With the release of the 23rd and last Laughing Salesman special, Evil-Saizen has completed its work on the series: 103 TV episodes, the pilot, and 23 specials. The project started near the end of 2013 and finished up more than a decade later. Now it's time to say goodbye to Moguro Fukuzo.
The specials have a strange broadcast history and, based on complaints I've received, a non-obvious numbering. Fortunately, a Wikipedia article on the show clarifies how the numbering came about:
- The pilot episode was broadcast the week before the main series started. It is numbered as episode 0.
- Special 1 (Pitfalls of Blackmail) was broadcast between episodes 12 and 13.
- Special 2 (Out of Bounds Spouses) consisted of two parts, 2a and 2b. It was broadcast between episodes 20 and 21.
- Special 3 (Laughing Salesman Encyclopedia) was broadcast between episodes 35 and 36. It was not included in the HD webcasts and has not been translated.
- Special 4 does not exist.
Starting with Special 5, the numbering agrees with other published sources. The last 14 specials (specials 10 to 23) were broadcast as two-hour anthologies on three separate days.
Of course, it could be argued that specials 2a and 2b should be specials 2 and 3, and that special 3 should be special 4. The team followed Wikipedia. Special 3 doesn't have an HD source, and special 4 doesn't exist. So there.
I've already written about Laughing Salesman, so I don't see any reason to repeat my previous analyses. The specials are simply more of the same. Some are longer than TV episodes, some are the standard ten minutes. In all of them, Moguro Fukuzo offers his enticingly free services to unhappy salarymen, unmarried women, and even morose teenagers. They all accept, with usuallyl disastrous consequences. By the end, the writers seem to have exhausted their ideas for stories. Several of the last episodes seem like reprises of earlier shows; for example, Special 23 (Invitation to the Opposite Train) is very similar to episode 91 (Night Train). Still, it's not the details of the plots that matter, but how the customers will bring themselves to catastrophe, and what the Moguro will do to them.
There are actually a few bits of Laughing Salesman material left. When specials 10 to 23 were broadcast on TV, each episode was prefaced by a short animated introduction; two had epilogues. The TV episodes had OPs and EDs, which were left out of the high-definition webcasts. This additional material was included in the DVD box set. (I don't know if Laughing Salesman Encyclopedia, a recap episode, was included.) If someone wanted to encode those extras, perhaps they could be translated and presented in SD. However, don't bet on it. A decade with this show is enough.
The team for the specials was:
- Translation - kokujin-kun, valerio
- Timing - ninjacloud, sangofe
- Editing and Typesetting - Collectr
- QC - Nemesis, Uchuu
- RC - Ayanami-
- Encoding - BakaProxy
- Muxing - Mamo-chan
A good crew to work with. However, we're all glad to see the back of Moguro Fukuzo.
You can get the batch for the specials (and the TV site) from the usual torrent site or from the Live-EviL and Saizen IRC bots on irc.rizon.net. Thanks for watching.