Heidi 2011 Fansub Project is Here!


Yes, at long last, a new Heidi fansub project is underway!

Heidi, Girl of the Alps is arguably the crowning achievements in the careers of Isao Takahata, Hayao Miyazaki and Yoichi Kotabe.  It's certainly the archetype for the Studio Ghibli films, and it did as much to bring Japanese anime to the outside world as anything.  Indeed, Americans are only now catching up to what the rest of the world has known about for the last 35 years.  Every major region of the world has broadcast Heidi on television...every region except the United States.

Now, at long last, I hope we can resolve this problem, at least among the faithful.  The perfect news would be Heidi on American TV, with an official release on Blu-Ray and DVD.  Unfortunately, that is most likely never going to happen.  It's just too expensive to import a 52 episode series, then translate and dub the scripts into English.  You would need the backing of a major Hollywood studio like Disney, and they're not about to invest money in an anime from 1974.  So, once again, we turn to the fansub community to bring one of the greatest anime masterpieces to a receptive audience.

As for specifics on the 2011 Heidi Fansub Project, I'm afraid I have little news to report.  I can tell you that all 52 episodes have been translated into English, and this was completed late last year.  The translator handed the scripts to a fansub group, which has made Heidi their top priority.  As to what this means for dates, and when we can expect the series to be finished, this is still a mystery.  I will investigate and follow up on this, and hopefully we will have more good news to report.

I've been spending much of my weekend trying to chop up and upload the first episode of Heidi to Youtube.  I have copies of episodes 1-4 from a 2007 fansub project.  That project has since stalled and it appears to have disappeared completely.  The same fate befell another fansub group who was working to translate 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (aka Marco); they quit after a half-dozen episodes.  I'm pointing this out as a reminder and a caution: this is very long and hard work.  And this is the work of dedicated volunteers.

I think 2011 will be different.  We have the English-language scripts, and this is always the biggest hurdle in any fansub project.  The rest is just coding.  Because of this, I am confident that we will finally see Heidi this year.  This will be the final major work from the Takahata/Miyazaki canon to be translated into English.  All of their directorial work dating back to Horus, Prince of the Sun (1968) to today will be available to an English-speaking audience.  That is an achievement!  I can't wait.

13 comments:

Cory Gross said...

An additional option, for official release, is to pettition Crunchyroll or another online anime provider to try and work with Fuji TV to have World Masterpiece Theatre on their site. So far, Crunchyroll has not been bad with older material they've been allowed to show (it's how I watched all 113 episodes of Galaxy Express 999).

dodger bullet said...

hooo. i'm always yearning for this fansub, can't wait man.

dodger bullet said...

can't wait for this. been yearning for this since i've known takahata.

keep us up to date yo.

Tanuki said...

Not shown in the UK either. All we got was a live action version from Germany.

greentea said...

Sounds good. Let's hope it won't take too long...

Heidi Fan said...

Every word is true. Thanks for sharing on the blog.

Miles said...

Does this project have a website?

Chaitanya said...

If all the translations are made , then we could all help in the subing process !!! What can we do to help ??

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Actually, I just sent an email last night asking the very same question. If the scripts are finished, then it should be easy to work on the videos. As soon as I have any information, I'll pass it along.

Alejandro said...

Perhaps you'd be interested to know that the whole series can be easily purchased in Mexico City for less than ten dollars. It's an unofficial set of DVDs that assembles all the episodes as transmitted on TV 20 years ago. This could be easily translated by the fan community over here.

orsabibliotek said...

Do they need new raws? Is that why the project isn't appearing on the net yet?

I would be prepared to buy the new remastered DVD-box and send copies of the DVDs to them if that would get things moving a little faster. Of course, I'd also want the scripts in exchange so I could make my own DVD fansub. I don't know if they will release the episodes with optional sutitles or have them hardcoded. Most of the groups working with WMT seem to use hardcoding (Licca, for example).

Thanks for giving us hope that we will see this series with english subtitles soon.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Patience, my friend. We are working on the Heidi fansub project. But remember that this is a labor of love, and it's taken a few twists and turns along the way. I don't want to say much right now, but some different people will be in charge of putting the videos together. Estimated time: No Man Can Say.

Sorry, was thinking of Citizen Kane there.

kiran said...

Hi, i am from india. i am a huge fan of heidi, i remembered here in india we have seen the heidi series in english which was aired by cartoon network.... so i am hoping that there is still an english version of this series in cartoon network records.............

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