Sunday, March 17, 2019

Al Caral no Isan v2

Al Caral no Isan (The Legacy of Al Caral) is a 1992 science-fiction OVA. It is based on a one-volume manga by Michihara Katsumi, who also wrote Joker: Marginal City. Orphan released the first English version of the OVA in 2017. At that time, I wrote "The raw is from the Internet and could be better. If anyone has an original Japanese laserdisc (Al Caral was never released on DVD), please let us know." Eventually, the laserdisc turned up on the second-hand market in Japan. I bought it, and after a series of lengthy delays, it reached Erik of Piyo Piyo Productions. He made a new encode, and Orphan is now releasing an updated version based on his encode.


As usual, I won't rehash my comments from the original blog post. Back then, I thought Al Caral no Isan was an interesting take on the First Contact theme. Watching it again, I enjoyed it even more. I particularly like the way it steers clear of both the alien superiority and the human triumphalism tropes. Instead, it shows how arrogance, misunderstandings, and lack of empathy can come fatally close to undermining the best of intentions.

As I said in the original post, the voice cast is stellar.
  • Hisakawa Aya (Shana) has had a prolific career. She played the title roles in Mamono Hunter Youko, Voogie's Angel, and Iria: Zeiram, Skuld in the Ah! My Goddess franchise, Cerberus in Card Captor Sakura, Sailor Mercury in the Sailor Moon franchise, Yuki in Fruits Basket, Haruka in RahXephon, Youko in The Twelve Kingdoms,and Storm in X-Men. She starred as Mishima Misako in Yume Tsukai and Koneko in Ear of the Golden Dragon, both Orphan projects.
  • Tanaka Hideyuki (Harmer) has also had a long career, including featured roles as Jarvis in Daddy Long Legs, Terryman in the Kinnikuman franchise, and Rayearth in Magic Knight Rayearth. He also played Sammy in Bavi Stock, Katze in Ai no Kusabi, and Sawamura in Nozomi Witches, all Orphan projects. He will be appearing in the forthcoming Ultraman series.
  • Orikasa Ai (Toryune) made her debut in Shoukoushi Cedie. She played the title role in Romeo no Aoi Sora, Sara in Eien no Filena (an Orphan project), Fee in Planetes, Seguchi Touma (the record company president) in Gravitation, Quatre in Gundam Wing, and Ryouko in the Tenchi Muyo franchise.
  • Hori Hideyuki (Zach Isedo) played Sid in Ai no Kusabi, Falk Green in Hi-Speed Jecy, 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.
  • Satou Masaharu (the villainous Prof Jason) played numerous featured roles in the Dragonball, Dr. Slump, and Transformers franchises. He recently appeared in the current version of GeGeGe no Kitarou.
  • Fujimoto Yuzuru (the sympathetic Prof Hanagi) played numerous featured roles over a career that spanned 50 years.
  • Yamada Eiko (Vee) played Tarou in the Captain Tsubasa franchise as well as numerous other featured roles.
The music, by synthesizer player Kotaki Mitsuru, is repetitive and hypnotic.

Sunachan, the original translator, used this opportunity to punch up a few lines, and I fixed a few errors. Yogicat tweaked the timing for the new raw. I reset the signs and avoided editor's remorse as much as I could. BeeBee did QC for this version. The raw, encoded by Erik of Piyo Piyo productions from a Japanese laserdisc, is a significant improvement over the original, which had been given too much gamma correction and was washed out in bright scenes.

If you've already downloaded and watched Al Caral no Isan, this version is the one to archive. If not, I urge you to get to get it and immerse yourself in the story of the fateful first encounter between humankind and the Saanan. You can get Al Caral no Isan v2 from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #new on irc.rizon.net.

1 comment:

  1. Tanaka Hideyuki also voiced Amon Goeth in the Japanese dub of the Schindler's List movie.

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