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.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 36

The Guy Who Lost His Planet!

The Cosmos took refuge from the magnetic storm on the planet Lambda, where it rescued a small spacecraft. Bellamis, who emerged from inside that spacecraft, challenged Kugo to a duel. With Bellamis’ feather-like grace and exquisite swordsmanship, they were both evenly matched. Meanwhile, Queen Lassetz sends an order to the Lambda base to capture Princess Aurora. Missiles hit them all. As Kugo escapes from the planet, he accidentally injures Bellamis’ pet, Mew.

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

Translation Thoughts

In this episode, Bellamis is introduced. Bellamis is a cyborg who was a very popular character of this show back in the 1970s when it was aired. Also, Bellamis is as strong as Kugo, and they would be evenly matched in a fight.

But Bellamis has a secret! Some of you might already know it or probably remember it from when you watched the show back then. It’ll be revealed in Episode 40.

I probably said this before, but I usually try to translate as literally as possible from Japanese, but in this episode I had to modify several lines so they could actually mean something in English. There are too many to write about them all here.

I’m going to show you one about the most basic Japanese there is. At 15:38, Bellamis says:

omae ga aite ka?
Are you available?

In this context, Bellamis is asking Kugo if he decided to be the opponent. But Bellamis uses お前 omae, which is very offensive between strangers. As I’m sure you know, お前 omae means “you”.

Kugo replies:

お前じゃないよ, ジャンクゴだ
omae ja nai yo, Jan Kugo da
It’s not “omae”, it’s Jan Kugo.

The direct translation would be it’s not “you”, it’s Jan Kugo, which obviously doesn’t work at all in English. What he’s trying to say is I’m not “omae”, I’m Jan Kugo, meaning Bellamis shouldn’t use お前 omae to address Kugo, since they are not friends.

If you watch the episode, you’ll see how I changed the whole interaction to an insult, since Bellamis is using お前 omae on purpose to offend Kugo.

At 23:09 Kugo says:

pinpin shiteta

Another onomatopoeia! Don’t you love these? ぴんぴん means “lively”, “energetic”, “vigorous”, things like that.

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 35

The Heart of a Ferocious Monster

King Gyuma plotted to use a matter transfer machine to get his hands on Princess Aurora. His subordinate, Captain Galia, sees the offensive power of the monster Prigmer and comes up with the idea of using her child as a hostage. Kugo and Hakka struggle against the powerful attacks of Prigmer, who cares for her kid. Upon learning of the situation, Princess Aurora goes to Galia as a decoy herself to save Prigmer’s child!

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

Translation Thoughts

The real name of the monster and the planet where it lives is ブリグマ BURIGUMA, and it should be translated as Brigmer. But since in Japanese the B sound is very similar to the P sound, I translated it as Prigmer because it sounds better in English, in my opinion. As you might have noticed throughout the series, I always try to give English names to the characters since they all have foreign names. There is not a single Japanese name in this show.

At 3:37, Jogo says an interesting phrase:

いや, 止まったんじゃない. 止めたんだ
iya, tomatta njanai. tometa nda

This is a great example of how rich Japanese can be sometimes. The verbs 止まるtomaru and 止める tomeru both mean “to stop”. But 止まるtomaru is an intransitive verb, while 止める tomeru is a transitive one. This means 止める tomeru needs a direct object, so you can assume that somebody or something is stopping an object. Jogo saying 止めたんだ tometanda implies that the Queen Cosmos didn’t stop by itself; their engines are still running, but the Queen Cosmos is not moving forward. A gravitational force is pulling the ship with the same force that the engine is trying to move it forward, so the Queen Cosmos seems “stopped”. The only way to go is toward Planet Prigmer, where that force that is pulling the Cosmos is coming from. That’s why they decided to go: it’s the only way the Cosmos would move. Does that make sense?

SF Saiyuki Starzinger – Episode 34

The Cursed Glass Planet

The Queen Lassetz army lures the Cosmos to the Glass Planet and sends impostors to both Princess Aurora and Kugo and the others to separate them. The Cosmos takes off and heads for the Great Planet, but Jogo is suspicious of Princess Aurora’s unusual attitude. Meanwhile, the real Princess is captured by the fake Kugo and his men, and is about to radiate Galaxy Energy. It was all part of a plan to revive a planet on the verge of extinction!

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

Translation Thoughts

There are some episodes from this show that I remember vividly watching when I was a kid, more than 40 years ago. This is one of them, and one of my favorite episodes. I think the fake Princess Aurora’s behavior was a shock for all of us at the time. I think that’s probably why I remember it so clearly after all this time.

The fake Princess Aurora and Hakka play a game of Rock – Paper – Scissors at 16:45 that I’m pretty sure is known worldwide and needs no further explanation on how it works. In Japanese, it’s called じゃんけんぽん jan ken pon which I think the literal translation would be “Stone Fist! Boom!”, since じゃんけん janken sounds like 石拳 shakken, stone fist, and you start the game making a fist, that represents a rock in the game, and shake it three times.

Now, as you might know, when both players draw the same hand shape, there’s a tie. In Japanese, when a tie happens, you say あいこでしょ aiko deshou? which means “it’s a tie, isn’t it?”. You can hear Princess Aurora and Hakka saying this at 16:47. There are a few variations, like あいこでほい aiko de hoi! which means “it’s a tie, hey!”.

After that, they play a popular extension of Rock – Paper – Scissor called あっち向いてホイ acchi muite hoi!. Immediately after playing Rock – Paper – Scissor, the winner (the attacker) can either say あっち向いてホイacchi muite hoi which means “turn the other way” or こっち向いてホイkocchi muite hoi which means “turn this way”, while pointing the finger to the way you want or don’t want the other player (the defender) to look. If the player did not follow the instructions correctly of the player pointing the finger, the person pointing the finger wins and scores a point. Otherwise if the player followed the instructions correctly, the game starts over from Rock – Paper – Scissors. The player who wins twice (two points) wins the overall game.

Here’s some Sumo rikishi playing the game on YouTube. It’s in Japanese, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. In this version, which is the most popular version of the game, the attacker can only say あっち向いてホイ acchi muite hoi! and the defender must always look a different way. The version Hakka and Princess play is harder since it has two different instructions instead of only one.

Hakka and Aurora add a とto at the end of each phrase. It’s like saying “there!”. Hakka would say あっち向いてホイと achi muite hoi to!, for example.

I’m speculating here a little bit, but I think the Princess is so good at the game that she’s giving a handicap to Hakka so he can attack three times instead of restarting the game immediately when she follows the instructions correctly. None of this is important to the story, obviously! But I still think it’s funny. This is a kids show, you know.

You have to admit that Kazuko Sugiyama, Princess Aurora’s seiyuu, did an excellent job as the fake Princess Aurora in this episode. Her acting was amazing! You might even think it was a different seiyuu, but it wasn’t. That’s her, confirmed.

Another example of Japanese love for onomatopoeias: At 18:22 Jogo says:

Guzuguzu shichairarenai zo
We can’t linger.

This onomatopoeia ぐずぐず guzuguzu means to linger, or be slow, procrastinating, things like that. Now, why is it an onomatopoeia, you ask? What’s the sound it represents? Well, not all Japanese onomatopoeias are “sound” words. Many of them describe feelings. But they’re still called onomatopoeias.