Thursday, February 28, 2019

Tsuki ga Noboru made ni v2 (Laserdisc)

It's been not quite two years since Orphan's initial release of the wonderful 1991 OVA, Tsuki ga Noboru made ni (By the Time the Moon Rises). That version used a VHS source. At the time, I wrote,  "If we manage to find [the laserdisc version], we'll release a v2 with a new encode." We did, and we are.

Tsuki ga Noboru made ni was and is one of the best OVAs Orphan has released - a deceptively simple and very moving story about the power of stories, compassion, and forgiveness in our lives. I won't repeat everything I wrote about the original release; see the original blog entry for more details about the show.

The visual differences between the original version (VHS) and this one (laserdisc) are fairly obvious: less blurring, more vivid colors. The audio differences are equally striking. The VHS rip is noticeably longer, and its audio is a bit deeper in tone than the laserdisc rip. We've verified that the LD player is correctly calibrated for speed, so it's likely that the VHS player was running slow, but you never know with analog sources.

The audio differences completely gummed up the automated retiming tool called sushi (the first time that's ever happened), so the show was retimed by hand. Yogicat did both the original timing and the revised timing. The more vibrant colors required me to redo the typesetting. BeeBee did a release check on the new version. Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions encoded from a laserdisc I bought off Ebay. Iri's original translation, my edit, and Calyrica's and Nemesis' QC are pretty much unchanged, except for a few added line breaks and a timing fix.

In the original release note, I neglected to discuss the voice cast, other than Takeda Tetsuya, who created the show and played the nameless old man who narrates the inner story.  Some of the other actors were:
  • Miyauchi Kouhei (grandfather in the inner story) usually played elderly men or authority figures. He appeared in many Orphan releases, including Condition Green, Grimm Douwa: Kin no Tori (King Kaiser), Nozomi Witches (Eddie), Sangokushi 2 (1986), Stop!! Hibari-kun, and Techno Police 21C (Brigadier Hamilton). He had a recurring role as Kame Sennin in the Dragon Ball franchise.
  • Suzuki Reiko (grandmother in the inner story) usually played elderly women. She appeared as Matsuda's mother in Yawara!, Megabaa in Dennou Coil, Jakotsu-baba in the 2007 version of GeGeGe no Kitarou, Kyousuke's grandmother in the Kimagure Orange Road franchise, and old lady Honke in My Neighbor Totoro. She also appeared in Eguchi Hisashi no Nantoko Narudesho!, an Orphan release.
  • Matsuoka Youko (boy in the inner story) played the title role in the 1990's incarnation of GeGeGe no Kitarou, among many other roles. She played Ralph in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, an Orphan release.
  • Michihiro Ikemizu (father in the framing story) had many featured roles, appearing in Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, Gunsmith Cats, Judo Sanka, Justy, and Urusei Yatsura.
Yamamoto Eiichi's direction continues to impress me with its simplicity and assuredness. The music, by Watanabe Toshiyuki, is unobtrusive and complements the show well. Watanable also wrote the scores for two other Orphan releases, Fukuyama Gekijou and The Girl from Phantasia

Some translation notes.
  • The sign over the mine is fokoku kyouhei (Enrich the state, strengthen the military). It was adopted as the state slogan in the Meiji era to replace sonnou joui (Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians). Both are yojijukugo: phrases or memes consisting of four kanji characters. In Meiji times, the slogan was a rallying cry for the new regime. In the OVA, it carries a more sinister connotation, like Arbeit Macht Frei over the gates of Nazi concentration camps.
  • The Emperor's surrender rescript, broadcast on August 15, is known as the Jewel Voice Recording, because the Emperor spoke in classical Japanese that few could understand. He never said explicitly than Japan was surrendering, and a radio announcer had to add a clarification to that effect.
If you've already watched Tsuki ga Noboru made ni, here's a chance to renew your acquaintance with this excellent show. If you haven't, you're in for a treat. You can get the OVA from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on


  1. Nice and heartful story.
    Though, one thing about these lines:
    - America dropped bombs...
    - Italy had already surrended.
    - Germany had also surrended.

    Does japanese language have past perfect tense? Or last 2 surreders are stated as the result of US bombing in the source japanese notes?

  2. Thanks! This was a really sweet story.

  3. OK, time to watch it again! Thank you!

  4. I just want to say thanks to the group for making these lesser-known titles available to a western audience. I really prefer older anime titles to many modern shows and you all never fail to introduce me to things that I otherwise would never know exist. You've made a middle-aged nerd very happy over the years.