Finds content in product pages and liner notes

Liner Notes for Anime Titles

AD Police FIles Liner Notes --
Executive Producers: Hayakawa Tadatsugu, Fujita Junji & Suzuki Toshimichi. Planning: Suzuki Toshimichi & Unozawa Shin. Original Stories: Suzuki Toshimichi.
Bubblegum Crash Liner Notes --
It is the year 2034 A.D. One evening, Glory Bank receives some unwelcome after-hours customers: a gang of robbers decked out in advanced powered suits. With Leon and Daley in charge, AD Police attempts to apprehend the crooks, but air support arrives too late to prevent them escaping in their own helicopter.
Bubblegum Crisis Liner Notes --
Even from the viewpoint of world history, there are few cities as prone to disaster as Tokyo. The city was completely destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and the Carpet-bombing of Tokyo at the end of World War II, as its name suggests, reduced the city to a smoking pile of rubble. But each time, Tokyo rose again from the ashes.
Otaku No Video Liner Notes --
We feel it is important to stress that there are going to be some unavoidable gaps in our information. The reason, unfortunately, is that the explanations for some of the really obscure jokes in the videos are known only to the perpetrator of the joke, and many of these people have since moved on to other companies and were thus impossible to reach. We'd like to thank Mr. Kanda and Mr. Kamimura of Gainax for their patience and assistance in helping to assemble these liner notes.
Riding Bean Liner Notes --
In case you are looking for stylish and safe outerwear, you might want to know that Bean Bandit's jacket and head-band are made out of a special titanium-mesh weave, overlaid with Kevlar. His gloves, pants, and boots are also made out of Kevlar.
The Dagger of Kamui Liner Notes --
"Arororo" and "Hoochippu" are but two of the smattering of words from the language of the Ainu, the aboriginal peoples of Japan, that are used in the course of the film. According to the lyricist, Agi Yooko, the words were given to her to work into the song, and mainly for that reason, we cannot provide definitive meanings.
Vampire Princess Miyu Liner Notes --
The actual kanji reading of the title is "Kyuuketsuhime Miyu," which literally translates to "Vampire Princess Miyu." However, the series creator, Kakinouchi Narumi, used a variant reading of "Kyuuketsuki Miyu," which translates to just "Vampire Miyu," and this is the official Japanese title of the series. With the permission of Sooeishinsha, we decided to use "Vampire Princess Miyu" because it more accurately conveyed the original meaning of the Japanese title.
You're Under Arrest! Liner Notes --
The original You're Under Arrest OVAs later became the first four episodes of the first season of the You're Under Arrest TV Series. These liner notes cover the original OVAs; at the bottom of this page are links to PDF files containing the liner notes for the entire first season.

Liner Notes for Samurai Films

13 Assassins Liner Notes --
General Info: Eiichi KUDO's SAMURAI REVOLUTION TRILOGY revolutionized the samurai film by focusing on realism, long hand-held camera sequences, and large group battles. The three films, 13 ASSASSINS, THE GREAT KILLING, and ELEVEN SAMURAI are acknowledged classics of the genre. AnimEigo is proud to be a part of their first North American DVD release.
Bushido - The Cruel Code of the Samurai Liner Notes --
Bushido, a.k.a. “The Way of the Warrior” is the chivalrous code of the samurai that has influenced the Japanese way-of-life for centuries. This epic film spans several generations of a typical samurai family, and illustrates the intricate system of loyalty, honor and sacrifice which bound the samurai in ages past, and which, in many ways, persists to this very day. Winner of the Golden Bear award at the 1963 Berlin International Film Festival.Bushido, a.k.a. “The Way of the Warrior” is the chivalrous code of the samurai that has influenced the Japanese way-of-life for centuries. This epic film spans several generations of a typical samurai family, and illustrates the intricate system of loyalty, honor and sacrifice which bound the samurai in ages past, and which, in many ways, persists to this very day. Winner of the Golden Bear award at the 1963 Berlin International Film Festival.
Eleven Samurai Liner Notes --
MATSUDAIRA Nariatsu (the target) The young lord of the Tatebayashi fief is probably modeled after the real life figure MATSUDAIRA Nariyoshi (also called MATSUDAIRA Tokunosuke 1819-1839), who was the 19th (or perhaps 20th) son of the 11th Tokugawa Shogun TOKUGAWA Ienari (1787-1837). He was also the younger brother of the 12th Tokugawa Shogun TOKUGAWA Ieyoshi (1837-1853).
Miyamoto Musashi --
Miyamoto Musashi (1584?-1645?), inventor of the "Nito" (two-sword) fighting style, was a reasonably well-known figure in Japan during his life. However, it was only after the publication of Yoshikawa Eiji's newspaper serial "Miyamoto Musashi," starting in 1935, that he became a legend. The subsequent novel, Musashi, while based on historical fact, contains considerable amounts of fiction as well. However, the novel has enjoyed immense success over the years as one of the most famous books in the world, selling over 120 million copies worldwide (more than The Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia books series), and has been termed the “Gone with the Wind of Japan.”
Onimasa Liner Notes --
“‘Oni’ with ‘ryu,’ as in ‘ryu-gu-jo’; ‘in’ is the ‘in’ that is used in monastic names. And, as for ‘hana’… as for ‘hana’… it’s the ‘hana’ that means flowers.” There is no real English counterpart here per se, as the name of the main character is being “spelled out” in Chinese logograms. Each logogram corresponds to each phoneme of her name.
Revenge (Adauchi) --
“So when did you become a dragoon?” The Japanese term used is “Uma-mawari,” or “Around the Horse.” Uma-mawari were mounted guards, usually employed to guard high-ranking officers and convey messages across the battlefield. However, they would typically fight dismounted.
Revenge of a Kabuki Actor Liner Notes --
Ichikawa began his career as a cartoonist, and collaborated with his wife, screenwriter Natto WADA, until 1965. His films are generally regarded as dark and bleak, interspersed with sparks of humanity, and he often intertwines comedy and tragedy within the same story. He also has a flair for technical expertise, irony, detachment, and a drive for realism across all genres. After Akira KUROSAWA's departure, no other Japanese director has come close to Ichikawa's level of recognition, the power of his films, and commercial success.
Samurai Vendetta - Liner Notes --
Samurai Vendetta is a Chushingura side-story, which intersects with the main story at key points. The film was made for Japanese audiences, who would be extremely familiar with the details of the story of the 47 Ronin. Western viewers are thus well advised to take a crash-course in 47 Ronin lore in order to get the most out of the film.
Shinobi no Mono Liner Notes --
Shinobi no Mono is the first film in a massively popular ninja series which sparked the first “ninja boom” in Japan. Award-winning director Satsuo YAMAMOTO helmed the first film of the series, immediately getting rid of the fabricated, special effects laden look of the past and moving toward a more rustic look and feel, more akin to the realities of ninja life.
Shinsengumi Chronicles --
The Roshigumi and Shinsengumi
Shogun Assassin Liner Notes --
Shogun Assassin was created by editing together footage from the first two Lone Wolf and Cub (Kozure Ookami) films, Sword of Vengeance” and “Baby Cart at The River Styx”. It uses about 11 minutes of footage from the first film and 70 minutes of footage from the second.
Sleepy Eyes of Death Liner Notes --
Iga (far south-west of Edo, now a part of Mie prefecture), one of many provinces that was not a part of the scattered Shogunate domains, and thus not under the Shogunate control, also was home to many spies, Ninja and gangs that regularly infiltrated the Shogunate domains on behalf of various causes. So many of these spies, etc., were from Iga that the words “Igamono” (Iga-person) and “Igashuu” (Iga-people) eventually became synonymous with such infiltrators regardless of their true origins.
Sword of Desperation Liner Notes --
Sword of Desperation takes place sometime during the Tokugawa Era (approximately 1603-1868, also called Edo Period), the period named for the 15 generations of Tokugawa Shogun (Military Overlords) who ruled the nation, maintaining a relatively static society, for over 250 years. This period of military-rule was characterized by its relatively peaceful order overall, clear division of the social hierarchy, extravagance by the privileged classes, isolation from the West, and a lot of convoluted treachery, as well as many important cultural and intellectual developments.
The Blind Menace (Shiranui Kengyo) Liner Notes --
The Creation of The Blind Menace Unlike Ichikawa Raizo, Daiei’s other big star, Katsu Shintaro took a much longer time to establish himself. The studio originally tried hard to push Shintaro as one of its handsome leading men, in the same mold as Raizo and Hasegawa Kazuo. However, despite continued strong support from Daiei’s president, Shintaro’s looks did not appeal to audiences and his films were not hits, causing many theater owners to repeatedly ask the studio to stop using him. The real turning point in his career came with The Blind Menace. When Shintaro first read the story, he fell in love with it and did everything he could to turn it into a film. He completely devoted himself to the character, shaving his head and practicing the nuances of being blind. The film’s staff, screenwriter Inuzuka Minoru, and director Mori Kazuo were inspired by his devotion, resulting in a cinematic masterpiece that pushed the trio to the forefront of Japanese cinema. Katsu Shintaro finally had his breakthrough role.
The Great Killing Liner Notes --
Screenplay writer Kaneo IKEGAMI and Director Eiichi KUDO, who teamed up to create a new genre in Samurai Cinema with 13 ASSASSINS, continued their collaboration in this film. Based upon the mysterious death of TOKUGAWA Tsunashige in 1678, Ikegami wrote a story of JIMBO Heishiro, who joins the sure death revolt group against a large Shogunate Army. Director Kudo was happy what he accomplished with 13 ASSASSINS, but this film, THE GREAT KILLING, is regarded as his masterpiece.
The Loyal 47 Ronin Liner Notes --
The fictional account of the 47 Ronin's tale of revenge is known as Chushingura, and has been told and retold in almost all forms of media. There have been at least 22 different television series, 10 of which were produced in the last 10 years, and almost as many feature films devoted to the subject, and they're often shown in the month of December to commemorate the event.
The Samurai I Loved Liner Notes --
The original Japanese title of the film, “Semishigure,” literally means “outburst of cicadas,” and refers to the loud chorus of the cicadas song, raining down from the trees. “Semi” means cicada and “Shigure” refers to scattered showers. Cicadas are a special and familiar insect to the Japanese people, as over 30 species live in Japan, and they're omnipresent in the summer. Their songs are often representative of summer itself, and sometimes used to express the accompanying heat.
The Secret of the Urn --
One of the all-time most popular fictional samurai characters, the one-armed, one-eyed Tangé Sazen was created by Fubo HAYASHI (real name: Kaitarō HASEGAWA) in 1927. Tangé has appeared many times on the silver screen, including at least twice in a female incarnation.

Liner Notes for Other Titles

Graveyard of Honor Liner Notes --
Takashi Miike's Graveyard of Honor (“Shin jingi no hakaba,” literally translated as New Graveyard of Honor) is a remake of the 1975 Kinji FUKASAKU-helmed Graveyard of Honor. Based on a real-life yakuza from Fukasaku's own home district of Mito, the 1975 version stars Tetsuya WATARI as the alternately monstrous and bewildered Rikio ISHIKAWA.
The Clone Returns Home Liner Notes --
Kanji NAKAJIMA (Director & Writer) (1970- ) After enrolling at the Tokyo University of Art and Design in 1988, NAKAJIMA started making films and videos. His video work “KA KE RA” received the Originality Prize at the Image Forum Festival and the Silver Prize at Video Biennale in Medellin, Colombia in 1989.
Tora-san Liner Notes --
A dango is a Japanese dumpling made from rice flour (“mochiko”) and which are related to mochi. Often served with green tea, dango are eaten year-round, but usually vary according to season. Three to five dango are usually served on a skewer, and sweet red bean paste (“anko”) dango is the most popular flavor in Japan.

Liner Notes for Out of Print Titles

Arcadia of My Youth Liner Notes --
The voice of Phantom F. Harlock, in the pre-title sequence over the Stanley Witch, was played by Ishihara Yuujiroo, one of Japan's best-known modern actors, and is his only performance in an animated film. When he died, several years ago as of this writing (1993), it's said that practically person in Japan worthy of being called an actor attended his funeral.
Ashura Liner Notes --
Born in 1973 and the son of Koshiro MATSUMOTO, Somegoro ICHIKAWA was educated as a Kabuki actor from a very young age. He made his Kabuki stage debut at the age of 5, and was also the youngest Hamlet in history at just 14 years old. ICHIKAWA also appeared in many TV series and modern theatre performances, including the stage version of Ashura.
Baoh Liner Notes --
Baoh is a genetically-engineered parasite which feeds upon a living host, locating itself inside the host's brain. The host also becomes known as a Baoh. Dr. Kasuminome utilized genetic-engineering to manipulate the cellular structure of the Baoh parasites. The latest generation of his Baoh parasites can live in a host in a variety of environments.
Battle of Okinawa Liner Notes --
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Ryukyu Islands, a chain of Japanese islands in the western Pacific Ocean at the eastern limit of the East China Sea. The islands have a subtropical climate with warm winters and hot summers, and a lot of rain throughout, especially during the rainy season of Spring. Okinawa is home to the coastal capital city of Naha, and has a total area of 464 square miles.
Battle Royal High School Liner Notes --
Battle Royal High School is based on a Manga series called Shinmajinden, or "Legend of the True Devils." The scope of the Manga is considerably wider than that of the OVA, which is why some of the characters seem out of place.
Big Bang Love, Juvenile A Liner Notes --
A highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker, Takashi MIIKE was born on August 24, 1960 in Yao, Osaka, Japan. Under the guidance of renowned filmmaker Shohei IMAMURA (a two-time Palme d'Or winner at Cannes), Miike graduated from the Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film.
Black Rain Liner Notes --
During the night of August 5th, there were a lot of signs that an attack on Hiroshima was imminent. Waves of bombers were attacking nearby cities to the west, in the Yamaguchi Prefecture: Ube, Hikari, and Kudamatsu. After Fukuyama (on the other side of Hiroshima from Ube) was firebombed, the air-raid alarms began to sound in Hiroshima, just after midnight, and continued for the next couple hours, disrupting the sleep of anyone living in the city center.
Crusher Joe Liner Notes --
Takachiho Haruka was born on Nov. 7th 1951 in Nagoya, as Takekawa Kimiyoshi(autonym). He graduated in social science from Hosei University in 1975 and established Studio Nue in 1972 when he was still a student, to work as an Anime producer and scenario writer. He has served as the SFWJ's executive secretary. His debut as a writer was "Crusher Joe: Wakusei Pizan no Kiki" (Crisis on Planet Pizan) in 1977. In 1980, Mr. Takachiho won the Seiun Award (Japanese short story) for "DirtyPair no Dai Boken" (The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair) and in 1986, he was given the Seiun Award (Japanese novel) for "DirtyPair no Dai Gyakuten"(The Dirty Pair Strike Again).
Demon Spies Liner Notes --
“Demon Spies” takes place sometime during the Tokugawa Era (approximately 1603-1868, also called Edo Period), the period named for the 15 generations of Tokugawa Shogun (Military Overlords) who ruled the nation, maintaining a relatively static society, for over 250 years. This period of military-rule was characterized by its relatively peaceful order overall, clear division of the social hierarchy, extravagance by the privileged classes, isolation from the West, and a lot of convoluted treachery, as well as many important cultural and intellectual developments.
Dora-Heita Liner Notes --
A “Good-Time-Charlie” is typically defined as a friend who is only a friend as long as the times are good, but “Dora-Heita” carries a slightly different meaning. Koheita is partially nicknamed after “dora neko,” or an alley cat. This is because, like an alley cat, he is a flirt and can in general be a bossy person.
Father of the Kamikaze Liner Notes --
Kamikaze is the name given to the Japanese suicide attacks that occurred near the end of the Pacific campaign of WWII. Although there were other similar attacks throughout the war, the “suicide attack” became synonymous with the time period during Japan's imminent defeat, near the beginning of 1944, a time when the Allied forces were advancing toward the Japanese islands.
Genesis Surviver Gaiarth Liner Notes --
Executive Producers: Koizumi Hiroshi & Shishido Fuminori. Producers: Takao Hiroshi, Kokubo Naotake & Takeuchi Nobuo. Directors: Kitazume Hiroyuki & Aramaki Shinji.
Incident at Blood Pass Liner Notes --
"Machibuse" (literally "To Waylay" or "Ambush") is a story about a nameless ronin who finds himself in a bizarre ambush scheme designed to destroy a clan. While the story itself is a work of fiction, some important elements do place it near the end of Tokugawa Era, perhaps in the early 1840's.
Japan's Longest Day Liner Notes --
As Japan's fortunes in World War II took a turn for the worse, the Japanese government and military leaders formulated the strategy to win a “decisive battle” with the United States, after which they would negotiate a settlement of the war - just as they had done in the Russo-Japanese War forty years before. However, after their defeat at Okinawa, the Emperor lost confidence in ever attaining this victory, and he wished for an immediate end to the war. The Japanese hoped that the Soviet Union, their nominal ally via a neutrality pact, would negotiate with the Western Allies.
Kimagure Orange Road Movie & OVAs Liner Notes --
One of the opening animation sequences is an adaptation of a scene from the first episode of the TV series, and shows how Kyosuke and Madoka first met. Her red straw hat got caught by a sudden breeze, and Kyosuke caught it while counting the stairs up to his new apartment building. This led to his first argument with Madoka, when he said there were 100 steps, and she insisted there were only 99. He finally compromised by saying he would settle for 99.5 steps.
Kimagure Orange Road TV Series Liner Notes --
"Kimagure Orange Road", an immensely successful manga comic feature created by Matsumoto Izumi, ran as a weekly series in the "Shuukan Shoonen Jampu" (Weekly Youth Jump) between 1984 and 1988. The story focuses on love and friendship, with lots of added silliness and slapstick comedy.
Kon Ichikawa's 47 Ronin Liner Notes --
The fictional account of the 47 Ronin's tale of revenge is known as Chushingura, and has been told and retold in almost all forms of media. There have been at least 22 different television series, 10 of which were produced in the last 10 years, and almost as many feature films devoted to the subject, and they're often shown in the month of December to commemorate the event.
Lady Snowblood Liner Notes --
The last few years of Tokugawa rule were characterized by an unstable, highly chaotic political scene. The arrival of US Admirals Perry in 1853, and Harris in 1856, offered convincing proof that the western nations were far more advanced than Japan was in every way, especially in matters military, economic and technological. This realization planted the seeds of the final downfall of the Shogunate, which was by this time considerably weakened.
Lone Wolf & Cub Liner Notes --
Lone Wolf & Cub takes place in mid-eastern Japan, sometime during the early Tokugawa Era (approximately 1603-1868, also called Edo Period), the period named for the 15 generations of Tokugawa Shogun (Military Overlords) who ruled the nation, maintaining a relatively static society, for over 250 years. This period of military-rule was characterized by its relatively peaceful order overall, clear division of the social hierarchy, extravagance by the privileged classes, isolation from the West, and a lot of convoluted treachery, as well as many important cultural and intellectual developments.
Macross TV Series Liner Notes --
The series title is a complicated play on words, the result of the project's convoluted preproduction. The original story creators at Studio Nue and Artland initially named their project, "Battle City Megaload/Megaroad." The double pun refers to the ship's massive civilian population and long space journey. According to Chief Director Ishiguro, the producer for the sponsor was a fan of Shakespeare, and insisted on naming the series and ship "Macbeth" (pronounced "Makubesu" in Japanese). Studio Nue and Artland regrouped and proposed the title "Makurosu," or "Macross" when written in English. Along with its similarity to Macbeth's Japanese pronunciation, the finalized title also retained the first title's connotation.
MADOX-01 Liner Notes --
In case you are wondering how all those helicopters and tanks suddenly appeared in downtown Tokyo, it happens that an important Self-Defense Forces installation is located in Ichigaya, near Shinjuku. As of this writing, the Ministry of Defense is planning to move its offices there, from their current location in Roppongi.
Mikogami Trilogy Liner Notes --
Utsunomiya is the capital of the Tochigi Prefecture (formally the Shimotsuke province) in the Kanto region of Japan. The most populous city in Tochigi, Utsunomiya was a major post-town along the Nikko Highway during this time. Today, it is particularly known for its flavorful gyoza dumplings (aka “potstickers“).
New Love in Tokyo Liner Notes --
New Love in Tokyo takes place in and around the Shibuya district of Tokyo. Known for its shopping districts and entertainment, the area has a bustling nightlife that is popular with young adults. Shibuya Station is the third-busiest railway station in Tokyo. The familiar intersection in front of Shibuya Station (Hachiko Exit), which features a four-way stop to allow pedestrians to cross in any direction, can be seen in dozens of films, including 2003's “Lost in Translation.”
Oh My Goddess! Liner Notes --
"Oh My Goddess!" is based on the manga series "Aaa! Megamisamaa," written by Fujishima Kousuke. "Megamisama" means "goddess," (in this case, with an extended ending vowel to add emotional emphasis) and "Aaa" is an expression that usually translates to "Oh!" or "Ah!" When the graphic design of the Japanese "Aaa! Megamisamaa" logo was being done, an English version of the series name was added for spice; the translation used was "Ah! My Goddess." At the time, the possible English play on "Oh My God!" wasn't noticed, but was subsequently pointed out to Mr. Fujishima.
Portrait of Hell Liner Notes --
Portrait of Hell takes place in the city of Heian-kyo (present day Kyoto), during the late Heian Era. This period, which lasted from 794-1185, is best known for a cultural renaissance of painting, poetry and writing, and for a general atmosphere of peacefulness (Heian means ‘peace’ in Japanese), during which Japanese society was especially sensitive to acts of crime and murder.
Red Lion Liner Notes --
The last few years of Tokugawa rule were characterized by an unstable, highly chaotic political scene. The arrival of US Admirals Perry in 1853, and Harris in 1856, offered convincing proof that the western nations were far more advanced than Japan was in every way, especially in matters military, economic and technological. This realization planted the seeds of the final downfall of the Shogunate, which was by this time considerably weakened.
Rupan III Liner Notes --
Two of the main characters are fictional descendants of actual historical figures. Inspector Zenigata is the seventh-generation descendant of the famous Edo-Period detective, Zenigata Heji, and Ishikawa Goemon is the thirteenth-generation descendant of the notorious samurai-turned-bandit Ishikawa Goemon, who, when caught, was boiled in oil for his crimes.
Samurai Assassin Liner Notes --
Samurai Assassin is loosely based on one of the most important and complex events in Japanese history, namely the so-called "Sakurada-mon-gai-no-Hen" (Sakurada Gate Incident) of 1860, in which a high Shogunate official named Ii Naosuke was assassinated by a group of anti-Shogunate terrorists. Ii's murder marked the beginning of the end for the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Samurai Banners Liner Notes --
"Samurai Banners," which climaxes at the Battle of Kawanakajima, where two of the most powerful leaders from the so-called "Age of Warring States" clashed, takes place before the "Great Peace" was imposed by the Tokugawa Shogunate. This was an era in which Japan was ruled by many powerful warlords who battled each other incessantly each attempting to conquer another's domain.
Shadow Hunters Liner Notes --
One of the most famous conflicts in Japanese military history were the Genpai Wars. Fought from 1180-1185, between the Taira (Heike) clan and Minamoto (Genji) clan, a series of bloody battles were fought for control of the Imperial throne--and ultimately control of Japan. In the final clash of the wars, the battle of Dannoura, the Minamoto clan defeated the Taira clan in a naval engagement at the Kanmon Straits in southern Japan.
Shinsengumi Liner Notes --
In 1863 a ronin from Dewa province named Kiyokawa Hachiro formed a group of 234 soldiers called the Roshigumi (or “Kyoto Defenders”) to be protectors of the Tokugawa Shogun in Kyoto. On April 10th, while in Kyoto, Kiyokawa revealed that the true intentions of the Roshigumi was to be the protector of the Emperor and commanded the soldiers to return to Edo. This act resulted in the group breaking up, and of the original 234 ronin that made up the Roshigumi, 13 members left to become the founding members of the Mibu Roshigumi (aka “Mibura” or “Ronin of Mibu”).
Shonan Bakusozoku Liner Notes --
About the title: the usual term for biker gangs in Japanese is "Boosoozoku," which translates as "Wild Rider Gang." Substituting "Baku" (Explosive) for "Boo" (Violent) results in "Bakusoozoku," or "Extremely Wild Rider Gang." We have colloquialized this as "Bomber Bikers of Shoonan."
Sure Death Liner Notes --
Approximately 800 episodes of the Hissatsu series were produced through March of 1991. During the most successful seasons, when the show could boast ratings of nearly 30%, certain phrases and dialogues from the shows entered the everyday vernacular! Because of its popularity, many specials and several movies (the latest one is scheduled to premier during summer of 1998!) were made.
The Ballad of Narayama Liner Notes --
A pioneer of Japan's New Wave movement, Shohei's films are notable for focusing on characters from lower-class society, such as farmers, pimps and prostitutes. Born into an upper-middle class family, Shohei enrolled at Waseda University to study history, but spent most of his time in the theater department. Just after WWII, while Shohei was still in school, he worked in Japan's black market, buying cigarettes and liquor from American soldiers and selling them to his professors and classmates.
The Geisha Liner Notes --
A geisha, geiko, or geigi is a traditional female Japanese entertainer, whose skills may include performance of various Japanese arts, such as classical music and dance, and playing instruments such as the shamisen (three stringed guitar).
The Razor Liner Notes --
The Razor ("Goyoukiba") takes place in Edo, Japan, sometime during the middle of the Tokugawa Era (approx. 1603-1868, also called Edo Period), the period named for the 15 generations of Tokugawa Shogun (Military Overlords) that ruled the nation, maintaining a relatively static society, for over 250 years. This period of military-rule is characterized by its relatively peaceful order overall, clear division of the social hierarchy, extravagance by the privileged classes, isolation from the West, a lot of convoluted treachery, and many important cultural and intellectual advances.
The Spirit of Wonder Liner Notes --
The Spirit of Wonder is a series of manga stories written and drawn by Tsuruta Kenji. Only one has as yet been animated, but several of the original mangas will soon be released in English form by Dark Horse Comics and Studio Proteus.
The Wolves Liner Notes --
The term “Yakuza” comes from a Japanese card game, Oicho-Kabu (similar to baccarat), and means “good for nothing” -- it comes from the worst hand in the game, a set of eight (or “Ya” in the traditional Japanese form of counting), nine (“Ku”), and three (“Sa”). The Ya-Ku-Sa hand requires the most skill at judging opponents and the least luck to win. The name was also used because it signified bad fortune, presumably for anyone who went up against the group.
Urusei Yatsura Movies Liner Notes --
During the students' gossip sequence after the opening titles, one of the students wonders if Ataru is committing bigamy by marrying this Elle person when he's supposedly already married to Lum (or at least, things are close enough that they might as well be).
Urusei Yatsura OVAs Liner Notes --
Inaba's name comes from a children's story called "Inaba no shiro-usagi" (The White Rabbit of Inaba). Inaba is actually a place name, located in the eastern Tottori Prefecture. Found in one of the "Izumo-shinwa" (myths of Izumi) and in the "Koojiki" (Books of Ancient History), it is the story of a white rabbit who tricks a shark into taking him across the sea from Okinoshima Island to "Inaba-no-kuni" (the land of Inaba).
Urusei Yatsura TV Series Liner Notes --
Urusei Yatsura is one of Japan's comedic gems. Starting out as a hit Manga (comic-book) series, it spawned a long-running animated TV series, a series of feature films, and OVA's (short, made for video specials),that continue to this day. AnimEigo has released all of the Movies and OVAs, and many of the TV episodes.
Wakeful Nights Liner Notes --
The Japanese title “Nezu no Ban” literally means “sleepless night,” and shares the same title as the original story upon which the film was based, written by Ramo Nakajima (1952-2004). The original English title of this film was “A Hardest Night!!”, but AnimEigo decided to use a new English title, “Wakeful Nights,” which is a more direct translation of the original Japanese title, and more aptly fits the film since there is more than one wake in the film. Also, one more pun in a movie like this won't be noticed.
Zatoichi Liner Notes --
The "Zatoichi" ("Ichi the Masseur") movies were among the most successful period movies in history of Japanese cinema, in part due to the stellar performances by the matchless Katsu Shintaro, and storylines which combined serious, intelligent plots with action and comedy. In all, twenty-six movies were produced --- first twenty-five between the years 1962 and 1973, and the last one in 1989. A TV version was also produced in mid-70's.