Monday, May 20, 2019

Meisou-Ou Border v2

Orphan is releasing a second version of Meisou-Ou Border (Wandering Kings: Border, or something like that), with vastly improved video. This version is so different that I feel it should have an entirely new blog post, not just a rehash of the old one.

Meisou-Ou Border is based on a 14-volume seinen manga by Marley Carib and Tanaka Akio. Only the first three chapters are available in English. It tells the story of two drifters, Kubota and Hachitsuka, who return from the Middle East and choose to live on the margins of conventional society in Tokyo (the "border" of the title). The OVA, from Artland, relates the first four chapters of the manga. An unscrupulous documentary producer send his minion, Hosoki, to lure Kubota and Hachitsuka down to Osaka with the promise of high pay. There are other fringe benefits, such as room, board, and paid female companionhsip. The producer places the two men as "innocent bystanders" in the middle of a yakuza gang war. They manage to hold their own, much to the producer's dismay, and then they drift back to Tokyo. The episode closes with an unrelated encounter between Hachitsuka and his former mentor, Jinnou, now a homeless man down on his luck - a stark lesson in the difficulties of leading an unconventional life in 80s Japan. The tone of the show is mostly comedic, even during the yakuza fight, but the ending is sad and elegiac.


The voice cast includes:
  • Horiuchi Kenyuu (Kubota) has an extensive resume, including the title role in Guin Saga, as well as Jin Akira in Wolf Guy, Lid in Greed, Nest in Eien no Filena, and the refined son in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show; the last four are Orphan releases. He recently appeared in Sirius the Jaeger.
  • Yara Yuusaku (Hachitsuka) played the destroyer captain in Zipang. He had many featured roles, appearing in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, Eien no Filena, Hidamari no Ki, Nozomi Witches, both Sangokushi OVAs, Prime Rose, both What's Michael? OVAs, and Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.
  • Genda Tesshou (Narrator) played Colonel Muto in Joker Game, Moloch in Yondemasu Azazel-san, Rei in the Urusei Yatsura franchise, Moguro Fukuzou in New Laughing Salesman,  "Oyaji" in Mitsuboshi Colors, as well as Paul Rusch in Yume Kakeru Kougen, the loyal lieutenant Galbreath in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, the dragonman Baguda in Greed, the narrator in Akai Hayate, Dog McCoy in Dallos, Hebopi in Wild 7, rebel leader Oosukune in Izumo, and Rikiishi's trainer Kuroki and  Kirishima in Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show, all Orphan releases.
  • Yamamoto Keiko (Hachitsuka's squeeze "Baba") is an industry veteran. She played Choromatsu in the original Osomatsu-kun, Sand Witch in all iterations of GeGeGe no Kitarou through 2007, and the title role in the Bakabon TV series.
  • Masuoka Hiroshi (Hirokawa, the TV producer in Osaka) appeared several times in Tokimeki Tonight, an Orphan release. He is best known for Minami's father in the Touch franchise, Masuo in Sazae-san, Jam Ojisan in the Anpanman franchise, and Cyborg 005 in the early Cyborg 009 properties.
  • Yoshida Miho ("D-cup" Hiroko, one of the Osaka sex workers) debuted in Touch. Her best known role is Afura Mann in the El Hazard franchise.
  • Suzuka Chiho (Naomi, the other sex worker) debuted in Meisou-Ou Border. She had features roles in Lesson XX, Detective Conan, Cowboy Bebop, and Uchuu no Stellvia.
  • Kitigawa Takurou (Hosoki) had featured roles in Pollyana, the Tenchi Muyo OVAs, Gantz, Monkey Turn, and Another.
The director, Ishiguro Noboru, was an industry veteran who directed several episodes of Animated Classics of Japanese Literature; he also worked on Mushishi (another Artland property) before his death in 2012. The musical score is good, but I can't find out anything about the composer.

Our intrepid media guru ripped this version from a VHS tape using Orphan's "new" All-in-Wonder 7500 lossless capture setup. The idea for using this ancient technology (the driver runs on Windows XP!) came from Suzaku in Live-eviL, who used it for the Yawara! Atlanta Special laserdisc capture. Accordingly, it's only appropriate that Suzaku encoded this show. (We are very grateful.) The results are amazing: no interlacing artifacts and no blended frames - in fact, one of the very best VHS encodes I've ever seen. Iri translated the show. ninjacloud timed and then retimed for the new raw. I edited and typeset. While the editing changes from the original are minimal, there is extensive additional typesetting, thanks to the improved video. Calyrica and Nemesis QCed the original release; VigorousJammer did a quick release check.

Meisou-Ou Border tells an intriguing story and left me hungry for more. Unfortunately, this is all we'll ever see on anime, and the manga scanlations stopped two years ago. You can get the show from the usual torrent site or IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news on irc.rizon.net.

2 comments:

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  2. Hi there!
    Thanks for your amazing work.
    Since you've specialized in translating rare anime, I wonder if you are planning to subtitle the rare rip of Makoto-chan (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0204460/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_67) that surfaced not so long ago.
    Thanks so much for all your work!

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