Kayoko is a young girl growing up in a typical family in Tokyo, Japan. She has the typical problems of a young girl her age – her mother is pregnant, so she has to deal with no longer being the youngest in her family, she has a bit of a bedwetting problem, she’s cries at the drop of a hat, and her older brothers can be real troublemakers. But she has good friends and a family who loves her, and she is growing up and overcoming her problems. They all lead a fairly normal life together.
The year is 1940. “Normal life” is a concept that is coming to an end.
Another way to think of this movie: Think “Grave of the Fireflies,” if the main character wasn’t a total fucking asshole.
And good lord, do you know how hard it is to subtitle a movie like this? I could only work on it a bit at a time. I was crying, and you probably will too… assuming you aren’t an inhuman monster of some kind, that is. I know there are fansubbers out there who literally do not care about what they are working on, but I can’t relate to that. None of this is to say this movie is relentlessy bleak and depressing, and in fact there are more fun parts than sad.
This was originally subtitled back in the pre-digital days as a collaboration between Anime Miranda and Vic & Jack. Well, one day, out of the blue, the guy from Anime Miranda dropped me an email – he wanted Lupin Gang Anime to remaster Who’s Left Behind. I thought that was pretty awesome, because we really enjoyed this movie and didn’t think it was out there enough. So, he sent me his script and a raw VHS copy of the movie (pre-digital days, remember kids!). I used that to do a bit of script editing, probably, I honestly don’t remember what I did to/with the script. What I DO remember is, however – he wouldn’t lend me the laserdisc (I didn’t own it then). He had some whacky idea that we’d remaster it from a VHS copy! We went back and forth, and I’m pretty sure he went away pissed.
So, fast-forward 10+ years. Guess what? I still have the script, and, in the intervening years, I have obtained the laserdisc. And guess what else? Nobody appears to have ever remastered this since those old days. The time has come.
I had to do extensive retiming on parts of the script, and I don’t blame that on either of the two groups who worked on this before. This was originally timed before .wav timing was first introduced to the world by Substation Alpha. This was done with the old spacebar method on Macsubtitler, and then converted to JACOSub for the final mastering. The script I was given was also 1) clearly not the final version used by Vic & Jack, and had some weird errors in it, and 2) was missing the last five minutes of dialoge completely. Fortunately, somebody captured the old version from a VHS long ago and put it online, so I was able to refer back to that for many of the missing and/or dodgy bits. Some of the missing lines were still missing in that version, but they were simple enough that I could fill them in myself with my own limited Japanese.
AVISynth script (video v2.0):
AnimeIVTC(mode=4, omode=1, aa=1)
FFT3DFilter(sigma=2.0, plane=4, bw=48, bh=48, bt=4, ow=22, oh=22, sharpen=1, interlaced=false)