Friday, December 1, 2023

Okama Hakusho (Okama Report)

This one needs warning labels: Borderline hentai! Outdated stereotypes! Nudity! Sex, mostly gay, some straight, some consensual, often not! Watch at your own risk! So it's an Okizari release.

Okama Hakusho (Okama Report) is a three-part OVA from 1991-1992. It's based on Yamamoto Hideo's manga of the same name about gender confusion and the gay scene in Japan. Because Hachimitsu Scans translated the manga completely, I thought it would be a lighthearted gender-bender. However, as the Hachimitsu team delicately phrased it, "There certainly are some controversial elements in this manga, and it may not be for everyone." Or to put it differently: when you're working on the only "comedy" from the author of Ichi the Killer, you've stepped in deep yogurt.

Okama Shinya is a second-year college student, longing for love but basically drifting through life. At a party, his friends get him sloshed, dress him in drag, and take pictures. To everyone's amazement, Shinya is surprisingly attractive as a girl - so attractive, in fact, that he falls in love with "her" when shown the pictures from the party. In order to meet "her", Shinya's friend (exploiter) Tanaka takes him to a gay bar, Maurice, and has a professional cross-dresser (okama), Yamazaki Tarou, make up Shinya's face and hair.

When Shinya realizes that his love is actually himself in drag, he is both appalled and intrigued. He goes to work at Maurice as an okama, calling himself "Catherine." He quickly becomes a favorite of the owner, Mama-rin, and the customers as well. While dressed as Catherine, he meets and falls in love with a first-year co-ed at his college named Miki, who is almost Catherine's twin.

The two become fast friends, but Shinya wants to be Miki's friend (and lover) as a man. However, Miki already has a boyfriend and is preparing to sleep with him for the first time. Can Catherine sabotage Miki's relationship without giving herself away? Can Shinya, as a guy, find a way to become Miki's new boyfriend? And can Catherine/Shinya fend off Tarou's increasingly aggressive advances?

This summary makes Okama Hakusho sound like a gender-confused romantic roundelay, but there are lots of problems with the show. It starts with the title's use of okama (pot), a Japanese derogatory term originally denoting the passive partner in anal sex, which became a derogatory term for cross-dressers; the closest English analog would be "faggot." (For a discussion about Japanese LGBT terms, see this article.) It continues with the portrayal of gay life in Japan.
In Okama Hakusho, every gay man is an okama. Rather than the camp chic displayed by drag queens in the US, most of the okama in Okama Hakusho are portrayed as unattractive. They are also shown as sexual aggressors against unsuspecting or unwilling men: Tarou basically rapes Shinya/Catherine at one point. All this is played as "comedy," which only makes it worse. It's not only bad sexual politics, it's bad comedy too. There are more laughs in Stop!! Hibari-kun!, and a more sympathetic portrait of an okama in Okane ga nai!

The dialog also presents issues. A lot of the language is either explicit or highly suggestive, filled with slang terms and puns for body parts and sex acts. The argot is dated and hard to parse. For example, how should okama be translated? The show uses the term interchangeably for cross-dressers, transgender women, and homosexual men. Three different translators pulled their hair out about it, and editing it was no easier. Ultimately, the term was left untranslated.

The controversy actually began with the manga itself. According to Wikipedia,

Its title is a parodic reference to "Gay Report", a report published by the LGBT rights group Japan Association for the Lesbian and Gay Movement (also known as OCCUR), noted as the first large-scale survey of gay life in Japan conducted by gay men. OCCUR protested Okama Report for containing what it argued were stereotypical and inaccurate depictions of LGBT people, particularly its failure to distinguish between gay male sexual orientation and transgender gender identity. In response, publisher Shogakukan ceased publishing collected tankoubon editions of the manga, discontinuing the release of the series after two volumes.

Perhaps that's why the OVA series simply stops, even though the manga had been completely serialized by the time episode 3 was produced.

The voice cast is quite distinguished:
  • Horikawa Ryou (Shinya) played Shutendou in Shuten Douji, Vegeta in Dragon Ball, Naoto in Slow Step, Anthony Brown in Candy Candy, Reinhard in LOGH, Tadao in Ghost Sweeper Mikami, Kai in Kizuna, and Andromeda in Saint Seiya. He also appeared in Chameleon, Hi-Speed Jecy, Lunn no Kaze, and the first two Sangokushi movies, all Orphan releases.
  • Amano Yuri (Catherine) played the title role in The Legend of Snow White, Julia in Daddy Long Legs, Kiyone in the Tenchi Muyo franchise, and Moemi in Video Girl Ai. She appeared as Kuzunoha in Akuemon, Angie in Condition Green, Elthena in Eien no Filena, Kitagawa in Nozomi Witches, Noriko in Singles, and Yuko in St. Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, as well as multiple roles in Fukuyama Gekijou, all Orphan releases.
  • Morimura Asuka (Miki) was an AV actress. Other anime credits include Bouken Shite mo Ii Koro and Korogashi Ryouta.
  • Futamata Issei (Kouji Tanaka) 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 Orphan releases.
  • Ogata Kenichi (Inoue, president of a business) 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 father 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. 
  • Shimada Bin (Lily, former pro wrestler) played Ken Nakajima in the You're Under Arrest franchise and numerous other roles, as well as played Konaki Jijii and Wally Wall in the most recent version of GeGeGe no Kitarou. He appeared in Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou, Fukyukayama Gekijou, Tomoe's Run, and Sangokushi, all Orphan releases.
  • Gouri Daisuke (Mimi, former JSDF soldier) played Yamazaki Hiromi in Patlabor. He had numerous featured roles. He appeared in Condition Green, Bavi Stock I, Hashire Melos, Rain Boy, all three Sangokushi movies (Xiahou Dun), Submarine 707R, Tokimeki Tonight, Wolf Guy, Hi-Speed Jecy, Hidamari no Ki, and Kage, all Orphan releases.
  • Yamada Eiko (Yamazaki Tarou), played Syril in Cool Cool Bye and Vee in Al Caral no Isan, both Orphan releases, and Tarou in the Captain Tsubasa franchise, as well as numerous other featured roles.
  • Ouizumi Akira (Mama-rin) had prominent roles in Dame Oyaji and Bouken Shite mo Ii Koro.
  • Kobayashi Kiyoshi (Keiko, a yakuza turned okama) is best known for playing Jigen in the Lupin the Third TV shows and specials since the inception of the franchise. He also played Sekai in Wild 7, an Orphan release.
  • Meguro Kousuke (Banana) appeared in Kage and Izumo, both Orphan releases.

The director, Kogure Teruo, directed the slapstick gross-out OVA Mellow as well as several h-anime. There is no information on the scriptwriter.

The video quality is so-so. The source is used VHS tapes, and there are lots of artifacts. (The show was never released on laserdisc or digital media.) The first episode intersperses live-action scenery shots with the animated sequences, perhaps to convey the locale without the need to animate it.

Okama Hakusho, like many recent projects, has taken a long time. First, it took several years to find all three VHS tapes. Moho Kareshi translated the dialog initially, but it was another two years before Perevodilldo came on board and revised it substantially. I edited and typeset, as usual. The timer, song translator, QCs, and encoder refused to be associated with the result and are anonymous. Because the show includes nudity and sex, gay and straight, consensual and not, it's very NSFW. You've been warned, if the Okizari label was not a sufficient clue.

I'm not going to offer any apologies for Okama Hakusho. I'd like to believe it's a relic of another era, but Japanese anime is filled with gay-bashing to this day. You can get the series from the usual torrent site as well as IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on

Monday, November 20, 2023

Raiyantsuuri no Uta

Orphan is pleased to bring you the first English version of the 1994 movie Raiyantsuuri no Uta (The Song of Raiyantsuuri), a title so rare than AniDB doesn't even list any raw releases. Raiyantsuuri is a Chinese white pear, and the movie tells the story of a Chinese slave laborer in Hokkaido, who escapes from a coalmine in the closing days of World War II and lives in the woods, not knowing that the war is over. It is based on the true story of Shandong native Lianren Liu, who escaped from slave labor in 1945 and lived in the wilds of Hokkaido until 1958.

The protagonist of this tale is named Inlen Yang. After escaping, he is haunted by memories of his wife and child in China. To comfort himself, he plants seeds of  a Chinese pear tree and frequently sings a Chinese lullaby, Sleep, My Sweetest Child. His path intersects with Tomoko, a traumatized and mute child who often runs away from her adoptive family to the forest. Inlen's gentle song sparks a memory in Tomoko, and she utters her first sound: "Mama." 

This amazes and bewilders her adopted family, because "Mama", so obvious in Chinese and English, was not known at that time in Japan; Mother/Mom would be (o)kaa-san. Tomoko's frequent trips to the forest eventually lead to a meeting between Inlen and an old hunter named Zenzo. A former "settler" (colonist) in Manchuria, Zenzo recognizes that Inlen is Chinese and tries to build a bridge with him. Eventually, Tomoko's interactions with Inlen reawaken her traumatic memories: the killing of her mother by Russian soldiers during the reconquest of Manchuria. This helps her regain her ability to speak, However, Inlen becomes convinced that local hunters who are pursuing a marauding bear are trying to capture him and flees the area.

Fast forward ten years. Tomoko, aided by her sympathetic teacher, has become a confident young woman, planning to be a teacher herself. Before she goes to university, though, she wants to find the Chinese man who helped her leave her shell. Attempts to trace the workers at the coalmine run into a stone wall of denial and anti-Chinese prejudice. (A mine official calls the Chinese and Korean slaves "employees" and insists they were all compensated.) She goes to a local radio station and sings the lullaby on the air, in the hope that it will reach Inlen. This sets the stage for the final act.

The movie takes a relatively unflinching look at Japanese policies in World War II, including the expropriation of Chinese land and farms, the widespread use of slave labor, and the indifference of post-war Japan to its wartime actions. Perhaps that's why it was never released except on VHS tape. In the real world, when Lianren Liu sued for compensation, the Japanese government denied his claim, because he could not "prove" he had been brought to Japan against his will.

The voice cast includes:

  • Horiuchi Kenyuu (Inlen) played the title role in Guin Saga and Oscar in the Angelique franchise. He also played the title role in Amon Saga, Ryuuichi in Aoko Honoo, Jin Akira in Wolf Guy, Nest in Eien no Filena, Kubota in Meisou Ou Border, Lid in Greed, Romus in Choujikuu Romanesque Samy: MISSING 99, and the refined son in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.
  • Takamori Yoshino (Tomoko) played the arch oujo-sama Sayaka in Yawara! and the twin roles of Juliet Douglas and Sloth in Full Metal Alchemist. She starred as Chika in Ohoshi-sama no Rail and appeared as Shouko in POPS, Princess Lichia in Amon Saga, Kyouko in Shiratori Reiko de Gosaizsamu!, and in Yousei Ou and the What's Michael? OVAs, all Orphan releases.
  • Tahara Aruno (Seisaku, Tomoko's adoptive father) appeared in Sanada 10, Apfelland Monogotari, Bremen 4, and Chiisai Sensuikau ni Koi wo Shita Dekasugira Kojira no Hanashi, all Orphan releases.
  • Yuuki Hiro (Shinichi, Tomoko's adoptive older brother) played the title role in Arc the Lad, Marcel in the Angelique franchise, and Masuo in Yume de Aetera. He also appeared in Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament, Neko Neko Fantasia, Nozomi Witches, and Yamato 2520, all Orphan releases.
  • Takizawa Kumiko (Shige, Tomoko's adoptive mother) played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz (movie). She  played Elena in Techno Police 21C, Kanako's mother in Boyfriend, Susan the gangster in The Green Cat, and appeared in Fumoon, Makoto-chan, and Scoopers, all Orphan releases.
  • Oomiya Teiji (Zenzo, the old hunter) appeared in both Speed Racer and the original Doraemon. He played Burra the tiger in Manxmouse, an Orphan release.
  • Fukami Rica (Miss Toshiko, Tomoko's teacher) played Spoor in the Crest of the Stars franchise, Myung Fang in Macross Plus, and Sailor Venus in the Sailor Moon franchise. She appeared in Tobira o Akete, Majo demo Steady, and Ear of the Golden Dragon, all Orphan releases.
  • Sadaoka Sayuri (Tomoko's mother) appeared in many shows, including Wolf's Rain, Detective Conan, Tiger and Bunny, Kuroshitsuji, The Ancient Magus' Bride, Kanojo, Okarishimasu, and the two Ultra Nyan OVAs, both Orphan releases.

The director, Arihara Senji, also directed Nagasaki 1945: The Angelus Bell, an Orphan release.

The project started six years ago when Iri purchased a second hand VHS tape and M74 encoded and pre-timed it. Iri started translating, but the project languished (a familiar theme lately) until a Discord colleague, Perevodildo, picked it up and completed the translation. An anonymous staffer reripped the VHS tape and did an updated encode. I shifted the script to the new raw, fine-timed it, and edited and typeset. Nemesis, Rezo, and Topper3000 QCed. The movie is widescreen letter-boxed; the encode eliminates the letter-boxing and slightly upscales the result so the subtitles could be larger.

Although Raiyantsuuri no Uta has a hackneyed setup - mute girl meets caring stranger - it is a very good movie and quite affecting. The scenes between Inlen and young Tomoko are emotionally effective and uplifting. The treatment of Japanese wartime policies and post-war hypocrisy doesn't pull its punches. I only wish it had been released on better media - at least laserdisc or DVD. You can get the movie from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on

Friday, November 3, 2023

Inochi no Chikyuu: Dioxin no Natsu

Here's another project that has been stuck in limbo for a very long time: the 2001 movie Inochi no Chikyuu: Dioxin no Natsu (Life on Earth: The Summer of Dioxin). This is a very earnest, quasi-documentary look at the 1976 industrial accident in Seveso, Italy, which resulted in the highest level of dioxin exposure by a residential population in history.

On July 10, 1976. an industrial accident occurred at the ICMESA chemical plant in Meda. ICMESA was a subsidiary of Givaudan, itself a subsidiary of the giant Swiss conglomerate Hoffman-La Roche. A reactor producing tetrachlorobenzine (TCP) overheated when it was shut down (improperly) for the weekend, as required by Italian law. When the reactor reached a critical temperature, the reaction became exothermic and began generating its own heat. The further rise in temperature started producing dioxin in significant quantities. Eventually, the pressure relief valve blew, releasing six tons of chemicals, including a kilogram or more of dioxin, into the air. 

The toxic mixture settled over almost seven square miles, on the towns of Seveso, Mesa, Dessa, and others. ICMESA said nothing about dioxin being released for a week, delaying the start of emergency measures. Eventually, the worst-hit areas were evacuated, and more than 80,000 animals were slaughtered to prevent dioxin from entering the food chain. Many people were treated for skin rashes (chloracne) and eye irritation. The disaster eventually resulted in the European Union adopting tough new safety rules for chemical plants.

Inochi no Chikyuu tells the story of that horrific summer through the eyes of a group of local children. Their normal lives are interrupted when a "white powder" falls out of the sky. The locals develop headaches and rashes, and small animals begin to die in large numbers. The children aren't satisfied with the vague explanations from the plant's managers. Aided by a convenient (fictional) Japanese journalist, they enlist help from a local (fictional) technical institute. When they learn that the powder contains dioxin, and that their food, water, friends, and pets have been poisoned, they take their findings to wider and wider audiences, eventually confronting Hoffman-La Roche's continuing evasions at a press conference. While all ends relatively well (no human deaths were attributed to the accident), the children draw solemn lessons, for themselves and the audience, about the need to protect the environment on behalf of all "life on Earth."

Inochi no Chikyuu falls squarely in a line of earnest and well-meaning fictionalized anime documentaries, such as Junod, Bakumatsu no Spasibo, and Yume Kakeru Kougen. All of these tell worthwhile stories, but they forfeit some ability to shape events into a more compelling narrative. The movie tries to add a little drama by focusing on the dilemma of an expectant couple, but it's really very linear: accident, coverup, exposure, morals drawn.

The Seveso disaster has been extensively studied over a 40 year period. A 2018 summary by NIH concludes:

  • The area around Seveso was divided into three zones: A (evacuation required); B (caution required); and R (okay). The zones were well chosen, but exposure varied by three orders of magnitude, or more, within a zone. Thus, a person in Zone B could have received a higher dose than a person in Zone A.
  • The human body can eliminate dioxin. It takes a long time. Half-life is 7 to 9 years, so 21 to 27 years to get close to 90% out, but it is eventually removed... if the person exposed lives long enough.. The movie says it is impossible to get out of the human body.
  • Dioxin exposure did not increase the birth defect rate among unborn children or the miscarriage rate among pregnant women.
  • Dioxin exposure did increase fertility issues and long-term liver disease and cancer rates.
The ICMESA plant was decontaminated over many years. After several questionable attempts by ICMESA and Givaudan, Hoffman-La Roche assumed responsibility for disposing of the contaminants. Ultimately, Hoffman-La Roche and Givaudan spent more 300 million Swiss francs on remedial work. Five ICMESA executives were arrested. Two were convicted and spent a small amount of time in jail. Neither Hoffman-La Roche or Givaudan ever admitted wrongdoing. Zone A was bulldozed, and the rubble and contaminated soil buried in a concrete sarcophagus topped with layers of clean soil. Today, it is the Seveso Oak Forest Park, and development there is forbidden.

The voice cast includes well known seiyuu in the adult roles and some of the children's roles.

  • Sakuma Nobuko (Giulia, one of the children) appeared in Marshmallow Times and Happy Birthday Inochi Kagayaku Toki.
  • Kobayashi Sanae (Marco, Giuilia's little brother) starred as Lucy in Elfen Leid, Allen Walker in D.Gray-man, Maya in Glass no Kamen (2005), and Touya Akira in Hikaru no Go. She had a recurring role as Natsume Reiko in the Natsume Yuujincho franchise. She played Scarlet Church in Cosprayers and Smash Hit, both Orphan releases.
  • Mizutani Yuuko (Anna, Giulia's pregnant older sister) played Pinoko in all the Black Jack properties, as well as Hiromi in Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - Ai no Shiro, Rika in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki, Lila in Eien no Filena, and Dr. Uematsu Kikue in Yume Kakeru Kougen, all Orphan projects.
  • Shiratori Yuri (Maria, Giulia's classmate) played the title roles in the Kiko Lala and Angelique franchises, Cherry in the Saber Marionette franchise, Aki in Boys Be..., and Hatoko in Angelic Layer. She appeared as Lilith in Megami Paradise, an Orphan release.
  • Sasaki Shizuka (Angelo, Giulia's classmate, likes Maria) appeared under her real name in Ayashi no Ceres, Ateru, and Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
  • Murozono Takehiro (Antonio, Giulia's classmate) had featured roles in numerous shows, including the Macross 7 franchise, Vampire Miyu, Fullmetal Panic, Hanada Shounen-shi, Monster, and Tsurune.
  • Orikasa Ai (Enrico, Giulia's classmate, Mayor Carlo's son) 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,  Katchan's mother in Tako ni Natta Okaasan, the narrator in Boku no Boukuugou, Made, Ayuuru's sister, in B.B. Fish, and young Mars in Fire Emblem, all Orphan releases.  
  • Baishou Chieko (Grandma Sonia, Anna's neighbor) is mostly an actress. She starred as Sophie (old) in Howl's Moving Castle and was featured in Weathering with You.
  • Honda Takako (Lucio, Giulia's classmate) had featured roles in numerous shows, including the Psycho-Pass franchise, the Queen's Blade franchise, Kara no Kyouki, and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Inoue Kazuhiko (Ando Shiro, journalist) starred as Yamaoka Shirou in Oishinbo, Yuki Eiri in Gravitation, the title role in Cyborg 009, Gorou in Moonlight Mile, Tachibana no Tomomasa in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de: Hachyoushou, and my favorite role, the irascible, sake-swilling Nyanko-sensei in the Natsume Yuujichou franchise. He also played Saiki Haruka in Tobira o Akete, Iori in Tomoe's Run!, Kanuma Hayate in Akai Hayate, Ryousuke in Daishizen no Majuu Bagi, Kitten Smith in Starship Troopers, Liu Bei Xuande in both Sangokushi TV specials, Ayako in Lunn Flies into the Wind, Nakatsugawa in Boyfriend, Jinpachi Nezu in Sanada 10, Katsuhiko in Hiatari Ryouko, Minamoto no Yoshitsune in Genji (Part One), Hisui in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 2, and Kajiwara Kagetoki in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 3, all Orphan releases.
  • Genda Tesshou (Mayor Carlo) played Colonel Muto in Joker Game, Moloch in Yondemasu Azazel-san, Rei in the Urusei Yatsura franchise, Moguro Fukuzou in New Laughing Salesman,  and "Oyaji" in Mitsuboshi Colors. He also played Akauma in Fire Tripper, Jin Kiryu in Blue Sonnet, Zigong in Eiyuu Banka Koushi-den, Paul Rusch in Yume Kakeru Kougen, Jim Hyatt in AWOL Compression Remix, the loyal lieutenant Galbreath in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, the dragonman Baguda in Greed, the narrator in Akai Hayate and Meisou-ou Border, Dog McCoy in Dallos, Hebopi in Wild 7, rebel leader Oosukune in Izumo, Miyoshi in Sanada 10, and Rikiishi's trainer Kuroki and Kirishima in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.

The director, Dezaki Satoshi, is the older brother of Dezaki Osamu and directed some of the Urusei Yatsura OVAs and movies, as well as Yume Kakeru Kougan, Bakumatsu no Spasibo, Boyfriend, and Time Slip Ichimannen Prime Rose, all Orphan releases.

The project started eight years ago. M74 translated and timed, based on an AnimeGorodok raw with Russian subtitles. I could not get a translation checker, so the project stalled out until this year. Then, two Discord colleagues, NoraInuG and Perevodildo, independently checked and heavily revised the original script. I edited, using pieces from both of them, so it's difficult to apportion translation credit. I revised the original timing, edited, and typeset (not much there). Rezo and Topper3000 QCed. I'm glad it's finally seeing the light of day.

Inochi no Chikyuu: Dioxin no Natsu is a somber reminder of the environmental dangers posed by toxic chemicals. The Seveso accident was followed by the far more catastrophic Bhopal disaster in 1984. Chemical contamination continues to be an ongoing threat, as demonstrated by the recent derailment in Palestine, Ohio. And "forever chemicals" (PFAS) are in drinking water just about everywhere.

You can get this movie from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #new on

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Cat-Eyed Boy 03

Happy Halloween! Barely in time, Orphan yet again brings you some paper cut-out thrills and chills: the third episode of Umezz Kazuo's 1976 horror series Youkaiden Nekome Kozou (Spirit Legend Cat-Eyed Boy, here just Cat-Eyed Boy).

This is the third (and last) episode released on DVD. (Feel free to buy us the laserdisc box set of Cat-Eyed Boy, if you can find it.) The Cat-Eyed Boy is continuing his search for his mother, but he's in dire straits from hunger. A friendly boy named Tatsuo saves him and takes him to his grandmother's house for food and shelter. However, Tatsuo's family has been cursed by the Rat Snake, a giant, vicious predator:

Cat-Eyed Boy decides to repay Tatsuo's friendship by fighting the evil fiend before continuing his journey to find his mother.
What fate awaits him tomorrow? Well, we know the answer to that - more monster fighting - but the narrator apparently does not.

Because the show is almost fifty years old, the voice actors are from a different generation:

  • Hori Junko (Cat-Eyed Boy) is best known as the voice of the protagonists in three Fujiko Fujio works, Obake no Q-tarou, Ninja Hattori-kun, and Chinpui. She also appeared in Wan Wan Chuushingura, Taiyou no Ouji: Horus no Daibouken, Rain Boy, Time Slip Ichimannen Prime Rose, and Makoto-chan (all Orphan releases), as well as Moomin, Akage no Anne, Cinderella Boy, and Unico.
  • Sugaya Masako (Tatsuo) played Trio in Bremen Four, an Orphan release, and appeared in Attack No. 1, Ace o Nerae, Flanders no Inu, and Tetwuwan Atom.
  • Okada Michirou (Rat Snake) appeared in Perrine and The Adventures of the Little Prince.
  • Shirakawa Sumiko (Grandmother) appeared in Sazae-san, Flanders no Inu, and Perrine.
  • Ikeda Katsuhiko (Narrator) has no other anime credits.

Once again, Skr was the driving force behind this release. He translated, timed, edited, typeset, and encoded the show. His friend, rockleevk, helped with translation checking and QC. I did a fast RC: four hours from receipt of materials to release.

So break out the Halloween candy and strap in for another spooky "gekimation" (graphic novel plus animation) episode. You can get this release from the usual torrent site or from channels #nibl or #news in Without more source material, this would seem to be the end of Orphan's work on the show, but one never knows, do one?

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Heart Cocktail (Batch)

Here, as promised, is the batch release for Heart Cocktail.

There are no changes.

I really liked Heart Cocktail. I found it interesting, at times compelling viewing, despite the short length of the episodes - under four minutes - and the narrow focus on the themes of love - starting, ending, and the stages in between. Perhaps it's because the show is about adults, and adult issues. Perhaps it's because the short length of the vignettes allowed me to dip in and out whenever I liked.

I'd like to repeat the staff credits.

  • Translation - Darkonius
  • Translation Check - Yume
  • Timing - Darkonius, ninjacloud
  • Editing & Typesetting - Collectr
  • QC - Moelancholy (vol 1-2), Nemesis (vol 3-6), Rezo (all)
  • Encoding - anonymous
  • Coordination - MartyMcflies (front end), Collectr (back end)

Special thanks to 6/10 and Makoto-kun for additional translation help, and to VigorousJammer for scanning the Japanese manga volumes. MartyMcflies and I underwrote the financial costs of the project.

You can get the Heart Cocktail batch from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Heart Cocktail Vol 6

Heart Cocktail, based on a manga series by Watase Seizou, is a joint project between DarkWispers (Darkonius), Lonely Chaser (MartyMcflies), and Orphan. Here is the last volume, volume 6. It's basically just like the other five: a series of vignettes, three minutes or less, each telling a short story of love found or lost, or sometimes both.

This volume has perhaps a slightly more optimistic tinge than some of the previous ones. There are more stories of love started or ongoing than ending or gone. But one of the best, in my view, is about an ending: My Former Aunt. It's told from the point of view of her nephew, who discovers during the breakup of his uncle's marriage, that he likes his soon-to-be former aunt a lot more than his blood relative:

The male and female leads, and the music composer, are unchanged from volume 5.
Staff credits are also unchanged. Darkonius translated the show and did initial timing. Yume translation checked. ninjacloud fine timed. I edited and typeset. Nemesis and Rezo QCed. MartyMcflies provided overall coordination of the front-end work; I coordinated the back end. Special thanks, again, to 6/10 for his initial translation work. There wasn't room to include him in the credits this time.

This concludes our work on Heart Cocktail. There are several sequels, Heart Cocktail Again and Heart Cocktail Colorful, as well as OVAs that appear stylistically related, such as Chalk Colored People. Perhaps we'll get to them in the future. Meanwhile, you can download this episode from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on

Batch in a few days.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Genji, Part 1

Here's another project that's been on my "to do" list for a long time: 1992's time-travel sci-fi mind-fuck OVA Genji (Part One). The "Part One" is the beginning of what will turn out to be a labyrinth of confusion. It's "Part One" because it's based on the first part of a manga by Kouga Yun.The second part was abandoned, so there will never be a Part 2. (Incomplete manga are a specialty of hers; she's also the author of the still-incomplete Loveless.) The setting is modern Tokyo and an alternate/parallel-world Japan, in which the Genpei War between the Taira (Heike) and Minamoto (Genji) clans is fought much later, mixing classical Heian warfare with modern weapons such as tanks and flamethrowers.

In Tokyo, a teenager named Katsumi is preparing for a date with his honey, Sakura.

In parallel Japan, Minamoto no Yoritomo (usually called Genji), the clan's shogun, is hit and killed by a poisoned arrow. He and Katsumi look alike. Sakura decides to return to parallel Japan after wiping everyone's memory, including her own, but not Katsumi's. Desperate to find her, Katsumi accepts the help of a talking peacock, Zakuro, and follows Sakura to parallel Japan. (Wouldn't any 16-year-old do that?) 

There, he falls in with the Minamoto clan, who need a figurehead to replace the deceased Genji. Katsumi does not want to be involved in the war. He only wants to find Sakura, but he makes time for a brief BL encounter with Genji's younger brother Yoshitsune (also called Shanao). 

Ultimately, he makes a deal with the Minamoto: he'll take Genji's place if the clan helps him find Sakura.

That's only the beginning of the complications. On the Taira (Heike) side, there are two Taira no Kiyomoris, and they're twins. The older is a bloodthirsty warrior who is kept chained up between battles. The younger is Taira's shogun, as well as Genji's childhood friend and wannabe lover. Taira no Tokoku (Kenreimonin), the Kiyomori twins step-mother, is plotting to have them both assassinated, so her blood-son, Tsunemori, can become leader of the Heike. [Historically, she was (the only) Taira no Kiyomori's daughter.] The assassination plot went awry, and the poisoned arrow intended for the younger Kiyomori killed Genji instead.

Meanwhile, Genji's brother, Yoshitsune, and his chief lieutenant, Benkei, are proceeding with their plan to make Katsumi a replacement for their slain leader. They introduce him to Genji's steed, a telepathic unicorn named, what else, Unicorn. 

They take him to Hanamachi, the armorer's city, to be fitted with Genji's biomechanical armor. However, he must first survive the Maze, a VR simulator that can be deadly.  Katsumi meets and tends the wounds of the elder Kiyomori, who has never experienced tenderness and promptly falls in love with Katsumi. 

Now, fitted out with armor and steed, the object of respect or adoration by all, Katsumi-as-Genji is ready to succor the overmatched Minamoto clan in a major battle, but not the decisive battle, with the Taira.

You still following this? I lost the thread a long time ago.
Characters show up briefly, like Katsumi's step-brother Kotaro, and then disappear, for no reason. Extended incidents lead nowhere. The plot so enraged the translation checker (Perevodildo) that he wrote an impassioned screed damning the whole production. I did better with it - after all, I got through all of Requiem of the Rose King - but I thought the edifice was undermined by the overstuffed plot and the callow lead character. To me, Katsumi lacks the charisma to justify Sakura's love and the various male characters' admiration, chivalrous or carnal, but they are all impressed by his devotion and his emotion.

Parallel Japan has many weird features besides the anachronistic mixing of Heian warfare with modern weapons. Genji has a biomechanical artificial eye of unknown capabilities. He also had a biomechanical implant for his armor. Parallel Tokyo is a modern-looking city and is neutral territory. (Shades of West Side Story.) The armorers are all women and display themselves like geishas in shop windows. 

(Their city is called Hanamachi, the generic name for a geisha district.) Sakura is a Guardian, whatever that is; her magic powers allow her to open portals between our Japan and parallel Japan. Earthquakes can open portals too. And so on.

The show is such a clusterfuck that it's impossible to tell the players without a program. Accordingly, I'm providing a guide to the cast, based on Perevodildo's impeccable editing guides, as well as the CVs of the voice actors.

  • Minamoto no Yoritomo, aka Seiwa Genji, shogun of the Minamoto (Genji) clan; and Ebata Katsumi, a modern-day 16-year-old boy, his double. VA: Sasaki Nozomu starred as Tetsuo in Akira, Ushio in the original Ushio to Tora, Urameshi in the Yu Yu Hakusho franchise, and Mello in Death Note. He played Mars in Star Dust, Dekiru in Izumo, Taiga in Nagasarete Airantou, Hal in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, Wataru in Blue Sonnet, and Ling Fei-Long in Dragon Fist, all Orphan releases.
  • Musashibo Benkei, Genji's right-hand man. VA: Hironaka Masashi played Anshu in Hayou no Tsurugi, Bird Torigai in Blue Sonnet, Jiro in Karuizawa Syndrome, Ihika in Yousei-Ou, Kanou in Nine, Kazusa in Tomoe's Run!, and the hijacker in Stop!! Hibari-kun!, all Orphan releases, as well as Siegfried in Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
  • Princess Sakura of Nagoya Castle, Genji's betrothed; and Hasegawa Sakura, Katsumi's modern-day squeeze. VA: Kawamura Maria played Naga the Serpent in the Slayers franchise, the title role in Fujiko Fujio A no Mumako, Eluza in the Gall Force OVAs, Interpreter in the Compiler OVAs, Luna and Tiger Lily in Peter Pan no Bouken, Kate in Hitomi no Naka no Shounen: 15 Shounen Hyouryuuki, Shirin in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 2 (a repeat of her role in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de: Hachyoushou), and Houjou Masako in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 3. The last three are Orphan releases.
  • Minamoto no Yoshitsune (Shanao), younger brother, in love with Genji. VA: Inoue Kazuhiko starred as Yamaoka Shirou in Oishinbo, Yuki Eiri in Gravitation, the title role in Cyborg 009, Tachibana no Tomomasa in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de: Hachyoushou, and my favorite role, the irascible, sake-swilling Nyanko-sensei in the Natsume Yuujichou franchise. He also played Jinpachi Nezu in Sanada 10, Saiki Haruka in Tobira o Akate, Iori in Tomoe's Run!, Kanuma Hayate in Akai Hayate, Ryousuke in Daishizen no Majuu Bagi, Kitten Smith in Starship Troopers, Liu Bei Xuande in both Sangokushi TV specials, Ayako in Lunn Flies into the Wind, Nakatsugawa in Boyfriend, Hisui in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 2, and Kajiwara Kagetoki in Haruka Naru Toki no Nake de 3, all Orphan releases.
  • Ebata Kotaro, Katsumi's older step-brother in modern Tokyo. VA: Tsujitani Kouji played the title role in the Captain Tylor franchise and the lead role in the 3x3 Eyes OVAs. He also played Takei, Reiko's would-be fiance, in Sotsugyou: Graduation, Guy in Ai no Kusabi, Homare in Okane ga Nai, Shou in Condition Green, Saburou in Kasei Yakyoku, and Seishirou in Yuukan Club, all Orphan releases.
  • Hojo Masako, Genji's sister in arms and concubine-to-be. VA: Ikura Kazue is best known for the roles of Makimura Kaori in City Hunter, Toraou in Mashin Eiyuuden Wataru, Natsume Ryuunosuke in All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, and Leni Milchstrasse in Sakura Wars. She played Jiliora in Gude Crest and also appeared in Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki and 15 Shounen Hyouryuuki, all Orphan releases.
  • Hojo Munetoki, Masako's older brother. VA: Hori Hideyuki played Zach Isedo in Al Caral no Isan, Sid in Ai no Kusabi, Falk Green in Hi-Speed Jecy, Zhao Yun in Sangokushi movie 2, and Baraba in Eien no Filena, all Orphan projects. He played the title role in Baoh, Phoenix in the Saint Seiya franchise, and Tezuka Osamu himself in the Black Jack TV series.
  • Taira no Kiyomori the younger, shogun of the Taira (Heike) clan and Genji's childhood friend. VA: Kikuchi Masami played the okama JonJon in Otaku no Seiza. He went on to star as the male leads in the Tenchi Muyo, Aa! Megami-sama!, and Comic Party franchises. He played the male lead, Makoto, in Doukyuusei 2, and appeared in Fukuyama Gekijou, both Orphan releases.
  • Taira no Kiyomori the elder, a bloodthirsty soldier for the Heike, kept chained up between battles. VA: Tobita Nobuo played Lumial in the Angelique franchise, Ken Wakashimazu in the Captain Tsubasa franchise, Randy in Fake, Sinistra in Kiddy Grade, the title role in Locke the Superman, and Dayon in Osomatsu-san. He appeared in Ziggy Sore Yuke! R&R Band, Condition Green, Eien no Filena, and Choujikuu Romanesque Samy: MISSING 99, all Orphan releases.
  • Taira no Tokuko, aka Kenreimonin, step-mother of the Kiyamoris; also Zakuro, a talking peacock. VA: Nozawa Masako is a legend. She played the title roles in The Adventures of Gamba, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry no Bouken, Billy Inu nan demo Shoukai, and Hey! Bumboo. She was Enma-kun in the original Dororon Enma-kun, Son Goku in the original Dragonball, and Kitarou in the 1968 and 1971 versions of GeGeGe no Kitarou, as well as Hakaba Kitarou. Even though her first role was in 1965, she is still active, appearing as Obaba in Ping Pong the Animation, Madame Curie in Marie & Gali, and of course, Medama Oyaji in the most recent version of GeGeGe no Kitarou. She played the title roles in Manxmouse and The Green Cat, Isamu in Kaitei 3-Man Mile, Lek in Cool Cool Bye, Wolf in Kiku-chan to Ookami, and Costar in 15 Shounen Hyouruuki, all Orphan releases. She won a lifetime achievement award in 1997.
  • Sagano Kuya, vice-shogun of the Heike. VA: Hayami Shou starred as Nanjou in Zetsuai: 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989, and Kushinige Hodaka in Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru. He also played an angel in Tezuka Osamu's Tales of the Old Testament, Aju in Hayou no Tsurugi, Exper Kain in Exper Zenon, Iason's friend Raoul in Ai no Kusabi, Hojo in Sanctuary, Pat Leivy in Starship Troopers, Junoichi in Blazing Transfer Student, Shargan in Gude Crest, and Seichii in Mikoneko Holmes. All of these shows are Orphan releases.
  • Shuko, the armorer in parallel Tokyo, once in love with Genji. VA: Tamagawa Sakiko played Natsumi Rumi in Call Me Tonight, Shiori in Akai Hayate, Lar Lipp in Greed (all Orphan releases), Athena in Appleseed XIII, Tachikoma in GITS SAC, Kanoko in Shouwa Monogatari, Dotta in Sorcerer Hunters, Rouge in Starship Girl Yamamoto Yohko, Masaki in the Tenchi Muyo franchise, Natsumi in the You're Under Arrest franchise, and Princess Suurya in Kamasutra.
  • Ize, a soldier for the Genji. VA: Umezu Hideyuki played Akadama-sensei in Uchouten Kazoku and Uranos Corsica in Gangsta. He had featured roles in Star Dust, Apfelland Monogatari, Blue Sonnet, Hashire Melos, Hi-Speed Jecy, Hidamari no Ki, Nana Toshi Monogatari, Neko Neko Fantasia, Singles, the What's Michael? OVAs, Yamato 2520, and Ziggy Sore Yuke! R&R Band, all Orphan releases.
  • Emi, a soldier for the Heike: VA: Takayama Minami starred as the title roles in Kiki's Delivery Service and Space Girl Yamamoto Yohko, and, most famously, played Conan Edogawa in the more than 1000 episodes, OVAs, movies, and specials of the Detective Conan franchise. She starred as Yuu in Cosmic Fantasy, an Orphan release.

The director, Yasumura Ryou, helmed Kaze no Naka no Shoujo Kinpatsu no Jeanie before turning to producing.

The project has a fairly complicated history, to go with its fairly complicated plot. Moho Kareshi took the first crack at translating the show. glenn timed his script and corrected some of the language. The project was going nowhere until Perevodildo, a Discord colleague, agreed to translation check. Using the manga as a guide, uncertain at best, he ended up changing the script extensively and provided wonderfully detailed editing guides. ninjacloud then cleaned up the timing. I edited and typeset; there are almost no signs, except for a complex map in episode 2. (Iri cracked some of the unreadable names.) Nemesis and Uchuu QCed. An anonymous friend ripped the Japanese laserdiscs on the Domesday Duplicator and encoded. Because the translation originated with Moho Kareshi, long vowels are truncated to their base vowels.

I can't say the Genji (Part One) is good, but it's definitely not routine. Simply put, it's weird. (One of the QCs asked, "What did I just watch?")  So if that sounds like your cup of sake, you can get the show from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on Don't expect to understand what's going on. And we'll never know how it was supposed to turn out, although it's safe to assume that the Minamoto clan will ultimately triumph. Isn't it?