SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 46

Sad Foreign Legion

Angered by Bellamis’ insubordination, Queen Lassetz orders Kilmes from her Special Forces team to cause magnetic turbulence by radiating an asteroid cluster with a magnetic beam. A base on the planet Adaba catches sight of the Cosmos, but it is suddenly attacked by Kilmes, who is supposed to be an ally, and is wiped out. Kugo and his team go to the rescue and find the corpse of Silus, a girl from the Foreign Legion, and he’s outraged at the cruelty of the attack. Bellamis, convinced by Queen Lassetz that it was Kugo who wiped out the entire base, challenges Kugo to a one-on-one duel!

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

Translation Thoughts

This episode is about xenophobia. The Foreign Legion is an army where all its soldiers are foreigners. That means they weren’t born on either planet Lassetz or Gyuma. Queen Lassetz, who is becoming darker every day, shows that she doesn’t care if she sacrifices foreigners in order to get what she wants. She tried it before in the previous episode on planet Lovely.

There is an interesting conversation between Queen Lassetz and King Gyuma, where Queen Lassetz is plotting to force a fight between Bellamis and Kugo. At 3:05, King Gyuma says:

Shikashi kattara masumasu tsukeagari maketara heishi-tachi no sen’i ga ushinawareru kiken ga aru zo
If she wins, she’ll gain more and more, if she loses, you risk losing the will of your soldiers

That’s the direct translation, mind you. But it’s clear what he means: If Bellamis defeats Kugo, she will definitely earn more power in the military, and if she loses, her soldiers will lose hope.

You can see the use of the onomatopoeia ますます masumasu, which means things are gradually changing. Depending on the direction of the change, it can mean either “more and more” or “less and less”.

Then, Queen Lassetz answers:

Kono shoubu wa aiuchi sasemasu
I’ll make it a tie

Now that’s one of the direct translations of that sentence. The noun 相打ちaiuchi means “draw”, “tie”, or, funnily enough, “simultaneous striking one another”. You can translate this in several ways, like “I’ll call this match”, “This match will go against each other”, etc. But Queen Lassetz’s idea is that they both lose, by killing them both while they fight. So that’s what I used in the episode.

It took me more time than I thought to translate the following line:

Zenpou ni chotto shita ENERUGII o motta gunseitai ga aru zo

The problem is ぐんせいたい gunseitai, which I deliberated wrote it in hiragana. Is it 軍整体 like an army? Or 軍生態 like some kind of biological weapon?

Eventually I realized Jugo meant to say 群星体 which means “clusters of planets”. Now, these are very small planets, so I used asteroids instead.

Since this is a children’s show and 群星体 gunseitai is a fairly complex word, they try to explain it to the viewers. That’s why Hakka immediately asks what it is. I like how Hakka pronounces the word very slowly, so the kids can catch it properly.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 45

A Lullaby Resonating on the Battlefield

Queen Lassetz learns that the Cosmos is approaching the planet Gamagin and orders it to attack using the monster Gamagin. Belamis objects that it will involve the nearby planet Lovely, but Lassetz dismisses it. Planet Lovely becomes a battlefield, and Princess Aurora rescues a boy there who has fallen ill. In order to save the boy, they must obtain a jewel on the planet Eisner. Kugo leaves Planet Lovely and rushes to Planet Eisner. Queen Lassetz learns of this and orders an all-out attack on Planet Lovely!

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

Translation Thoughts

The kid in this episode is actually named Cute. His real name is キュート KYUUTO which totally means Cute. I’m sorry, but even though I can imagine that’s a cool name for a Japanese kid, it’s a terrible English name. So I was between Keith and Kurt, but ultimately I decided to go with the latter. If you’re a purist, just keep in mind that the kid’s name is Cute.

I’ve got a funny story about why we need to change those Japanese names sometimes. There’s an SUV in Japan from Mitsubishi called パジェロ PAJERO. When they brought that SUV to North and South America, they had to change the name because “pajero” means “masturbator” in several Spanish-speaking countries. They chose several different ones, depending on the country. In my home country, it was called Montero, which means something like mountaineer, I don’t know.

Cute is not as bad as pajero, but it’s still bad, so I really had to change it.

The insert song of this episode is called 星の子守歌 Hoshi no komori-uta “Lullaby of the Stars”, and is performed by 増山江威子 Masuyama Eiko which is the seiyuu of Professor Kitty. I’m not a lyricist, so the translation doesn’t really sound like a song. I guess a professional translator would’ve written a song based on the Japanese lyrics. Also, there’re a lot of bangs and explosions during the song, so I’m not 100% sure of the lyrics, and I couldn’t find another version online I could listen to without the background noise. The lyrics don’t really add anything to the story anyway.

At 3:19 Queen Lassetz says:

You’re being repetitive!

Queen Lassetz here is tired of Bellamis insisting they should not fight near Planet Lovely because there are innocent people there working for them, producing the food they eat in the Gilara star system.

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.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 40

The Princess Disappears on the Magma Planet!

Angered by his repeated failures, King Gyuma sends a garrison to capture Princess Aurora. Kugo and his friends are met with Operation Spark, which tries to defeat the opponent at the cost of their own lives. Disguised as a meteorite, Bellamis hijacks the Cosmos, and attempts to take Princess Aurora to the planet Lassetz. However, the gravitational pull of a dying planet forces them to make an emergency landing, and both are knocked unconscious. Princess Aurora eventually regains consciousness, takes care of Bellamis, and learns the secret hidden in Bellamis’ body.

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

Translation Thoughts

Finally, the big reveal! The secret is out! Yes, I know everybody knew about it at this point.

The scene in which Bellamis meets Princess Aurora for the first time outside the Cosmos defies all physical laws. Not only can they walk and breathe in space normally, but they can talk to each other when sound doesn’t travel in space. And don’t get me started on the meteorite fire that had to be put out with an extinguisher. This is their worst space scene ever! In previous scenes, at least Aurora had some kind of oxygen helmet.

Bellamis refers to her spaceship as “Cosmo Machine” as you can hear at 13:34:

Mamonaku watashi no KOZUMO MASHIIN no oite aru chiten desu
I’ll soon get to the spot where my Cosmo Machine is located.

But it’s a horrible name for a spaceship. I know for the Japanese, “Cosmo Machine” sounds cool because it’s English and they love calling things in English, but I don’t think it really works, so I left it as “spaceship”.

The following is one of those lines that is a little hard to translate but works perfectly in Japanese because the verb is at the end. Bellamis say at 15:42:

せっかく手に入れたオーロラ姫 いやギャラクシーエネルギーを守らなければ
Sekkaku te ni ireta OURORA hime, iya, GYARAKUSHII ENERUGII wo mamoranakereba
If I don’t protect Princess Aurora, that was so hard to capture… No, if I don’t protect the Galaxy Energy…

Basically, Bellamis doesn’t really care about Princess Aurora, but about the Galaxy Energy she has instead. The pain here is that I had to repeat the verb “protect” twice in the sentence, and it’s only being said once. That’s less time for the viewer to read it.

What’s the difference between Galaxy Energy and galaxy’s energy?

That’s a good question nobody has asked, ever!

You must have noticed by now in the translations that sometimes “Galaxy Energy” is being said and other times it is “galaxy’s energy”.

The difference is that the Galaxy Energy is the fuel to top up the galaxy’s energy. It’s like the galaxy’s energy is your car, and the Galaxy Energy is gas.

Princess Aurora is a medium for creating Galaxy Energy. By using that headband she wears all the time, she can emit a Galaxy Energy beam to top up devices that use it. When she arrives at the Great Planet, she’s going to emit Galaxy Energy to restore the whole galaxy’s energy, and everything will go back to normal. By the way, she has to do this constantly, so she basically needs to move to the Great Planet and live forever there until the next princess arrives. The galaxy’s energy has been weakened because the current Queen has grown old, and she’s going to be replaced by Aurora, who will become Queen herself. This was actually explained in detail in the first episode of the show.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 39

Beautiful Eternal Snow

Bellamis, now Chief Captain, leads the Lassetz Corps battleship to attack the Cosmos. Kugo lures Bellamis out of the way, and the Cosmos uses the opportunity to escape to an ice planet. Fromeda, the queen of the ice planet, is a living copy of Jogo’s late sister. Jogo, who trusts her completely, summons the Cosmos at her recommendation. Fromeda, a snow spirit who wishes to become a human being, is determined to obtain the Galaxy Energy by any means necessary. Jogo learns of this and tries to persuade her to reconsider her decision.

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

Translation Thoughts

When Bellamis refers to the Princess Aurora, Bellamis always says お姫様 ohime-sama in a really sarcastic way. The expression お姫様 ohime-sama is extremely formal, like saying “Your Royal Highness”. Bellamis is just being sarcastic.

I think the translation works pretty well the first time Bellamis say it. At 5:58:

Dokomade amai ohime-sama da
How sweet a princess you are!

It’s obvious that for Bellamis, Aurora must be a spoiled little girl. Bellamis has never met her up to this point.

The sarcasm is probably lost in translation the second time:

Ikaga desu ka, ohime-sama?
How about that, princess?

I thought if I translated that to “How about that, your highness?” that would transmit to the viewer the sarcasm a little better, but then people would hear the word 姫 hime without reading the word “princess” anywhere in the subtitles and would write me that the line was a bad translation 😏.

Jogo says a common Japanese expression at 18:51 that I thought I explained before in Episode 18 (Kugo says it at 16:49 in Episode 18), but it seems I didn’t.

He says:

よし, 一か八かだ
Yoshi, ichikabachika da
Alright, one or eight

This expression 一か八か ichikabachika comes from gambling while playing a Japanese card game called かるた karuta which literally means “carta” in Portuguese (and in Spanish too!), or “card” in English. The expression means something like “do or die”, “sink or swim”, things like that. I typically translate it as “Here goes nothing” or “All or nothing”, depending on the context.

What’s funny for me personally about this expression is that around 20 years ago, a Japanese J-Pop band called Do as Infinity released an album named True Song, and one of the songs from the album is One or Eight. Just like that, in English. I guess these guys thought it would be cool to translate the title to English and probably thought it would mean the same. But “one or eight” in English doesn’t mean a thing!

Every time I hear this expression, I remember that Do as Infinity song and laugh a little bit.

Happy New Year!

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 38

Howl at the Stars Back Home!

In order to get revenge on Kugo and his crew, Captain Galia lures the Cosmos into a group of meteorites planted with explosives. Kugo and his crew escape through a small opening, but they are forced to crash-land on an unknown planet by a strong magnetic force. Since the Cosmos cannot launch due to the magnetic force, Kugo and his crew split up to destroy the meteorites. Galia, who was waiting for the Princess to be alone, sends the Hell Dobers and kidnaps Princess Aurora. Hakka rushes after her, but he is caught in the middle of Hell Dobers’ fire!

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

Translation Thoughts

I really struggled to translate this one line in just a few words so you could read it in 6 seconds. It’s uttered by Galia at 16:08:

Ano MASHIN ga kowasarete wa kono hoshi no jiryoku-ka ga mitarete taihen na koto ni natte shimauto
If that machine is destroyed, the magnetic force of this planet will be seen, and we’ll be in trouble.

That’s what it literally says. And I think you agree that translation doesn’t really work.

What Galia is trying to say is that both halves of the planet have these powerful machines sending magnetic waves to each other and the balance of both magnetic forces is what keeps both halves stable and in harmony. If one of the machines get destroyed, the magnetic force of the other one will be “out there” without any opposing force to control it. That’s what he means with この星の磁力化が見たれて kono hoshi no jiryuoku-ka ga mitarete (the magnetic force of this planet will be seen; 見たれて is in the potential past progressive form here because of, well, grammar).

Obviously, I can’t put that entire explanation there for you to read in 6 seconds, but I did my best. Anyway, Jogo helped me out a minute later in the episode with his own explanation of the event. Or at least I hope so!

Princess Aurora says a wonderful and inspirational line in this episode at 19:34:

Hitotsu no hoshi o sukuu koto no dekinai mono ga doushite ooku no hoshi o sukuu koto ga dekimashou
How can someone save many planets if that someone cannot save one planet?

With no context, the direct translation would use “someone” as the subject of the sentence. But in this case, Princess Aurora is talking about herself. Her point is, how can she pretend to go to the Great Planet and save many planets at once if she can’t even save one? She has a good point.

Anyway, it’s not like she did a lot to save this planet; she just decided to stay there and not in the Queen Cosmos while the cyborgs were saving the day.

Another interesting line is what Kugo says at 21:30:

Inu datte inochi o kakete, jibun no hoshi o mamorou to shiterunda
Even dogs risk their lives to protect their planet.

I guess he’s referring to Galia, who was born and raised on that planet, and he just bailed when things went south.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 37

The Beautiful Wolf of the Universe

As Kugo and his team hurried to the Great Planet, the Lassetz Corps appeared again. Bellamis is also a member of the Lassetz Corps now. He volunteered to become a cyborg to protect his home planet of Garius, but his mother was killed by a monster and his home planet was destroyed in the struggle. Now Bellamis is all alone, having lost even his only friend, Mew. When Bellamis hears about the Galaxy Energy from Lassetz, he vows to use the energy to create an ideal world for those who have lost their home planet!

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

Translation Thoughts

I feel like every time Lassetz has a call with King Gyuma, she breaks a crystal ball in anger. She probably doesn’t care; she’s the Queen of Planet Lassetz, so she must have a lot of money to buy all those crystal balls.

At 19:43 Kugo says:

なるほど… 一人ずつ勝負しろってわけか?
naruhodo… hitori zutsu shoubu shiro tte wake ka?
I see… so do we have to fight them one by one?

I’m not sure if I’m translating the idea properly. What Kugo means is that each one of the cyborgs should fight one of the Hellbirds, making it a fair three vs. three fight. So I used “one on one”, because the literal translation of 一人ずつ hitori zutsu “one by one” might mean something totally different: concentrate on one Hellbird first.