scholar in Nora, Rihabi and Sayuri in Stop!! Hibari-kun!, and Telenne in High Speed Jecy. The last three are Orphan releases.
  • Hironaka Masashi (Kazusa) played Siegfried in Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Ihika in Yousei-ou, an Orphan release.
  • Inoue Kazuhiko (Iori) starred as Yamaoka Shirou in Oishinbo, Yuki Eiri in Gravitation, and the title role in Cyborg 009, but I know and love him best as the irascible, sake-swilling Nyanko-sensei in the Natsume Yuujichou properties. He also played Kanuma Hayate in Akai Hayate, Ryousuke in Daishizen no Majuu Bagi, Kitten Smith in Starship Troopers, Liu Bei Xuande in both Sangokushi OVAs, and Nakatsugawa in Boyfriend, all Orphan releases.
  • Shimada Bin (Kuro) appeared in Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou, Fukyukayama Theater, and Sangokushi, all Orphan releases. He played Ken Nakajima in the You're Under Arrest franchise and numerous other roles. He is currently appearing as Konaki Jijii and Wally Wall in GeGeGe no Kitarou.
  • Tsuru Hiromi (Shizuka, Tomoe's older sister) debuted as Perrine in Perrine Monogatari. She went on to play Kashima Miyuki in Miyuki, Madoka in Kimagure Orange Road, Barge in Blue Sonnet, and Mikami Reiko in Ghost Sweeper Mikami. She also played Nozomi in Nozomi Witches, Jill in A Penguin's Memories, and UFO-chan in Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou, all Orphan releases.
The director, Ishiyama Takaaki, also directed Viewtiful Joe, MapleStory, 18if, and a couple of Happy Science movies. (Well, a guy's gotta earn a living.) The camera work is visually interesting, featuring lots of shadow and angle shots, as well as clever use of both foreground and background within a scene. The show features a number of good songs, particular the second ending, Sixteen's Revolution, and the soundtrack is now available online.

Moho Kareshi did the original translation (he prefers to convert long vowels to their English counterparts directly). convexity translation checked the dialog and translated the songs. ninjacloud timed the scripts, and Juggen supplied nice karaokes for the two ending songs. I edited and typeset, and Calyrica, konnakude, and Saji did the original QC. For this version, ninjacloud tweaked the timing, I reset the signs and did some minor cleanup on the dialog, and VigorousJammer did a release check. The new raws are from Piyo Piyo Productions and were ripped with Erik's Domesday Duplicator. Audio decoding is still a work in progress, so the audio is an analog capture.

So join our heroine for some high adventure and doomed romance in this new version of Tomoe's Run! You can get the show from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Okizari Reloaded

At the end of 2014, Orphan did a couple of hard-core h-anime that had been left unfinished. They didn't go through the same process as normal projects, and none of the staffers who worked on them wanted to be identified. Accordingly, Orphan established an h-anime "sub-brand", Okizari (which means "deserted" in Japanese), for these shows. They got uploaded to various torrent sites and forgotten.

Orphan has been quite inconsistent about using the Okizari label. Shadow (Kage) was released as Orphan; in fact, it was Orphan's first release. "Softer" h-anime like Kakyuusei, Dokyuusei 2, Tenkousei, etc. have also been released under the Orphan label. The distinction was always pretty arbitrary, and I don't see any reason to deny that Okizari releases are Orphan projects.

The five Okizari titles to date are:
I'm not going to provide an "analysis" of the single episode releases; what's the point? In any case, they're now all available on the Orphan IRC bot. This fulfills a request made nearly a year ago in the comments section of the blog.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sangokushi movie 3

The third movie of the Sangokushi trilogy is Sangokushi Dai San Bu Harukanaru Taichi (Sangokushi: The Distant Land). With this release, Orphan completes its work on Sangokushi, at least for a while: two TV specials and three movies, totaling more than eleven hours of anime. It had taken a year and a half to do - a marathon, not a sprint.


The third movie covers the longest time span, from Liu Bei's expedition to Shu in 211 CE to the death of Kongming in 234 CE. Instead of The Distant Land, it could just as well be titled The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. All of the main characters die, and the ultimate winner of the battle to reunite China is None of the Above - not Liu Bei or his descendants, not Cao Cao or his descendents, not Sun Quan or his descendants. Eventually, sheer exhaustion of all opponents allows a descendant of the Cao Wei general Sima Yi to reunite the country and create a new dynasty... for a while.

The Distant Land goes a long way, perhaps inadvertently, toward undermining Sangokushi's glorification of Liu Bei's nobility and Kongming's strategic genius. In particular, Kongming's "Land Divided in Three Stratagem" fails spectacularly, producing not a peaceful balance of power but a perpetual war for supremacy among the three states, like the three conflicting superpowers in 1984. The results were disastrous: the population of China was cut more than in half between the outbreak of the Yellow Turban revolt in 184 CE and the establishment of the Jin dynasty in 280 CE. The movie tries to claim a retrospective victory for Liu Bei's ideals, but the state of modern China belies that.


Because it has so much time to cover, The Distant Land moves at a breakneck pace from conflict to violent incident to battle and back again. With the exception of Guan Yu's foster daughter Fengji, characters are introduced, act out their part in history, and vanish in minutes. There is little time for character development or domestic concerns, just for plotting, ambition, betrayals, and executions. It all feels rather depressing - or perhaps I'm just tired of working on the Three Kingdoms era after so many hours working on the TV specials and the movies. The Distant Land had a ton of signs to set, and because of image jitter, almost all of them needed to be motion tracked.

The principal voice cast (Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Kongming, Sun Quan, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei) is unchanged from the previous two movies. The new main characters include:
  • Hiromi Tsuru (Fengji) debuted as Perrine in Perrine Monogatari and went on to play Kashima Miyuki in Miyuki, Madoka in Kimagure Orange Road, Barge in Blue Sonnet, and Mikami Reiko in Ghost Sweeper Mikami. She also played Iyo in Izumi, Nozomi in Nozomi Witches, Jill in A Penguin's Memories, UFO-chan in Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou, and Takagi Youko in Nine, all Orphan releases.
  • Tanaka Hideyuki (Ma Su, Fengji's lover) had a long career, including featured roles as Terryman in the Kinnikuman franchise and Rayearth in Magic Knight Rayearth, as well as Harmer in Al Caral no Isan, Sammy in Bavi Stock, Sawamura in Nozomi Witches, Ronron in Greed, Aoto in Oedo ga Nemurenai!, and Katze in Ai no Kusabi, all Orphan releases. 
  • Ootsuka Chikao (Sima Yi) also had a lengthy career, starting back in 1963 in Astro Boy. He played Nezumi in the original GeGeGe no Kitarou and Hakaba Kitarou series, Goemon in the first Lupin III TV series, Tora in the original Ushio & Tora OVAs, and Kaibara Yuuzan in the Oishinbo properties, among numerous other roles.. He appeared in several Tezuka Osamu specials, all released by Orphan. 
The anime staff remained the same in all three movies.

Despite the massive size of the undertaking, Orphan's work on the Sangokushi movies was done by a small and remarkably dedicated crew. Iri translated all three movies, diligently researching names, translating signs, and labeling the numerous map locations. Yogicat timed, I did edited and typeset, BeeBee and Topper3000 QCed, and M74 encoded from R2J DVD ISOs - a total staff of six. They have my heartfelt thanks for sticking with the project until it was completed. You can get Sangokushi Dai San Bu Harukanaru Taichi from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net,

Is this the end of Orphan's involvement with Sangokushi? Well... while we were working on the movies, some beautiful high-definitions raws surfaced on Japanese streaming sites. We could put out HD versions of the movies, but there's a problem: the raws are 29.97 fps and need to be re-encoded down to 23.976 fps in order not to wreck all the typesetting. (No, I'm not redoing all that.) So if you want HD versions of the Sangokushi movies, tell your favorite and most capable encoder-san to get in touch with us on IRC. Or do my wrists a favor, and don't.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Singles v2

Here's a revised version of the 1993 Margaret OVA Singles. You can read all about the plot and the voice actors in my original blog post.

This first version used an Internet raw that was very blurry and lacked one of the audio channels. This new version was captured from a second-hand VHS tape using a non-compressing system and then encoded. The improvement in video quality is dramatic:



And of course, having both audio channels is a plus too.

For the first version, Sunachan translated, M74 timed, I edited and typeset, bananadoyouwanna styled the songs, and BeeBee and Nemesis QCed. For this release, the timing was "sushi'd" and then tweaked. I redid the signs, but the dialog and songs were left almost unchanged. Suzaku encoded from a VHS tape acquired and ripped by our Intrepid Raw Hunter™. There is a little bit of fuzz at the bottom of the frame, but I don't think it detracts from the overall result.

With this release, all of the Margaret OVAs now use Orphan's own encodes rather than random Internet raws. We might refresh other VHS releases with new ones using uncompressed captures, but the encoding backlog is already enormous, so don't hold your breath. You can get this new version of Singles from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Translators, Encoders Wanted! (aka Status)

I've mentioned before that Orphan's three-year run of frequent releases has come to an end, due to lack of resources, but I wanted to show how dire the situation actually is:
  • Waiting on encoding (VHS lossless captures): Kentauros no Densetsu, Mahou Tsukai Tai vs Shamanic Princess (v2), Mother Saigo no Shoujo Eve (v2), Oedo ga Nemurenai (v2), Ohoshi-sama no Rail, Okama Hakusho, Shin Dousei Jidai- Hawaiian Breeze, Tottoi: Secret of the Seals, Yamazaki Long Distance Call (v2)
  • Waiting on encoding (LD lossless captures): Chiisana Koi no Monogatari, Ichigatsu wa Christmas, Let's Nupu Nupu, Maps (1988), Super Real Mahjong
  • Waiting on encoding (DVD ISOs): Amatsuki (v2), Gokuu no Daibouken, Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de 2 (v2), Mars OVA, One Pound Gospel, Hakujaden, Sanada 10
  • Waiting on encoding (net streams): Sangokushi movies HD, Saiyuuki HD
  • Waiting on translation checking: Akai Akiba Blue Sonnet, Bakumatsu no Spasibo, Genji Part 1 (OVA), Karuizawa Syndrome, Mother Saigo no Shoujo Eve, Nayuta
  • Waiting on translation: Bocchan, DAYS OAD (2017), Magma Taishi, Mellow, Raiyantsuurii no Uta, Sanada 10 10-12, Sugata Sanshiro, Tengai Makyou,Tezuka Osamu Kyoto Animation Theater, Ziggy Soreyuke! R&R Band
The situation is so bad that the team has stopped buying additional video media. We've also stopped reprocessing previously purchased media through the lossless capture systems. And I'm not even counting the backlog of laserdiscs that Piyo Piyo Productions has already encoded and released.

In view of the backlog, it's fair to ask what projects are actually progressing. The answer is, not a lot:
  • Hashire Melos v2. A new laserdisc encode. At release check.
  • AWOL Compression Remix. Yes, at long last, scripts for the remix have been extracted from the exceedingly rare English VHS subs of the original series. They could use a thorough translation check, but beggars can't be choosers. Episode 1 in RC, episodes 2-4 in QC.
  • Chameleon ep3. In editing.
  • Tales from the Old Testament. Episodes 1-6 released; episodes 7+ tbd.
Beyond that, the team is limited to shows with existing scripts and existing encodes, for example, BD versions of the Tezuka Osamu Animerama movies.

So if you're an encoder who relishes a challenge (almost all of Orphan's sources present challenges) or a translator who likes to work on shows that differ from today's cookie-cutter anime, please give me a shout. I'm available on IRC almost all the time.

Appendix: A Sampler of Encoding Challenges
  • VHS lossless captures. Soft deinterlacing, and then all the usual VHS problems: cropping, blended frames, halos, rainbows, etc. Every capture presents unique issues.
  • LD lossless captures. Soft deinterlacing, and then all the usual LD problems: cropping, halos, rainbows, chroma blending, etc. Every capture presents unique issues.
  • Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de 2 (DVD ISO). Progressive, but very strange color balance.
  • Sanada 10 (DVD ISO). Mostly progressive, but interlaced fades and 30 fps credits. A formula for tackling the episodes is available.
  • Sangokushi HD movies. Wrong frame rate (29.97 fps instead of 23.976 fps).
  • Saiyuuki HD movie. Clearly an upscale. Needs to be downscaled to an appropriate size and cleaned up, a la Wan Wan Chuushingura.
[Updated 16-Aug-2019]

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken

Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken (Tezuka Osamu Vanished?! The Last Great Mystery of the 20th Century) is a TV special created by Tezuka Productions in 2000 to celebrate its namesake and departed founder. On New Years' Eve in the year 2000, Tezuka Osamu meets his creations for an end-of-the-century party at Dr. Tenma's mansion. However, before the celebration can start, Tezuka suddenly disappears from his room, in what appears to be a classic locked-room mystery. While Professor Ochinomizu, Sapphire, Sharaku and Wato-san, Higeoyaji, Hamegg, Pinako, Dr. Tenma, and even Robota race around helplessly (or suspiciously), and Black Jack hovers enigmatically, Atom investigates and eventually solves the puzzle. At the end, all the characters from Tezuka Osamu's "star system" (and many others) gather round to toast the new year, the new century, and the new millennium, while Tezuka begins his next adventure.

It's all very slight. The mystery itself doesn't hold water and requires several science-fictional elements for its resolution. (As usual, the explanation takes twice as long as the setup.) Rather, it's a chance for the viewer to get together with Tezuka Osamu's classic characters one last time and to bid them, and the God of Manga himself, hail and farewell.


One of the charms of the show is that it uses many of the voice actors who originated the characters for Mushi Productions or Tezuka Productions. These include:
  • Kobayashi Kyouji (Tezuka Osamu) was mostly a stage actor. However, he voiced Tezuka Osamu in Tezuka Osamu Monogatari: Boku wa Son Gokuu, Dr. Kudo in Bander Book, and Iyami in the original Osomatsu-kun.
  • Shizumu Mari (Atom) played Atom in every instantiation of the character from the original series in 1968 to the movie in 2003. She also played Jim Hawkins in Takarajima.
  • Ootsuki Akio (Black Jack) played the same role in all of the Black Jack properties. He played the title roles in Ambassador Magma, Blade, and Montana Jones, Gozo in the Aika franchise, Batou in the Ghost in the Shell franchise, the villain All for One in Boku no Hero Academia, and Nyanko Big in one memorable episode of Tada Never Falls in Love. He played George in Condition Green, the narrator in Fire Emblem, and Nobunaga the boss crow in Ultra Nyan 2, all Orphan releases. He is still active and will appear in this summer's Vinland Saga.
  • Katsuta Hisashi (Professor Ochanomizu) played the same role in the Atom series, its remakes, and Marine Express. He appeared in the original Osomatsu-kun, the original Dororo, the first three Lupin III TV series, and the Oishinbo properties.
  • Touma Yumi (Sapphire) played the title roles in Emma: A Victorian Romance and Baby Felix. She played Urd in the Aa! Megami-sama franchise. She appeared in numerous shows, including Boyfriend, Condition Green, Fukuyama Gekijou, and Eguchi Hisashi no Nantoko Nareudesho, all Orphan releases.
  • Kumai Matoko (Sharaku) played the title roles in title roles in Hanada Shounen-shi and Papuwa, Syaoran Li in Cardcaptor Sakura, Takao Kinomiya in Beyblade, Sumomo in Chobits, Ginta in Mar, Banba in Kuragehime, Honda Gorou in Major, Coffret in the Eiga Precure franchise, and Kocchi the black-and-white cat in Koneko no Chi.
  • Wato-san (Matsui Naoko) played the same role in Mitsume ga Tooru. She played the title role in Compiler, Uru Chie in High School! Kimengumi, Katsumi Liqueur in Silent Mobius, Run Run in Mahoujin Guru Guru, Roux Louka in Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Suzuki Sonoko in Case Closed, Juushimatsu in Osomatsu-kun (1988), Marian in Robin Hood no Daibouken, and Matsu in Nobunaga no Shinobi.
  • Dr. Tenma (Ooki Tamio) played the same role in the 1980 version of Astro Boy, Ibuya in Hidamari no Ki, Aramaki in the GITS movies, and the title role in Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito.
  • Mizutani Yuuko (Pinoko) played the same role in all the Black Jack properties, as well as Rika in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, Lila in Eien no Filena, and Dr. Uematsu Kikue in Yume Kakeru Kougen, all Orphan projects.
  • Tomita Kousei (Higeoyaji) played the same role in the TV specials Fumoon, Marine Express, Ginga Tansa 2100: Border Planet, and Tezuka Osamu Monogatari: Boku wa Son Gokuu, the movies Jungle Tatei and Metropolis, in several Astro Boy properties, and the OVA Midori no Neko. He also played Watson in Sherlock Hound
  • Hamegg and Robita (Ootake Hiroshi) played Tezuka-sensei in Fushigi na Melmo and Michael in the What's Michael? OVAs, which Orphan released.
The director, Kuwubara Satoshi, also had a long association with Tezuka Osamu projects. He directed the Black Jack TV properties, did production coordination for Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament, storyboards for the Jungle Emperor Leo movies, and production management for the TV series Mitsume ga Tooru. Curiously, there is very little music; the end credits role over silence.

Despite the Orphan staff's passion for All Things Tezuka, the show took a while to get going. convexity translated. Yogicat timed. I edited and typeset. Nemesis and VigorousJammer QCed. M74 encoded from an R2J DVD. The original source was a mess, and it proved impossible to clean up. Perhaps someday it will be remastered and streamed.

So for all you Tezuka Osamu fan(atic)s out there, here's Tezuka Osamu Ga Kieta?! 20 Seiki Saigo no Kaijiken. (In tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle, it could almost be titled His Last Bow.) You can get the show from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Meisou-Ou Border v2

Orphan is releasing a second version of Meisou-Ou Border (Wandering Kings: Border, or something like that), with vastly improved video. This version is so different that I feel it should have an entirely new blog post, not just a rehash of the old one.

Meisou-Ou Border is based on a 14-volume seinen manga by Marley Carib and Tanaka Akio. Only the first three chapters are available in English. It tells the story of two drifters, Kubota and Hachitsuka, who return from the Middle East and choose to live on the margins of conventional society in Tokyo (the "border" of the title). The OVA, from Artland, relates the first four chapters of the manga. An unscrupulous documentary producer send his minion, Hosoki, to lure Kubota and Hachitsuka down to Osaka with the promise of high pay. There are other fringe benefits, such as room, board, and paid female companionhsip. The producer places the two men as "innocent bystanders" in the middle of a yakuza gang war. They manage to hold their own, much to the producer's dismay, and then they drift back to Tokyo. The episode closes with an unrelated encounter between Hachitsuka and his former mentor, Jinnou, now a homeless man down on his luck - a stark lesson in the difficulties of leading an unconventional life in 80s Japan. The tone of the show is mostly comedic, even during the yakuza fight, but the ending is sad and elegiac.


The voice cast includes:
  • Horiuchi Kenyuu (Kubota) has an extensive resume, including the title role in Guin Saga, as well as Jin Akira in Wolf Guy, Lid in Greed, Nest in Eien no Filena, and the refined son in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show; the last four are Orphan releases. He recently appeared in Sirius the Jaeger.
  • Yara Yuusaku (Hachitsuka) played the destroyer captain in Zipang. He had many featured roles, appearing in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, Eien no Filena, Hidamari no Ki, Nozomi Witches, both Sangokushi OVAs, Prime Rose, both What's Michael? OVAs, and Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.
  • Genda Tesshou (Narrator) played Colonel Muto in Joker Game, Moloch in Yondemasu Azazel-san, Rei in the Urusei Yatsura franchise, Moguro Fukuzou in New Laughing Salesman,  "Oyaji" in Mitsuboshi Colors, as well as Paul Rusch in Yume Kakeru Kougen, the loyal lieutenant Galbreath in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, the dragonman Baguda in Greed, the narrator in Akai Hayate, Dog McCoy in Dallos, Hebopi in Wild 7, rebel leader Oosukune in Izumo, and Rikiishi's trainer Kuroki and  Kirishima in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.
  • Yamamoto Keiko (Hachitsuka's squeeze "Baba") is an industry veteran. She played Choromatsu in the original Osomatsu-kun, Sand Witch in all iterations of GeGeGe no Kitarou through 2007, and the title role in the Bakabon TV series.
  • Masuoka Hiroshi (Hirokawa, the TV producer in Osaka) appeared several times in Tokimeki Tonight, an Orphan release. He is best known for Minami's father in the Touch franchise, Masuo in Sazae-san, Jam Ojisan in the Anpanman franchise, and Cyborg 005 in the early Cyborg 009 properties.
  • Yoshida Miho ("D-cup" Hiroko, one of the Osaka sex workers) debuted in Touch. Her best known role is Afura Mann in the El Hazard franchise.
  • Suzuka Chiho (Naomi, the other sex worker) debuted in Meisou-Ou Border. She had features roles in Lesson XX, Detective Conan, Cowboy Bebop, and Uchuu no Stellvia.
  • Kitigawa Takurou (Hosoki) had featured roles in Pollyana, the Tenchi Muyo OVAs, Gantz, Monkey Turn, and Another.
The director, Ishiguro Noboru, was an industry veteran who directed several episodes of Animated Classics of Japanese Literature; he also worked on Mushishi (another Artland property) before his death in 2012. The musical score is good, but I can't find out anything about the composer.

Our intrepid media guru ripped this version from a VHS tape using Orphan's "new" All-in-Wonder 7500 lossless capture setup. The idea for using this ancient technology (the driver runs on Windows XP!) came from Suzaku in Live-eviL, who used it for the Yawara! Atlanta Special laserdisc capture. Accordingly, it's only appropriate that Suzaku encoded this show. (We are very grateful.) The results are amazing: no interlacing artifacts and no blended frames - in fact, one of the very best VHS encodes I've ever seen. Iri translated the show. ninjacloud timed and then retimed for the new raw. I edited and typeset. While the editing changes from the original are minimal, there is extensive additional typesetting, thanks to the improved video. Calyrica and Nemesis QCed the original release; VigorousJammer did a quick release check.

Meisou-Ou Border tells an intriguing story and left me hungry for more. Unfortunately, this is all we'll ever see on anime, and the manga scanlations stopped two years ago. You can get the show from the usual torrent site or IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.