Jarinko Chie 1981 Magazine Scans

Here is a terrific find: a highly detailed Japanese magazine article on Isao Takahata's then-new movie, Jarinko Chie. This comes from the May, 1981 issue of My Anime magazine. We have some excellent layouts (you have no idea how difficult that was to achieve before desktop computers were invented), a quick rundown of the main characters, and a brief interview with director Takahata and his animation director, the ever-reliable Yasuo Otsuka (Yoichi Kotabe was also brought on board as co-animation director, creating Chie and her mother).

One special note of interest is the voice cast, who were members of a famous comedy troupe, much like Second City, SCTV or SNL. All of the dialog was recorded before animation began, which is a rare thing in Japanese animation, but something that Takahata has often employed. Most anime films dub the dialog after animation has been completed, and this has always been a curiosity to American animators.

Jainko Chie is a really fantastic movie, full of slapstick comedy and depictions of daily life in Kobe, Japan. Compared to Paku-san's other films, it is probably closest to My Neighbors the Yamada, but perhaps with a touch more of a Simpsons style. Chie's father always reminds me of Homer Simpson. It really needs to be released here in the West, and please don't use those lame titles "Chie the Brat" or "Downtown Story." Just stick with the original title, okay?

Anyone out there who is fluent in Japanese is welcome to help translate this article. Much thanks to Anim'Archive for providing the magazine scans.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Netflix Japan has the Chie movie listed under "Downtown Story the movie. Itunes also has the Chie soundtrack listed under the "Downtown Story" title. If Chie ever gets released in the West I hope somebody like you can fight to make sure its not released under the Downtown story title. Just like you did for Horus.

Chris Sobieniak said...

I'm guessing TMS really loves coming up with their own English titles like "Downtown Story". I'm sure that's a fight worth doing as long as they eventually back down from insisting.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I would certainly hope that TMS could be persuaded if Jarinko Chie was pursued for a US release. They are very protective of their properties, which is understandable. It's important to build relationships and trust. Perhaps Discotek could be a good candidate, as they have longstanding ties.

I know from my own experience that it was a real struggle to convince Toei not to use "Little Norse Prince" for Horus, Prince of the Sun. Eventually, a compromise was found where both titles shared cover space. Fortunately, we were able to win out, and I think the resulting DVD and Blu-Ray packages speak for themselves. Neither are big sellers (vintage anime is a niche within a niche), but they would have fared worse if the wrong title was used. See: Warriors of the Wind.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Thank you for that comment Daniel. It's true how often companies like TMS can be when it comes to what they think would sell internationally under those titles (for me, "Panda! Go, Panda!" sounds a little off, though I guess not nearly as insipid as "The Adventure of Panda & Friends").

Anonymous said...

Mimiko is called Pamela? Is there anouther dub of Panda kopanda out there? The head of Gkids likes Chie so hopefully they will try to license it in the future.

Chris Sobieniak said...

You know, I wonder that. I suppose for a name like "Pamela" to be used, it'll have to be a really old dub from an era when localizing a film like this would've meant stripping out it's Japanese origins in favor of a more domestic setting just like a lot of anime in those days were like here.

Whoever wrote that on Roxie's site probably took that description verbatim from TMS' site for the movie anyway.

But still, it is funny noticing how releases of the English version in other countries or in another language has used that "Adventures of" title anyway. I saw a few examples on YouTube, so it's obviously not an isolated incident, though I suppose a symptom of how TMS likes to think they're in the right!

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