SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 44

The Red Desert Oath

The Cosmos approaches the center of the Gilara star system. King Gyuma, impatient, gives strict orders to capture Princess Aurora and eliminate Kugo and his friends by any means necessary. Bellamis receives the order and leads both Gyuma Corps and Lassetz Corps in an all-out attack. Kugo and the cyborgs try to get the Princess to safety, and are lured into a red desert planet without knowing it’s a trap. Queen Lassetz has transformed countless desert plants into monsters and is ready to use plasma radiation to kill Kugo and the others!

You can download the torrent file from Anidex or Anirena, or get direct links from AnimeTosho.

Translation Thoughts

Manga artist Leiji Matsumoto passed away last week, on February 13th. He was 85 years old. Not only was he the creator of SF Saiyuki Starzinger, but he was also the author of several other important anime like Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, and its spin-offs Queen Emeraldas and Queen Millennia. Matsumoto collaborated as well on Space Battleship Yamato, which was a big hit and helped promote his career. He’s also famous for the creation of several Daft Punk videos. Rest in peace, Matsumoto-san, and thank you for everything! Thanks to Stratolily as well for letting us know.

Matsumoto-san, gomeifuku o oinorishimasu
Rest in peace, Matsumoto-san

Sometimes I like to point out what the lesson or message of an episode is. Since this is a children’s show, every episode usually tries to teach us something. In this episode, the cyborgs work together to overcome the obstacles, saying phrases like:

3-Jin chikara o awasereba donna kurushii koto datte norikireru yo
If the three of us work together, we can get through anything that comes our way!

Yuujou wa buki yori mo tsuyoshida yo
Friendship is stronger than weapons!

Let’s take a look at this line Kugo says at 7:42:

Omae no koto dakara itsumo no you ni motamota motamota shiteru to omotta ze
I thought you were struggling like you always do

The actual direct translation would be like “I thought you would be very slow as you always are” or something along those lines. The word もたもた motamota is another onomatopoeia that means being slow, inefficient, or behind schedule. I used “struggle” instead of “be very slow” because the actual onomatopoeia means something between slow and inefficient, and “struggle” works better, which might mean a little bit of both.

At 14:08 Hakka says:

Nani ga tada no tsubutsubu da yo
What’s with they were just ordinary particles?

The direct translation sounds horrible, so I changed it to “Are these just ordinary particles!?”. Another good line would’ve been “Weren’t these supposed to be ordinary particles!?”, but it was longer, and Hakka speaks fast, so there’s not much time for the viewer to read it. Sometimes you can’t use the best lines you come up with because there’s not enough time to read them!

You can see that Hakka uses the onomatopoeia つぶつぶ tsubutsubu instead of saying 粒子 ryuushi like Jogo said before when they first encounter the nebula. Both words can mean grains, particles, bumps, lumps, and things like that.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 43

Shoot the Princess with Love

The Cosmos caught a rescue signal and headed for the planet Zyclo, the source of the transmission. However, the people seeking help were nowhere to be found. In fact, this was Bellamis’ plan to use the Princess’s compassionate nature to draw her away from the cyborgs. While Kugo and the others are fighting the monster Dragonfly that has appeared, the Princess is captured and taken away. Will her precious Galaxy Energy be misused for the sake of the Planet Lassetz? An anguished Jogo points the muzzle of his gun at the capsule carrying the Princess!

You can download the torrent file from Anidex or Anirena, or get direct links from AnimeTosho.

Translation Thoughts

If I had no job or life at all, it would take me exactly two days of 8-hour work each to translate an episode. The first day would be the actual translation. That’s the “fun” day. The second day is the “annoying day”, which consists of grammar and spelling checking, rewatching the episode completely to see if the translation makes sense and to change little things to make the story clearer, writing the new entry on this blog, and finally uploading the episode to Anidex, Anirena, Tokyo Tokoshan and Anime Tosho. The guys at Nyaa never wanted to create an account for me, and that’s why I don’t upload my episodes there.

So here’s the process in detail:

It’s faster to transcribe the whole episode to Japanese and then translate it to English than to translate from Japanese to English line by line. This is especially important because of the context. If you do it line by line, you’ll lose some of that context and some of the lines won’t make sense to the story.

Since we are in the AI age, I use an OpenAI software called Whisper to transcribe and time an episode. Specifically, I use Whisper.cpp, since it is faster. This will create a Video Text Tracks (VTT) file with the timed transcription of the episode. Of course, there will be many incorrect lines, incomplete lines, or merged lines between two different characters that the software mistook for one character and one line. Whisper really saves me at least half the time I would take to transcribe the whole episode, because even though there are always a lot of wrong lines and wrong things like names of characters, monsters, places or attacks, it does a really good job. Since I’m using it, the whole process takes a lot less time.

Using the NJStar Japanese Word Processor, I correct all of Whisper’s errors and mistakes. I prefer that to installing a Japanese IDE on my OS, because, honestly, I don’t write in Japanese that much.

Whisper can also translate the lines, but I just use it to transcribe. I know some groups are translating episodes entirely using AI, like AT-X translated Isekai Ojisan and released how they did it. People hated that translation, though. But I think in a few years, AI will translate everything, and translators won’t be needed anymore. Who knows?

Now it’s time to translate. I load the VTT file into Subtitle Edit. With this software, I can translate line by line and fix the timings that Whisper generated. It’s very simple to use. There’s an online version too.

After everything is translated, I use QuillBot for grammar and spelling checks. Then I create the episode using MKVToolNix and watch it from my basement couch on my Google TV using Kodi.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 42

The Man Who Died in Black Glory

Kugo and his crew repeatedly use short-distance warp navigation to reach the Great Planet in order to evade the pursuit of King Gyuma’s forces. Bellamis makes a preemptive trip to the Gilara asteroid group, but is taken into custody by Captain Golios of Gyuma’s army and taken to King Gyuma. Golios brags that capturing the Princess will be “a piece of cake”. Bellamis demands that King Gyuma give her the position of chief captain of both the Gyuma Corps and Lassetz Corps if Golios fails!

You can download the torrent file from Anidex or Anirena, or get direct links from AnimeTosho.

Translation Thoughts

Golios is a misogynist and at first he thought Bellamis was a man. That’s why he says at 4:40:

Onna to omotte amaku mita no ga mazukatta
I thought you were a woman and I underestimated you.

At first Golios doesn’t realize that Bellamis is a woman and she gets really mad about it. Eventually he figures it out or somebody tells him, since later on at 19:48 he says:

Damare! onna no sashideguchi wa kikan
Shut up! I won’t listen to a woman has to say.

The lesson of this episode is that women can also be very strong. Remember, this is a show for kids.

At 17:28 Kugo says:

KARIKARI shinasan na
Don’t be grumpy

As you might have guessed, this is another onomatopoeia. Like I said many times before, the Japanese love them and use them very often. カリカリKARIKARI is used most of the time to describe food that is fried or crispy, since that’s the sound people make when they eat crispy food, like a potato chip or fried fish. But カリカリ KARIKARI can also mean when somebody is irritable or grumpy, but the pronunciation is slightly different. When it is about somebody who’s grumpy, the accent is in the カKA syllable, and when it’s about crispy food, the accent is in the リRI syllable. It’s so subtle that usually you get it from context. For the curious, here’s a video of a Japanese YouTuber explaining the difference.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 41

The Great Chase! Rescue the Princess

Desperately searching for the whereabouts of Princess Aurora, who has been kidnapped, Kugo and his friends discover the Princess’s necklace on the Planet Magma. Kugo retrieves the necklace, even though it is rigged with a bomb, and is convinced that the Princess is alive on this planet. Meanwhile, Bellamis launches the Cosmos in the midst of an explosion, and heads for the Delta Asteroid, out of the sight of the cyborgs. However, she is prevented from reaching the asteroid belt by the space monster Bracken, sent by King Gyuma, and finds herself in an absolutely mortal danger!

You can download the torrent file from Anidex or Anirena, or get direct links from AnimeTosho.

Translation Thoughts

This is the first time I’ve seen so far that the planet and the space monster that lives on it are not called the same. The planet where the space monster ブラッケン(BURAKKEN) Bracken lives is called ブラッカ (BURAKKA) Bracker.

In this episode, when the cyborgs are looking for the Princess, Hakka implies a couple of times that the Princess is already dead. I wonder if I did a good job translating the situation since Hakka never says the word “dead” explicitly. Let’s listen to what Hakka says at 2:17:

Hime wa mo dokka de saa
The Princess is already somewhere else

Here Hakka is saying that the Princess is already “somewhere else”, implying that she’s already dead. I think that line works just as it is (a direct translation).

Then a few minutes after that, he says at 4:41:

Sou iu koto ni naru ka na
I wonder if that’s what happened

Again in this context he’s wondering if the Princess is already dead. I added an ellipsis in the translation of that line for dramatic effect and to make it easier for the viewer to understand what Hakka is thinking.

Finally, Hakka believes the Princess must be alive at 4:58:

Sou ka, hime wa buji datta ka
So the Princess is safe.

He literally says “safe”, but I changed it a little bit so the whole dialogue makes more sense.