From our beloved readers…

posted in: 1 - Film and TV | 1

Let’s all help some readers ID some great old newspaper and magazine clippings:

Ryan Jones runs a great tumblr called Oldtype/Newtype — archiving old issues of Newtype magazine, and ran across this article from September of 1987. Neither of us being translators, it’s still pretty clear this is a late-in-the-craze survey of ninja movies from outside of Japan, which for the homegrown populace must have been quite the oddities.

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Spread #2 looks to be a survey of titles available on Japanese VHS, and most if not all would have been subtitled.

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Spread #3 is the delirious mystery here — we’ve got Jawas, Kamen Riders, Phantom Agents…

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Great stuff, love the ills! If any of you Japanese-reading folk out there care to shed some light on this awesomeness, I’ve enabled comments for this post below.   This article has now been translated over at Oldtype/Newtype!

Then there’s an Indonesian Sasuke sighting:

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Sanggar Cerita sent us this clipping — year and exact origin unknown — thinking the title was bogus to cash in on the local success of one of the animated iterations of Sasuke, but I’m thinking it a genuine title from one of the many live action adaptations.

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I’m writing this from the road, on vacation, with no notes or research at my disposal so if anyone can chime in, please do!

Thanks as always to our readers for sending these treasures in, we LOVE getting this kind of stuff!

 

 

An obscure old gem back in print!

posted in: 1 - Film and TV | 0

If you’re a dinosaur like me, then you still dig physical media and package art when it comes to your video library. To that end, I’m a regular customer of the Warner Archive DVD-On Demand service. Tons of great titles, especially if you’re into 60s and 70s made-for-TV sci-fi and horror fare. Not so much by way of martial arts films or classic Japanese cinemathough, save for this nugget which was just made available:

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The 1959 animated feature Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke was given an English treatment by MGM and released a year later as Magic Boy. There may have been some low-rent video tape releases of this, but I believe this is the first time a clean, crisp digitally mastered version has seen the light of day, and in its original 16×9 aspect ratio, too.

From the Warner press release:

MAGIC BOY (1960) Magically-gifted boy Sasuke lives in peace, deep in the forest with his animal pals and his elder sister, Oyu. After their forest sanctuary is violated by a demon witch who devours one of Sasuke’s animal companions, he vows vengeance. Leaving the forest, the boy sets out to master his magical gifts by making a pilgrimage to the home of the wizard, Hakuunsai. While Sasuke learns the ways of magic, Yakusha, the demon witch, terrorizes the countryside, and Sasuke works to complete his training in time. Magic Boy aka Shunen Sarutobi Sasuke is a classic piece of anime history — the first full-length animated feature produced in Japan to reach the shores of the United States. With much of the original storyline left untouched and centering on pop culture staple hero Sarutobi Sasuke (think Bomba the Jungle Boy crossed with a ninja), Magic Boy is an enchanting precursor to decades of imported Japanese ani-magic. 16×9 Widescreen 

I’m sold!

Order MAGIC BOY online here.

magicboy

Did you miss Sasuke Weekend?

posted in: 7 - Ninja Miscelany | 0

In a nice bit of coinkidink, this past weekend Roy Ware of the awesome Black Sun posted some great imagery of an entirely different Sasuke, an animated film known in English-speaking markets as “Magic Boy.”

Occurs to me, with a domestic release in 1961, this would be the first ninja movie ever seen in the United States, well before the dubbed Magic Serpent. I don’t recall ever seeing this Disney-esque epic on VHS during the craze, but it had to have come out somewhere. Unless by the 80’s distributors were too sensitive about kids throwing knives around…

Another neat fact, two different retro-media blogs ran features on incarnations of Sasuke without mentioning fucking Naruto. Ah shit, I just did.

Dammit.