Japanese Pilot

Chat about the characters, plot, music, special effects...
felice
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby felice » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:09 am

The English dub (and whole audio track actually) is far superior IMO.
What about the script, though? Does the Japanese original have better-written dialogue? I assume only someone really fluent in both languages could properly judge that.

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Vanessa
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Vanessa » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:06 am

Yes, this is exactly the point I was trying to make.
Was the translation like-for-like? Maybe the English version is better, more expressive and engaging, or maybe it's instead lost something of the original Japanese version's meanings and nuances. Alas I cannot tell.
Hence I find I can enjoy both versions for different reasons.
Evasive Manoeuvres!

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Serenity
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Serenity » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:11 pm

Ah, I see what you're getting at now.

It was Michael Sloan that adapted the script primarily but I'd imagine that Louis Elman would probably know how they went about it. I don't know how open he is to questions but he's active on his Facebook page if you're feeling brave :D

I suspect, that the adaptation wouldn't be massively different to the original but you're right, without being fluent in Japanese it's hard to say just how different the two versions are.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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Crash
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Crash » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:49 pm

The interview on the UK DVDs goes into this topic a little bit - about how they developed the script.
I think they received a draft script from Japan, translated into English, which was either badly translated or very un-engaging and they basically tore it up and wrote their own that was based on the original but introduced a lot originality about the sci-fi terminology and the character personalities and dialogue.

I remember it mentioning that they had written their own scripts for a sequel to Star Fleet. Since it had taken off big in the UK and bombed to an equal extent in Japan, they figured that the Japanese wouldn't initiate a second season unless they wrote it for them. Then, they learned that everything about the show had been destroyed by a fire in the studio.

So the world of Star Fleet is a completely closed set. You couldn't take another picture of the giant X-Bomber model - it doesn't exist.
Whereas, Straker's car from UFO has been recently restored. One of the Enterprise models was sold at auction not so long ago.
Continuing Star Fleet in that way just isn't on the menu.
Dream big and bold and daring.

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Serenity
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Serenity » Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:56 pm

That was the saddest part of the DVDs for me. Learning that a second series might have been but for some incredible ill fortune. :cry:
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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Vanessa
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Vanessa » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:21 pm

The interview on the UK DVDs goes into this topic a little bit - about how they developed the script.
I think they received a draft script from Japan, translated into English, which was either badly translated or very un-engaging and they basically tore it up and wrote their own that was based on the original but introduced a lot originality about the sci-fi terminology and the character personalities and dialogue.

I remember it mentioning that they had written their own scripts for a sequel to Star Fleet. Since it had taken off big in the UK and bombed to an equal extent in Japan, they figured that the Japanese wouldn't initiate a second season unless they wrote it for them. Then, they learned that everything about the show had been destroyed by a fire in the studio.

So the world of Star Fleet is a completely closed set. You couldn't take another picture of the giant X-Bomber model - it doesn't exist.
Whereas, Straker's car from UFO has been recently restored. One of the Enterprise models was sold at auction not so long ago.
Continuing Star Fleet in that way just isn't on the menu.
There's the thing, was the originally translated script unengaging because the actual Japanese show was the same (hence it not being successful) or was the original translation just done badly? I really like how the English script works so well, but a part of me does wonder if the actual Japanese script was really bad, or just unpopular for other reason(s)? I guess we'll never know.
I do like how the English script writers developed the characters into those we all know and love.

I'd really like to read whatever was written or devised for the never-made sequel, I wonder what happened to that?
It's such a shame that none of the original sets, ships or puppets exist. I wonder if Go Nagai has any small piece as a memento?
At least we have what was filmed, together with some rare photos that I think Shane has (still?) on his website?
Plus all the photos and info contained in the encyclopedia.
Evasive Manoeuvres!

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Crash
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Crash » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:19 pm

As I took it, the problem with the script was half-and-half: The Japanese show doesn't seem to have been quite as characterful as the UK version. Even the soundtrack is bland. I think it was quite stodgily translated as well, though.

But the main reason that the show failed to get traction in Japan was that it'd all been done before with giant robots and it'd been done better in live action. For example, X-Bomber ripped off quite a bit from San-Ku-Kai. That was something that a western audience couldn't really perceive.

I've also heard people say that the Japanese don't have as much of a natural affinity as we might towards Supermarionation, given that many of us grew up hooked to Thunderbirds.
I don't happen to think that's true, mind you. The Japanese produce vast quantities of models and all sorts of things related to Thunderbirds that are only intended to be sold in Japan. Just check out Hobbylink Japan's website. They also funded one of Gerry Anderson's later shows; Firestorm and produced Thunderbirds 2086 as well as their own comic-based sequel to UFO. So that idea doesn't quite sound right to me.

The reason Thunderbirds 'owns all' is that there is no similar show made in live action and no Supermarionation has ever been better-made.
To a western audience, Star Fleet is unique as well. So, both Thunderbirds and Star Fleet both hold up well at our end in that sense.
Whereas, the Japanese had lots of shows along the same lines, only those were better because they were live action.

The other point is that Star Fleet lifted a lot from Star Wars, which I think we see as something cute and familiar.
I don't think the Japanese reacted the same way. I think they saw that combined with the above as too much plagiarism.

I rescued a really good article that Shane wrote on bigdaix.co.uk and added it to my site's database.
It says the same thing, pretty much only better: http://www.xbomber.co.uk/?page=news&id=116

Shane's site was offlined about a year ago so I merged everything on there into this site. I was actually hosting it. There was nothing wrong there but his domain name, pointing to the hosting server expired and I wasn't about to renew it when I can host everything under my domain.

I seem to remember hearing that Go Nagai never actually visited the studio or had very little involvement in the production. He just designed everything. I don't know about the latter part but the former can't be true since he appeared in the Star Fleet Command set being interviewed in the Preview Show.
But I suspect from that, that he may not have any original artefact from the show to call his own.

I would love to know what Louis Elman had planned for his Star Fleet sequel. It may even be possible to obtain a draft of it or something but I'm a bit shy about contacting anyone having anything to do with the making of Star Fleet / X-Bomber.
Dream big and bold and daring.

FZeroOne
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby FZeroOne » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:27 pm

Its also worth bearing in mind that at the time "X-Bomber" was being broadcast in Japan, "Mobile SUIT GUNDAM" had quietly torn up the rulebook on giant robot shows. The "Super Robot" (e.g. Mazinger Z) style of mecha show persisted for a while yet, and if you look at similar works from the time (such as the much overlooked series in the "Time Bokan" sequence) you can see designs similar to the Big Dai-X that try to accommodate both the "Super Robot" style of design and the new, more realistic "real military" style at the same time. The fantastic run of 80s mecha shows like "VOTOMs", "Macross" and "Dragonar" virtually killed the "Super Robot" style until enough time passed for them to become retro-cool and the new generation of mecha show producers that grew up watching them staged a comeback - "Evangelion" for example is, to quite an amazing degree, heavily inspired by many of those "Super Robot" shows.
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

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Crash
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby Crash » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:44 pm

I always liked how real-robot the Dai-X was. It always looked grubby and realistic and covered in realistic-looking features.
It never does anything ridiculous either like Evangelion and GunBuster.
All it has is physical strength and futuristic weapons that aren't unrealistically powerful.

Even Gundam breaks into the super-robot realm at times with 00, for example. I think they have trouble improving on the previous incarnations of their own show. I haven't seen any Gundam that bettered the designs in Gundam SEED and Destiny. Those were just great MSs. Nothing in 00, AGE Build Fighters or even Unicorn was better.

The only thing about Dai-X is how big it is; almost as big as the impossibly-scaled Jaegers in Pacific Rim.
Dream big and bold and daring.

FZeroOne
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Re: Japanese Pilot

Postby FZeroOne » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:33 pm

Dai-X is a bit of a hybrid - you're right it does look dinged up and has a lot of detailing that makes it look more realistic, but at the same time its overall design aesthetic harks back to a slighter earlier pre-Gundam time. It can be a very fine line at times; Gundam itself had a little bit of a "monster robot of the week" thing still going on at times, and the conclusion of "Chars Counterattack" starts pushing into the "robot superpower" category. At the end of the day, its a bit like science-fiction I guess; a genre that means something to most people, but a genre thats quite difficult to actually define...
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.


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