Friday, January 22, 2021

Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - Ai no Shiro

Let's get 2021 started with a bang (so the speak), with another really obscure OVA, 1990's Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - Ai no Shiro (Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - The Castle of Love). Despite the somewhat suggestive title, this is not hentai but a romantic comedy, albeit one that's a bit more sexually charged because the protagonists are adults, not high school students.

Our heroine is Mishiba Hiromi, office lady, wallflower, and (apparently) virgin. She pines for an adult romance, like those of her sophisticated colleague Kubo-san, but she seems to have no prospects. Then suddenly, she is more or less kidnapped and taken to the Castle of Love, a love hotel on Dougenzaka hill (colloquially known as Love Hotel Hill) in Shibuya. There, the handsome manager, Fujiwara Takuma, informs her that she is the daughter of the hotel's deceased founder and thus the heir to the property. He asks the flabbergasted young woman to become president of the hotel. Hiromi is inclined to refuse, until she finds out that the job comes with a beautiful suite in the hotel, as well as fine clothes and accessories.

Returning to work utterly transformed, Hiromi catches the eye of the office Lothario, Ootsuki-san. He promptly asks her out to dinner, gets her tipsy, and takes her to a love hotel for a bit of post-prandial hanky-panky. Fortunately, his hotel of choice is the Castle of Love, and Takuma intervenes to save Hiromi from a sticky situation. Then Mickey, the son of an American hotel magnate, builds a flashy new love hotel, the El Dorado, in the neighborhood and tries to poach Takuma to be its manager. Hiromi goes to the El Dorado to plead with Mickey to stay away from Takuma, but she ends up in another dicey situation. Takuma again shows up in the nick of time. Now, with all rivals cleared out, Hiromi and Takuma can acknowledge what's been obvious to the viewer from the outset: they belong together.

 

The voice cast includes:

  • Shiozawa Kaneto (Takuma) played Kohei in Karuizawa Syndrome, Shin in Hiatari Ryoukou, Iason in Ai no Kusabi, Rock Holmes in Fumoon, Shiina in Chameleon, Sanzou in I am Son Goku, and Kurahashi Eiji in Nine, all Orphan releases. He also played Joe in Tokimeki Tonight, Yoshio in Miyuki, Takeshi in Touch, D in Vampire Hunter D, Narsus in the Arslan Senki OVAs, Rosario in Dragon Half, and Abriel senior in Crest of the Stars.
  • Mizutani Yuko (Hiromi) played Pinoko 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.
  • Katsuki Masako (Kubo) 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 Arianna Wyszynska in Apfelland Monogatari, Kenbishi Yuuri in Yuukan Club, Hojo's lover in Sanctuary, Itchan's mother in Sensou Douwa: Tako ni Natta Okaasan, and Yamazaki's maintenance engineer Kiriko in Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call, all Orphan releases.
  • Seki Toshihiko (Ootsuki) was one of the leading male seiyuu in this period. He played the title role in Izumo, Riki in Ai no Kusabi, the hero Seitarou in Hoshi Neko Full House, the gang leader Hiba in Wild 7, Yoshitarou in Mikeneko Holmes, Miroku in Yuukan Club, Chuuta in Satsujin Kippu wa Heart-iro, the fighter Nagase Jun in Akai Hayate, the unnamed protagonist of Oruorane the Cat Player, and Sara's younger brother Junichiro in Kasei Yakyoku, all Orphan releases. He also played Matsuda in the Yawara! properties, Sanzo in the Saiyuuki TV series, and the title roles in Alexander (Reign the Conqueror) and Kaiketsu Zorro.
  • Shioya Yoku (Mickey) played Triton in the Umi no Triton TV series and movies, Ryouta in Slam Dunk, Jinpei the Swallow in Gatchaman, Cosmo Yuki in Space Runaway Ideon, and the title role in Kariage-kun. He also played numerous featured roles, including Zhuge Jun in the first Sangokushi movie, an Orphan release. He also did sound direction on many series.

The director, Imanishi Takashi, has many credits, including Capricorn, The Cockpit, The Violinist of Hamelin, Zegapain, Yamato 2199, and multiple series and movies in the Gundam franchise. 

Iri bought a second-hand laserdisc of this show. Intrepid ripped it on the Domesday Duplicator and encoded it. Iri then translated and did initial timing; Yogicat fine timed. I edited and typeset. Nemesis and Rezo QCed. As with Yume kara Samenai, the audio is FLAC. In Yume kara, that was a recognition of the deficiencies in analog audio decoding in the current version of the Duplicator software. With FLAC, it's possible to use the uncompressed audio track for filtering experiments, if anyone is so inclined (I'm not). In Milky Passion, the audio is digital, so it's just bloat.

Milky Passion tells a complete story. It's not a teaser for another media property. I found it quite enjoyable. The show does include some nudity and sex; it's a 1990s OVA, after all, and it's set in a love hotel. If that doesn't discourage you - or if that does encourage you - you can download the show from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Ideas for 2021

After 2020, "plans" seems altogether too strong a word for Orphan Fansubs' projects in 2021. So rather than write down some impossible set of goals, or even an aspirational set, I'm listing some of the ideas that the team has for work in this new year. None of it, aside from actual projects that are underway, is guaranteed or even likely.

As I've written before, Orphan's work is governed by two primary factors:

  1. The availability of, and the interests of, the staff, particularly the translators. No script, no subtitles. It's as simple as that.
  2. The availability of good media. The Japanese market in second-hand analog media continues to be very lively, and more old shows appear on streaming every day; but some titles are only available as low-quality Internet raws.

So please, don't ask Orphan to translate or work on your favorite unsubbed show. And don't ask about a long series. Paraphrasing the immortal words of Danny Glover, I'm too old for that shit.

Work in Progress

This is the only part of the agenda where eventual release is pretty much a lock. However, the release schedule depends on resources, including editing, typesetting, and QC.

  • Nine HD. A resub of Orphan's SD releases, using an HD web stream. In QC.
  • Sangokushi movies HD. A resub or Orphan's SD releases, using an HD web stream. In editing and typesetting.
  • Ohoshi-sama no Rail (Rail of the Stars). A resub with a revised script derived from the R1 subs. In QC.
  • Coluboccoro 2019. An expansion of the TV special, using Commie's subs as a base, with five minutes of new footage and a new ending song. In typesetting.
  • Milky Passion: Dougenzaka - Ai no Shiro. Not a hentai, despite its title. In typesetting.
  • Sensou Douwa: Chiisai Sensuikan ni Koi o Shita Dekasugiru Kujira no Hanashi. In timing.

Typesetting is a bottleneck for many shows, because the signs tend to be hand-drawn and thus more difficult to set.

Lost in Translation (Check)

By far the largest group of potential projects are stuck in translation check limbo. A few are original scripts, but most are resubs; all need checking. DdD means the "Domesday Duplicator" laserdisc direct capture system; AIW means the All-in-Wonder VHS uncompressed capture system.

  • Adesugata Mahou no Sannin Musume. DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Bakuen Campus Guardress. DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Bakumatsu no Spasibo. AIW VHS source; new script.
  • Blue Sonnet. DdD laserdisc encode; R1 script.
  • Fighting Beauty Wulong. R2J DVD encode; "professional" script but done for dubbing, not subtitles.
  • Genji Part 1. DdD laserdisc encode; new partial script.
  • Gude Crest. DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Hakujaden. Blu-ray source; fansub script.
  • Kaitei Daisensou. Web stream source; fansub script.
  • Love Position: The Legend of Halley. PPP DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Megami Paradise. DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Mother Saigo no Shoujo Eve. AIW VHS source; new script
  • Nayuta. Laserdisc source; fansub script.
  • Okama Hakusho. AIW VHS source; new script.
  • Rumic World OVAs: The Choujo, Fire Tripper, Laughing Target. DdD laserdisc encodes; fansubs scripts.
  • Ryukonohuno Labyrinth. DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Stardust Paradise. PPP DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
  • Who's Left Behind. PPP DdD laserdisc encode; fansub script.
Orphan really needs translation check help. If you are a translator and one or more of these projects appeal to you, come help out, please!
 
Interesting Raws
 
The pile of interesting raws gets larger and larger, far exceeding Orphan's ability to deal with them. The team went on a holiday buying spree for media, and that only makes the problem worse. All of these are original media rather than Internet raws:
  • Asatte Dance. Mixed DdD laserdisc/AIW VHS encode. 
  • Ascending the Clouds. PPP DdD encode. This looks utterly batshit, in a good way.
  • DAYS OAD. This is the two episode OVA. R2J DVD encode. The existing script is useful only for timing.
  • Kentauros no Densetsu. AIW VHS encode.
  • Koiko no Mainichi. AIW VHS encode.
  • Magma Taishi. Tezuka Osamu! R2J DVD encode. Need I say more?
  • MAPS (1987). PPP DdD encode.
  • Mellow. AIW VHS encode.
  • Ore no Sora. AIW VHS encode.
  • Raiyantsuurii no Uta. VHS encode.
  • Sugata Sanshiro. HD web source. A companion piece to Botchan.
  • Takamaru and Shin Takamaru. PPP laserdisc encode.
  • Tengai Makyou.
  • Tezuka Osamu Kyoto Animation Theater. R2J DVD encode.Ten short works by the master. Japanese closed captions available.
  • Tottoi. AIW VHS encode.
There are more, but the FTP is out of space to host them all.

If you are a translator and one or more of these projects appeal to you, come help out. Alternately, if you're a fansub group and want to work on one or more of them, let us know, and we'll put the raw out under the [Orphan-raw] label.

Encoder(s) Wanted

Source material that needs encoding, often posing knotty problems:

  • Animated Classics of Japanese Literature. R1 DVD. These are the 12 episodes that CPM released in the US before it went bankrupt. I'd love to find the R2J DVDs, but no luck.
  • Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de 2: Shiroki Ryuu no Miko. Orphan's release, which used another group's R2E encode, has multiple video glitches. We have the R2J DVD. For some reason, the Japanese release is really desaturated compared to the R2Es. The encoder will have to make a judgement call about color correction. 
  • Sanada 10. R2J DVD. Complex issues around deinterlacing and variable frame rates. Dmon404 created a template for the work, but the last three episodes are not encoded.
  • One Pound Gospel. R2J DVD. Like other Rumic World releases, it suffers from blending and interlacing issues.
  • Mars OVA. R2J DVD.

It's Raining, I'm Stalling...

A few shows are stalled because I have lost the will to work on them or Real Life has overtaken other team members. These include:

  • Chameleon. I've lost interest in this show, because it's gross-out humor doesn't work for me. All the scripts are translated, and transation checks are available but not integrated. It needs a dedicated editor and typesetter other than me.
  • Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai! I've always been a bit suspicious of the early Ureshii scripts, and translation checks have validated my concern. The translation checks need to be integrated and edited, and the typesetting needs to be redone. Again, someone else needs to take this on.
  • Perrine movie. I don't have fond memories of the World Masterpiece Theater projects I've worked on, so I can't bring myself to do the detective work required to find and extract the movie's scenes from the 50(!) TV episodes. If you like this show and want to pore over the TV scripts to assemble a movie script, the raw is published, and I'll provide the TV scripts.
  • Tezuka Osamu's Tales of the Old Testament. This needs a new translation resource.

Summary: Orphan Wants You!

Fansubbing is a shrinking hobby. Simultaneous streaming has taken away the primary impetus that fueled fansubbing a decade ago (and also absorbed some of the resources into paid professional work). Like every other group that persists in subtitling old shows, Orphan needs more good people: translators and translation checkers, but also editors, typesetters, QCs, and encoders.

If you'd like to help out, and you know what you're doing, then please contact me on IRC. Due to the pandemic, I spend most of my time in front of my computer screen these days, so I'm easy to find during normal Eastern time zone (GMT-5) hours.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 In Review

Boy, am I happy to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Pandemic, protests, political polarization... Millions dead world-wide... It can't end soon enough. Despite that, Orphan Fansubs had a pretty good year. Some new staffers joined, and some old friends came back. As a result, the team released a lot of projects in 2020.

In preparing this retrospective, I've changed the way I count releases. I'm no longer distinguishing between new versions of prior projects and totally new projects. They each take the same amount of time, and I've revised the project roll call accordingly.

Orphan Fansubs

Orphan's projects for 2020 were:  
  1. Cleopatra Blu-ray. This Tezuka Osamu Animerama classic finally got a Blu-ray release. The commentary and extras showed that the movie was more intended as an erotic romp that I had thought.
  2. Hiatari Ryoukou! Kasumi:Yume no Naka ni Kimi ga Ita. The companion movie to Hiatari Ryoukou and a bit of a disappointment: it's a side-story rather than a conclusion to the main series.
  3. Senya Ichiya Monogatari Blu-ray. I'm not sure that the Blu-ray is a huge improvement on prior releases, but it's worth it for the commentary track alone.
  4. Hitomi no Naka no Shounen: 15 Shounen Hyouryuuki. This shounen adventure, based on a Jules Verne children's novel, defines the "thrilling boys' adventure" genre.
  5. Ziggy Sore Yuke! R&R Band. Evil neo-Nazis versus Japanese (and English) punk rockers? You betcha!
  6. Mikeneko Holmes no Yuurei Joushu. Dirty doings among an acting troupe in a sealed castle. The cat cracks the case, natch.
  7. Exper Zenon. Finally, a Domesday Duplicator rip of this OVA.
  8. Oedo ga Nemurenai! v2. This is the best of the Margaret shoujo OVAs, and this encode, made with an uncompressed capture setup, is a vast improvement on the prior raw.
  9. Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki Long Distance Call v2. Again, an enormous jump in video quality.
  10. Twinkle Nora Rock Me v2. The original rip was made from a defective laserdisc and was incomplete. This one is complete. It's still a candidate for WAOAT.
  11. Greed v2. It too was incomplete due to a defective laserdisc. This version is complete. The show remains a bit of a train-wreck, but it's a decent watch.
  12. Shin Dousei Jidai: Hawaiian Breeze. A drama for adults, about a couple trying to work through some thorny issues from the past and present.
  13. Chiisana Koi no Monogatari: Chitchi to Sally Hatsukoi no Shiki. A charming slice-of-life about a chibi girl who falls for a very tall boy in her class.
  14. Jikuu Bouken Nuumamonjaa (aka the Chrono Trigger OVA). No idea what this was about, but it was fun anyway.
  15. Yakeato no, Okashi no Ki (The Cake Tree in the Ruins). The first Orphan release in the Sensou Douwa (War Fables) series. It will tear your heart out.
  16. Umigame to Shounen (The Boy and the Sea Turtle). The second release, and just as affecting.
  17. Amon Saga. Sword and sorcery; fairly generic but not terrible.
  18. Elf 17. A light-hearted comedy about a winged-elf and a mecha-clad guy cruising the galaxy and getting into trouble.
  19. Eiyuu Banka Koush-den. A very rare show, a straightforward biography of Confucius.
  20. Waza no Tabibito. A CGI fantasy that falls right into the Uncanny Valley.
  21. Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane.This historical movie focuses on the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, which has rarely been treated in anime.
  22. Sweet Spot. An almost unknown Sugii Gisaburou comedy about a golf-crazy office lady and her equally crazy (although not about golf) office mates.
  23. Saiyuuki HD. A Toei movie from 1960, based on Tezuka Osamu's manga, in a much better-looking release.
  24. Makoto-chan. An ecchi movie about "perfect boy" Makoto-chan, who shows more interest in adult matters than he probably should.
  25. Tako ni Natta Okaasan (The Mother Who Became a Kite). Orphan's third release in the Sensou Douwa series.
  26. Cool Cool Bye. A fantasy OVA that's sort of a companion piece to Greed.
  27. Botchan. A comedy about a young Tokyo teacher who accepts an assignment in rural Shikoku, only to run afoul of his colleagues and his students.
  28. Ipponboucho Mantarou. A cooking seinen (shounen) show about a young man seeking to master his craft as he travels around Japan.
  29. Majo Demo Steady v3. An utterly goofy sci-fi fantasy, with the most dramatic Sudden Girlfriend Appearance ever. A new encode, with better video and actual stereo sound.
  30. Apfelland Monogatari. A counterfactual historical romance, in which a ragtag crew of children and adults save a small European country from invasion by its massive neighbor. 
  31. Amatsuki. A new version of the Bakumatsu-era historical fantasy that is one of my favorite series of all time.
  32. Yume kara Samenai. A problematic career choice gets in the way of burgeoning love between two high school students.
A big shout-out to Intrepid for his ongoing work in media acquisition, transcription, and encoding, and to Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions, for his continual help and support. I also want to thank the Arutha foundation, which has hosted all of Orphan's releases on IRC. On a more somber note, we haven't heard from Erik in several months. We all hope he's okay.

The Audio Side

Orphan released additional music this year. Unless otherwise indicated, the sources were CDs and were ripped by Orphan's Intrepid.
  1. Oruorane the Cat Player original soundtrack. Ripper unknown.
  2. Yamato 2520 music collection.
  3. Purple Eyes in the Dark image album.
  4. Purple Eyes in the Dark part 2 image album. Ripper unknown.
  5. Elf 17 image soundtrack. 
  6. Waza no Tabibito original soundtrack.
  7. Megami Paradise original soundtrack.
Work for Other Groups

Much the same.
  • Frozen-EviL. I continued to edit the Blu-Ray version of Yawara!
  • Saizen. I continued to edit and typeset Laughing Salesman. The team finished the main sequence, but a lot of specials remain. I also helped with Watt Poe.
  • Soldado. I finished my work on Ninku last year, but it still isn't quite released.
  • M74. I typeset a few shows.
  • FFF. I took the incomplete Petit Gargantia specials, did my best to typeset the last episode, and published the lot.
Laughing Salesman continues to be a useful diversion; I find its exceedingly dark humor appropriate for the times. Yawara! continues to be fun, and I'm getting to see all the episodes I missed by coming in at the middle of the story in the DVD project. And I'm really glad that M74 is back in action.

Favorites of 2020

I'm not an anime critic, so I no longer try to compile a "best of" list for the anime year. These days, I don't watch enough anime, outside of the genres I like (slice-of-life, comedy, sci-fi, seinen, josei, cats), to be knowledgeable enough to make a "Top 10" list. Further, shows with lots of violence never get on my watch list, so no Golden Kamuy, Shingeki no Kyojin, or Boku no Hero Academia. Instead, I'm listing my favorites of the year and why they kept me interested all the way through.

In alphabetical order:
  • Eizouken ni wa Te o Dasuna! I loved the visual energy and the interplay between the three principal characters as they attempted to establish an anime (drawing) club at their school.
  • Fugou Keiji - Balance:Unlimited. A detective show in which not a frame or a plot thread could be believed, but it was lots of fun.
  • GeGeGe no Kitarou (2018). After a wonderful two-year run, the GeGeGe gang went back into the vaults until the next incarnation. This show was my Sunday staple.
  • (The) Great Pretender. I admired this show more than I liked it. Excellent production values and very good plotting, but a cold heart.
  • Housekishou Richard-shi no Nazo Kantei. Nominally a detective show, but much more a character study.
  • Jiboku Shounen Hanako-kun. A quirky supernatural adventure that barely got started in its (hopefully) first cour.
  • Maou-jou de Oyasaumi. I really liked the deadpan humor of this show, as a captive princess ran over and through her erstwhile captors, all in the name of getting a good night's sleep.
  • Mairimashita! Iruma-kun. A fine comedy that improved throughout its run. Even the dreaded Serious Development at the end didn't impair my enjoyment.
  • Nami yo Kiitekuri. A rare bird, a josei, about an aimless young woman who became a late-night talk radio host. It featured a breakthrough performance by the lead seiyuu.
  • Tonikaku Kawaii. A wonderful romcom about a young married couple slowly puzzling out what married life means.
Short series favorites included Inu to Neko Docchimo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii (even though the cat is portrayed as a near demon) and, of course, Fireball Gebaude-Baude, the long overdue (for me) return of the Fireball franchise.
 
And my guilty pleasure of the year? Ishuzoku Reviewers, of course, easily the ecchiest, sketchiest anime series ever broadcast. It's no surprise that Funimation dropped it like a ticking bomb; the surprise is that they ever picked it up in the first place.

Looking Ahead

Almost half of Orphan's 2020 releases are resubs, either of our own shows or of other groups' work. Two factors account for this. First, Orphan is short of translators and, in particular, translation checkers. That hampers the team's ability to do original projects. Second, new, higher quality source material keeps appearing. That makes it tempting to revisit past projects that suffered from second- or third-rate video sources. I hope Orphan can do more original projects next year, but the availability of resources is the ultimate determiner.

Regardless, Orphan Fansubs will continue to work on The Shows That Time Forgot, with a focus on movies, OVAs, and short series. (I'm too old now to commit to a long series.) There's no shortage of good material, and interesting raws are more abundant than ever; but qualified staff is in short supply. If you're a translator, encoder, editor, typesetter, or QC with an interest in the back catalog, please get in touch on irc.rizon.net. We're a harmonious group of cats, if a bit old-fashioned; a team without Discord, so to speak.

Thanks, everyone - both team members and fans. Have a happy and safe 2021. Better times are coming.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Yume kara Samenai

And here's Orphan last release for 2020: Yume kara Samenai (Can't Stop Dreaming). An OVA from 1987, it practically screams "young adult title." It's aimed squarely at the teenage demographic, and its portrayal of first love in high school might appeal to boys or to girls; or it might appeal to neither. And it's very serious, not to say solemn, in its approach to Teenage Romance and Problems™.

Fujii Takaki is a typical high school boy (for this sort of story) - athletic, good-looking, and friendly. He ends up sitting next to a mysterious beauty, Kawahara Sunao, who helped him when his bicycle broke down. Takaki is more or less instantly smitten, but his best friend, Kawamura, warns him off. Sunao, it seems, has a bad reputation; supposedly, she appeared in an adult video. Takaki doesn't believe it, but his affections are scrambled by his childhood friend, Amasa Koyuki, who rather fancies Takaki for herself. Takaki's fumbling overtures eventually cause Sunao to challenge him: will he accept her as she is? To test him, she takes him to where she works:

 

Takaki must decide whether his love is stronger than societal prejudice. You can guess how it turns out.

It's hard to know what to make of this show. The plot is very thin. There are lots of meaningful closeups of the leads and slo-mo shots of the heroine tossing her hair. The running time is padded out with a music video montage of high school life. The "adult video" seems to consist of Sunao posing in a slip and pretending she's a cat. According to the promo at the end of OVA, the story is by Shirakura Yumi, a mangaka whose works include Aganai no Seija, Gretel no Kioku, and the Sailor Fuku series; none of them are available in English. The script is by Kawanishi Ran of "the new wave of young adult literature", who has no other anime credits. Equal prominence is given to the "ultimate uniform design" by the "school uniform critic" Mori Nuboyuki. Just what, exactly, is this show trying to sell?

Anyway, a couple of translation notes:

  • "She looks like Reiko from Shoujotai." Shoujotai was an idol group of the time.
  • "Meanwhile, I'm going on YuuNyan's Search for an Idol!" YuuNyan is short for Yuuyake Nyannyan, a variety program that ran on Fuji TV from 1985-87.
  • "Kawahara Sunao's rendition of The Mirror of Janus." The Mirror of Janus was a manga/drama series about a girl with an alternate personality.

The cast is small, just Takaki, Sunao, and Takaki's two friends:

  • Sasaki Nozomu (Takaki) played Tetsuo in Akira, Yuusuke in Yuu Yuu Hakusho, Shinohara in Be-Boy Kidnapping Idol, Chihaya in Earthian, Ebata in Genji Part 1, Ushio in the original Ushio to Tora, and Mello in Death Note. He played Ling Fei-long in Dragon Fist, Dekiru in Izumo, Taiga in Nagasarete Airantou, and Hal in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, all Orphan releases.
  • Sano Ryouko (Sunao) is primarily a singer. She starred in Like the Clouds, Like the Wind, in which she also sang the main theme song.
  • Ohashi Mayuki (Amase) starred as Youko in Scoopers, an Orphan release, but has few other credits.
  • Yamazaki Tetsuya (Kawamura) appeared in TO-Y, Night on the Galactic Railway, and Lunn Flies into the Wind, an Orphan release.

The director, Inoue Osamu, was primarily a storyboard artist and episode director. His other directing credits were Hidari no O'Clock!! and Sailor Senshi Venus Five (which is hentai).

Iri had wanted to do this show for quite a while. When a decent raw became available, he translated and did the initial timing. Yogicat fine-timed. I edited and typeset. The image is jittery, so almost every sign had to be motion-traced. Nemesis and Uchuu QCed. Intrepid encoded a DdD rip that was started by Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions but left incomplete. ("Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you...") The audio has the usual DdD problems with an analog track. If you don't like it, the audio track from Erik's non-DdD release, available on nyaa, syncs up more or less exactly.

So here is Yume kara Samenai. It doesn't resolve Takaki's and Sunao's story, and there's no way to know what happens next. So download this from the usual torrent site, or get it from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net, and make up your own continuation. Something happens next; you get to imagine what it is.


 


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Amatsuki Re-Revisited

You might wonder, with good reason, why Orphan is releasing a new version of Amatsuki, six years after our first release. That release is quite watchable. Why are we bothering? First, the previous release used another group's DVD encode; it was at the wrong frame rate (29.97 fps instead of 23.976 fps). Second, the previous release retained Ureshii's original styling: colored subtitles, fake italics. Third, the manga is now completely scanlated, so it's possible to understand how the TV series fits in the overall plot. Fourth, I love this show, and I was itching for an excuse to take another pass at it. So there: we have Reasons.

Amatsuki is set in a parallel Bakumatsu-era world where gods and spirits are real. The hero, Rikugou Tokidoki, stumbles into this world, called Amatsuki ("a rainy night's moon"), when he crosses a bridge inside a virtual reality historical exhibit. There he is attacked by a demon known as the Nue and saved by a fierce swordswoman named Kuchiha. He loses the sight in his left eye but gains the ability to see demons in return.

 

How Toki (and his high-school acquaintance, Kon) end up in another world is never explained; it's simply assumed. Toki starts out as a "get along, go along" type of anonymous teenager, but he slowly finds the skills not only to cope with his new environment but to influence events and indeed the fate of the parallel world. He is the Blank Page, the only creature in all of Amatsuki whose fate is not inscribed in heaven's net. He can alter the course of destiny.

Toki is surrounded by a cast of colorful characters. Some seek to help him, others to use him. Toki's rescuer Kuchiha is actually an inugami-tsukai, a person possessed by a dog spirit. He is also helped by Shamon, a hard-drinking monk who fights demons, and Heihachi, a local townsman with more curiosity than is good for him. The potential exploiters include Bonten, a tengu who is one of the high dieties of Amatsuki; Ginshu, an asexual priestess who leads the demon-fighters; and Sasaki Tadajirou, a sinister blind agent of the Shogunate, and his equally sinister subordinate, Kurotobi. And then there is Yakou, the enigmatic being (god? ayakashi?) whose needling questions and subtle mockery drive men and demons alike mad.

The TV series covers the first four volumes of the manga. There is no resolution to the plot, and no explanation for events. The manga does eventually come up with an explanation, but it's very convoluted and, like most explanations of magic, rather disappointing. [Spoilers ahead.] The Amatsuki world is a sinister VR experiment gone wrong, with real people being used as adjuncts to a massive supercomputer, a la The Matrix. Toki is special because he has a personal relationship with both Amatsuki's creator and its current overseer. Personally, I would have preferred it if the manga had adopted the same course as The Worm Ouroboros: the fantasy world is self-contained, and once events shift there, our dreary everyday world is forgotten.

Because this third revision required relatively little in the way of editing and typesetting, I've been able to take a more dispassionate look at Amatsuki and see more of its flaws. First, it relies too heavily on infodumps. Admittedly, the premise is complicated, and the series only had 13 episodes to work with. However, the long-winded explanations, sometimes with diagrams, frequently bring the show to a dead stop. The unraveling of the fox spirit's story in the penultimate episode is like a parody of a bad golden-age mystery, with multiple narrators retelling events. Second, the visuals are less than stellar. The show seems slightly out of focus throughout. This isn't a stylistic choice to convey the unreality of the Amatsuki world; even the"real world" looks blurry. And third, the climax is poorly weighted. The fox spirit's story is given four or five episodes and amounts to very little; one of the characters says, "The mountain labored and brought forth a fox." Ginshu's galvanic confrontation with the controlling god of Amatsuki is disposed of in seven minutes.

On the other hand, I now have a better appreciation of the backstory episode, "Silk Flower Sleeps." In my original blog post, I criticized the episode for diverting the plot for a precious episode. Now, though, I regard it as the philosophical linchpin of the story. Shamon's meeting with the child Kuchiha (and her ferocious inugami) alters his black-and-white view of humans and demons, and his new-found humility and humanity in turn influences others, including Toki when he arrives from the "other shore." I've come to like this episode more than the "action-packed" fox-spirit story that surrounds it.

Anyway, the voice cast is amazing:

  • Fukuyama Jun (Toki) needs no introduction. He has starred in numerous shows, playing Lelouch in the Code Geass franchise, Koro-sensei in the Assassination Classroom properties, Kimihiro in the the xxxHoLiC franchise, Keita in the Inukami series, Lawrence in the Spice and Wolf series, Tarou in MM!, Souta in the Working! franchise, Yuko in the Ao no Exorcist franchise, and Ichimatsu in the Osomatsu-san series. He also starred as Panda in Shirokuma Cafe and Ayase in Okane ga nai!, both Orphan releases.
  • Yusa Kouji (Kon) played Lau in Kuroshitsuji, Renzo in the Ao no Exorcist franchise, Vincent Law in Ergo Proxy, Sanosuke in the Hakuoki franchise, Hakutaku in Hoozuki no Reitetsu, Heki in Kingdom, Reiji in Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin, Kyousuke in Zettai Karen Children, Hyouga in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise, and Akira in Yowamushi Pedal.
  • Paku Romi (Kuchiha) starred as Nana the singer in Nana and Edward Elric in both versions of Fullmetal Alchemist. She played Reiji in Dragon Drive, Maki in Air Master, Katsushihiro in Samurai 7, Hitsugaya Toushirou in the Bleach franchise, Alita Fortland in Murder Princess, 044 in Ultraviolet: Code 44, Popo in Kaiba, Irabu in Kuuchuu Buranko,Taiga in the Major franchise, the title role in Higepiyo, Noboru in Rainbow, Omasa in Onihei, Zoe in Shingeki no Kyoujin, and Alma in Radiant.
  • Kitamuri Eri (Yakou) played Saya in Blood+, Alleyne in Queen's Blade, Hinata in Kanamemo, Rin in Kodomo no Jikan, Mahiro in Haiyoru! Nyaruani, Izumo in the Ao no Exorcist franchise, Megumi in High Score Girl, Mikagi in Arve Rezzle, Yachiyo in the Working! franchise, Araragi Karen in the *monogatari franchise, Okou in Hoozuki no Reitetsu, and Homura in Senran Kagura.
  • Suwabe Junichi (Bonten) played Jae-ha in Akatsuki no Yona, Fuuma in the later X properties, Archer in the Fate Stay/Night franchise, Ren in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise, the titles roles in Cuticle Detective Inaba and Space Dandy, Yaichirou in Uchouten Kazoku, Worick in Gangsta, and Hayama in the Shokugeki no Souma franchise
  • Nakata Jouji (Shamon) is best known as Alucard in Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate and as the Count of Monte Christo in Gankuutsuou. He also played Ashen Eye in The Ancient Magus Bride, Bandou in Elfen Lied, Hijikata in Golden Kamuy, Vladimir Putin (!) in Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku, Jin Kunugi in Rahxephon, Otou in Working!, and Diethard Ried in Code Geass. He played Nelson the Bomb, Hyatt's criminal bomber, in AWOL Compression Remix, an Orphan release.
  • Suzumura Kenichi (Ginshu) played Lavi in D.grayman, Kyouchi in Boys Be..., Kamui in the later X properties, Haru in Usagichan de Cue!, Nenji in Nanaka 6/17, Hideo in Hand Maid Mai OVA, Eiji in Gravion, Junpei in Ichigo 100%, Kazuto in UFO Princess Valkyrie, Toki in Code: Breaker, Hajime in Danna ga Nani..., Shingo in Prison School, Masato in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise, Iyami in the Osomatsu-san franchise, and Hinawa in Enen no Shoubitai.
  • Morikubo Shoutarou (Tsuyukusa, Bonten's human-looking sidekick) played the title role in Majutsushi Orphen, Ichiro in Nerima Daikon Brothers, Tajima in 11 Eyes, Kazama in Freedom, adult Goro in Major and Major 2nd, Shikamaru Nara in Naruto, Bartolomeo in One Piece, Yuusuke in Yowamushi Pedal, Souji in Hakuoki, and Reiji in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise.
  • Kosugi Juurouta (Utsubushi, Bonten's bird-like sidekick) played Touji in Ninku and de Morcerf in Gankuutsuou. He also played Eyesman in Bavi Stock, Oguma in Fire Emblem, Dr. Bayfarm in Joker: Marginal City, and Gisuke in Kage, all Orphan releases. 
  • Ookawa Tooru (Sasaki Tadajirou, the Shogunate's demon hunter) played Hoya Hyougo in Hidamari no Ki, an Orphan release, Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist, Saito in the GITS SAC franchise, Noda Tatsuo (Nodame's father) in Nodame Cantabile, Gedächtnis in the Fireball series, and Jason in Ai no Kusabi (2012).
  • Tanaka Atsuko (the dog-spirit inside Kuchiha) starred as Kusunagi Motoko in the Ghost in the Shell franchise. Her deep and instantly recognizable voice has been heard in numerous roles, including Konan in the Naruto franchise, Caster in the Fate/Stay franchise, and Jaguara in Wolf's Rain.
  • Kirii Daisuke (Kurotobi) has appeared in Utawarerumono, Ouran High School Host Club, Bakuman, and Giant Killing, among many other featured roles.

The only quibble I have about the voice cast is that Suwabi Junichi (Bonten), Ookawa Tooru (Tadajirou), and Kirii Daisuke (Kurotobi) are all tonally similar when they're trying to convey suave menace and thereby frighten Toki. That's quite effective separately, but the effect is odd when two of them appear in the same scene.

The director, Furuhashi Kazuhiro, has numerous series to his credit, including Rurouni Kenshin, the first Hunter x Hunter, Getbackers, Zipang, Le Chevalier d'Eon, RD Sennou Chousashitsu, and last year's wonderful Dororo. The music is by Fukuhari Mari; Amatsuki is her only anime credit.

For this version, I've excised most of Ureshii's on-screen notes. Although they are cleverly animated, they're distracting and, for the most part, unnecessary. For the curious, I'm including the notes here.

Episode 1.

  • (2:45) The Bakumatsu (1853-1867) refers to the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate, when Japan's 250 years of isolation ended.
  • (15:47) In this period, a Tokugawa ruled Japan as shogun, or military dictator. The Emperor was a religious figurehead.

Episode 2.

  • (9:27) An inugami-tsuki is a person possessed by a dog spirit.
  • (13:45) Japanese folklore interprets the markings on the moon as a rabbit making rice cakes. 
  • (15:08) A kemono-tsuki is a person possessed by a beast.

Episode 3. The first three notes are about Yakou's speech to Toki.

  • (5:37) In Buddhist legend, demons ride in a flaming chariot, looking for sinners.
  • (5:42) Momotarou is a legendary demon slayer.
  • (5:55) Shuten Douji is an ogre, 20 feet tall with flaming red hair. 
  • (8:42) Aizu is just north of Edo (Tokyo). 
  • (9:37) Sakamoto Ryouma was an anti-Shogunate nationalist and played an important role in modernizing Japan.

Episode 4.

  • (9:10) Tengu (天狗, "heavenly dogs") are spirits that have both human and avian characteristics. 
  • (20:03) The hakutaku (白澤 or 白沢) is a mythical, spiritual beast said to advise only virtuous rulers.

Episode 5.

  • (4:44) Onmyoudo is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology. 

Episode 6.

  • (6:59) Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a major philosopher and writer of the Enlightenment. The quote is from Emile
  • (7:54) Kuchiha is spelling Rousseau phonetically with the kanji 流僧, meaning flowing priest.

Episode 7.

  • (1:33) A song from "Ise Monogatari," a Japanese poetry anthology of the tenth century.

Episode 8.

  • (1:31) A song from Oita Prefecture, in Kyushu.
  • (5:49) Sannou is a god in the Chiyoda area of Tokyo, and the dog is his familiar.
  • (7:26) The opening lines of the Heart Sutra, a Buddhist scripture renowned for its brevity and depth.
  • (14:42) A metaphor for the ability to distinguish good and evil.

Episode 9.

  • (5:39) Dentsuin Temple in Koishikawa is the burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu's mother.
  • (5:56) Two officials in the Shogunate.
  • (6:03) Mito Tengu-ren was a nationalist group, Shieikan a famous dojo.
  • (9:22) In modern Japan, Suharaya is a bookstore chain, and Mitsui is a bank.

Episode 10.

  • (4:33) A pun on Toki's nickname, which means ibis in Japanese.

Episode 12.

  • (2:05) In Japanese flower language, the konotegashiwa (or arborvitae) symbolizes eternal friendship.

Episode 13.

  • (13:13) An inari is a small shrine for a good harvest, usually with a guardian fox. 
If you like them on-screen, our previous release has them all.

I've simplified the credits, removing the Ureshii contributors except for translation and translation checking: Lanithro and Phenie for the first half; laalg and Sylf for the second half. The Orphan credits include several contributors who are no longer with the team: archdeco, Saji, and of course, our departed friend CP. For this release, Nemesis and Iri filled in a few missing lines, ninjacloud redid the timing, I redid the editing and typesetting, and Topper3000 and Rezo QCed. The encode, from the R2J DVDs, is by guest encoder Iznjie Biznjie. He asked if he could make the encodes a little bigger, and when I agreed, he slipped in FLAC audio. So it goes.

So here's my third (after Ureshii and Ureshii-Orphan) and, I promise you, final take on Amatsuki. You can get it from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net. Unlike Orphan's usual practice, I'm not taking down the previous version. It's half the size, perfectly watchable, and features those moving on-screen notes. Ya pays your money (or not), and ya takes yer choice.

 


Friday, December 25, 2020

Apfelland Monogatari

For some time, BlueFixer has been looking for a better source to redo the 1992 movie Apfelland Monogatari (The Tale of Apfelland). When a used laserdisc turned up on a Japanese auction site, we bought it, and it now forms the basis of Orphan's release of the movie.

Apfelland (German for Apple Land) is counterfactual history. It's set in the early 20th century in a small, independent country nestled between the German, Austrian, and Russian empires, corresponding roughly to what is now the Czech Republic.It is a peaceful, agrarian country, but it becomes a center of intrigue following the discovery of "metallic radium" in an abandoned mine. Polish revolutionaries (from America)!, led by the beautiful Arianna Wyszynka and her ferocious black panther Attilla, and German militarists, abetted by the turncoat Minister of the Army, are both plotting to seize control of the radium in order to make a super-weapon.

Into this intrigue stumbles a street ruffian, Vergille Strauss, who picks the pocket of a one of the revolutionaries. This leads him to a young girl, Frieda Lenbach, who has been kidnapped because she is the heir to the abandoned mine. With the help of the sympathetic Inspector Fleischer, Vergille rescues Frieda and takes her to see the Queen of Apfelland. However, unbeknownst to all of them, the former Minister of the Army, Count Norbert, is plotting a coup to seize the mine and present its radium to the Germans. Unbeknownst to him, the Germans intend to use his coup as an excuse to invade and annex Apfelland. Vergille, Frieda, and their friends go through many thrilling adventures, helped by a "mad scientist," Professor Lenholm, to try and save Apfelland from its avaricious neighbor.

 

The voice cast includes many familiar names:

  • Mingaguchi Yuuko (Frieda Lenbach) starred as the lead in Yawara!, her breakout and defining role. She debuted as Kii in Greed and played Saki in Singles and Felicia in Oz, all Orphan releases. She played Roxanne in Alexander (Reign: The Conquerer) and appeared in numerous other shows, including Dragon Ball Z and GT, Sailor Moon, and One Piece.
  • Yamaguchi Kappei (Vergille Strauss) starred as the lead in the Detective Conan franchise, the Ranma 1/2 franchise, and the Inuyasha franchise. He played 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, Hayashi in Nagasaki 1945: Angelus no Kane, and Shibuya in Zetsuai 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai Since 1989, among many others. The last four are Orphan releases.
  • Ebara Masashi (Inspector Alfred Fleischer) played Might Guy in Naruto, Bolt Crank in Eat-Man, Alastor in Shakugan no Shana, Sebastian Viera in Nodame Cantabile, and Hamegg in Metropolis. He also played the referee in Blazing Transfer Student, Tanzou in Akai Hayate, Zengzi in Eiyuu Banka Koushi-den, and Ishizu in Mikeneko Holmes, all Orphan releases.
  • Katsuki Masako (Arianna Wyszynska) 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, Itchan's mother in Sensou Douwa: Tako ni Natta Okaasan, and Yamazaki's maintenance engineer Kiriko in Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call, all Orphan releases.
  • Saitou Shou (Queen Carolina) appeared as Noah's wife in Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament, an Orphan release, and Dora in Kiki's Delivery Service.
  • Katou Seizou (Count Norbert) appeared as Jeigan in Fire Emblem, Ii Naosuke in Hidamari no Ki, the Chief of Staff in AWOL Compression Remix, and Sushi Neko's mentor in Let's Nupu Nupu, all Orphan releases. He played Inspector Zenigata in Lupin III: The Fuuma Conspiracy, Aran in Freedom, and Kaa-san in Tokyo Godfathers, among many other roles in a career that spanned nearly 50 years.
  • Kitamura Kouichi (Professor Lenholm) played Coach Nakao in the Nine OVAs, Paolon, the intelligent spaceship, in Hi-Speed Jecy, Professor, the wise old cat in the Ultra Nyan OVAs, and appeared in Hidamari no Ki and Dokushin Apartment Dokudami-sou, all Orphan releases. 
  • Wakamoto Norio (York Denman, a sinister associate of Arianna Wyszynska) played the title role in The Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas, Vicious in Cowboy Bebop, Cell in the Dragonball franchise, Katakuriko in the Gintama franchise, Oda NObunaga in Sengoku Basara franchise, Sakakibara in Sanada 10, Guren in Ushio to Tora TV, Shining Saotome in the Uta no Prince-sama franchise, and Oskar von Reuenthal in Legend of the Galactic Heroes. He also appeared as Major Thrauza in Yamato 2520, Denon in Amon Saga, and the Narrator in Joker: Marginal City, all Orphan releases.
  • Miyata Hikaru (Colonel Zehlendorf) appeared in The Maiden Diaries, Detective Conan, Serial Experiments Lain, Noir, Monster, and Trinity Blood.

The director, Yuyama Kunihiko, directed the Magic Princess Minky Momo TV series and OVAs, The Three Musketeers TV series and movie, Plawres Sanshiro, the original Ushio to Tora OVAs, Wedding Peach, and of course, most of the Pokemon TV series, OVAs, and movies, up to and including the current one. He also directed Ear of the Golden Dragon, an Orphan release.

BlueFixer reviewed his original script and touched up a few lines for this release. M74 fine-timed the new raw. I edited and typeset (very few signs), and BeeBee, Nemesis, and Topper3000 QCed. Intrepid ripped the laserdisc on his Domesday Duplicator and then encoded. It looks pretty good.

Apfelland Monogatari is right in the sweet spot of the "historical romance" genre. The budding friendship between Vergille and Frieda is matched by the growing fascination Inspector Fleischer feels for Arianne Wyszynska. There are lots of exciting adventures, and all's well that ends well, mostly. 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

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Majo demo Steady... v3?

Ever since Orphan released Majo demo Steady (My Steady Is a Witch) two years ago, I've wanted to do a version with better video (the original raw isn't cropped properly) and audio (only one channel is actually present). The road to a new version has been paved with frustration. Orphan and its friends bought three copies of the laserdisc, and all were rotted. By the time a good copy surfaced in California, we'd lost our US-based Domesday Duplicator capability. However, thanks to outstanding work by Intrepid and Rezo, Orphan has now released a new version, with much improved video and actual stereo audio.

The key to the present release is a feature of ld-decode, the Domesday Duplicator software, called stacking. The software uses an odd number of releases to do dropout correction, based on majority vote. or median values, or something like that. This allowed Intrepid to get quite a good encode from the three rotted discs.

Unfortunately, stacking doesn't work for audio, and ld-decode's handling of CX-compressed analog audio is still pretty poor. There's no digital audio track on the discs; the digital tracks contain the original soundtrack. Rezo captured the analog audio from the best of the discs on a laserdic player and then filtered it to get rid of some of the artifacts. That track (in FLAC!) is used in the release.

Majo demo Steady is a 1986 ecchi sci-fi comedy. It begins with a classic anime plot hook: Hisashi Seki, ordinary working guy, wakes up one morning to find a naked, and very amorous, girl in his bed. (This is carrying the Sudden Girlfriend Appearance trope to a whole 'nother level.) Because he's a grownup, and not an anime harem lead, he's happy to take advantage of the situation, to their mutual satisfaction. However, the girl's appearance leads to all sorts of increasingly strange phenomenon. 



The cause lies, sort of, in Jungian psychology. The girl, whom he has named Asami, is from a parallel dimension where people's ideal partners - the anima to their animus, or vice versa - reside. Asami's longing has allowed her to cross dimensions to be with Seki, but her presence in his world upsets the natural order. She goes back, and Seki must venture to her world to save her. The lovers are reunited. However, matters don't turn out quite as they hoped.

I should mention a couple of points. First, there is a lot of nudity. (All those who object, please raise your hands. Yeah, I thought so.) Asami spends most of her time without clothes, and Seki joins her in that state whenever he can. Second, there is a lot of under-the-covers sex, never shown; this is ecchi, not hentai. And third, there's a subplot about Seki's boss, Sugiyama, who is gay and lusts after his subordinate. This part starts to look a lot like typical anime gay-bashing, but it takes an unexpected turn. Sugiyama too has an ideal partner in the parallel world, and he is allowed an unexpectedly upbeat ending to his quest for love.

The voice cast includes:
  • Mitsuya Yuji (Seki) played the leads in Yousei-Ou, Hi-Speed Jecy, and Hiatari Ryoukou, all Orphan releases, as well as Touch. He has  appeared in many other shows, including Oz, Ranma 1/2, and the Stitch! franchise.
  • Takahashi Miki (Asami) is best known as a singer (she sang all the songs in the show). She had featured roles in MAPS (1994) and Tenamonyo Voyagers. She appeared in Doukyuusei: Climax, an Orphan release.
  • Kokontei Shinsuke (Sugiyama) has only one other anime credit.
Kobayashi Osamu, the director, is not well known. There are a lot of songs in the show, all of them sung by Takahashi Miki. The OP, ED, and one of the insert songs appear on the image album. Most of the rest are on Takahashi Miki's album Dress Up. We've only subtitled the insert songs that are more or less complete.

Moho Kareshi translated, and laalg checked the dialog, added more signs, and translated the songs. ninjacloud timed the original and retimed this release. I edited and typeset. BeeBee and Nemesis QCed the original release, and Rezo did a release check on this one. Intrepid did the video encode, and Rezo created the audio track.

Majo demo Steady is not a world-shaker, but its heart is in the right place. If you'd like a light ecchi comedy with sci-fi overtones, it will do quite well. This release is a substantial improvement on the previous one. 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.