Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament, Ep 4-6

Here are the next three episodes from Tezuka Osamu no Kyuuyaku Seisho Monogatari: In the Beginning (Tezuka Osamu's Tales from the Old Testament: In the Beginning). For general background on the series, see the blog post for the first three episodes.

The second DVD includes the last of the mythical stories from Genesis - the Tower of Babel - and the beginning of the history of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob).
  1. The Tower of Babel. The Genesis portion is very short, basically the verses where God "confuses" the tongues of men as punishment for their hubris in trying to build a tower to heaven. The episode is told from the perspective of a non-Biblical character, a boy named Asaph, who runs away from his desert home to see the wonders of the "town of stone" and is nearly killed in the destruction of the tower. Rocco the fox plays the role of Asaph's dog.
  2. Father Abraham. This episodes tells the story of Abraham's summons from God, his departure from his homeland with his family for parts unknown, and the miracle of the birth of his son Isaac despite his wife Sarah's advanced years. Rocco functions as Sarah's pet and comfort for her barrenness.
  3. Sodom and Gomorrah. This episode relates the story of the decadent towns of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Abraham's nephew Lot and his family have settled. God is determined to destroy the towns for their wickedness, but in a remarkable sequence, Abraham argues with God not to destroy the righteous with the wicked. Rocco provides comic relief.
The story of the Patriarchs begins in Genesis 12, with God's command to Abram, as he was originally known, "Go forth..." (In Hebrew, "Lech lekha...") This passage is a turning point in the tone of the text, from mythical to historical, and is a watershed moment in the Old Testament. (It has been commemorated in a beautiful children's song by the late Debbie Friedman, Lechi Lach.) But the story of Abraham and Sarah is not without its controversies; for example, Sarah's laugh. When God informs Abraham that he and Sarah will have a son, he laughs. When the heavenly messengers repeat the same thing in Sarah's hearing, she too laughs. Centuries of censorious (male) commentary interpreted Abram's laughter as joy and Sarah's as disrespect, even though the Hebrew word used in both places is the same. Yet the messengers seem unperturbed by Sarah's laughter, even after she denies it, and tell the couple that their son will be named Yitzhak (Isaac), "the laughing one."

The episode order is a bit strange. Episode 6 really occurs in the middle of episode 5, when Abraham leaves the land of Haran and Isaac has not yet been born. It also omits the many seamy details included in the original text:
  • When Abraham and Sarah are in Egypt, he passes her off as his sister, and she ends up in Pharoah's harem for a while.
  • When the angels come to Lot to announce the imminent destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the townspeople demand that he bring them out. Instead, he offers them his virgin daughters to do with "as they like."
  • When Lot and his daughters are living in a cave after the destruction, the daughters get their father drunk and sleep with him, to guarantee the continuation of his line.
In the anime, the principal "sin" of Sodom and Gomorrah seems to be that the women wear fox furs.  Well, the series was intended for all ages.

The new additions to the voice cast were veteran seiyuu.
  • Sakaguchi Daisuke (Asaph, episode 4) starred as Shimura in the Ginpachi franchise, Kousuke in Kamen no Maid Guy, Tadayashu in Moyashimon, Manabu in Tokimeki Memorial 4, Kaoru in Welcome to the NHK, Kenji in Yoiko, Shikimori in Maburaho, and Jin in Aoyama-kun.
  • Hirao Jin (leader, episode 4) had featured roles in many shows.
  • Katou Seizou (Abraham) played Putyatin in Bakumatsu no Spasibo, Oz in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz TV series, Okaa-san in Tokyo Godfathers, and Aran in Freedom. He appeared in Kage and Perrine Monogatari, both Orphan releases.
  • Midori Junko (Sarah) had featured roles, mostly as aged women.
  • Hayami Shou (Angel) starred as Nanjou in Zetsuai: 1989 and Bronze: Zetsuai since 1989, and Kushinige Hodaka in Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru, all Orphan releases. He has had many featured roles, including Iason's friend Raoul in Ai no Kusabi, Hojo in Sanctuary, Pat Leivy in Starship Troopers, and Junoichi in Blazing Transfer Student, also all Orphan releases.
  • Nakagi Ryuji (Lot) appeared as Coach Yuutenji in Yawara! and in other featured roles. 
The Orphan staff credits are the same. Skr did the heavy lifting: translation, timing, typesetting, and encoding. I edited. Nemesis and Topper3000 QCed.

You can get this batch of episodes from the usual torrent site or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on

1 comment: