Monday, October 11, 2010

Translation: Kaiketsu Zubatto, Episode 1

I'm taking a brief respite from Daimajin Kanon to delve into a no less awesome old-school toku, Kaiketsu Zubatto (AKA Zubat, Zvatt, etc). This 70's show mixes cowboy adventure, crime drama, and over-the-top action sequences for a genuinely unforgettable experience.

Older shows can present their own problems in translating. In this case, just figuring out how to handle the title was an issue. The Japanese word zubatto (from which our hero's name derives), is an onomotopoeia that adds a sense of decisiveness to a phrase. For instance, zubatto kiru would mean "to cut clean through."

It would be easy enough to translate his catchphrase literally (I would probably render it as "On the scene in a flash! Solving cases in a flash!"). But because our hero uses the same word both as his name and as the word in his catchphrase, I wanted a romanization that could serve as both, so that the pun would be preserved.

In the end, I judged that "Zuvatt" might serve as both a plausible comic book-style onomotopoeia (Zu-VATT!) while remaining phonemically similar enough to the Japanese word to serve as his name. At the very least, I hope that's how it comes off!

One other note: The gravestone halfway through doesn't actually say 'Rest in Peace'. Japanese gravestones are actually inscribed with the Buddhist posthumous name of the person whose grave they mark. The posthumous name usually includes the name of the Buddhist Temple where the person was registered, one kanji from their name, and a title indicating what stage of life they were in when they died.

The literal writing on the gravestone is Houun-dou Gosei-koji 'The Young Man Go, Who Walked The Road of Houun' (Houun being the name of a temple). But since that would just be damned confusing to come across in a script, I converted it to Western conventions instead.

Anyway, all that aside, I hope you enjoy the script!

Edit 12/1/2010: Made a small change to the last line of Hayakawa's ballad.

TITLE: The Magnificent Zuvatt!

[Opening Theme]
Zu-VATT! I'm on the scene! Zu-VATT! I solve the case!
Zu-VATT! I'm on the scene! Zu-VATT! I solve the case!
Since the day when I witnessed hell
The only wind that I feel on my face
Is a wind of revenge, a burning wind!
Hunt them down! Hunt them down, and corner them!

Zu-VATT! I'm on the scene! Zu-VATT! I solve the case!
My friend, my dear friend!
My friend, please watch my howling whip!

I am the Magnificent Zuvatt!

MIDORI: Get back, everyone!

MIDORI: Look out!

MIDORI: What do you think you're doing?!

MIDORI: HellDragon!

HELLDRAGON: Little girl. Tell the people of this town that HellDragon is not to be trifled with!

TITLE: The Wandererer, After the Explosion

MIDORI: Stop it! Stop it, please! Please, stop!

THUG: Take this, and this!

ASUKA: Perhaps you don't know the name Asuka Goro. I'm a penniless scientist and amateur mountain climber.

MIDORI: Brother!

ASUKA: It's been a while, Midori.

MIDORI: HellDragon's personal bodyguard, Lankirk!

LANKIRK: The next one will go in your heart.

LANKIRK: Who did that?!

LANKIRK: Where are you?! Show yourself!

LANKIRK: There you are. You don't know who you're messin' with, do you?

HAYAKAWA: You're HellDragon's personal bodyguard, Lankirk. The... second-best gunslinger in Japan.

LANKIRK: Second-best!? Then who's the best?

LANKIRK: And just who are you, you scum?

HAYAKAWA: I'm the man who hunts down evil scum like you.

LANKIRK: If you're the best, then prove it. That rabbit is the target!

OSAMU: Stop!

MIDORI: Osamu!

LANKIRK: Listen, kid. We need that rabbit.

OSAMU: What are you gonna do to my rabbit?!

HAYAKAWA: Don't worry, son. I won't let anyone harm your rabbit.

LANKIRK: You take the red one. I'll take the yellow. The one who hits his flower is the winner.

LANKIRK: Impossible!

LANKIRK: But all your shots missed the mark, too.

HAYAKAWA: No, I won.

LANKIRK: What are you talking about?

HAYAKAWA: I shot down all your bullets.

OSAMU: I found them! Just as he said!

HAYAKAWA: Forgive me?

LANKIRK: I'll get you.

OSAMU: That was amazing, mister! I can't believe...

MIDORI: What's wrong with you two!?

MIDORI: So you're the elusive Mr. Hayakawa?

HAYAKAWA: That's right. Hayakawa Ken, private investigator.

HAYAKAWA: But Asuka, how could you? Keeping such a cute little sister hidden away from me.

HAYAKAWA: Wait! Shut down the engine!

OSAMU: What's wrong?

BOY: What is it, mister?

HAYAKAWA: Quiet! It's a time bomb! We have to get off!

MIDORI: Careful! Hurry!


ASUKA: Hey! What are you doing!?

HAYAKAWA: Getting the bus away from here!

ASUKA: Just stay there!

HAYAKAWA: Asuka! Asuka, stop! Stop it now!

ASUKA: Stubborn fool...

ASUKA: Let go, Hayakawa! Hayakawa, let go! You fool!


OSAMU: Thank goodness! He's awake!

ASUKA: Hayakawa, are you there?

HAYAKAWA: Idiot. Thought we'd lost you for a minute there.

ASUKA: This is nothing to a true mountain man.

HAYAKAWA: Rest for now.

ASUKA: Did you find out who set the bomb?

HAYAKAWA: Yeah. I've been talking with the police, and they don't have any evidence. But I know who did it. This is the work of HellDragon.

TOJO: Get them out! Hurry!

HAYAKAWA: Hey, Tojo! What's going on?

TOJO: We're in trouble, Hayakawa.

TOJO: I'm with the police, working with Hayakawa. We've been friends since college.

ASUKA: Nice to meet you. I'm...

TOJO: Hayakawa's childhood friend, I know. Asuka, we need you to transfer hospitals.


TOJO: We received an anonymous threat at the station. They want 3 billion yen by one o'clock, or they'll blow up the hospital!

HAYAKAWA: One o'clock?

HAYAKAWA: You idiot! You have to get out of here!

ASUKA: Don't be ridiculous. Mountain men are invincible!



ASUKA: Hayakawa...


ASUKA: Hayakawa... listen... I can't forgive... the person who planted the bombs...

ASUKA: Once my wounds are healed... I'll fight with you again...

HAYAKAWA: Asuka... Asuka... Asuka!!


EYECATCH: The Magnificant Zuvatt

GRAVESTONE: Rest in Peace, Asuka Goro

MIDORI: They say he was shot twelve times... inside that fire.

HAYAKAWA: I heard it... the killer's laughter. I'll never forget that voice as long as I live.

MIDORI: Hayakawa, I blame you for this! If you hadn't come here, this... this never would have...

MIDORI: Hayakawa! This is my brother's one possession... please take it. I can't bear to look at it anymore.

[Hayakawa's song]
Burning red in the setting sun
Lies the horizon on which we made our vow
But whether I love it now, or hate it...
La la la, la la la...
Like you, I will... never...

HAYAKAWA: Asuka... Asuka!

HAYAKAWA: Asuka... I've come here to your laboratory. I'm going to finish the research you were working on. I'll finish the power suit! The power suit you were developing for space exploration... and the supercar... I'm modifying them, for justice! Watch me, Asuka! With your power suit... with your vehicle... I will avenge you!

HAYAKAWA: It's finished!!

HAYAKAWA: Watch me, Asuka! This is your power suit... the Zuvatt Suit! And... the Zuvacar!

ASSISTANT: Boss of Hell Division, HellDragon reporting!

BOSS L: Did you safely obtain the three billion yen?

HELLDRAGON: Yes, sir! After the explosion in the hospital, the mayor was most obliging!

BOSS L: Marvelous job, HellDragon.

BOSS L: You fool! That private investigator, Hayakawa Ken is still alive! Why didn't you finish him!?


BOSS L: Find him!

BOSS L: None may stand against evil organization Dakkar and live! Find him, and kill him!

HAYAKAWA: Mr. Lankirk. Would you show me the way to hell?

LANKIRK: Don't get ahead of yourself, cowboy. Look over there.

OSAMU: Stop! Stop!


OSAMU: Please, stop!

HAYAKAWA: Stop this! If you want to torture someone, use me! Why won't you use me!?

HELLDRAGON: Because you suffer more when I torture her!

HAYAKAWA: Please... stop!

HELLDRAGON: Hate me, and suffer! And after I teach her the pain of hell, I'll kill her! That's how HellDragon does things!

HELLDRAGON: Though it's not as fun as setting bombs...

HELLDRAGON: The next will be that boy!

HAYAKAWA: HellDragon... what did you say? You're the one who set that bomb!?

HELLDRAGON: Obviously. Who else could have done such a magnificent job of it?

HAYAKAWA: Then it was you... you'll regret those words, HellDragon!

HELLDRAGON: I'm starting on the boy... watch closely!

HELLDRAGON: What's wrong, Hayakawa!? You've got nothing more to say to me!?

HELLDRAGON: Hayakawa's escaped! Find him!

HELLDRAGON: What's that?

HELLDRAGON: Who are you!?

HAYAKAWA: Zu-VATT, I'm on the scene! Zu-VATT, I solve the case! They call me the wandering hero... the Magnificent Zuvatt!

HAYAKAWA: You blew up a kindergarten bus, and even a hospital! HellDragon, you will pay!

HAYAKAWA: Oh no... Asuka, I can only wear your suit for five minutes. If I wear it any longer, my body will be torn to shreds. And I only have one minute left!

LANKIRK: Whoever you are, I'll take you on.

HAYAKAWA: Bring it on!

LANKIRK: You think you can bring a whip to a gunfight?

LANKIRK: I've lost...

HAYAKAWA: HellDragon!

HELLDRAGON: How dare you!

HAYAKAWA: HellDragon! Did you kill a man named Asuka Goro!?

HAYAKAWA: It was you, wasn't it!?

HELLDRAGON: No! It wasn't me! It wasn't!

HAYAKAWA: Swear it!


HAYAKAWA: He couldn't have hit Asuka from where he was standing...

HAYAKAWA: He couldn't...

HAYAKAWA: Then this man... is not Asuka's killer.

HAYAKAWA: Asuka...

CARD: This is the man behind the bombings.

MIDORI: Mr. Hayakawa!

OSAMU: Mr. Hayakawa!

MIDORI: Mr. Hayakawa!

OSAMU: Mr. Hayakawa!

MIDORI: I said such horrible things to him. That's why he's gone away!

OSAMU: I'm going to follow Mr. Hayakawa! I want to learn from him!

MIDORI: I'm going, too. I want to find out who killed my brother!

[Ending Theme]
There is a road that a man must walk
That road is his to walk alone
When he devotes his life to a burning wish
He seeks what lies beyond the mountains

Through love and truth and suffering
The way of battle is like the fires of hell
And though he does not know what lies beyond...
That road is his to walk alone

NARRATOR: Ken's quest for vengeance begins! Who really killed his dear friend, Goro? Strange killers once again stand in the way of his search! Keep fighting, Ken! Fight, wandering hero! The Magnificent Zuvatt!

NARRATOR: Next time: The Wanderer in the Flames. Please enjoy!

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