Monday, October 26, 2020

Sensou Douwa: Tako ni Natta Okaasan

Sensou Douwa (War Tales or War Fables) was a series of TV specials by Shin-Ei Animation that ran annually from 2002 to 2009. In chronological order:

  • 2002    Umigame to Shounen (The Boy and The Sea Turtle)
  • 2003    Tako ni Natta Okaasan (The Mother Who Became a Kite)
  • 2004    Chiisai Sensuikau ni Koi wo Shita Dekasugira Kojira no Hanashi (The Story of a Whale That Fell in Love with a Small Submarine)
  • 2005    Boku no Boukuugou (My Bomb Shelter)
  • 2006    Yakeato no, Okashi no Ki (The Cake Tree in the Ruins)
  • 2007    Futatsu no Kurumi (Two Walnuts)
  • 2008    Kiku-chan to Ookami  (Kiku-chan and the Wolf)
  • 2009    Aoi Hitomi no Onnako no Ohanashu (The Girl with Blue Eyes)

Orphan has already released The Boy and the Sea Turtle and The Cake Tree in the Ruins and is now proud to present the third in the series, Tako ni Natta Okaasan (The Mother Who Became a Kite).

By now, you know the drill. It's the waning days of World War II, in a smaller city in Japan. Food is scarce, but the war hasn't otherwise impinged on the world of small children. They still go to school, play games, and parrot the mindless patriotism of the Japanese propaganda machine. This time, the focus is on a young boy, Katchan, and his best bud, Itchan. They live at home with their mothers; their fathers are dead or at the front. Katchan passes the days dodging air raids, reading manga, longing for food, and dreaming anxiously about his father, while his mother tries to hold her family together. She raises vegetables in the back yard. She ventures out into the countryside to trade her good kimonos for rice and vegetables. She is about to cook her harvested eggplants when one last bombing raid incinerates the area, with tragic and poignant results. The war ends, but it is too late for this family.

Like The Cake Tree in the Ruins and The Boy and the Sea Turtle, The Mother Who Became a Kite is based on a short story by Nosaka Akiyuki. And like other stories from this author, this special shows the ruinous effects that war has on children. It is suffused with melancholy. The artwork matches the tone - dun colors and sepia tones, except for the scenes set when the war has ended. Then, the sky is blue, and the colors are bright; but it's too late.


The voice cast includes familiar names as well as newcomers:

  • Orikasa Ai (Katchan's mother) made her debut in Shoukoushi Cedie. She played the title role in Romeo no Aoi Sora, Fee in Planetes, Seguchi Touma (the record company president) in Gravitation, Quatre in Gundam Wing, and Ryouko in the Tenchi Muyo franchise. She also played Carrie in Ziggy Sore Yuke! R&R Band, Sara in Eien no Filena, Toryune in Al Caral no Isan, and young Mars in Fire Emblem, all Orphan releases.
  • Ookubo Shoutarou (Katchan) was 8 years old when he played Katchan. He also appeared in Sensou Douwa: My Bomb Shelter and Lupin III: Kiri no Elusive.
  • Kamon Ryou (Katchan's father) appeared in Shin Sekai Yori and Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex.
  • Satou Ai (narrator) played many maternal roles, including Light's mother in Death Note, Masami's mother in Wedding Peach, Misaki's mother in Dear Brother, Ban's mother in Getbackers, Shigeru's mother in Noramimi, the unnamed mothers in Cinderella Express, Ai Monogatari, Guyver: Out of Control, and Kristin Adams in Yawara!. Other roles include the refined mother in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, Ibuki's mother in Kiss wa Me ni Shite, Taichi in The Cake Tree in the Ruins, the narrator in The Boy and the Sea Turtle, and the unnamed girlfriend in Lunn Flies into the Wind, all Orphan releases.
  • Futama Issei (Kappa) is best known for his roles as Godai Yuusaku in Maison Ikkoku, Akira (Chibi) in Urusei Yatsura, and Saburo in Sazae-san. He played the main character, Yoshio, in Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou and the psychopathic brother, Cross, in Hi-Speed Jecy, and he appeared in Fukuyama Gekijou. All three are Orphan releases.
  • Miyamoto Seiya (Itchan) has no other credited roles.
  • Katsuki Masako (Itchan's mother) played Maroko in Gosenzosama Banbanzai and its movie version, Maroko, Mira in Ginga Tansa 2100-nen: Border Planet, Queen Bee in Golgo 13: Queen Bee, and Tsunade (Fifth Hokage) in the Naruto franchise. She also played Kenbishi Yuuri in Yuukan Club, Hojo's lover in Sanctuary, and Yamazaki's maintenance engineer Kiriko in Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call, all Orphan releases.
  • Koorogi Satomi (Keiko, Itchan's baby sister) played Chi in all versions of Chii's Sweet Home, Himawari (the baby sister) in Crayon Shin-chan, Menchi (the food pooch) in Excel Saga, and Kuki-sama in the Limeiro properties. She also played Yahoi in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki and Misa in Doukyuusei Climax and Doukyuusei 2, allOrphan releases.
  • Kamei Saburou (neighborhood chief Kato) had featured roles is many shows, including Akuma-kun, Armored Trooper Votoms, Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor, One Outs, Planetes, Rainbow, and Techno Police 21C, an Orphan release.

The director, Takeuchi Yoshio, also helmed the Oishinbo TV series and specials, as well as Ipponbouchou Mantarou, Gorillaman, Harlock Saga, Shin Megami Tensai: Devil Children, and Night Head Genesis.

Staff credits are basically the same as the other Sensou Douwa specials. kokujin-kun translated. Yogicat timed. I edited and typeset. BeeBee and Nemesis QCed. The raw is a 480p webrip from UNEXT and looks pretty good

Like the other specials in this series, Tako ni Natta Okaasan is a difficult watch. In particular, the final dialog between mother and son is devastating. With all the stressful events happening right now, I put off doing the final run-through far longer than I should have. Between Covid and the US elections, we could all use some happiness; but there are no happy endings in war.

You can find Tako ni Natta Okaasan on the usual torrent site, or download it from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Makoto-chan the Movie

Some western anime audiences are familiar with Crayon Shin-chan, a very long running Japanese anime series about a five-year-old boy with lecherous proclivities and a tendency to run around without his pants. The humor tends to be broad, ecchi, and sometimes gross. The first 52 episodes were given a US dub release, with scripts that were totally rewritten to emphasize "adult" humor. BuriBuri (Orphan's very own Skr) has been doing yeoman's work providing accurate, and just as funny, translations of the show.

Far fewer people know about Makoto-chan, a manga by Umezz Kazuo. Sawada Makoto is a kindergartner who gets into all sorts of trouble, often involving toilet and adult humor. He sometimes dresses in his mother's and sister's clothing. He usually has a long strand of green mucus dangling from his nose. He uses nonsense catchphrases like "Sabara!" and "Gwashi!" If Crayon Shin-chan is ecchi, Makoto-chan is sketchy. It was animated only once, in 1980, as a feature length movie. Now, on its fortieth anniversary, it is at last available to an (aghast) English-speaking audience. Don't all rush to thank us at once.


The movie has an interesting release history. For a long time, it was only available on VHS tape and laserdisc. At Skr's request, Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions ripped the laserdisc. While Skr was working on translations, a Blu-ray of the movie was released. The Blu-ray had some additional material, like the movie trailer and a promotional teaser, but it lacked the live action intro and outro, featuring Umezz Kazuo himself, from the laserdisc. So this release is a hybrid. The movie itself, the teaser, and the trailer are in glorious high definition, from the Blu-ray; the intro and outro sequences are in measly standard definition, from the laserdisc.

Makoto-chan doesn't have a through plot. Instead, it consists of five sketches of about 15 minutes each:

  1. "My Little Lover." Makoto-chan, dumped by his kindergarten girlfriend, develops a crush on an older woman named Tomoko, who has broken up with her boyfriend.
  2. "A Present for Mother's Day." To win the Best Child Award in his kindergarten class, Makoto-chan and his sister Mika-neesan develop a set of skits so unintentionally gross that the neighbors invited in to watch pee their pants (and worse).
  3. "The Sparrow Egg." Makoto-chan rescues a sparrow egg from a demolition site and devotedly guards it until it hatches, only to find that the baby bird has imprinted on him as its mother.
  4. "The Lunch of Love." When Makoto-chan's mother mixes up his and his father's lunches, he finds a series of lovey-dovey messages in his bento. This convinces him that his mother is harboring very inappropriate feelings toward him.
  5. "The Best Child Award." In another attempt to win the Best Child Award, Makoto-chan helps a salaryman look for a lost paycheck, with disastrous results.

The voice cast includes:

  • Sugiyama Kazuko (Makoto-chan) played Heidi in Alps no Shoujo Heidi, Akane in the Dr. Slump franchise, Maria in The Royal Tutor, Ten in Urusei Yatsura, and Wendy H. Troy in Manxmouse (an Orphan release). She appeared in Sangokushi movies 2 and 3, also Orphan releases.
  • Okamoto Mari (Tomoko,) played the title role in Hana no Ko Lunlun and Ai-chan in Time Bokan Series: Yatterman.
  • Yoshida Rihoko (Mika, Makoto-chan's sister) played Megu-chan in Majokko Megu-chan, Monsley in Future Boy Conan, Maria Grace Fleed in UFO Robo Grendizer, Michiru in Getter Robo, Clara Sesemann in Alps no Shoujo Heidi, Rosalie Lamorliere in The Rose of Versailles, Kurama in Urusei Yatsura, and Machiko in Maicchingu Machiko-sensei. She played Tonko in Chiisana Koi no Monogatari, an Orphan release.
  • Ohara Noriko (Makoto-chan's mom) had a long career starting in the 1960s. She played the title roles in Future Boy Conan and Arabian Nights: Sindbad no Bouken, Nobita in the Doraemon franchise (through 2004), and Oyuki in the Urusei Yatsura properties. She played the mother bear in Katte ni Shirokuma, an Orphan release.
  • Mizusawa Yumi (Makoto-chan kindergarten teacher) appeared in City Hunter and Space Adventure Cobra.
  • Umezz Kazuo appears as himself in a few spots and acts as the guide for the intro and outro segments.

The director, Shibayama Tsutomu, was an industry veteran who started at Toei. His directing credits include Ganbare!! Tabuchi-kun!!, the first 18 episodes of Ranma 1/2, the Chibi Maruko-chan TV series and movie,  many of the Doraemon series and movies, and the long-running TV series Nintama Rintarou.

Skr was the principal propulsive force throughout the project. He translated, timed, typeset the movie logo (which is half the movie script), and encoded the movie, teaser, and trailer. Erik did all the translation raws; Intrepid reripped the intro and outro on the Domesday Duplicator and encoded them. Sunachan helped with translation issues in the intro and outro. I edited and did the rest of the typesetting. BeeBee alone QCed; perhaps the other QCs were put off by the dangling strands of mucus. Skr and I have also checked everything as best we can, but I'm sure some errors got through. Please be merciful.

Makoto-chan is definitely an acquired taste. It is gross, bizarre, and in spots, wickedly funny. If this sounds like your cup of... well, whatever, you can find the movie on the usual torrent site or on IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net. Gwashi!


Friday, September 25, 2020

Saiyuuki (1960) HD

In honor of the 60th anniversary of its release in 1960, Orphan is releasing a high-definition version of Saiyuuki, encoded from an HDTV version of the movie's recent 4K remastering. Our loyal fans (all six of them) have been asking for a high-definition version of Saiyuuki ever since a 1080p web rip became available in 2017. However, I felt the video in that raw was no better than the original release, which used ARR's DVD encoding and remains available. This new version is a major improvement, with more vibrant colors and greater image stability.

Saiyuuki was based on Tezuka Osamu's highly popular manga of the same name, which in turn was based on the Chinese classic Journey to the West. Tezuka's name was used prominently in promoting the film, although he always denied active involvement in the production. According to some sources, he was displeased with the film's happy ending, and that spurred him to form his own animation company, Mushi Productions.

Saiyuuki is set in China and recounts the adventures of Son Gokuu, a monkey king. Son Gokuu is both powerful and willful. In his arrogance, he challenges heaven itself and is punished by exile to Mount Gogyou. He is eventually released on condition that he accompany a monk named Sanzou to India in order to receive the Buddhist sutras. Along the way, he defeats and then befriends the pig-man Cho Hokkai and the ogre Sa Gajou. Together, they must confront and defeat the terrible bull demon Gyuumaou before Sanzou can accomplish his mission.
 
 
The core cast is supplemented by Rin Rin, a love interest for Son Gokuu, and Shouryuu, a mischievous imp whose head horn doubles as an antenna for a 1960s mobile phone.

Like the original manga, Saiyuuki is a mishmash of styles, with plenty of anachronistic elements. Broad comedy is mixed in with action and chase sequences. Western influences coexist with Asian styling and thought. For example, the gods are depicted with angelic halos, and some of heaven's denizens are from Greek mythology. When Cho Hakkai is trying to impress his bride-to-be (actually Son Gokuu in disguise), he appears successively in formal Western attire, then in a Russian Cossack costume, then as an Indian chief, and then as a hula dancer. Still, Saiyuuki is recognizably a children's film in the 1950s Disney mold. Action sequences alternate with slower sections to allow kids to "cool off." Songs are used to underline the characters or delineate chapters. (Songs account for 10% of the lines in the script.) And despite trials and tribulations, the good guys triumph.
 
Saiyuuki was Toei Douga's third color animated film. The animation is fluid and represents a real advance over the studio's previous animated movies, although there are obvious animation errors; for example, Son Gokuu disappears in one frame of a sequence. Personally, I find the movie a bit bland. I prefer Takahata Isao's Horus: Prince of the Sun, which shows signs of his unique directorial sensibility, even though it too is a G-rated children's movie. Horus is lively, while Saiyuuki is frenetic. However, Saiyuuki was a greater commercial success in Japan. It was redubbed and re-edited for the North American market as Alakazam the Great but failed at the box office.

Because the movie is sixty years old, the voice cast belongs to an earlier era of Japanese animation:
  • Komiyama Kiyoshi (Son Gokuu) appeared as the puppeteer in Oedo ga Nemurenai!, an Orphan release. He also appeared in the original Astro Boy, the original GeGeGe no Kitarou, Candy Candy, and other roles.
  • Kinoshita Hideo (Cho Hokkai) played Rock in Wan Wan Chuushingura, an Orphan release. He also appeared in other Toei Douga movies, including Sinbad and Wanpaku Ouji.
  • Shinoda Setsuo (Sa Gajou) also appeared in Wanpaku Ouji.
  • Sekine Nobuaki (Sanzou) appeared in Jungle Taitei, Devilman Lady, Heat Guy J, and Salaryman Kintarou.
  • Shindou Noriko (Rin Rin) appeared in Wanpaku Ouji, Sinbad, and Princess Knight.
A few translation notes:
  • ri is an old unit of distance, equal to 3.927 kilometers.
  • Gogyuu, the mountain where Gokuu is imprisoned, takes its name from the five elements of Chinese medicine: earth, wood, metal, fire, and water.
The subs are little changed since the first release, although the typesetting had to be redone. Magistral did the initial translation; convexity checked the dialog and translated the songs. M74 timed the first release; Yogicat cleaned the timing up for the new raw. I edited and typeset. Calyrica and konnakude did QC on the first release. banandoyouwanna encoded the raw from a TV capture; the resolution is 1280 x 544 (effective 720p). Even though this version is based on the 4K remaster, the video quality wasn't good enough for a 1080p encode. Perhaps we'll get a real Blu-ray someday and be able to release in full HD.

If you missed Saiyuuki the first time, here's an opportunity to see it at higher resolution, with its glorious colors restored.. You can find this release on the usual torrent site or download it from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Choosing Sources

Orphan does many of its show from analog sources - laserdisc by preference, VHS if need be. This reflects the team's interest in the "anime that time forgot" rather than nostalgia for old technology. But occasionally, as with the recent Amon Saga, we'll use an analog source (in this case, laserdisc) instead of an available digital source (in this case, DVD). This raises a valid question: why? Aren't modern digital sources always better?

For modern anime, which are created on computers, the answer is always yes. For back catalog shows, particularly those originating on film stock, the answer is mostly yes. Digital sources have error correction; analog sources do not. Digital sources can be replayed and will always yield the same bit stream; analog sources will not. However, there are cases where an analog source is a valid alternative to a digital source, or even a preferable alternative.

Case 1 - the digital source has been altered in some irremediable way. A notorious example of this is the Maze TV series. The DVDs ares censored; the laserdiscs are not. Further, the series masters are apparently lost, so the laserdiscs are the only possible source for the original version. Another example is Legend of the Galactic Heroes (the 110 episode OVA version). Scenes in episodes 06, 07, 15, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 34, 35, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 56 and 92 were redrawn for the digital releases. Is the new animation better or worse? I don't know (reviewers have mixed opinions), but it's different.

Case 2 - the digital source has been carelessly mastered. This is more controversial, because the appearance of a source is in the eye of the beholder. In the early days of DVDs, mastering was often terrible. For example, the Yawara! DVDs looked like VHS transfers, and the Laughing Salesman DVDs were awful too. Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions ripped Amon Saga despite the availability of a DVD (something he almost never does) because prevailing opinion said the DVD was terrible. Members of the Orphan team prefer the laserdiscs of Project A-ko to the DVDs and, apparently, so does Discotek.

Case 3 - the digital source is unaffordable. Yes, economics play a role, especially in a volunteer hobby like fansubbing. Some DVDs were produced in small quantities and have become collector's items. For example, Heart Cocktail was released on six laserdiscs; the first four were released on DVD. When it's for sale, which is rarely, the second-hand DVD sells for hundreds of dollars. So if Orphan ever does sub Heart Cocktail, it will be from laserdiscs. Cost considerations may also dictate the use of a VHS source rather than a laserdisc source. The Aoki Honoo laserdisc, and the first volume of Kasei Yakyoku, when they come up for sale, sell for exceedingly high prices, so Orphan used VHS tapes for those shows.
 
I maintain a list of "problematic sources" used in prior Orphan releases. The team has standing searches on Japanese second-hand sites to find better source material, but most of the searches have been fruitless, even over several years. The best hope may be that the properties show up on a streaming site, either remastered or with a good transfer, but that's unpredictable. The ownership rights for old shows can be very murky, and the masters may no longer exist. Still, you never know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sweet Spot

Here's an almost totally unknown work from director Sugii Gisaburou, the 1991 OVA Sweet Spot. Based on a manga by Chuusonji Yutsuko, it tells the story of OL (office lady) extraordinaire and golf fanatic Oyamada Non. She is 23 and works at Major Products in Tokyo's commercial district, Marunouchi. Between bossing her bosses and managing her managers, she finds time to golf, shop, party, and pursue the important things in life, i.e., marriageable men. In short, it's a comedy.

Sweet Spot doesn't have much of a through plot; rather, it's a series of vignettes. First, Oyamada organizes a "50th anniversary golf competition," even though the company is only 42.5 years old. Next, her drive to succeed convinces her boss that she can entertain an important client at a golf resort; the client turns out to be a lush. She then confronts the different attitudes of the younger generation - her sister and some college students - who regard golf more as a fashion accessory than as a serious game. Finally, she tries her hand at socializing, first at a mixer with colleagues, and then with her manager. Throughout, she runs rings around everyone. The laughs are frequent, unexpected, and not in the least mean-spirited. Even though I concur that "golf is a good walk spoiled," I quite enjoyed the show.

Sweet Spot has unusual character designs, very flat and cartoonish. It was the first project for character designer Eguchi Marisuke, who would collaborate with Sugii Gisaburou on many other projects, including Nozomi Witches and Hidamari no Ki (both Orphan releases), Arashi no Yoru ni, Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini, and Cinnamon the Movie. Sugii was at the height of his fame, having just finished his Adachi Mitsuru trilogy - Nine, Touch, and Hiatari Ryouko (the first and last are also Orphan releases). The OVA was made in collaboration with Fuji TV. In an unusual move, there's only one real seiyuu - Morio Yumi (Oyamada Non), who starred as Kasumi in Hiatari Ryouko. All the other roles were played by announcers from Fuji TV, most of whom never appeared in any other anime. The ending credits feature live action of the dubbing session, and there's a short promo at the end that showcases more of Fuji TV's announcing talent.

Sweet Spot is another goodie from Erik's pile of Laserdisc Goodness. He ripped it on his Domesday Duplicator and encoded it. There's some video and audio glitches, but as Erik noted in his release blurb, the disc is rotted, and there's only so much software can do. Iri translated and rough timed, Yogicat fine timed, I edited and typeset, and Nemesis and BeeBee QCed. The show has a ton of location signs, and they're all rather jittery, but they're not motion-tracked. Life is too short. Both the digital and analog audio tracks are included. The digital sounds better, but the analog has fewer glitches.

The show is heavy with 1990s slang. For example, Oyamada is referred to as an "oyaji" (old man) gal, because she likes activities associated with older men - golf, table massages, etc. The "kogal" dialog of the college girls is almost incomprehensible, perhaps in order to set up Oyamada's "I can't understand what you people are saying!" outburst. The absurdist humor is evident in this exchange between Oyamada and her section head:

Boss: Oyamada-kun,can you stop wearing spikes and making noise as you walk around the office?
Oyamada: I cannot.
Boss: Huh?
Oyamada: Section Head, even as I'm making tea, I'm walking on the fairway called life.

Well, perhaps you need to be there.

So if you're ready for a break from the heavy stuff Orphan's been releasing lately, you can find Sweet Spot on the usual torrent site or download it from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net. As Oyamada says, "Shot!"


Monday, September 21, 2020

Mea Maximum Culpa (Exper Zenon v2)

What, another v2? Yup... and for a problem that's happened before: timecodes. Several of the raws Orphan has used have had timecode problems. For example, a discrepancy between Aegisub and MPC-HC throws off some 29.97 fps raws. Some H.265 raws that we've used have "mid-frame" timecodes that get interpreted one way by Aegisub and another by MPC-HC. There have been other issues too. Typically, a timecode problem throws the signs and the dialog off by one (or more) frames. The solution in all cases is simple: generate timecodes in Aegisub and mux them into the final release in place of the original timecodes.

The problem usually surfaces during QC or RC, when a muxed version is reviewed. That happened with Amon Saga and others. But sometimes, the problem is not noticed until the release is public. That's what happened with the Orphan-PPP joint project, Exper Zenon. So here, alas, is v2.

Because the fix is a timecode swap, the problem is easily patched. You can get the patch here. For reference, I'm posting a new torrent and updating the file on Orphan|Arutha for downloading.

Again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. And I'll be checking timecodes for every release from now on.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane (The Angelus Bell)

The atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, is less well known that the bombing of Hiroshima three days earlier, for several reasons. Because it was first, Hiroshima has become synonymous with the terror of atomic warfare. The casualties at Hiroshima were higher. And Hiroshima has received most of the long-term media and historical coverage, whether in print (John Hersey's Hiroshima), anime (Barefoot Gen, Kuroi Ame ni Utarete, Kuro ga Ita Natsu), or movies. The 2005 anime movie Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane (Nagasaki 1945: The Angelus Bell) seeks to tell the less well known story of Nagasaki's ordeal.

Like most accounts of historic horrors, Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane is told from the viewpoint of a survivor. The main character, Dr. Akizuki Tatsuichirou, is the lead medico at St. Francis Hospital, a converted Christian religious institution. The hospital is just far enough (1.4 km) from ground zero to be spared immediate destruction, although it catches fire and becomes unusable. Akizuki and his staff are able to get the patients out of the burning building and to relative safety. However, in the aftermath, many patients, as well as survivors who reached the hospital from the city, die of burns or from massive doses of radiation. Shortages of medications, and lack of treatments for radiation poisoning, lead to steadily mounting casualties and declining morale. Finally, a massive typhoon on September 16 washes much of the radioactive fallout out of the air and the radioactive ash off the ruins, bringing some relief to the devastated city.


Nagasaki 1945 tells its story calmly, without anger, but with a mounting sense of despair.  (Indeed, the only time Dr. Akizuki shows visible anger is when the head of the local association - basically, a government informer and enforcer - comes by with a cock-and-bull story about Japan dropping atomic bombs on America.)
The hospital staff gamely tries to carry on, initially helped by the discovery of a small cache of medications in an undamaged storeroom. When Japan surrenders and the Americans arrive, the US military (portrayed as monsters and rapists in Japanese propaganda) tries to help. But the scope of the disaster is beyond anyone's means to alleviate, and only nature provides some ultimate balm. The movie tries to end on a hopeful note, showing how the surviving locals dug up one of Urakami Cathedral's Angelus bells in time for Christmas, but it's small solace.

The cast of characters is huge, and as is sometimes the case, the voice cast is only identified by name, without their roles. Here are some of the better known seiyuu:

  • Itou Kentarou (Dr. Akizuki) played Doll Isamu in Super-doll Licca-chan, Tetsuo in Hikaru no Go, Akimichi in Naruto, Abarai in Bleach, Tsuchiura in Kiniro no Chord, Riki in Ai no Kusabi (2012), and Tadokoro in Yowamushi Pedal.
  • Ogata Ken'ichi played the put-upon father in Maroko, Suzuki in Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call, the crooked casino boss in Okane ga Nai!, the Hong Kong chef in Yuukan Club, Chichi's dad in Chiisana Koi no Monogatari, and the Narrator/Lord of Kaga in Oedo wa Nemurenai!, all Orphan releases. He also played Smee in Peter Pan no Bouken and Gran Torino in Boku no Hero Academia. However, he's best known to me as the voice of Ranma 1/2's Sataome Gemna, whose alter ego - the grumpy panda - is my avatar on most anime forums. 
  • Doi Mika played the title roles in Angel Cop and Explorer Woman Ray, Hayase Misa in the Macross franchise, the empress (Lafiel's grandmother) in the Crest of the Stars saga, Tabitha in the Zero no Tsukaima properties, Eclipse in Kiddy Grade, the narrator in Mushishi, and Nanase in Natsume Yuujinchou. She appeared as Hagar in Tales of the Old Testament, Yukari in Mikeneko Holmes no Yuurei Joushu, Rosa in Seikima II Humane Society, Captain Deladrier in Starship Troopers, and multiple roles in Kage, all Orphan releases.
  • Yamaguchi Kappei (Hayashi, a child with a throat wound) played the lead character in the Detective Conan franchise, Ranma in the Ranma 1/2 franchise, Inuyasha in all the Inuyasha properties, Usopp in the One Piece franchise, Sakuma Ryuichi in Gravitation, Arslan in the Arslan Senki OVA series, the title role in Mouse, Ougi in Boyfriend, and Shibuya in Zetsuai 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai Since 1989, among many others. The last three are Orphan releases.
  • Ishimori Takkou played Cesar in Perrine Monogatari and appeared in Akai Hayate, Mikan Enniki, and Usagi Drop.

The director, Arihara Seiji, has helmed several other anime movies set in World War II, including Hi no Ame ga Furu, Ushiro no Shoumen Daare, and Tsuru ni Notte. All of them, including Nagasaki 1945, were made by Mushi Productions, the descendant of Tezuka Osamu's original anime production company. The spare background music is by Koroku Reiijirou, who composed the scores for all the Lion Book OVAs as well as Izumo (1991), all Orphan releases.

I found a raw for the movie on the web. It interested a translator, who wishes to remain anonymous. ninjacloud timed. I edited and typeset. BeeBee and Nemesis did QC. The raw is from R-Raws and is pretty good.

Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane is earnest and straightforward, but it packs an emotional wallop nonetheless. I recommend it strongly. You can get the movie from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.