Suzuki, VD and NHK

M Arnold ma_iku
Thu Apr 26 05:24:03 EDT 2001

Last weekend I made it to another Suzuki Seijun all-nighter at Teatoru 
Shinjuku, and to my disappointment the planned talk show with Shishido Jo 
was cancelled.  Even then, the theater was packed straight through until 
4:30 a.m. The movies were interesting as always and as far as I could see 
the projection was fine.  The only annoyances were the one or two folks who 
started snoring around 2 or 3 (and quickly stopped, thank goodness).

I spent a leisurely day on Sunday trying to recover from my lack of sleep 
and decided to go to see another film.  The price and location were right so 
I went out to see... go ahead and start laughing... the new Vampire Hunter D 
cartoon.  Frankly it is a bit below my usual standards; I was actually 
planning to see Crayon Shinchan instead but all showings on Sunday were sold 

The ticket was only 1000 yen as the movie is part of some special 
promotional series at Warner Mycal theaters.  The movie itself was 
unremarkable, especially after seeing Herzog's Nosferatu 2 nights before, 
but there was one point that interested me.  When I walked into the lobby 
there was a TV screen with an English-language, Japanese subtitled video of 
the film playing.  I thought they were only demo-ing an English version of 
the film to advertise the international release, but after I bought my 
ticket I realized that the original theatrical release *is* in English and 
subtitled in Japanese, made by a Japanese creative staff but with a bunch of 
Americans (?) listed as the voice actors and audio staff.  I know this isn't 
the first time a Japanese movie (or cartoon) has been made in a foreign 
language, but nonetheless I was a little surprised.  The credits and titles 
were all in English, there was even a still frame of the title in katakana 
with Eirin number and translator credit shown before the film began, as 
usually happens with foreign films and videos here.  The only admittedly 
"Japanese" element was the pop song in the ending credits.  Does the 
international distribution (which I think hasn't happened yet) explain all 
of this or is there another reason why this Japanese movie is dressed up as 
a "foreign" film here?  Any theories?  I suppose we could contrast this with 
Herzog's film, which was apparently *filmed* twice, once in English and once 
in German.  (The Japanese rental tape I found was the English-dialogue 

By the way, the picture and subtitles on Vampire Hunter were both a little 
out of focus the whole time.

Top Runner tonight is supposed to feature on Miike Takashi.  From 11pm (I 
think) on NHK.

Mike Arnold
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