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  1. #1
    Administrator Shir's Avatar
    Mar 2011

    Kakuranger [DOWNLOAD PAGE]

    Striking down evil, hidden from the eyes of men!
    Ninja Squad Kakuranger stands before you!

    Translation/pretiming: TehKou
    Editing: Lynxara
    Initial QC (1-40, movie): SgtKira of Hikari-Senshi
    Encoding/final timing/final QC/muxing: Bunnyhat
    Hardsubs/DDL provider: JP317

    Shout Factory is releasing Kakuranger on DVD later this year! Get it from them!
    Last edited by FortMax; 01-23-2016 at 05:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Jul 2011

    Kakuranger Episode Notes

    Spoiler for Series notes:
    The production team of 1994's Ninja Sentai Kakuranger is predominantly the same group of writers, directors, producers, and other folks responsible for the prior entry in the Super Sentai series, 1993's Gosei Sentai Dairanger. As the story goes, when that team wrapped up the Dairanger, somebody said, "Wait. Why did we make a Sentai about China, when we've never made one about Japan?"

    This creation myth is probably over-simplified, but Kakuranger is still undoubtedly the first of what are sometimes called the "patriotic" Sentai, shows that go out of their way emphasize Japanese culture in their design, story, and gimmicks. Other shows generally considered "patriotic" are Hurricaneger and Shinkenger, if you're curious, but Kakuranger is actually more grounded in Japanese culture than either.

    This makes Kakuranger a genuinely difficult prospect, when it comes to creating an English translation. While all Sentai is Japanese, very little of it is actually about Japan. Most things in the average Sentai show can be directly translated quite easily Kakuranger, though, is a show that ends up being about a lot of concepts that just don't exist outside of Japan. As such, there aren't always English terms that really fit whatever an episode of Kakuranger is talking about. Sometimes, even when terms are available, you still need some content from what was going on in Japanese society in the 1990s.

    So this translation is going to be a bit more... let's say, Japanese than you may be used to from Hikari Senshi. We will try to translate things that can be easily and simply translated, but in other cases, we will retain Japanese terms. To help make the subtitles more readable for English speakers who are unfamiliar with Japanese, we're going to italicize all of the Japanese terms used in the text. This is a literary device traditionally used when writing about Japan in English, particularly in scholarly work. The idea is that by italicizing the unfamiliar words, you make them stand out, and make them easier to read quickly and understand in context.

    All Japanese terms used in the subs will be explained in episode notes that go along with each release, in case you're still confused about something after you finish an episode. We will try to explain every italicized term to the best of our ability. We'll also be footnoting cultural references, things that aren't matters of language so much as matters of what Japan was like when Kakuranger was originally produced. While Kakuranger is a patriotic show, it's not a jingoistic one. A lot of episodes are topical, and focus on criticizing various social changes that were occurring at the time. We'll try to point out when an episode is engaging in social commentary in a way that might not be entirely obvious, and kind of confusing if you're not sure what the show is going on about.

    We will endeavor to make sure that translations of episodes can be understood and enjoyed without reading any of the release notes, of course. The notes are simply there for viewers who may want to know more about a topic, or who felt like there was something going on in an episode that was a bit inexplicable. Kakuranger is an extremely well-written series and a landmark entry in the Super Sentai franchise, but it's also a show that can be difficult for Western fans to watch as easily as they might watch something like, well, Dairanger. We want to provide every possible resource for fans who want to really get into it while we do this release.

    As for the names of gadgets and robots... that is, the toy-related names. There's much debate in the Sentai fan community about whether or not the names of toy items, particularly robots and gadgets, should be translated in subtitles. Generally, toy collectors prefer that toy items have their names transliterated, so they don't have to memorize two sets of names for everything. More story-oriented fans want translations of the toy items names to appear in the subtitles, so they can understand how the names were supposed to "feel" to its original audience. Both camps hold very valid viewpoints, and it's literally impossible to please them both. Ultimately, what we do as release staff will just be a matter of what feels right for the show.

    If you watched the Zyuranger release we did with MegaAnon, you saw that most of the toy-related names written in Japanese were left that way. This is because there's really only a handful of Japanese terms that occur in the show, and their meanings were not essential to deciphering anything about the story. Kakuranger, however, throws gobs and gobs of Japanese at the audience, both in the toy names and in basic dialogue. As discussed above, a lot of the Japanese terminology the show uses can't easily be replaced in English. As a result, we've decided to be a bit more liberal about translating toy names for this release, when simple and direct translations are possible. Leaving everything untranslated seemed like it could help push the subs into being overwhelming.

    That said, you may be surprised to see how many toy names are left untranslated. In part, this is because there are some terms the show uses purely because they sound particularly old-fashioned and super-Japanese, and replacing them with English terms was awkward at best. We also have to account for the presence in the show of Jiraiya, a particularly demented and memorable character who... well, just watch the show. You'll see what sort of translation problems he single-handedly creates.

    Ultimately, we want the item names to be kept short and easy to remember, so it's not too annoying for either toy collectors or more story-oriented fans. For purists who may dislike having any translated names for toy items in the subs, we will provide alternates that you can use to replace the translated names in the scripts. You can't make everyone happy all of the time, so hopefully this is a compromise that isn't too awkward.

    Spoiler for Episode 1 notes:
    Please be sure to watch the episode before you read the release notes. The release notes address things that could be confusing in the order in which they occur in the episode, and they'll probably be overwhelming and confusing if you attempt to read them first. They may also contain spoilers.

    The first episode of Kakuranger can be rough going for a foreign audience, since the show dives right in to showing off how outrageously Japanese it is. As a result, and the release notes for this episode are frankly enormous. Generally, later episodes will require fewer notes, although it'll vary depending on what an episode's plot is about.

    Kakuranger was written with the assumption that its audience would already know most of the things we address in these notes. Most of what is listed here would be things even a small Japanese child would already understand, just due to cultural immersion, but that even a long-time fan of tokusatsu might not have picked up yet.

    [01.22.82] The Storyteller

    Kakuranger's infamous "narrator," called the Storyteller in credit translations, is famous rakugo performer Sanyuutei Enjou. Rakugo is a form of Japanese comic storytelling where the performer sits on a stage, wielding a fan, and tells a funny anecdote to his gathered audience. The storyteller uses a fan as a prop, and changes his voice while playing different roles. The comedy of rakugo is usually quite broad, and many of the tales would be considered quite corny by Western standards (they're often compared to sitcom plots). It remains popular in Japan to this day as a form of folk art.

    The first arc of Kakuranger puts a big emphasis on comedy, and often pokes fun at both the heroes and villains. The Storyteller is there to help remind the show's original audience that this is supposed to be a comedy, and you should be laughing at the antics of these misfit heroes and villains. Remember that prior to Kakuranger, Sentai had at most comedic scenes or episodes. The idea of a strictly comedic story arc in Sentai was something the audience at the time probably wouldn't have expected. It was probably reasonable to worry that viewers wouldn't quite understand what the show was doing without (literally) a character present to point it out.

    There are certain formulaic elements of rakugo storytelling that the Storyteller emphasizes in this episode. For instance, stories always end with what is called a "fall," an abrupt interruption or sudden stop. Since Kakuranger is tokusatsu, the Storyteller's performance ends with him telling a lousy joke, then abruptly exploding. (Tokusatsu is awesome.)

    If you want to get a taste of what Rakugo is like, here's the performer Shijaku Katsura performing the rakugo tale "Toki-Udon" in both Japanese and English: Part 1, Part 2

    [01:43.14] The Five Famous Ninjas

    In Kakuranger, our heroes are descendants of Sarutobi Sasuke, Kirigakure Saizou, Miyoshi Seikai Nyudo, Jiraiya, and Tsuruhime. These five names would be known to the original Japanese audience as figures from folklore. That's really all you need to know about them to understand the story, just that they were five famous ninja characters from ancient Japan's Warring States.

    If you want to know a little bit more, though: Sarutobi Sasuke is a folk hero, possibly based on real-life ninjas. He became a major figure in Japanese pop culture in the early 20th century, thanks to a series of children's books that gathered up folktales about him. Sarutobi was a character often associated with the idea of agility and monkey-like climbing skill; his family name literally means "monkey jump." Usually, Sarutobi is remembered as the leader of the "Sanada Ten Braves", a fictional supergroup of mythic ninjas who aided the warlord Sanada Yukimura. Kirigakure Saizou is usually counted among the Sanada Ten Braves, and is often portrayed as Sarutobi's best friend and greatest rival. This is probably why their descendants debut in the first episode together, as bickering pals.

    Tsuruhime is based on an actual historical figure, though one that's obscure in English (in fact, try Googling the name and you'll mostly get Kakuranger hits). The historical Tsuruhime was not a ninja, but instead was the daughter of Oohouri Yasumochi, high priest of the Oyamazumi Shrine in Iyo. When their lord Ouchi Yoshitaka embarked on his conquest of the surrounding lands, the Oohouri family sent their oldest son Yasufusa to command their family's portion of Ouchi's army. Yasufusa was killed in battle, and so his 16-year-old sister Tsuruhime went to replace him. She lead the Oohouri armies to victory, and became especially famous for her custom-made breastplate. Called the Konito Susosu Kageodoshi Doumaru, Tsuruhime's breastplate is the only known piece of its type ever constructed for a woman. It has survived intact to this day, and is now considered a cultural artifact.

    Since Seikai and Jiraiya's descendants won't appear until future episodes, we'll wait until then to cover their mythology.

    [02:41.64] Nurarihyon

    Nurarihyon is a Japanese legendary creature who's often thought to be the leader of all yokai in folklore, since he is believed to lead the "hyakki yagyo," in English called the "Parade of One Hundred Monsters." This is a folk belief that on summer nights, the Nurarihyon will gather one hundred yokai together and parade them, reveling, through city streets while the humans sleep. Anyone who encountered the parade would surely die.

    In folklore, the Nurarihyon is fairly different from the one we see in Kakuranger. Nurarihyon was thought to be a yokai who looked like an old man. He would break into people's houses while they were gone, drink their tea, and generally act like he owned the place. The idea that you could seal away the power of the yokai by sealing away Nurarihyon seems to be an invention of Kakuranger's writers.

    [03:43.42] Yokai and Yoki

    Yokai is a term used to describe a bewildering array of supernatural creatures that figure prominently in Japanese folklore, combining the kanji for "supernatural" and "weird." Yokai are often presented as dangerous to humans in folklore, but they're not necessarily evil there. Various sorts of magical animal monsters are yokai, as are certain types of demon, goblin, ghosts, and even transformed humans. Kakuranger uses monsters based on all of these different types of yokai, so it seemed best to not translate the term in any particular way. In Kakuranger, most yokai are assumed to also be ninjas, which is really just because the show is about ninjas.

    Yoki seems to be something else Kakuranger's writers just made up. The term combines the supernatural yo from youkai with ki, or "life force." It's pretty logical, from a Japanese point of view, that sealing away the supernatural energy (yoki) of the world would weaken all of the yokai. Kakuranger doesn't talk a whole lot about yoki after its early episodes, but it's something to keep in mind.

    [03:53.52] Street food

    When we first see Sasuke and Saizou, they're arguing about whether to go for burgers or ramen. These are the two stereotypical types of fast food that were associated with young people in the early 90s. When the Storyteller yells at them to get omurice instead, he's referring to a dish sometimes called "omelet rice," a form of fusion cuisine that's really popular in Japan. It's essentially an omelet filled with fried rice and topped with ketchup. It's associated with home cooking and often served on children's menus or in diners that specialize in comfort food. So the Storyteller is basically telling Sasuke and Saizou to quit eating crap and go get some real food.

    [04:47.56] Kappa Inari Shrine

    There's no such thing as a "Kappa Inari Shrine," so Sasuke and Saizou should've known to be suspicious of the old man's offer. There are "Inari Shrines," though, where you propitiate the deity Inari Okami by giving an offering of food, particularly inari-zushi (sushi rice stuffed into a fried tofu pocket), other fried tofu dishes, and sake. Generally the paths to inari shrines are lined with shops that sell food and sake that can be left as an offering. These offerings are usually inexpensive. It's likely that Sasuke and Saizou were thinking they could spend a little bit of the money on a shrine offering for the old man, then keep the rest of the money in the bag for themselves.

    [05:02.44] "Ninja De Gozaru!"

    Ending sentences with "de gozaru" is part of an old-fashioned speech pattern, a bit comparable to how people would think of speaking with thees and thous in English. You hear it sometimes from a character who's supposed to sound a bit courtly and old-fashioned (say, Himura Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin). It's also a speech pattern that is sometimes associated, in a weirdly specific way, with ninjas. For instance, if you watch the anime Tiger & Bunny, the hero Origami Cyclone speaks with the "de gozaru" speech pattern specifically when he is "in character" as a ninja. When he reverts to his secret identity, he speaks normally.

    This can be a very difficult speech pattern to deal with in translation, depending on context. It's one thing if you're dealing with a guy like Kenshin, where its significance is obvious. It's often dropped if, say, only one character in the cast is using it, and he's using it specifically because he's a ninja. In this episode, we decided to go with the "old-fashioned" interpretation, since it's specifically the Kakuranger's ninja ancestors who speak this way. It's one of the things that sets them apart from their modern descendants.

    [05:34.34] "Pass through, oh, pass through"

    This is a Japanese folk song called Touryanse that's so old, its origins are largely unclear.

    EDIT: Or maybe not. GUIS bro Shir says that he's always heard the song's origins explained as a reference to one of the Tokugawa shoguns. This interpretation says the song is actually a warning, saying that if you join the Tokugawa armies (by "passing through"), you'll probably die. This certainly does fit the way the song is used in the episode, and it bears looking into. The original explanation is below.

    It seems to tell the story of a parent (probably a mother) and child traveling through a checkpoint on the way to a shrine, and was probably originally sung by children. There's a children's game that goes along with it, where two children link arms for form a "castle arch," and other children walk or run beneath them. In modern-day Japan, it's played at crosswalks to indicate when it's safe to cross the street. In Kakuranger, the yokai sing it to mislead Sasuke and Saizou into following the singing girl, who seems to be promising them safe passage.

    [06:52.98] Hana Ichi Monme

    Another super-traditional Japanese children's song, sung as part of a children's game that's similar to "Red Rover." The "hana ichi monme" part of the lyrics borders on being complete nonsense, sung largely to keep time in the song. The monme is an ancient Japanese unit of measurement, equivalent to 3.75 grams. The phrase "hana ichi monme" literally means "a flower weighs one monme," and has no relevance to the other lyrics of the song. Since it's a nonsense-phrase anyway, we opted to leave it in Japanese so viewers wouldn't think too much about that part of the lyrics. The part we translated is the part that's relevant to how the yokai are treating Sasuke and Saizou.

    [09:03.02] Cucumbers

    In Japanese folklore, cucumbers are said to be a kappa's favorite food. Their second-favorite is human children. So when Japanese families went to bathe or swim in a river or pond, they might toss cucumbers in first to distract any kappa dwelling nearby. In Kakuranger, Kappa's ability to transform the money into cucumbers plays on the association from folklore, but doesn't directly reference anything from it.

    [09:13.54] Sandayuu

    There's two things to note with Sandayuu. You may notice that Sandayuu is written a little differently than the other characters. That's because he's speaking in an unusual dialect, Sanuki-ben,that originates in the Kagawa Prefecture (once called Sanuki Province) of the island of Shikoku. The dialect is characterized primarily by changes of diction. Shikoku is a small southern island, and so its people use slightly different terms to refer to things than a person from Tokyo would. The accent seems to be associated, culturally, with people who are from far away and have curious but not unpleasant customs. For Kakuranger, we've decided to interpret it as a mild Irish brogue. Generally we try to keep accent translations mild, so the text remains easy to read.

    Also, Sandayuu is also based loosely on a famous ninja from folklore. Sandayuu's inspiration is Momochi Sandayuu, who trained the famous ninja Ishikawa Goemon. This relationship ended with Sandayuu being made to look the fool, as Goemon ends up stealing one of Sandayuu's swords and one of his mistresses.

    [09:57.60] Kappa

    The Storyteller says a little about kappa in this episode, but there's plenty he leaves out. Kappa are a sort of turtle-like goblin believed to live in any sizable lake, pool, or stream. Although kappa make mischief for humans, drowning or even eating them, they're not considered intrinsically evil. Kappa are counted among the suijin or "water deities," and there are kappa shrines throughout Japan where they can be given prayers and offerings (pickled octopus, cucumber, and sake are traditional). You could say that Kappa only make trouble for humans who are especially foolish or reckless. This episode's plot reflects that belief, as the Kappa chides Sasuke and Saizou for being greedy and easily fooled.

    [11:10.84] Street Fashion Yokai

    In addition to Kappa, this episode also introduces us to the yokai Azukiarai, Nurikabe, and Mokumokuren. It's worth pointing out here that while Kakuranger's monster designs are based somewhat on traditional representations of monsters, they're not meant to be entirely faithful. The idea behind Kakuranger's monster suits is traditional yokai mixed with then-contemporary street fashions and other symbols of urban living. So you have the brightly-colored Kappa in swim goggles, an Azukiarai that lives in a trash can, Nurikabe's wall is covered in graffiti, and a Mokumokuren that acts like a flasher. We'll get more into the specific mythologies of these yokai when we see them again, later in the show. For now, just bear in mind that the show is displaying these designs to get its idea of city-dwelling yokai across to an audience that would've quickly recognized the pattern in the unusual designs.

    [12:47.82] "What's with the getup?"

    This is a fairly loose translation of Sasuke's line. A more literal translation would be "What are you, a kogal?" Kogal is Japanese slang that describes an extremely fashionable, pretty, but often vapid teenage girl. In the 90s, a kogal fashion trend was wearing a scarf over your hair. Sasuke's essentially making fun at Tsuruhime's weird ninja getup, by comparing her ninja costume's headgear to a kogal hair scarf. The line's meant to come off a bit rude, and cast Sasuke in an unflattering light. For this particular line, we just opted to translate around the reference, since it was easy to make the line's meaning clear without a direct kogal reference.

    [14:06.04] Mighty Shogun

    His Japanese name is "Muteki Shogun."

    [14.33.24] Doron Changer

    Doron is a Japanese sound effect specifically associated with ninjas vanishing in a burst of smoke, say after a smoke bomb has gone off. It doesn't really have a direct English equivalent. We played with a few ways of translating this, but ultimately they sounded very labored, so we've decided to let the device name stand as-is. There's a pop culture theme running through Kakuranger that's expressed by use of comic book sound effects for various things, and the use of Doron in the transformation device's item is part of that.

    (There's also, to be honest, something that comes up in episode 3 that influenced our decision. If you've already seen Kakuranger, you probably know who I'm talking about.)

    [15:24.06] Kappamaki

    Kappamaki are better known on sushi menus as "cucumber rolls." This type of sushi, which is sliced cucumber wrapped in rice and seaweed, takes its Japanese name from the kappa's famous fondness for cucumber. Usually we would translate the name of a food like this, since it has a common English alternative, but then you'd lose the play on words.

    [15:30.88] Don't blow your top!

    What Kappa's saying here in Japanese is "otsumu-tenten", which is a 'baby talk' way of telling someone to pat their head. Some parents play this game with crying babies or toddlers, to get them to calm down and focus on something less stressful. Colloquially, the expression can also be used in a snide, condescending sort of way to tell someone to calm down. That's how Kappa is using the expression here, so we translated it with a roughly equivalent American expression that refers to the head, "Don't blow your top!"

    There's also a joke about kappas here. One of the beliefs about them in folklore is that there's an indentation on the tops of their heads that must remain full of water at all times. If the water splashes out, the kappa will immediately become paralyzed or die. So sometimes if a kappa plans to spend a lot of time on land, he wears a metal cap to cover up the indentation and keep the water safely in his head. When Kappa smacks his head while saying this line, you can hear the sound of water splashing-- the water implied to be beneath his yellow swim cap.

    [15:33.82] Super Henge

    Henge means "change," but it's an extremely Japanese way of saying "change," bordering on old-fashioned. Sometimes transforming monsters from Japanese myths are called hengeyokai, with the henge indicating their ability to change shape (from, say, a human to an animal). We decided to preserve Henge in this case, since it's obvious from context what it means, but maybe not so obvious that something extremely Japanese is supposed to be happening.

    (Also... again, there's stuff in episode 3 that influences our stance on this pretty fundamentally.)

    [16:50.84] Shu Shu Shu

    During the fight, the words "Shu! Shu! Shu!," written in Roman letters, appear on the screen. Much like the "Zbaaaakk!" you see earlier, this is a sound effect. It's just a peculiarly Japanese one, for all that it's written with the Roman alphabet. "Shushu" is the sound of something whooshing. When used with ninjas, shushu usually refers to the sound of them running quickly, or to the sound of them rapidly throwing shuriken. Kakuranger uses it almost exclusively for shuriken throws.

    [16:53.70] Kakure Ninpo

    The basic translation for "ninpo" is ninja arts, but in Kakuranger, ninpo is basically just magic. If you are a sufficiently good ninja, you can make just about anything happen. The "Kaku" in Kakuranger comes from "kakure," which means "hidden." Certain attacks or items the Kakurangers use frequently incorporate the word kakure into their names.

    [17:09.86] The Blade, Kakuremaru

    Kakuremaru is the name of the swords the Kakurangers use, so we've treated their names as proper nouns (as is customary for swords in English). The -maru part of the name is used frequently for weapons and ships. Literally it means "circle," but when used as part of a name, it means "noble" or "exalted."

    The "hiken" part is tricky. The kanji are "secret" and "sword," but together they refer to exotic or advanced forms of swordplay. So we think the "hiken" is supposed to indicate that the Kakuremaru is a particularly high-quality sword, that can be used to execute advanced techniques. We've handled this by translating hiken as "blade," and treating it as a sort of epithet or title for the sword ("The Blade, Kakuremaru").

    [17:38.12] Ninpo Basketball

    I'm sure you're wondering "Why is Kappa calling it a basketball when he's clearly kicking it like a soccer ball?" We've checked and checked this, but that does appear to be what Kappa is saying. Maybe one of the writers got a bit confused?

    [18:34.47] Dororon

    Dororon is a more forceful version of the doron sound effect that the Doron Changer is named after. The repetition is basically just for singing along with the song.

    [18:45.22] Makibishi

    Makibishi is the Japanese term for what are called caltrops or spikes in English. They're small bits of sharpened metal you scatter on the ground to frustrate pursuers. This is usually something we'd translate, but the way it's used in the song made us think that what the word meant was far less important than how it sounded when you were singing along.

    Spoiler for episode 2 notes:
    [02:49.85] Miyoshi Seiki Nyudo

    Seikai's ninja ancestor was one of the Sanada Ten Braves. The "nyudo" signifies that he was a Buddhist monk. In the original novel that established the story, Miyoshi had a brother named Isa who was also a monk. Later on in the episode, when his ancestor notes that Seikai's probably a ladies' man, the show is playing off of the Japanese stereotype of Buddhist monks as lecherous.

    [08:52.56] Rokurokubi

    In mythology, Rokurokubi is a yokai that appears as a beautiful woman by day, but transforms into a horrible monster at night. Some legends depict rokurokubi as living stealthily in human society, spying upon humans, while others depict them as more simple-minded monsters. In some stories, a woman can be a rokurokubi without realizing it. A few legends depict rokurokubi as humans transformed into yokai for breaking Buddhist religious laws. In these stories, the rokurokubi is a demonic creature that devours other humans. Kakuranger combines aspects of all of these stories into its depiction, and adds in an additional squid motif (perhaps to better harmonize her design with the aquatic Kappa).

    [15:32.56] Juushou Simiadar

    Juushou combines the character for "beast" with the "sho" from "shogun". Literally, it would mean "beast commander," but that doesn't convey quite the right idea. The juushou don't issue orders to animals. The concept of the Juushou is more that they're divine creatures who are exalted above ordinary beasts, as a commander is exalted above a soldier, and so are giants that walk on two legs. The Juushou essentially grant the Kakurangers the divine powers of a animal spirit.

    In Japanese, Sasuke's Juushou is named Sarudar. This name is meant to evoke monkeys (saru), as the Red Ranger's power animal (since he's Sarutobi Sasuke). Since he has the big "S" on his chest, we thought we could translate "saru" in this case with "simian," an adjective used in English to describe monkey. So: Simiadar. If you hate it, feel free to change it!

    Spoiler for Episode 3 notes:
    [01:27.28] Makimono

    Typically makimono is translated as "scroll," but we're making an exception in Kakuranger, and mainly because of the events of this episode. The term makimono in Japanese specifically refers to scrolls that open horizontally rather than vertically. This distinction is important in scholarly discourse, so the term is sometimes preserved in English writing about Japanese things. In fansubs, you usually wouldn't need to do that.

    But, this episode of Kakuranger introduces Jiraiya, the Kakuranger who's famous for speaking mostly in English at this point in the show. As a result of this, there's some exchanges later in the episode (especially around [14:58.51]) that play upon the idea that Ninja Yellow and Ninja Blue understand the Japanese word "makimono," but not the English word "scroll." Using both words in the subs seemed to be the best way to make this episode's central communication problem clear. To avoid confusion in future episodes, we'll keep using makimono in the subs, too.

    [03.43.50] Oboroguruma

    The Storyteller glosses over him a bit, but Oboroguruma is a chariot yokai. He's one of the major yokai with a specific origin, rather than just generally hailing from older folklore. Oboroguruma first appears in the Konjaku Hyakki Shuui (typically translated as "Supplement to the Hundred Demons from the Present and Past"), which is the third book of Japanese artist Sekien Toriyama's Gazu Hyakki Yagyou. The Gazu Hyakki Yagyou was essentially a bestiary, presenting short descriptions of various monsters along with a representational drawing. Oboroguruma's depiction in this episode (and the other yokai art you see in the series), is drawn in a loose reproduction of Toriyama's style. The oboroguruma of the Gazu Hyakki Yagyou was an ox-drawn cart that contained only an enormous human head, which would appear to terrify travelers on hazy moonlit nights around Kyoto.

    [05:25.16] American Ninja

    Not so much a translation note, but: as mentioned above, this episode introduces Kakuranger's primarily English-speaking member from Los Angeles. If you're wondering how a character concept this crazy made it into the show, it all goes back to Kakuranger being intended at least in part as social commentary. Jiraiya is a representation of the nikkeijin phenomena-- that is, people of Japanese descent who were raised outside Japan. Brazil currently plays host to the world's largest population of nikkeijin, but the United States is a close second. Nikkeijin are still considered Japanese and qualify for Japanese citizenship through the third generation (called sansei nikkei).

    Jiraiya is a nisei (second generation) nikkeijin, so he's still Japanese... but as you can see, he also comes across as quite strange to his teammates who were raised in Japan. His conflict with his team is essentially a sillier version of a conflict that persists in Japanese society to this day, namely trying to figure out exactly how nikkeijin fit into Japanese society (if at all). It was a particularly hot topic in the 1990s, when the Japanese government was offering monetary rewards to South American nikkeijin who would return to Japan and take up jobs there.

    The job opportunities open to these nikkeijin were sometimes limited to what native Japanese called the "three Ks", jobs that were dirty [kitanai], dangerous [kiken], or difficult [kitsui]-- that is, jobs that native Japanese increasingly refused to perform. These repatriated nikkeijin might be again asked to leave (sometimes with monetary incentives attached) during times of high unemployment, a policy the Japanese government has enacted as recently as 2009. The nikkeijin issue has grown more pressing in the face of Japan's declining birth rate, and there is no clear or easy resolution to it in sight.

    [05:48.33] Jiraiya

    The mythology behind Jiraiya's name is probably more well-known outside Japan than that of the other characters, owing to popular ninja-themed manga and anime like Naruto. The Jiraiya of folklore originates from a novel, Jiraiya Gouketsu Monogatari (usually translated as "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya"). The Jiraiya of the novels had the magical ability to shapeshift into a giant toad, which lead to toads and frogs having a longstanding association with ninjas in Japanese pop culture. The novel is one of the first real pop culture sensations in Japanese history, published in a series of 43 installments between 1839 to 1868, and written by many different authors. The Jiraiya Gouketsu Monogatari was sort of a 19th century equivalent to modern American superhero comics.

    [07:09.32] Oden

    Oden is a Japanese dish most commonly associated with winter, and most often served as street food or cheap convenience store food. It consists of a hodge-podge of ingredients that are boiled together in broth flavored with soy sauce. Foods that show up in oden include boiled eggs, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, potatoes, octopus, and various types of tofu. It's meant to be a simple, homey sort of meal that warms you up on a chilly day.

    [07:15.00] Azukiarai

    Not the monster this week, but still a fairly important character. In folklore, azukiarai is thought to be a demon that appears as a short, grotesque man. He makes a mysterious noise, written as shoki shoki, that is supposed to sound like red azuki beans being ground into paste. The azukiarai of folklore is an evil yokai that delights in terrifying humans and sometimes devours them when he wants a respite from grinding beans. Azukiarai appeared by rivers in folklore, where women might go to wash or grind azuki beans. Kakuranger updates him by making him a monster that dwells in a trash can, with shoki shoki perhaps representing the rustling of trash cans on the street.

    [10:02.22] Shoki

    As mentioned above, this sound that Azukiarai makes is associated with the rustle of azuki beans being washed or ground. Since it's such a specific noise, one with no real English counterpart, we've opted to transliterate it. It also tends to be transliterated in descriptions of the monster you find online or in books, in our experience.

    [12:26.89] I told you to work with your team

    The Japanese stereotype Americans as brash, impulsive, and individualistic, and stereotype themselves as reserved, methodical, and group-oriented. That's why Jiraiya, who is essentially half-American, gets a lecture on the folly of trying to do everything himself. In the 1990s, older people in Japan expressed fears that even native-born Japanese were becoming "too American" by adopting more individualistic values, which is why Jiraiya gets lectured by the ninja ancestors for essentially not behaving Japanese enough.

    Stereotyping is also why Jiraiya is a roller-skating cowboy in this episode. That depiction is, of course, inaccurate. Most Americans in the 1990s did not wear roller skates.

    [13:03.45] Super Henge!

    In prior episode notes, we alluded to keeping some terms in Japanese because a character who otherwise spoke only English used the Japanese terms very consistently. Welp, here it is! While there are some other benefits to leaving the transformation item and call in Japanese, we mainly do it because translating dialogue that is otherwise mostly in English gets into a weird area we'd rather avoid. And really, if the show's writers had wanted Jiraiya to say an English version of the item and transformation calls, they would've had him do that.

    [15:17.80] I am bad at the heat

    While Jiraiya speaks predominantly in English in this portion of the show, he can speak Japanese. His Japanese just has a heavy, awkward accent in this part of the show. It's essentially a streotype of how Japanese think foreigners speaking Japanese sound. To reflect this, we're going to make a point of translating Jiraiya's "bad" Japanese as stiffly and literally as possible. His Japanese does improve over the course of the show, and we'll reflect this by gradually making his lines sound more natural. Just keep this in mind if you're watching an episode, Jiraiya starts talking, and the translation suddenly goes to crazytown.

    [15:24.48] Bow!

    Webpages in both Japanese and English typically refer to this attack as "Black Bow." As you can plainly hear, though, Jiraiya just says "Bow" in this episode. We have no idea why.

    [16:18.27] White Craan

    Ah, a run of new robot names. These all work similarly to Sarudar vs Simiadar: the Japanese is a slightly distorted reference to the ranger's totem animal, and is replaced with an English-derived name wherever possible. The Japanese name, White Kaaku, is based on the Chinese reading of the crane kanji (kaku). We opted to call her White Craan in English, since that lets us distort the animal reference in a similar way.

    [16:28.36] Yellow Ursado

    The Japanese for this robot is Yellow Kumado, based on "kuma" or bear. The -do doesn't appear to mean anything in particular, and is probably just inserted to make the robot's name sound more robotty.

    [16:37.90] Blue Lugan

    The Japanese for this robot's name is Blue Rougan. The name derives from rou, which is the Chinese reading of the 'wolf' kanji. The translated name, Lugan, is meant to play on the English word "lupine." The -gan means nothing in particular, and again, just makes the name sound more robotty.

    [16:48.96] Black Ranna

    The Japanese for this robot's name is Black Ganma, derived from "gama" or toad. This was a tricky one to bring into English, as neither "frog" nor "toad" worked into the robot's name gracefully. We opted to use a name derived from "rana," the genus all frogs belong to in scientific classification. It's a bit of a stretch, we admit, but "rana" seems to be reasonably well-known as a term associated with frogs. Feel free to change it if you hate it.

    [17:47.84] "Help me" means "Help me" in Japanese, right?

    You may have noticed that we've subbed all of Jiraiya's lines spoken in English, even though the actor's English is quite fluent. We played around with leaving Jiraiya's lines unsubbed, but didn't really like the end result. Also, in test runs of the episode, it became clear that Jiraiya's sudden perfect English was so jarring that viewers sometimes missed what he was saying, even though it wasn't really difficult to hear.

    As a compromise, and to help handle lines like this one, we decided to sub Jiraiya's lines in a special font. It's just the unbolded version of the default font, but it's helpful for handling situations where other characters are mixing English and Japanese together freely. While many episodes don't use this device, there's a few upcoming that would be pretty difficult to make legible without a special font for dialogue spoken in English.

    Spoiler for Episode 4 notes:
    [02:37.97] JAYwalking

    The Japanese phrase being cited here is a little saying used to teach kids about pedestrian traffic safety. (How very Carranger.) The green-walking and yellow-walking parts of the saying actually reference insects with the Japanese terms for that color in their names. The JAYwalking part references the 'shingo-mushi,' which plays on the fact that 'mushi' can mean 'insect' or 'ignore,' depending on how it's written. So the Kakurangers are ignoring the signal, or jaywalking, as we say in English.

    [07:40.81] Dorodoro

    The Kakuranger mooks, the Dorodoro, are named after "hyu-dorodoro," a sound effect used in kabuki performances of ghost stories. This name isn't actually related to the doron from Doron Changer, or the dororon from the ending theme. (Also, the doro-doro in the ending theme probably isn't referencing this term, either.)

    [08:18.38] Should I grind azuki beans, or should I eat a human?

    This is a catchphrase associated with the azukiarai in folklore. If you stumbled upon an azukiarai washing beans at night, he might mutter it as a warning to get away, unless you want to be devoured.

    [11:18.94] My place of birth is Hawaii!

    Why on Earth would Sasuke claim to be from Hawaii? Well, Hawaii is a very popular tourist destination for the Japanese, and a very large community of Japanese expatriates (and nikkeijin) live there. It makes a certain amount of sense to try and pass himself off as a nikkeijin yokai. The idea of a yokai named Sarutonbo is entirely made-up, but probably plays off of the "saru" in Sarutobi Sasuke's name.

    [12:39.89] People gotta be able to love their local police force!

    This is not a weird exaggeration on Sasuke's part. There is an expectation in traditional Japanese culture that your local police should be seen as completely friendly, helpful, and trustworthy. Of course, reality has a way of falling short of ideals, especially in Japan's large cities. In the 1990s, accusations of corruption among Japanese police forces were on the rise, especially in Tokyo and Osaka.

    [17:03.34] Rest in peace!

    What the Kakurangers actually say here is "namusan," which is an abbreviated version of "namusanbou," a Buddhist chant that means "Hail the Three Treasures of Buddhism." In its original form, the chant was a way for people to express their faith in Buddha, the Buddha's teachings, and Buddhist salvation.

    In modern usage, it's become something more along the lines of a mild swear or exclamation, similar to "For the love of God!" and similar statements. So often when it shows up in a TV show like Kakuranger, or other contemporary media like video games, its use is ironic. It's a bit like something a douchebag kid or a greasy punk might say.

    It's particularly common for characters to say it over the figure of a defeated foe, so we went with the "Rest in peace!" interpretation. Translating it literally would result in something way too confusing. We considered transliterating it, but since it's used as an exclamation by itself, there would be no way for a viewer to intuit any information about its meaning from context.

    If you watched H-S's original release of this, you might remember that it was handled as "Have mercy on your soul!" This wasn't wrong, but we decided to move away from it to make sure we didn't add too many Christian overtones to the dialogue of the Kakurangers. They're clearly supposed to be characters who follow the same mixture of Buddhism and Shinto that most Japanese people do, and we want to emphasize that this go-round. You'll see why in future episodes.

    Spoiler for Episode 5 notes:
    [03:41.48] Nurikabe

    Nurikabe is the a yokai that's more of a mischief-maker than a real bane of mankind, at least in folklore. Nurikabe was thought to be wall monster, possibly invisible, that would appear to block a traveler's path. Going around Nurikabe was impossible, as he could extend his body forever. If you simply knock on the lower part of the wall, though, Nurikabe disappears. This is probably a tale someone dreamed up to "explain" how travelers get lost on long journeys.

    The other yokai Nurikabe gambles with, Mokumokuren, is the focus of the next episode. We'll cover his mythology then. It's worth pointing out here, though, that there's no connection between Nurikabe and Mokumokuren in folklore. That idea seems to be something Kakuranger dreamed up for its own purposes.

    [13:38.12] Ninpo Battle Tile!

    This attack begs the question, "why is it called "Battle Tile" when it clearly involves bricks?" It's especially weird because another brick-related manuever uses the term for "brick" explicitly, even if in Japanese. We've looked into this and as far as we can tell, there's no particular logic behind the attack name. It seems to be a case like the first episode's Ninpo Basketball, where the monster is clearly saying a certain thing even though it doesn't really make any sense in context. Perhaps the writers got a bit confused again.

    Spoiler for Episode 6 notes:
    [03:05.06] Tsuruhime's Prince

    It's kind of hard to miss that Tsuruhime's "prince" is being played by a woman. Chances are this is a reference to Rose of Versailles, a best-selling 1972 shoujo manga set in Revolutionary France. The manga's protagonists are Marie Antoinette and her cross-dressing bodyguard Lady Oscar Francois de Jarjayes, who is depicted as a masculine ideal that happens to occupy a feminine body. Women in the manga typically adore Lady Oscar as a sort of "perfect prince." Rose of Versailles's huge popularity with young Japanese women through the years might explain why Kakuranger's creators decided to depict Tsuruhime's fantasy in this particular way.

    [07:22.94] Mokumokuren

    Mokumokuren is a yokai tied to certain features of classic Japanese architecture. Most Japanese houses used shouji, or "sliding paper walls," to divide space. Shouji are the distinctive walls you see in costume dramas or samurai flicks, made of a wooden lattice holding sheets of white translucent paper. As you might expect, it's pretty easy for the paper parts of a shouji to get torn, or have holes poked in them.

    If the holes aren't repaired, then a mokumokuren moves into it. You know a mokumokuren is living in a torn shouji if you peer into the hole, and see an eyeball peering back out at you. If you stare into a mokumokuren's eye for too long, you'll go blind. This is the worst mokumokuren can do to someone, making him more of a pest than anything else. If someone repairs the holes in a shoji, then the mokumokuren dwelling there will flee.

    Mokumokuren's ability to use illusions and shapeshift is something Kakuranger made up, as far as we can tell. You have to admit, the original form of mokumokuren probably wouldn't make for a very good Sentai monster.

    [09:16.32] They tricked them with potato to buy jewelrys.

    Remember what we said about Jiraiya's Japanese being bad? In this case, we thought it'd be funny to reflect that by having his dialogue match up with the Engrishy newspaper headline. It's really easy to end up accidentally saying stuff that sounds like this if you're someone in Jiraiya's position.

    [10:54.84] Marriage Registration

    This document is a parody of what a Japanese marriage license actually looks like. You may have seen similar parodies before if you're the sort of person who keeps up with Japanese memes. For the marriage to be official, the bride, groom, and at least one witness have to stamp the document with their inkan, a personal kanji stamp that is used like a signature in Japanese documents. Note that Mokumokuren's inkan is an eyeball, while Nurikabe's (as the witness) is a wall.

    [13:03.44] I sure do love fried eyes!

    The 'fried eye' thing is not part of Mokumokuren's original mythology, but instead it's a reference that plays on the fact that Mokumokuren is an eyeball monster. What Westerners might call a fried egg over easy (or "sunny side up") is called an "eyeball egg" in Japanese. So, obviously a real eyeball monster would take things a step farther and just eat fried human eyeballs.

    Spoiler for Episode 7 notes:
    [01:43.85] Ninjutsu

    We went back and forth on whether or not to italicize this term, but ultimately decided to err on the side of caution and italicize it and write a footnote. Ninjutsu is the Japanese term that refers to the martial arts techniques practiced by ninjas. Since it's the name of a martial arts style, it does have some use in the English-speaking martial arts community. It's just not quite common enough that it's safe to assume that most people have probably heard it before.

    There's different styles of ninjutsu, ranging from classical to modern to a whole host of completely made-up ones in fiction. If you want to learn more about it, there's no shortage of books and articles about ninjutsu out there in English. Ninjutsu is sometimes used interchangeably with ninpo in fiction, but in Kakuranger this is never the case. In Kakuranger, ninpo is always the name of the "magical" ninja techniques, while ninjutsu always refers to the overall ninja fighting style.

    (In case you're wondering, there was some debate about whether or not to keep origami in italics. That said, most American schools have taught origami as a general arts and crafts subject for years now. In this case, it seemed pretty likely that most people had probably heard of it before, and someone who hadn't would have no difficulty looking it up in an standard dictionary.)

    [04:00.26] Gakitsuki

    This is one of the more obscure legends Kakuranger has based a monster on, at least from a Western perspective. A gakitsuki is related to the gaki, the "hungry ghosts" of Japanese folklore that are pretty well-known. Gaki are ghosts driven mad when their descendants neglect family shrines and stop venerating them properly. The neglected ghosts go berserk and make trouble for humans, such as eating all of their food.

    A gakitsuki is a creature of mountain legends, a gaki that has possessed a human in its desperate search for food. In certain regions of Japan, it's thought that you should leave a little food uneaten in your box lunch, just in case you meet a gakitsuki. A gakitsuki can grow so hungry that it will eat humans, though putting even a single grain of rice in the gakitsuki's mouth will help you escape.

    It's worth mentioning that gakitsuki in its original folklore isn't a yokai at all, but instead a tsukimono or 'transformed human'. Certain yokai are also transformed humans, though, and gaki is often counted among the creatures that appear in the 'Parade of 100 Demons,' so Kakuranger's creators probably decided gakitsuki was close enough.

    [04:26.92] The only thing yokai should be eatin' is crow!

    What Seikai is actually saying, translated more literally, is "If you're a yokai, you should just eat some mist!" This is a reference to a belief, common to a lot of Asian folklore, that supernatural creatures can survive by just absorbing mist from the air. It's also a reference to a sarcastic Japanese saying based on that belief, "I can't just eat mist, you know," used when someone feels like they're not getting enough material compensation for their time and trouble.

    Obviously, the average viewer of these Kakuranger subs probably wouldn't know about the saying, even if they were familiar with the idea of supernatural beings consuming mist. Since Seikai is saying the line as a quip, we just changed it to a quip related to an English saying, so someone just watching the episodes casually gets a back-and-forth dialogue exchange that makes sense. We wanted to footnote the original version of the line, though, since we figured people really into Kakuranger's monsters and mythology would be interested in it.

    [04:38.61] Ninpo! Cha Siu Roll!

    "Cha Siu" isn't italicized in this line because it's not a reference to a Japanese dish, but to a Chinese one. The name is romanized accordingly. Japan loves Chinese food, which is about as common there as Italian dishes are in English-speaking countries. While cha siu (or Chinese BBQ) pork is a dish that's not hard to get in a lot of English-speaking countries, cha siu rolls are a little less common. A cha siu roll is hunks of cha siu pork, wrapped up tightly in a cooked rice noodle roll. In Chinese, the dish is called cha siu choeng. The attack name here is just referring to how it incapacitates Ninja Yellow by tying him up tightly.

    Spoiler for Movie notes:
    This movie originally aired in Japan as part of a triple bill, alongside the short films Kamen Rider J and Blue SWAT: The Movie. Sequentially, it's meant to take place roughly between episodes 7 and 8. Several "upcoming" monsters appear as extras in certain shots, which at the time would've offered fans a taste of what they'd see in future episodes. That said, you can really watch this movie at any point in Kakuranger before episode 14, which introduces certain long-term changes to the status quo.

    [03:35.37] yakisoba

    Yakisoba is a Japanese derivative of the Chinese dish chow mein, usually consisting of noodles, meat, and vegetables stir-fried in a distinctive sauce. Yakisoba made at home would typically use a store-bought yakisoba sauce, cabbages, onion, carrot, and diced pork or chicken. Different regions of Japan add all sorts of garnishes to the dish, ranging from mayonnaise to aonori (or seaweed powder). Culturally, Yakisoba is viewed by Japanese similarly to the way Americans tend to view mac n' cheese, as an easy-to-make comfort food.

    [07:12.87] Hitotsume-kozou

    In folklore, hitotsume-kozou (or "one-eyed boys") are bakemono-type yokai. You could translate "bakemono" roughly as "ghost monster," and that sums up roughly what they are. These yokai are spirits who take on a solid form for the purpose of interacting with other creatures (usually humans). Hitotsume-kozou imitate the form of little boys dressed like Buddhist monks, but have only a single eye and an unnaturally long tongue.

    Hitotsume-kozo are generally not depicted as dangerous creatures in folklore. They're mischief-makers, who delight in pranking their victims (or simply yelling at loud people to shut up). Unless warded off, hitotsume-kozou will take up residence in a house and delight in tormenting the residents, while also drawing bad fortune to the household. Much like the children they imitate, hitotsume-kozou are amoral and play pranks for the fun of it.

    As an aside, in Kakuranger, we usually treat the yokai's species as its name. Usually, the one you see in that episode is effectively the only one you ever see in the show, and is used to represent all creatures of that type. We'll make an exception a few times in this movie, since there'll be cases where the Storyteller is clearly talking about species of yokai and not individuals.

    [07:21.72] They look a bit like a cyclops! Bring three of them together, they might be a triclops!

    The Storyteller's original joke here is "But you can't bring three of them together to get a mitsume-kozou!" Mitsume-kozou is a yokai that's similar to the hitotsume-kozou, but usually depicted as having three eyes. As you might expect, its name translates roughly as "Three-Eyed Kid."

    [07:32.65] They're often considered friends of Zashiki-Warashi.

    Zashiki-Warashi is another type of child prankster yokai, though it takes on a different appearance. Where hitotsume-kozou bring bad luck to a household, a zashiki-warashi would bring good fortune if it could be encouraged to stay. Zashiki-Warashi will appear in a future episode of Kakuranger, so we'll get into his folklore a bit more then.

    [10:59.05] Onyudo

    Onyudo, in folklore, is another bakemono-type yokai. Stories about him vary greatly by region, and so do descriptions of his appearance. Most frequently, he resembles a Buddhist monk or a type of living shadow. Regardless of his form, onyudo is consistently described as a gigantic being, whether two meters tall or the size of a mountain. Onyudo's fondness for model trains in the film is probably a reference to this yokai's desire to be bigger than others. Unlike the hitotsume-kozou, onyudo in folklore are usually quite evil. In many legends, just the sight of an onyudo is enough to make a human fall ill.

    Spoiler for Episode 8 notes:
    [02:02.84] Sorcery: Kamikakushi!

    The word we're translating as "sorcery" is "yojutsu" in Japanese. It's written with the "yo" from "yokai" and the "jutsu" from ninjutsu. Remarkably, it's not a word made up for this particular series. That's just how you write about references to black magic, witchcraft, sorcery, and similar things in Japanese. We went back and forth on how to deal with this one and ultimately just decided to translate it.

    Now, as for kamikakushi, that's untranslated because the Storyteller actually explains it a few lines later. Kamikakushi literally means 'spirited away' (like the Studio Ghibli movie) and is a word used to refer to someone who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. It's often used for children who go missing, which leads to how it's used in the monster's spell. We do translate it a few times in the episode, when characters are using it in a more conventional sense, but here it seemed like we needed to leave it in for the Storyteller's spiel to make sense.

    [02:19.86] "Kamikakushi is a great sushi place on 34th street..."

    Storyteller's joke here was originally a super-terrible Japanese kanji pun. What he says is, "Kamikakushi is when you hide the toilet paper!" It plays on the fact that "kami" can mean either god or paper, depending on how you write it. So instead of someone being "hidden by the gods," someone is "hiding the paper." We opted to change this into a "sounds like" joke, since that's probably the closest English equivalent to groan-worthy kanji puns.

    [02:37.35] The Bakeneko Shop

    As you might guess from the title, this week's yokai is based on the bakeneko. A bakeneko is an ordinary housecat that has met one of the conditions for transformation into a supernatural creature. Conditions included living for over 100 years, weighing more than roughly 8 pounds, or having an extremely long or forked tail. After the transformation, the cats would begin menacing their household. It might be minor mischief, like drinking up the lamp oil, or more serious stuff like creating zombies, murdering members of the household, or shape-shifting to trick their victims.

    A ridiculous number of supernatural powers are ascribed to bakeneko in fiction. Among many other things, they could be gigantic, devour humans in their sleep, fly, talk, shoot fireballs, transform into humans, eat poison, and enter dreams. There are also some "magical bride" stories where some poor schmuck marries a beautiful girl, fathers children with her, and then years later finds out she's just a transformed bakeneko.

    While most bakeneko tales depict the creature as a monster, there are some where the the bakeneko is a more benevolent creature. One major variant has the bakeneko as a pet cat that transforms into human guise to visit its owners during some crisis, using its powers to bring them wealth, happiness, and good fortune. The sheer breadth of bakeneko folklore means there's a lot of stories about them translated into English, and they're not too hard to track down if you're curious about learning more.

    [03:41.25] Are you having even a license?!

    If you listen really closely to Jiraiya's line here, you can hear him using the English word "you" as a substitute for its Japanese equivalent in a sentence that is otherwise decent if odd-sounding Japanese. We felt like the best way to render this without being confusing was to mess around with his grammar a bit. This is a really typical dialogue tic used to indicate that a character's native language is English, and their Japanese is awkward. It's usually done with characters who are supposed to be American, for whatever reason.

    [03:56.82] Neko, huh? The heck is this thing?

    "Neko" in Japanese just means "cat," and the idea of not translating this word in subtitles is usually the sort of thing people mock. That said, in this episode's script, it's really important that viewers realize that the "neko" that means "cat" is the same "neko" that appears in both Bakeneko and Nekomaru's names. Leaving some of the references in Japanese seemed to make this a lot clearer. Sort of like kamikakushi, we translated it in other instances where it was being used more conventionally.

    Incidentally, the "cat shrine" that Nekomaru rams into is not an uncommon thing in Japan. The most famous of the cat shrines is located on Tashiro-jima or "Cat Island," a small island off the coast of Japan inhabited entirely by stray cats. People in Cat Island's prefecture, Miyagi, tend to believe that cats are lucky. As a result, the locals around Cat Island have spent generations feeding the island cats and visiting the island's shrine to them. The island has become famous and even a popular tourist destination. People from all over Japan will come to feed, pet, and pay homage to the friendly Tashiro-jima cats.

    [06:39.00] Hustler

    Around now, or maybe in one of the later fight scenes, you may notice that Bakeneko's monster form is inexplicably wearing pants with "hustler" written down the leg. This is because the woman voicing Bakeneko and playing her human form wasn't an actress, but instead a celebrity famous primarily for her skill at playing pool.

    [10:31.24] The Bakeneko Shop's specialty is human children, fresh off the block!

    What she actually says here is, "The Bakeneko Shop specializes in ikizukuri!" This term usually refers to a particularly controversial type of sashimi, one prepared and eaten while the animal is still alive. This is thought to enhance the flavor of the meat, which can be consumed at peak freshness. A typical preparation involves placing the sashimi slices on a cold platter, alongside the still-twitching body of the unlucky fish.

    Since The Bakeneko Shop serves the flesh of human children... well, you can probably imagine the rest. If ikizukuri was better-known in English-speaking countries, we would've left the reference alone. Instead, we decided to translate around the reference and let the image of Bakeneko menacing children with a cleaver speak for itself.

    [12:27.69] We're getting the pot ready for the boil.

    Originally, her line references "kamayude," which is how the Japanese refer to any dish prepared by boiling it in a special cast-iron pot. This can include noodle soups or heartier fare. "Kamayude" is also the name of a particular execution method, which involved... uh, boiling someone alive in an enormous, special cast-iron pot. Perhaps the most famous victim of this was the folk hero Ishikawa Goemon, which caused his name to be lent to a particular type of pot-shaped bathtub called a goemonburo. That's some rough chuckles, Japan.

    [18:25.01] Now, let's centipede into next week!

    This line is pretty strange, all things considered. The Japanese is "Ashita ni gejigeji!" which literally means "And tomorrow, centipedes!" Which-- as far as we can tell-- is just meant as a silly non-sequitur. We think maybe it's meant to be part of the "fall" in the Storyteller's routine this week, so we just tried to translate it so that it made sense in context.

    Spoiler for Episode 9 notes:
    [03:42.07] "I keep telling you, recycling day is THURSDAY!"

    What the landlady is actually saying in this line is "I keep telling you, non-combustible trash day is Thursday!" This relates to the way trash collection is handled in Japan. Instead of having all trash picked up on, say, one day of the week (as is the case in America), different types of trash are picked up on differnet days of the week. "non-combustible trash" is stuff like plastic, metal, appliances, wax, glass, and chemicals. "combustible trash" is food waste and certain kinds of paper. There are also separate trash collection days for recyclable goods, large trash, and miscellaneous trash.

    Japanese municipalities are generally pretty fastidious about cleanliness, down to having separate trash bins for different types of trash to make collection easier. Putting the wrong type of trash in a given bin, or putting out the wrong type of trash on a given collection day, is a massive faux pas. It's viewed as both rude and slovenly... and you have to admit that "Mr. Dorota" is both. We translated it as a reference to "recycling day" to imply that Dorotabo was throwing regular trash away in recycling bins, which has similar connotations in most places.

    [06:33.08] Dorotabo

    This yokai is quite obscure by Western standards, though you may have seen monsters based on him in other tokusatsu. Its name translates roughly as "muddy rice field ghost." In folklore, a dorotabo is a type of zombie connected to farms that have been mismanaged and allowed to fall into ruin. In the typical story, a field is originally owned by a responsible, hard-working farmer who makes it profitable after a lifetime of effort. After the hard-working farmer dies, it passes to his son, who is a lazy wastrel. The son lets the farm fall into ruin, then sells it to a new owner. In a rage, the dead farmer rises from his grave on the property to torment the new owner, howling for the return of his land. The yokai in this episode seems based primarily on the story's "lazy son" archetype, and also on the idea that selling farmland can create a monster. Dorotabo in the series is clearly a bit crazed from being pushed out of his spacious field and into a cramped little apartment.

    [16:6.01] "You must now prepare de gozaru!"

    Jiraiya speaks more Japanese in this episode than in all his other appearances thus far put together. His accent is still kind of bad, but most of what he's saying is simple and direct. Since he's clearly meant to be a bit more comprehensible than usual this episode, his dialogue translation reflects that... except for this line, which is a bit of a return to form for him.

    We're pretty sure he's using the old-fashioned "de gozaru" pattern to imitate something he saw on a TV show. It tends to show up in costume dramas of the sort that Samurai Savior parodies. Instead of really translating it, as we did for the Ninja Ancestors, we transliterated it. It seemed like the best way to show that Jiraiya is saying this because it sounds cool to him, not because he actually has any idea what it means.

    Spoiler for Episode 10 notes:
    [03:48.92] Konaki-jiji

    Konaki-Jiji is a yokai whose name roughly means what he is, "crying old man." The konaki-jiji's MO in folklore is entirely as described by the Storyteller this episode. This yokai takes the form of a baby or a helpless old man, and uses its cries to lure travelers off safe paths. Once someone picked up the konaki-jiji, trying to be helped, it would turn into a stone (or simply become enormous) and crush its victim to death. In some stories, the konaki-jiji is the transformed spirit of a baby left to die in the wilderness. In others, a konaji-jiji is literally a baby that has the face of an old man. All the stuff in the episode where Konaki-Jiji steals human souls is just Kakuranger being weird.

    Spoiler for Episode 11 notes:
    [01:51.20] Shirouneri

    Shirouneri is one of the few yokai whose folklore is not too different from what the Storyteller shares later in the episode. He's a type of yokai called a tsukumogami, a creature born when an object reaches an extremely old age. In Shirouneri's case, he's born from extremely old rags. In folklore, a Shirouneri appears as a dragon made out of tattered old rags. The shirouneri is purely malevolent and flies around at night, strangling humans or overpowering them with its foul stench.

    (And yes, Shirouneri's human form is played by Ichikawa Isamu, who also played the human form of DoraSphinx back in Zyuranger.)

    [01:59.65] They call me the most stylish man in town...

    Shirouneri is singing the first line of an actual song. You can listen to two different takes on the full song here. The song's called "Share Otoko," or "Stylish Man." The first version is performed by Fujiyama Ichiro, the second by Enomoto Kenichi. The tune of "Share Otoko" comes from "The Gay Caballero," a hit song recorded in the 1920s by singer Frank Crumit. You can listen to Crumit's version of The Gay Caballero here.

    [04:32.54] Second-hand?

    You can probably clearly hear Tsuruhime saying what sounds like the English word "recycle" here, despite the subs saying "second-hand." This is one of those annoying cases where the Japanese have taken a word from English and used it to express an idea that isn't at all what that word means in English! The Japanese use "recycle" to refer not to remaking trash into new stuff, but simply to buying and selling second-hand items so they can be reused. That's why Seikai takes everybody's clothes to a flea market, and not, say, to a recycling center.

    Ordinarily, if something that sounds like an English word is in dialogue, we try to represent it in the subs somehow, so people listening carefully won't be too confused. This is just a case where the Japanese and original uses of the word are way too far apart to permit that. Using "recycle" to mean "second-hand" is an example of what's called "wasei eigo," or the Japanese tendency to adopt foreign loan words. Sometimes wasei eigo in Japanese retain their original meanings, or something close to it, but other times they may end up developing a different, unrelated meaning. It varies from word to word.

    [06:20.63] All thinking they're too good for rags...

    The original form of this line is a play on the saying, "boro o dasanai," which refers to the necessity of hiding one's faults. It's roughly equivalent to the "keeping up appearances" idiom in English. The phrase is literally "Don't let your rags show," which is of course an offensive idea to Shirouneri.

    [10:45.47] Where'd this mattress come from?!

    The term we're translating as "mattress" is actually "futon." While the term "furon" is known outside Japan, certain parts of the world associate it more with a piece of furniture than the mattress itself. The term in Japanese describes the traditional mattresses that are rolled on the floor.

    Spoiler for Episode 12 notes:
    [01:23.02] "It's okay, I've got a spear!"

    This song is a Kakuranger parody of the famous Japanese folk song, Moujuu-Gari or "Big Game Hunter." This is a call-and-response song where the leader shouts a line, and the chorus (often children) will repeat it back to him. The song in its original form goes roughly like this:

    We're hunting wild animals! (We're hunting wild animals!)
    But I'm not afraid! (But I'm not afraid!)
    Because I've got my spear! (Because I've got my spear)
    Because I've got my gun! (Because I've got my gun!)

    You can listen to a performance of it here or here.

    [02:13.83] Dr. Yugami

    Kakuranger's first recurring villain, Dr. Yugami, is a yokai scientist. Unlike the other yokai we've seen before in the series, he's not based on any specific yokai mythology. His name, yugami, can refer to a warped or distorted part of something.

    [02:37.89] Tengu

    There's a pretty good chance you've heard of this yokai before, as he's one of the most famous creatures from Japanese mythology. Tengu folklore is very old and takes its name from a creature from Chinese mythology, the Tiangou. Tengu in folk art are sometimes bird-like, and other times depicted more as humans. More human representations may have red faces or long noses, or be humans with crow-like wings.

    Because tengu folklore goes back so far, there's a lot of variety to it, and it's not hard to trace it as it evolves over time. Very late tengu stories (from roughly the 17th century and onward) depict tengu as quasi-benevolent deities, who will offer protection to worshipers. Kakuranger's depiction is based on much older mythology, where tengu are wicked demons who exist to trouble mankind.

    Early tengu specifically opposed the spread of Buddhism, and would pick Buddhist holy men as the targets for their mischief. They might possess women and attempt to secude priests, rob temples, and or carry monks off into the wilderness. Over time, some tales began to think of tengu as demons born from the souls of wicked, corrupt Buddhist priests.Still later tales began to think of tengu as demons who generally opposed the entire social order, leading to stories of like that of wicked Emperor Sutoku, who died and became a tengu.

    The stories of this era caused tengu to become closely related to the idea of vanity and pride, which we see reflected in Tengu's behavior this episode. In Japanese, a conceited person might be described as "tengu ni naru," or behaving like a tengu. Kakuranger reflects this, in Tengu's boastfulness and obsession with his own popularity.

    [03:36.09] "When I lie about ogling women, my nose gets longer!"

    Literally, what the Storyteller is saying here is, "And sometimes, the space between my nose and upper lip gets longer!" This is a Japanese idiom used to describe the look on a man's face when he's ogling women. This is really just another joke about the Storyteller being a pervert, told in a very oblique way.

    Spoiler for Episode 13 notes:
    [02:09.56] Kanedama

    The Storyteller's description of Kanedama as a yokai typically thought of as benevolent is entirely accurate. In folklore, a kanedama may appear in the house of someone who has performed good deeds and cause their coffers to overflow with coins. Despite being a benevolent presence, Kanedama is still counted among the ranks of the yokai in Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyo series.

    [02:36.17] Here's my coin-throwing attack! For Zenigata Heiji to weep!

    Zenigata Heiji is a tremendously popular character from Japanese pop culture, originating from a 1937 novel written by Kodou Nomura. Similar to other famous literary characters like Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, Zenigata Heiji quickly transcended his origins and became a character regularly featured in TV shows and films (many of which were produced by Toei). As Kanedama's quip implies, Zenigata Heiji was famous for throwing coins in the course of capturing his adversaries.

    Now, why would Kanedama's coin-throwing attack make Zenigata Heiji weep? Well, because Zenigata Heiji was a classic "good guy," an Edo period police officer (or okappiki) who patrolled the area around Tokyo's Myojin Shrine (known in modern Japan as the Kanda Shrine). Kanedama, of course, is a yokai and (as we see) a con artist on top of that. Zenigata Heiji would certainly disapprove of a crook throwing coins, especially in the service of stopping a hero like Ninja Red!

    [04:47.23] "I am the Yokai Exorcist, Fukuo Daikichi!"

    The name that Kanedama's human form gives would translate roughly as "Fortunelord Goodluck." While it's theoretically possible for someone to end up with a name this over-the-top, it's not terribly likely. It's meant to sound like an obvious fake name.

    [05:25.15] Seven, never odd or even!

    Kanedama's line here is an old Japanese palindrome. It would be written in Japanese as "bainana, nanaiba." To be honest, we're not sure why he's saying it here.

    [06:26.07] Seven makes eleven! Lorem ipsum!

    Almost everything Kanedama says in this line is nonsense. The only words that would have conventional meaning are "chomechome," which is used as placeholder text, or for those round censor marks you may see obscuring part of a word in printed Japanese. "Lorem ipsum" refers to a particular chunk of Latin text written using the standard English alphabet, often used as placeholder text in graphic design and publishing.

    [13:01.37] How dare you, Mr. Hare!

    This line is a popular Japanese idiom, taken from the title of a folk song that's a Japanese retelling of Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare." In the song, the Tortoise says this line to the Hare, when the Hare bluntly accuses the Tortoise of being a slow, crappy, inferior sort of animal.

    The idiom functions along the lines of English sayings like, "Why, I never!" It's something said, somewhat jokingly, in response when someone feels a speaker has been too rude, forward, or accusatory. You can listen to a performance of the folk song, "Nanto Ossharu, Usagi-san" here.

    Spoiler for Episode 14 notes:
    [01:37.32] Nikuman

    Nikuman is the Japanese variant of the Chinese baozi, or steamed pork bun. Traditionally nikuman are filled with seasoned ground pork, but variations that use additives, other meats, or exotic ingredients like curry or pizza toppings aren't uncommon (especially as convenience store foods). In this line, Saizou could be talking about traditional nikuman, or something much crazier.

    [01:39.46] Senbei

    This is the Japanese term for what are often sold in the West as rice crackers. In North America, generally only one type of senbei is typically sold in stores, a smaller type often sold as part of a snack mix . In Japan, senbei are available in a tremendous variety of sizes and shapes. A "typical" senbei is flavored with soy sauce and mirin, but senbei can also be sweet or flavored with exotic modern ingredients like chocolate or curry. As with the nikuman line, Saizou might've been talking about traditional senbei, or something terrible Seikai picked up at a convenience store.

    [03:32.51] Keukegen

    Keukegen is a relatively obscure yokai, usually depicted as a shaggy, somewhat dog-like pile of hair. He's a household spirit that would take up residence in any dark, damp places that existed in a house. Once there, Keukegen would cause members of a household to fall ill. Keukegen originates from Toriyama Sekien's Hyakki Shui, or "Supplement to The Hundred Demons from the Present and Past."

    [18:07.15] "Just what is this yokai named Junior?"

    Junior will be Kakuranger's major antagonist for the next story arc. Despite the Storyteller revealing that Junior doesn't have artwork present in his big yokai storybook, Junior is based on a particular yokai. The show just doesn't reveal it up front. We'll document Junior's folklore at a later date, that fits the show's pacing a bit better. For now, Junior's supposed to be a bit mysterious, and his storyline is going to play out over the course of many episodes.

    Junior's introduction to the show heralds a darkening of the show's tone. There will still be goofy episodes where the yokai are used to satirize then-modern Japanese life, but you'll also start to see purely action-oriented episodes that are a bit more in the ballpark of standard Sentai fare. For these "serious" episodes, expect fewer translation notes overall. We'll always document a week's yokai, but action-heavy episodes otherwise tend to be more straightforward.

    Spoiler for Episode 15 notes:
    [03:21.62] The Flower Kunoichi Gang

    The five members of the Flower Kunoichi Gang are all, unsurprisingly, named directly after flowers. Ayame's name could be translated as Iris, Sakura as Cherry Blossom, Suiren as Water Lily, Yuri as Lily, and Ran as Orchid. These names are all actual names that plenty of real Japanese women have, so translating them in the subs didn't seem appropriate. The floral motif would be obvious to a Japanese viewer, though.

    [03:35.46] Shuten-Doji

    The actual folklore of Shuten-Doji is in the ballpark of what the Storyteller suggests, but there are some significant differences. Mainly, the legendary Shuten-Doji was a singular figure, a leader of all oni who supposedly lived on the real-life Mt. Ooe in Tamba Province. Stories often depict him as something of a supernatural bandit king, who preyed upon human settlements. There are multiple conflicting legends concerning where Shuten-Doji came from. That said, Shuten-Doji was often said to go rampaging with his most trusted deputy, another oni called Ibaraki-Doji. This part of the legend may be the basis for the idea of interpreting Shuten-Doji as a pair of demonic brothers.

    The most famous exploit of the Shuten-Doji describes how he terrorized Kyoto by kidnapping and devouring its women. The Emperor appoints the folk hero Minamoto no Yorimitsu to put a stop to this. Yorimitsu sets out with four companions and reaches the Shuten-Doji's lair, where the group claim to be Buddhist monks. The group appeases Shuten-Doji with gifts, so that the oni invites them to a banquet. The heroes pretend to drink, then set upon Shuten-Doji after all of the others at the banquet have fallen into a drunken stupor. The warriors triumph over Shuten-Doji after a fierce battle. As this story suggests, Shuten-Doji is sometimes associated particularly with alcohol and drinking, and his name is sometimes translated as "Drunkard Boy."

    [06:09.63] Cat Powder

    Cat Powder is derived from the plant Actinidia Polygama, also known as Silver Vine. It causes cats to experience an intense euphoria, similar to catnip. Since the plant is native to Japan, Japanese cat owners use it pretty much exactly the same way their Western counterparts use catnip (which comes from a different plant).

    [10:36.75] On! Ookami! Nin!

    Each of the Kakurangers has an attack that they preface by using a magical chant that consists of On!, the name of their totem animal, and then Nin!. In Saizou's case, the animal is ookami, since he has a wolf robot. Later in the episode, Jiraiya uses a chant that invokes the gama, or frog. The chant doesn't really relate at all to what the attack does, since that's always described by the line that follows it (in Saizou's case, Art of the Waterspout). The chants seem meant to just sound mystical and cool, so we transliterated them to help emphasize that.

    [13:10.24] I hear it's better than viper sake.

    Viper sake is known in Japanese as mamushi-zake (or habu-sake, if you're dealing with the Okinawa region). It's a strong Japanese liquor made by drowning a Japanese pit viper (or mamushi) in a bottle of strong alcohol. You can use actual sake for this purpose, but the Japanese often prefer higher-proof, manlier liquors like shochu for this purpose. Viper sake has an unusual taste, and drinking it is a fine way to prove your manliness (similar to Western counterparts like tequila). If you finish a bottle and then eat the preserved dead snake in the bottom, you are unimaginably manly (again, similar to tequila). Presumably, the human sake the Shuten-Doji brothers are talking about would involve drowning humans in sake, so this kind of explains why they didn't just kill the captive Kakurangers outright.

    Spoiler for Episode 16 notes:
    [02:43.30] Red Monkey Slays the Ogre

    The title of this episode doesn't directly reference the events of the famous Momotaro legend, but would probably remind a Japanese audience of that tale. It alludes to the second half of the legend, where the grown-up Momotaro sets out to defeat the evil ogres (or oni) who dwell on the island of Onigashima. The title casts Ninja Red, whose totem animal is a monkey, in the role of Momotaro, and of course the Shuten-Doji Brothers would be the ogres.

    Spoiler for Episode 17 notes:
    [01:25.46] You're not a cheap date, you want only the best

    The song playing on Saizou's radio through this episode's first scene is Gimme Your Love -Fukutsu no Love Driver-, by Japanese rock band B'z. If you look for it on Kakuranger soundtracks, you're not going to find it. The song is off B'z's fourth studio album, Risky. While Gimme Your Love was not one of the singles from Risky, it probably would've been a fairly recognizable song at the time this episode first aired. Risky sold enough copies to be certified platinum, and was one of B'z's first truly massive successes. B'z went on to become something of a Japanese equivalent to Aerosmith, releasing 18 studio albums and scoring 46 number 1 singles over the 25 years the band has been active.

    [05:23.20] Amikiri

    Amikiri is a yokai who is thought to lurk outside houses when no one is around, cutting holes in any nets (like mosquito netting or fishing nets) it finds hanging unattended. Its name translates loosely as "net cutter." This yokai, like a lot of the creatures used in Kakuranger, originates from artist Toriyama Sekien's Gazu Hyakki Yagyo series of picture books.

    It's thought to be Toriyama's interpretation of a similar creature, the kamikiri, painted two hundred years before by Kano Motonobu in the less famous but still influential Yokai Zumaki picture books. Amikiri's folklore is entirely the result of people dreaming up ideas to go along with Toriyama's famous original illustration. The illustration shown for it in Kakuranger is not identical to Sekien's original, but very similar.

    Oh, and if the woman playing Amikiri's human form seems familiar to you, there's good reason for that. She's played by Kawai Ami, just a few years after she played Lami in Kyouryuu Sentai Zyuranger.

    [08:11.82] Yokai Dance Party

    This is another song that you won't find on the Kakuranger soundtrack. You can hear the full song here.

    Spoiler for Episode 18 notes:
    [03:56.17] He's a yokai like us! That's Zashiki-warashi!

    In folklore, Zashiki-warashi is one of the "house spirit" yokai, similar to Mokumokuren or Hitotsume-Kozou. Where those guys were troublesome pests you'd want to keep out of your home, Zashiki-warashi was thought to be helpful. Much like Kanedama, Zashiki-warashi is a benevolent yokai that you probably want to invite into your home. In fact, Zashiki-warashi's name would roughly translate as "parlor child."

    A family that lives in a house with a Zashiki-warashi enjoys good fortune, but if the Zashiki-warashi leaves, the family will fall into decline. Zashiki-warashi doesn't like too much attention, but otherwise must be appreciated and nurtured somehow. In this regard, Zashiki-warashi is rather similar to the various "house fairies" that populate Western folklore.

    The Zashiki-warashi of folklore will be invisible to most members of the family, but can sometimes be seen by the household's children. Zashiki-warashi appears as a young boy or girl of about five or six years old. Zashiki-warashi will play little pranks on members of the household where he lives, but it's all harmless stuff like moving pillows. The idea that Zashiki-warashi has a connection to mushrooms seems to be Kakuranger's invention.

    Spoiler for Episode 19 notes:
    [06:09.98] Tsuchigumo

    The yokai tsuchigumo, in folklore, was said to have the face of an ogre, the body of a tiger, and the arms and legs of a spider. It's true, as the Storyteller says, that Tsuchigumo lived in the mountains and devoured travelers they captured. Tsuchigumo is a typical name for spider-themed monsters in Japanese video games.

    Tsuchigumo, like the Shuten-Doji, has the distinction of being one of the yokai vanquished by the folk hero Minamoto no Yorimitsu. There are many different versions of the tale, written at different points in history. The most famous are the Tsuchigumo Souchi and a Noh play derived from the Heike Monogatari, simply called Tsuchigumo. There is likewise a great deal of folk art that depicts the different versions of the battle.

    Many yokai are inspired by real-life events or persons, and the tsuchigumo is no exception. The term 'tsuchigumo' originally described aboriginal clans that lived in Japan in the 7th century, and refused to swear allegiance to the emperor. These people lived in remote areas at the foot of the Japanese Alps, which perhaps lead to the yokai tsuchigumo being associated with mountains.

    Spoiler for Episode 20 notes:
    [19:23.91] Ku No Ichi = Woman

    While there's no yokai of the week in this episode, the Storyteller's trivia answer leaves us with something to explain. The "actual" answer to the Storyteller's pun lies in the shapes of the Japanese characters in the box (and that we typeset in the subs, just to make it clearer). Each of the complex characters used by the Japanese written language, or kanji, is drawn with a series of brush strokes. Learning the stroke order of various kanji is a major part of learning written Japanese.

    What the Storyteller's question points out is that the brush strokes used to write the characters used to write the sounds "ku" "no" and "ichi" in "kunochi" are very similar to the ones used to write the more complex character "onna," which means "woman." This answer is probably going to be very confusing and unclear to foreign viewers who attempt to parse the answer in real-time, but if you study the characters more closely, then it's a bit easier to see how it works. Since this "joke" is just about the shapes of various kanji, a literal translation seemed best.

    Spoiler for Episode 21 notes:
    [07:41.14] Sarugami

    There are two different creatures from Japanese folklore known by the single name Sarugami (which translates roughly as "monkey god"). One is a benevolent diety, and the other is a wicked yokai. If you just plug "sarugami" into Google, most of your hits (that aren't for anime or manga) will describe the deity, and won't be relevant to what's going on in this episode. That said, the stories of the yokai Sarugami trade on the great plethora of monkey gods that appear in Japanese folk religion.

    The yokai sarugami originates from early Japanese folklore, as recorded in the Konjaku Monogatarishu ("Anthology of Tales from the Past") and Uji Shui Monogatari ("Selections from the Uji Dainagon Monogatari"). The more important of the two tales is the one from the Konjaku Monogatarishu, sometimes called Sarugami Taiji (or "Destroying the Monkey Gods"). In this tale, a hunter comes upon a rural community that must sacrifice a beautiful young woman once a year to appease its local deity, who takes the form of an enormous monkey.

    The hunter falls in love with the girl, and decides to save her. When the girl is to be sent off as a sacrifice, the hunter substitutes himself and his dogs. He attacks Sarugami and his monkey followers once he's brought to them, who have conned the villagers into thinking they're gods. When the hunter has sarugami on the verge of death, the yokai speaks through one of his "priests," promising he'll never do this again, and that he'll offer protection to the hunter and girl's family in the future. The hunter agrees, and in the future, only boars and deer were sacrificed.

    In a similar story from the Uji Shui Monogatari, a Buddhist monk is fattened up as a "guest," over a period of several months, so he can be sacrificed to a similar group of fraudulent sarugami posing as monkey gods. In this tale, the monk overwhelms the "gods" himself, then shows the people that they're merely marauding monkeys, not deities. The monk stays on with the people he saved, and brings puppies to their village, so they'll grow up into monkey-hunting dogs. (There's a recurring Japanese idea that dogs are the natural enemies of monkeys.)

    The folklore probably records stories people told to explain why a possibly ancient practice of human sacrifice was stopped, and perhaps why the worship of monkey gods declined at some period in history. As sometimes happens, the bloodthirsty "old" god is transformed over time into a malevolent figure as folklore evolves, and so we end up with both the god and the yokai sarugami.

    Kakuranger plays on the deceptive nature of this yokai by giving him the power to impersonate the sort of victim-of-the-week that the Kakurangers are all too happy to help. Also, as in the folklore, he is defeated when the humans he's tormenting think of a way to deceive him. Sarugami's scheme involving mimicking the Kakuranger ball move seems to originate from the "monkey see, monkey do" saying, which has a Japanese counterpart.

    [09:08:33] Sarugami is the boss of all transforming monkeys.

    The term we're translating as "transforming monkey" is "bakezaru." It uses the "bake" part of "obake," and "zaru" would just be monkey. Obake is the Japanese term for any monster that transforms or changes in weird ways. Presumably any magical shapeshifting animal would be known as a "bake" version of itself, such as the bakeneko (shapeshifting cat). Bakezaru themselves aren't especially famous as a form of obake. While the yokai Sarugami does command legions of monkeys in both of his original folktales, they're not given magic powers like shapeshifting. In the version with the monk, they're literally just clever but evil monkeys. This is clearly something that Kakuranger just thought would be a cool idea, to play up the monster's shapeshifting power.

    [09:11.54] He's a very curious yokai who used to kidnap women, then prance around in their clothing!

    The Storyteller's having a bit of fun at Sarugami's expense here. He's playing on the "hunter" version of Sarugami's tale, where the yokai devoured women as human sacrifices. Well, you know, he would have a lot of women's clothing lying around, after all that...

    [09:28.19] They really fell for you monkeyshines, didn't they?

    You may think we're being loose with the translation here, but this is pretty much exactly what Junior is saying. He refers to Sarugami's deception as "sarushibai." This combines "shibai," which means a play or performance, with "saru," which of course, means monkey. A monkeyshine is an old-fashioned slang term for any deceptive prank or trick, which conveniently includes the word "monkey." This means the word can be used comfortably in a later line, when Sarugami expresses annoyance with all the monkey puns.

    [10:49.24] That's! What we like! About you!

    Jiraiya's been watching too much TV again. The little jingle he's singing is from a series of Suntory Beer commercials that, at the time, were a popular target of parody. You could compare it to the fun Americans had mocking memorable but goofy 90s commercial jingles for products like Chicken Tonight, Mentos, or Kit-Kat Bars. If you like, you can check out one of the original Suntory commercials on YouTube.

    [13:01.68] Kazu Dance!

    Here's another 90s Japanese pop culture reference. This one refers to the soccer player Kazuyoshi Miura, also known as "King Kazu." Kazuyoshi became famous for doing the "Kazu Dance" seen in this episode to celebrate after he scored goals. You can check out a video of one such performance here, via YouTube.

    [18:21.34] What was my favorite class in school?

    This week's riddle is a terrible old man joke, and not the sort that's easy to translate well. He's actually punning on the idea that he's a jii, or "old man." His original question is "Bread is bread (pan), but what is my (jii-san's) favorite bread?" The answer supplied for this riddle is Jii-pan, which translates as... jeans, as in "blue jeans." In this case we just changed it to a similar type of joke that puns off of his translated name, the Storyteller.

    Spoiler for Episode 22 notes:
    This episode is written by Sentai vet Soda Hirohisa and falls after Takatera Shigenori joined Kakuranger staff as an assistant producer. This is significant because this episode prototypes a lot of the ideas that would define Racing Sentai Carranger a few years later, where Takatera Shigenori would be head producer and Soda Hirohisa would write many memorable episodes. Prototyping of this sort is very common in Sentai of this vintage, particularly in filler episodes. An idea used for just one filler plot (say, Zyuranger's episode about one of the characters becoming a ninja) can later come back and define an entire series (such as Kakuranger being a full-on ninja series).

    In this episode, the yokai has a flamboyant speech pattern related to his powers. Carranger later reuses this idea, giving every single Monster of the Week a different speech gimmick. To emphasize this, the yokai's dialogue has been translated in the style used for Carranger MotWs in Haorrangers's recent releases. There's also the general idea of doing a Sentai plot that's entirely about cars, and how that aspect of the plot is depicted as absurd and played for comedy. Finally, Seikai's depiction in this episode, as a well-meaning buffoon who's just a bit incompetent, is very similar to the way Soda would later write basically all of the male Carrangers.

    Prototyping of this sort has generally fallen out of use in modern Sentai, in part due to changes in how the shows are made. Back in the 90s, you'd have more continuity from series to series, with writers and producers often staying on for several continuous years. In modern Sentai, most major production staff positions change completely from year to year. It's thought this is so one series can be in pre-production while another is airing. It's also thought this is a measure meant to prevent staff from burning out on the material, by giving them a year-long break between major projects.

    [04:06.63] Allow me to introgas myself! I'm the yokai Enra-Enra!

    This yokai is known more commonly, in English writing, by the name enenra. In Japanese writing, both "enenra" and "enra-enra" are used. Both names translate roughly as "Lightweight-Fabric Smoke." The name likewise emphasizes the light and immaterial nature of enenra's body. As the monster explains in this episode, he's a yokai made of smoke, though he dwelled in bonfires as often as in hearth fires. When an enenra left its fire, it often took on the form of a human. Only someone pure-hearted can distinguish a disguised enenra from a real human.

    In the episode, the yokai's speech pattern involved ending his sentences with the particle "de gasu." This is a double joke, both referring to Enra-Enra's smoky nature and to the speech particle "de gowasu," which a Japanese audience would associate with sumo wrestlers. The speech tic is called a copula, though it's a corruption of proper copulas (in this case "de gozaimasu").

    Generally, copulas in Japanese sentence perform the same function as English connecting verbs like "is" and "was". Enra-Enra essentially substitutes his speech tic phrase for the proper couplas the audience would expect to hear at the end of given sentences. To translate this, we've opted to substitute the word "gas" into various parts of his sentences in English. To us, this seems to be the closest English equivalent to his speech pattern. The various Carranger monsters of the week are handled the same way, as their tics are usually of the same type.

    [05:35.15] The exhaust here in Sangyodoro is the best there is!

    Sangyodoro is also known as Kanagawa Prefectural Road #6, a specific location in Kawasaki. This place is famous for the incredibly bad quality of its air, due to car exhaust. In America, a story like this might have cited LA's infamous smog, or in Europe, Milan's smog problem.

    [11:15.16] If duty were weighed against compassion...

    The righteously manly song playing over Seikai's departure is called Karajishi Botan, or "Lion Amidst the Peonies". The song is sung by Takakura Ken, and is a typical example of the Japanese musical genre called enka. This genre is thought to be the modern from of traditional Japanese music, usually taking the form of sentimental ballads about love and loss. You can listen to the full version of the song here.

    Spoiler for Episode 23 notes:
    [03:15.93] Promise ring!

    I know what at least some of you are thinking. "Dangit, Jiraiya! That's a friendship bracelet!" Well, it's what we were thinking at first, anyway. It turned out we were kind of wrong, though. So between Jiraiya being a special character (in translation terms) and the episode explaining what the things are, we left the original term in here where maybe usually we wouldn't.

    What Jiraiya calls a "promise ring" here is typically called a 'misanga' in English. It's a type of bracelet that originated in India, and became a fad in Japan in the 90s. The "friendship bracelets" that became popular in the US in the 90s are a similar type of bracelet. "Promise ring" was a slang term used for them, but they're also known by the name "misanga" in Japanese.

    Where a friendship bracelet is typically made using half-hitch knots, a misanga can incorporate different types of knots or be woven. That said, the two types of bracelet look so similar they're often confused, or the terms used interchangeably. A misanga technically represents good luck more than friendship, but is often treated as having the same symbolism as the friendship bracelet.

    [04:39.18] Umi-Bouzu!

    This week's yokai is, as the episode explains, an ocean spirit who is thought to capsize ships. His name roughly translates as "sea monk," and in folk art, he's depicted with a round head similar to the shaved head of a Buddhist monk. That said, Umi-Bouzu was often depicted with a watery, amorphous body and sometimes thought to be a shape-changer.

    In some stories, Umi-Bouzu is simply the malevolence of the sea, while in others he's the angry spirit of a drowned monk or priest. Like a lot of the more famous yokai featured in Kakuranger, there's a lot of other games, anime, and films that feature their own takes on Umi-Bouzu. Most Umi-Bouzo stories originate from coastal areas and date back to the Edo period.

    The most famous story about Umi-Bouzu originates from the Usou Kanwa, a collection of stories dating back to the Edo period. In this story, a lone sailor manages to break a taboo while out at sea, either going out too far or going out at the wrong time of month. A ten-foot tall Umi-Bouzu rises out of the sea to threaten the fisherman, by asking him if he has ever seen anything so frightening before. The fisherman replies that nothing frightens him more than having to make a living. The Umi-Bouzu, stunned by the fisherman's reply, vanished instantly. You can watch a short film that relates a variation on this tale here.

    [14:04.71] Tsubasamaru

    The -maru part of this robot's name works exactly like Nekomaru's, and the "tsubasa" part means "wing." The name has been left untranslated basically to keep consistency with Nekomaru's name.

    [16:43.42] Gashadokuro!

    Another big surprise this episode is finding out Junior's yokai identity, and it's a doozy. In folklore, gashadokuro is a enormous skeleton, roughly ninety feet tall. A gashadokuro is formed from the bones of humans who died in wars, or of starvation. The anger and hatred of the dead seeps into the bones, and gives the gashadokuro an unsatiable thirst for human blood.

    A gashadokuro will stalk humans it finds traveling alone, hoping to seize them and bite their heads off. The gashadokuro will take the headless body and suck all of the blood out of it. No matter how many victims a gashadokuro claims, it will never be satisfied. Gashadokuro can move completely silently despite their enormous size. They prefer to stalk humans at night, where their gigantic size won't give them away. If one is closing in on you, your ears will ring with the loud clanging of bells, regardless of where you are. When you hear the sound, you should run as quickly as you can, for as long as you can.

    Gashadokuro is another yokai that has become very popular as a basis for creatures in Japanese video games. He shows up with particular regularity in the Castlevania series.

    Spoiler for Episode 24 notes:
    [02:20.86] Infernal King

    This also comes up in episode 23, but this seemed like a better place to go into it. The term we're translating as "Infernal King" or "Infernal Majesty" (depending on context) is "Daimaoh" in Japanese. More directly, it translates as "Great Demon King." That said, Kakuranger's dialogue tend to use it more as a title than as a name, a bit similar to how the yokai Gashadokuro goes by the title Young Prince Junior. We decided to translate it in a similar style, so it would sound appropriately like an ominous noble title.

    [09:53.80] The Heavenly Triad that reigns over this world.

    Here's a plot beat that should be familiar to Zyuranger fans-- we find out the robots are actually deities. In this case, Sandayuu calls them the "san shinsho" or "Three Protective Deities." The "shinshou" term is usually used in folklore to describe the "juni shinsho" or Twelve Heavenly Generals, a group of deities that work in the service of a particular Buddha. To riff on this common title, and to emphasize how they stand in opposition to the Infernal King, we opted to call them the Heavenly Triad.

    [10:02.74] Great Kakure Shogun

    This robot's name is Kakure Daishogun in Japanese. Typically we don't translate "Kakure" in this show (which means "hidden"), since its use tends to just reference the team's name. "Daishogun" can be read two ways, either as combining "Big" and "Shogun," or as the Japanese name for mythic figures otherwise known in English as the Eight Taoist Immortals. After some back and forth, we decided to go with "Great Kakure Shogun," to preserve the vague military rank theming in the names. If you want to call him the Kakure Immortal or whatever else in your subs, feel free. There doesn't seem to be any sort of clear theming behind the name scheme of the various robots, though it's been suggested that they reflect different samurai or military ranks.

    [16:43.42] ... is built on heart, technique, and body.

    What Sandayuu is talking about here is a martial arts principle called "shin-gi-tai" in Japanese. While there's a lot of different accepted ways to translate this phrase into English, we opted to go with one that Sentai fans seemed likely to be familiar with already. The shin-gi-tai that Sandayuu is talking about here is absolutely the same one that a lot of Gekiranger fans will recognize.

    [18:00.48] With this, Ninja Squad Kakuranger Part 1 comes to an end!

    This is not really a translation note, so much as a footnote about the show. The idea of episode 24 being the end of "Part 1" came as a big surprise at the time, and lead to speculation that the show had been retooled. This was a fairly reasonable conclusion to draw at the time, as Kakuranger's ratings had begun to sag consistently after episode 12. Members of Kakuranger's production staff have denied that this was the case, and said that it was always the plan to break the show up into different "chapters" that would be written in slightly different styles. We tend to think the creators are being truthful on the matter, but feel free to draw your own conclusions. Regardless, the "Youth Battle Saga" that comprises Part 2 of Kakuranger will be in some ways a different show than what came before it, and in other ways, not very different at all.

    Spoiler for Episode 25 notes:
    [07:39.62] Ittan-Momen

    Ittan-Momen is another tsukomogami-type yokai, a yokai born from an object that reached its 100th birtday. In Ittan-Momen's case, the object would be a strip or roll of cotton cloth. The yokai's name literally means "one bolt of cotton cloth."

    Once the cloth becomes an Ittan-Momen, it flies through the skies at night by riding the wind, strangling any humans who crossed its path with its winding cloth body. In some folklore, Ittan-Momen can be slain by cutting through the cloth, which will spill blood. There are also tales of friendly Ittan-Momen that enjoy being worn by humans they've chosen to trust.

    The biker motif Kakuranger uses for the monster is probably meant to show how, with modern technology, an Ittan-Momen could make its own wind. Ittan-Momen's voice and speech pattern may be very familiar to fans of Dairanger. Ittan-Momen in this episode is played by Hiyama Noboyuki, who played recurring villain General Kamikaze.

    [15:16.50] Art of the High Ninjuu!

    "Ninjuu" combines the "Nin" from "ninja" with the "Juu" from "Juushou." Literally translated, it would mean something like "Ninja Beast." Since we typically transliterate "Juushou," we decided that it would be consistent to do the same with "Ninjuu."

    The word we're translating as "High" is "chou," which is more conventionally translated as "super." In the case of Kakuranger, though, the show is already using the English word "super" in robot combinations (Super Muteki Shogun). It seemed best not to invite confusion by translating a wholly separate Japanese word with the same meaning, as regards the show's robots.

    Spoiler for Episode 26 notes:
    [01:53.85] Let it rain, let it rain!

    The monster here is singing an old children's song, Amefuri. The song is about the heavy rains that can occur in Japan throughout the year, but are especially common in the early summer rainy season. You can hear a full performance of the song at this YouTube link. A version of the song was also sung in the anime K-ON!!

    [02:01.36] Kasabake

    This yokai is sometimes known as "kasa-obake," "karakasa-kozou," and "karakasa-obake." Its name means exactly what Kasabake says it does in the episode. Kasabake is a tsukumogami, a yokai born from exceptionally old umbrellas. The most famous depiction of them gives them one eye, one leg, and a long tongue. The two-eyed version you see in Kakuranger's drawing of it isn't uncommon, though, and two-legged versions also exist. Although there's few folktales specifically about this yokai, he's exceptionally popular in pop culture. Most films, anime, and manga about yokai will feature some version of a Kasabake. Modern depictions often cast Kasabake as a friendly or harmless yokai, which is quite unlike Kakuranger's depiction.

    Spoiler for Episode 27 notes:
    And we're back! Our apologies for the unexpected delay.

    [02:27.32] Nue?!

    Nue is sometimes called the "Japanese chimera," since his body is described as an amalgamation of different animal parts. (The description offered in this episode is more or less accurate.) In folklore, Nue had the power to bring sickness and bad luck to his victims simply through his presence. Nue could also transform into a black cloud and fly. The most famous story concerning Nue occurs in The Tale of the Heike, in which the famed samurai Minamoto no Yorimasa slays a nue that has visited illness upon Emperor Konoe.

    While Nue doesn't have the international following of a yokai like the tengu, Nue is extremely popular in Japanese pop fiction. Virtually any manga concerning yokai or other supernatural themes is likely to have a character or story element based on Nue. You also see Nue pop up frequently in Japanese video games and anime.

    [02:28.26] The head of a monkey, the body of a tanuki...

    Tanuki is the common name of the real-world Japanese raccoon dog, nyctereutes procyonoides. Japanese folklore has made the creature famous, though the tanuki of folklore is obviously very different from the real animal. In folklore, the tanuki is a highly intelligent and magical creature, able to shapeshift and disguise itself easily. Since there are other species of raccoon dogs that live in other parts of the world, so we opted to leave the tanuki's name in Japanese. We also wanted to emphasize the more mythical side of the tanuki, which relates to a trait of this week's yokai. (Don't worry, it's not giant testicles.)

    [02:34.73] A yokai of great bearing and nobility, who terrorized the ancient capital

    If you're into samurai movies or dramas, you probably know this already. Although Tokyo is now the capital of Japan, that was not always the case. Until 1868, Japan's capital was Kyoto, and to this day it's considered the intellectual and historical heart of the country. This particular line is a reference to the story described above, from The Tale of the Heike. In Emperor Konoe's day, Japan's capital still would have been Kyoto. The line actually uses an even older name for Kyoto, "Kyo no Miyako," which would've been what Emperor Konoe and his people called the city.

    [04:24.54] Furthermore, you will be the lowest of kappa! Krappa!

    The term we've rendered as "krappa" is "he no kappa," which originates from a similar bit of wordplay in Japanese. "He no kappa" originates with the phrase "koppa no hi," or "wood chip fire." The saying came to describe anything that was trivial and quickly-passing, similar to the way wood chips would quickly burn themselves out. This was corrupted by punsters of the day into "kappa no he," which would literally mean "a kappa's fart." It was also a phrase suitable for describing trivial, unimportant things, but added connotations of absurdity. Finally, punsters decided to invert the phrase to "he no kappa," or "a farting kappa." The reversed phrase had roughly the same meaning, but added a connotation of total worthlessness. So what would a worthless kappa be in English? A crappy kappa, obviously... or a Krappa! We figure the guys who came up with the farting kappa thing would probably be all about this. (If, uh, they spoke English and hadn't been dead for centuries.)

    Spoiler for Episode 28 notes:
    The most important thing about this episode (and the next one) is the guest appearance by Sho Kosugi, who rose to fame in the 1980s playing ninjas in various low-budget Hollywood action movies. He also appeared on American TV in the series The Master as Okasa, the main villain, and was also the stunt double for Lee Van Cleef. The Master is probably best known from the Master Ninja compilation films used in two episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. In 1994, when these episodes were filmed, Kosugi was transitioning into directing, and made a series of Japanese language films.

    Sho Kosugi is also the real-life father of Kane Kosugi, who plays Ninja Black. Kane Kosugi was raised in California in a bilingual household, and does speak English and Japanese fluently (just like his father). The plot of this two part episode was clearly written around the gimmick of the action movie father and son duo getting to go all-out in the fight scenes, and the title of the episode references Sho Kosugi's superstar status directly.

    [04:46.11] Gali-sensei?

    Let's kill three birds with one stone here.

    First off... yeah, "Gali." You're probably looking at that name and going, "Don't they mean Gary?" That's probably the case, but the name is plainly written "Gali" onscreen in this episode. Now, onscreen romanizations seen in tokusatsu aren't always worth retaining in subtitles. They can be confusing and distracting in various ways. In a different show, we probably would've corrected it. But after some hemming and hawing, we decided it'd be truer to the spirit of this particular two-parter to preserve the wacky romanization.

    "Sensei" has come into English as a loanword. It can be used as a noun meaning "a karate or judo instructor," and is also typically used by English-language students of those and other Japanese martial arts to refer to their teachers. In this particular instance, and throughout the episode, it's also used as an honorific. In Japanese, honorifics are appended to names to help indicate someone's social role, or their relationship in English. Since Jiraiya refers to Gali as Gali-sensei, or simply "Sensei," you know that he views him as a teacher and mentor. We've left Sensei in italics despite its loanword status, since we feel Jiraiya is using it more in its Japanese than its English sense.

    Whether or not to retain honorifics in translations is a hotly debated subject. In Kakuranger, we typically do not retain honorifics, because we don't feel it's really necessary to convey anything important about the story. Dropping them also helps cut down on the amount of transliterated Japanese in the subs, letting us focus the audience's attention on terms we feel are more important. For this two-parter, we decided to make an exception for the honorific "sensei," which is clearly charged with meaning when Jiraiya uses it. This exception will probably only be made in these two episodes, specifically for the Gali character.

    Spoiler for Episode 29 notes:
    No notes for this episode. Enjoy the show!

    Spoiler for Episode 30 notes:
    Guest star alert! The actor who plays Hakumenro the Tactician in this and future episodes is Godai Takayuki, who played Hiba Takayuki (Vul Eagle II) in Sun Vulcan. Takayuki went on to have a very successful career in the years after Sun Vulcan, including a recurring role in the popular Abarenbo Shogun samurai drama and a number of film and voice acting roles.

    Spoiler for Episode 31 notes:
    [07:50.68] Sasuke. Take the Thunder Sword, Hikarimaru!

    The -maru suffix in the sword Hikarimaru's name works the same way it does in the names Tsubasamaru and Nekomaru. "Hikari" simply means light, in this case probably a reference to the flash of lightning.

    [10:49.95] Great Kakure Shogun stands defiant!

    The word we're translating as "stands defiant" is "suisan," which is a tricky word to bring into English. It literally refers to rudely interrupting or barging in on someone, as with an unannounced visit. The nuance of its use here is that Great Kakure Shogun is "rudely interrupting" the evil activities of his foes, by standing heroically against them. Obviously, there's other uses of "suisan" that one would translate very differently.

    Spoiler for Episode 32 notes:
    [01:26.76] Nuppefuhofu

    Nuppefuhofu is also known as Nuppeppou, Nupperabo, and Nupperibou. It's sometimes confused with a different-but-similar yokai called Nopperabo, the faceless ghost. Kakuranger's idea of Nuppefuhofu as a face-stealing yokai actually seems to be inspired by the Nopperabo confusion, but the monster's visual owes more to Nuppefuhofu's traditional depiction in art.

    In folklore, Nuppefuhofu is a genderless yokai roughly the size of a human. Its entire body is a fatty lump of flesh, with a face hidden inside the folds of fat on its torso. Its body stinks of rotting flesh and it often wanders at night through deserted streets, graveyards, and abandoned temples. It's usually not characterized as an aggressive yokai, but it's pretty creepy.

    [01:44.35] On the day it all started, the summer heat was back in full force.

    This episode originally aired in September, which is when summer is transitioning into fall in Japan. Much like North America, the temperate climate means that sometimes Septembers will be warm and dry, and other times wet and cool. Kakuranger, like most Sentai, is sometimes written as if episodes were "taking place" on their air date. In reality, this episode was probably filmed earlier in the summer.

    [05:22.08] Duh! The face of a manga princess!

    We decided not to italicize manga, since it is a legitimate English loanword at this point. Manga is sometimes translated as comic book, but we decided against that for this particular episode. Haruka is clearly enamored with classic shojo (girls) manga. The most popular shojo titles available in the US right now are probably Sailor Moon and Fruits Basket, but this episode is probably poking fun at much older stuff like Princess Knight and Rose of Versailles. The American comic book industry hasn't really catered broadly to girls since the 1950s, so the idea that Haruka wants a "comic book" face felt a bit off to us.

    Spoiler for Episode 33 notes:
    [01:21.33] The priest of the mountain temple

    The song you hear at the beginning of this episode is a folk song called "Yamadera no Oshousan" or "The Priest of the Mountain Temple." You hear Nakano Tadaharu's version of it at this YouTube link.

    [01:57.69] Whose idea was it to come out to the boonies to dig for matsutake?

    Matsutake is another Japanese word that's passed into English, this one as the name of a rare and tasty mushroom. While anyone can dig up matsutake, the mushrooms have become harder to find over the decades due to proliferation of the destructive pine nematode worm. The situation has only worsened since Kakuranger was filmed, with Japan now forced to import matsutake from other regions like China, Korea, and the US. Japanese consumers will pay high prices for matsutake actually cultivated in Japan, so the Kakurangers probably went out to dig matsutake to help make a quick buck.

    [03:17.34] The Village of Amanojaku

    Amanojaku is a trickster demon from Japanese folklore, sometimes considered an oni and other times counted among the yokai. He is often depicted in folk art as being trampled beneath the feet of Buddhist deity Bishamonten (called Vaisravana in India).

    Amanojaku is fundamentally a contrary and perverse creature, who tries to make humans act upon their worst impulses. An Amanojaku might urge someone to do something terrible in order to realize some desire, but the Amanojaku's victim will probably end up with the opposite of what they originally wanted. In the episode, this is reflected in Amanojaku having the ability to turn humans into creatures like himself.

    In folklore, Amanojaku is most famous for his role in the story of Urikohime, an innocent girl born from a melon who is killed after she foolishly lets Amanojaku into her home. This is reflected in this episode by the scene where Amanojaku tricks Kosuke into letting him escape from underneath Bishamonten's foot. In some versions of Urikohime, the Amanojaku flays the girl's skin from her body and wears it as a disguise. That, too, has a parallel in this episode.

    Amanojaku's perverse nature makes him a popular subject in Japanese pop fiction. Anime and manga about the supernatural often create a role for Amanojaku, and he also makes frequent appearances in Japanese video games. It's worth pointing out that Amanojaku usually has no connection to any sort of mushroom. That seems to be something Kakuranger cooked up for the sake of doing a plot about digging for matsutake.

    [04:31.65] Excuse me, Reverend Sir. What's with the townspeople here?

    "Reverend Sir" is considered the proper form of address for a Buddhist priest in English, similar to how it's typical to call a Catholic priest "Father." Japanese Buddhist and Shinto religious terms can be a bit tricky to translate. While Christian analogues will be most familiar to English-speaking audiences, they work poorly for shows like Kakuranger that are really steeped in Japanese culture.

    [17:48.75] In the last light of the setting sun

    The episode ends with another folk song, this one called Aka-Tonbo or "The Red Dragonfly." You can listen to a performance of it at this link. Akatonbo is a nursery song, often sun as a lullaby to small children.

    Spoiler for Episode 34 notes:
    This episode gets a prominent mention in episode 4 of Akibaranger's first season.

    [05:05.11] I am! Because I am... Sunakake-Baba!

    Sunakake-Baba was a witch who walked around shrines and in forests, scattering sand. As stated the episode, there are stories of Sunakake-Baba that stood on treetops or shrine gates to scatter their sand (or simply make the noise of scattering sand). Her stories originate from the southern Nara and Hyogo prefectures. She wasn't an especially malevolent or benevolent yokai, instead having relatively little interaction with humans at all.

    As Japanese folklore goes, she was a rather obscure yokai. She was never drawn in any of the vintage yokai manuals that helped solidify the appearances of other, more popular yokai. This may have lead to theories that Sunakake-Baba had no physical form, or perhaps concealed it due to their ugliness.

    The idea that Sunakake-Baba looks like an old human woman is relatively recent. It originates from the 1959 manga Gegege no Kitaro, which features a heroic Sunakake-Baba who looks like an old woman wearing Japanese clothing. This depiction is most often repeated in other works of Japanese pop culture, like anime, games, and more recent manga. Kakuranger parodies this depiction a bit, making its Sunakake-Baba a large-chested older woman who's on the prowl for a husband.

    [19:49.08] Next time, on Yuugen Jikkou... just kidding.

    "Yuugen Jikkou" is a Japanese proverb that means, roughly, to be as good as your word or to make good on a promise. It's capitalized in the line because it's part of the title of another TV show, Yuugen Jikkou Chouchoutrian (also called Shushutorian in English, sometimes).

    The joke here references the fact that Hirose Satomi, who plays Tsuruhime, also played one of the three protagonists in Chouchoutrian. The other two were played by Tanaka Yoriko and Ishibashi Kei, who'll guest star in Kakuranger 35. Since the next episode preview is being read in-character by Tsuruhime, she's basically breaking the fourth wall and pretending, for a moment, that she's about to do a next episode preview for Chouchoutrian, not Kakuranger.

    Yuugen Jikkou Chouchoutrian was the final entry in Toei's long-running Fushigi Comedy series, which targeted younger children and girls. It's not the most famous show from the franchise (usually overshadowed by Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine), but still fairly noteworthy in its own right. These days, it's probably most famous for having a bizarre cameo appearance by Ultraman in episode 40, in which the three heroines transform into giants and help him fight the famous Alien Baltan. You can watch that cameo here, with no context whatsoever.

    Spoiler for Episode 35 notes:
    See the episode 34 notes for a bit more information on this episode's gimmick, specifically why they're doing a whole episode about Tsuruhime's best friends we've never seen before. tl;dr version: Tsuruhime's actress was in the Fushigi Comedy show Yuugen Jikkou Chouchoutrian with this episode's two guest stars.

    [03:57.39] I am Hosogawa Fumie!

    We have no friggin' idea what's up with this line. If you do, contact us and we'll amend the notes accordingly. This is definitely not a reference to idol Hosokawa Fumie, who you'll get hits for if you search for this name on Google.

    [04:47.94] I wish to view the status of your plan to turn humans into yokai through controlled education.

    Kakuranger's dipping into social commentary again. Kanri kyoiku, which we're translating as "controlled education," is also sometimes translated as "managed education" or "rigid regimentation." It was a specific instruction style that a lot of Japanese schools used throughout the 70s and 80s.

    The idea behind kanri kyoiku was that students were too young and ill-informed to make important decisions for themselves, and so they should not be allowed to make meaningful choices in school. Instead, adults should control all aspects of the students development and make the right choices for them until they become adults. Unsurprisingly, kanri kyoiku instruction programs focused on teaching students to value self-discipline, conformity, and respect for authority.

    It should also be unsurprising that kanri kyoiku has become controversial in modern Japan, and its use in actual instruction has declined (though not disappeared). This episode of Kakuranger would've been shot and filmed just as Japanese attitudes were beginning to turn again kanri kyoiku. Critics increasingly accused kanri kyoiku of being an excessively harsh and rigid style of instruction that failed to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills. This episode of Kakuranger, though obviously a cartoonish exaggeration, embodies that criticism perfectly.

    [05:14.17] Kamaitachi

    Kamaitachi was popularized by the stories of scholar and artist Toriyama Sekien in the Hyakki Yagyo series. Sekien imagined a kamaitachi to be a trio of weasels with long, sickle-like claws that could glide on gusts of wind. Kamaitachi would attack humans by having one weasel knock the victim over, another slash at their legs, and the third treat the wounds so that they would quickly close over. The weasels are sometimes described as brothers or triplets. Kamaitachi based on this version of the folklore are quite common in manga, anime, and video games.

    Kamaitachi's original folklore comes from Japan's mountainous central Chubu region. The terrain and climate meant that mountain travelers who weren't careful to cover their skin could easily suffer from sever windburn by the end of the day. Modern people know that windburn is simply a form of sunburn, and can be prevented in the same ways. Unaware of the true nature of windburn, ancient Japanese travelers struggled to explain why they would find painful red "gashes" on exposed skin only at the end of the day. Stories about Kamaitachi were one way of explaining this away. Many of the oldest tales of yokai have similar origins.

    Spoiler for Episode 36 notes:
    [06:24.64][06:24.64] Bakuki

    This yokai is more commonly know by the name baku. It is one of many imports from Chinese folklore, a supernatural creature believed to have the power to eat dreams and nightmares. It was believed that experiencing a nightmare could lead to bad fortune in the waking world, so the baku was thought of as a beneficial yokai. Like most yokai, it was at best amoral, and should be treated cautiously. A too-hungry baku might eat your good dreams, including hopes and ambitions, as well as your nightmares. Sometimes the baku is considered more of a holy creature than a mere yokai, and venerated alongside dragons and kirin as mankind's allies.

    A baku could be called upon after waking up from a nightmare, and a talisman made in a baku's image by your bed would ward off bad dreams and evil spirits. If you slept under or upon a baku's pelt, it would protect you from illnesses and malicious spirits. Baku were thought to swarm in areas being ravaged by plague, so they could feast upon the nightmares of the dying. Baku had no power to manipulate or control nightmares, and did not kill humans intentionally. Those aspects of Bakuki were dreamed up by Kakuranger's writers.

    The word "baku" in Japanese can refer either to the yokai, or to a real-life animal called the tapir. As a result, many modern pop culture depictions of the yokai baku imagine its appearance to be based on the tapir. Descriptions of baku's appearance in folklore treated it as a chimera, typically including an elephant's trunk and a tiger's paws. It was also sometimes given the body of a bear, the eyes of a rhinoceros, and the tail of an ox. Bakuki's appearance in Kakuranger doesn't seem inspired by either concept.

    [15:02.82] You pathetic novice!

    The word we're translating as novice is "aonisai," which means... well, "novice." Ninjaman always loses his temper when someone calls him that, so we thought we'd unpack it a bit. Even though Ninjaman is over a thousand years old, he's still just the apprentice of the Heavenly Triad, and more prone to making mistakes. The "ao" in aoinisai is the same as the "ao" in "aoi," the Japanese word for the color blue. In Japanese, "ao" can also reference green things, and could be used to refer to the general idea of unripeness (as in the term "greenhorn," which would've worked for "aoinisai" if English didn't treat green and blue as unrelated colors). So "novice" seemed like the best way to get that aspect of it across. Ninjaman cannot, cannot stand being called a newbie by the monsters he's trying to fight.

    Spoiler for Episode 37 notes:
    [06:51.87] ... the yokai, Karakasa!

    Karakasa is the "umbrella ghost" yokai, a monster born from umbrellas that reach a certain age. Karakasa resemble umbrellas, but may have arms, legs, and one or two eyes. Although images of Karakasa are common in folklore, there are no major legends about it. Fortunately, Karakasa has become tremendously popular in Japanese pop culture. Probably its most famous film depiction is in the Yokai Monsters film trilogy, where it's depicted as a one-eyed umbrella with arms and a long tongue. This depiction has inspired many others. Kakuranger's idea of Karakasa being a dancer doesn't have any basis in folklore.

    Spoiler for Episode 38 notes:
    One general note about this episode. You'll notice that Jiraiya has spoken normally in recent episodes, but that this one reverts him to something closer to his original speech pattern. This is meant to reflect the way the episode is written, as it spontaneously depicts Jiraiya as speaking much worse Japanese than he has in other recent episodes. Future episodes after this one return to Jiraiya speaking normally, so probably this was just meant as a bit of nostalgia for Jiraiya's debut episodes.

    [01:52.39] The ancient ushioni were oni with the faces of bulls.

    The Japanese word "oni" is often translated as "ogre," but oni are also similar to demons and trolls. Generally, oni are considered a type of yokai. Depicition of oni art and popular culture usually give them two horns on top of their heads, which is the basis of the "bull horn" imagery used in this episode. Oni have a mythological association with both bulls and tigers. Oni are often depicted wearing tiger pelts, if humanoid, or with a tiger's stripes.

    Ushioni in mythology is exactly as the episode describes it, an oni that has the head of a bull. Rather than being a bipedal sort of oni, mythological ushioni are more likely to have ox-like bodies. They also have an association with the sea, and are likely to live in oceans or mountain lakes. They have hideous tempers and are quite likely to kill any human who crosses their path. Even if you somehow manage to kill an ushioni, it's likely to lay an evil curse upon you and your family.

    In a handful of tales, ushioni are shapeshifters who can assume human shape. In these stories, they often take on the bodies of women, which they use to deceive and attack human men. This may be the basis for Ushioni's ability, in Kakuranger, to transform humans into oni like itself. We have no idea why those humans become obsessed with stealing. Like many other Kakuranger yokai, the variety of Ushioni tales make it ideal fodder for games, manga, and other forms of Japanese pop art. The idea that Ushioni has become a rifleman is, obviously, to parlay the creature's bull motif into a Western cowboy motif.

    [02:36:20] Onigashima Land

    "Onigashima" literally means "Oni Island." In folklore, Onigashima is an island infested with oni who are later slain by the folk hero Momotaro. Ninjaman's line at 04:01.91 references this famous feat. There is a real island thought to be the inspiration for Onigashima. Its modern name is Megijima, and it lies in the Seto Inland Sea in Kagawa Prefecture.

    Spoiler for Episode 39 notes:
    This episode marks the return of the Storyteller, who stopped regularly appearing on the show as part of its first big tone shift. This is also his last appearance in the show, as the remainder of the series will continue on in the show's more action-oriented tone. This episode writes out the Storyteller on one heck of a high note, though!

    [01:37.65] My name is Nopperabo!

    We mentioned this yokai back in the notes for episode 32, where the Yokai of the Week was a similar creature called nuppefuhofu. Nopperabo and nuppefuhofu are often confused for one another, but nopperabo is by far the more famous of the two.

    Nopperabo is a ghost-like yokai that resembles a human, but has no face. Nopperabo enjoy frightening humans, and may impersonate someone a victim knew who passed away recently. Otherwise, they are completely harmless, a fact that Kakuranger's Nopperabo directly references. Folk tales about nopperabo usually involve characters suddenly erasing their own faces to dramatically reveal their true nature. Nopperabo's regeneration power in this episode doesn't seem to reference any folk tales.

    While nopperabo appear frequently in Japanese pop culture, they're one of the few traditional yokai to transition into becoming urban legends. In both Japan and Hawaii (where Japanese culture is very influential), people in the 20th and 21st centuries have reported terrifying encounters with nopperabo. Usually these encounters are very similar to the ones described in folk tales.

    Spoiler for Episode 40 notes:
    [02:10.45] Kakuranger! Today I, Kyubino-Kitsune, will have my way with you!

    Kyubino-Kitsune, also known as Kyuubi no Kitsune, is Japan's variant of a creature called the Nine-Tailed Fox that appears throughout Southeast Asian folklore. Just as the episode states, stories of Nine-Tailed Foxes can be found in Chinese and Indian folklore. Japan's malevolent Nine-Tailed Fox could impersonate a human so it could torment its target with disease, as in the tale of the disguised courtesan Tamamo no Mae, or spew deadly poison that killed everything around it.

    While there are many benevolent kitsune (or fox) spirits in Japanese folklore, the Nine-Tailed Fox is usually malevolent and considered a yokai rather than a deity. The Nine-Tailed Fox has incredibly potent magic powers due to having reaching a very old age, usually numbered in the thousands of years. Japan's version of the Nine-Tailed Fox may be the most familiar to English-speaking viewers, due to the popularity of franchises like Naruto and Pokemon that include elements based on it.

    [05:43.54] When rain falls on a sunny day, a kitsune wedding occurs.

    The Japanese term for what we call a sunshower in English is "kitsune no yomeiri," which would literally translate as "a kitsune's wedding." Folk legends stated that kitsune would only hold their wedding ceremonies during such rare weather. Because of this, sunshowers were considered good omens, but you should be careful not to try and seek out the location of the kitsune wedding ceremony. Although kitsune are usually benevolent, they will not tolerate uninvited guests at a wedding, and seek revenge on any trespassers. This aspect of the folklore is depicted in a segment of the Akira Kurosawa film Dreams, if you're interested in seeing another take on it.

    [11:10.63] This money... it isn't just leaves, is it?

    Kyubino-Kitsune's suspicion stems from an trick kitsune played upon people in folklore. If a kitsune offered a human payment for any reason, chances are at least part of the money would be old leaves disguised by a magical illusion. Chances are the human in question was being foolish, and the kitsune's prank was a form of punishment. Benevolent kitsune would sometimes offer gifts to humans they esteemed, but a true gift from a kitsune would take the form of a magical blessing.

    Spoiler for Episode 41 notes:
    [04:54.07] My name is Chochin-Kozo!

    The chochin is one of the four types of traditional Japanese lantern, constructed from paper and bamboo. The bamboo would be cut in a spiraling pattern, so the lamp could be collapsed into a basket at the lantern's bottom when it wasn't in use. Chochin were designed to be hung from hooks, and in modern Japan, plastic replicas that use the same design are common. Chochin are common sights in Japanese film, anime, and manga.

    A chochin-kozo, more commonly known as the chochinobake, is a tsukumogami-type yokai born from a chochin lantern that has grown to a particularly venerable old age. "Chochin-Kozo" would translate roughly as "Lantern Boy," while the more common name, "chochinobake," would translate as "Lantern Ghost." The monster's design in this episode is very similar to traditional depictions of chochinobake.

    Chochinobake are a type of yokai known primarily for their appearance in folk art, so there aren't many traditional stories about them. Chochinobake are quite popular in Japanese pop art due to their striking appearance, but depictions vary wildly across media. Virtually every power Chochin-Kozo has in this episode of Kakuranger was made up from whole cloth, probably because they wanted to do a plot about a monster with power over ghosts.

    Spoiler for Episode 42 notes:
    [02:23.49] My doppelganger, Daradara.

    There's two big ideas to unpack in this line.

    Daradara is not based directly on any yokai. Although you may run across a similarly-named yokai called Daradara-Bocchi sometimes in English, there's actually a different Kakuranger monster based on him. Daradara is based purely on the Japanese word, daradara, which refers to things that drip or trickle. This is probably a reference to the trickling, oozing slime effects used repeatedly on Daradara's close-ups this episode.

    The word we're translating as doppelganger here is "bunshin," so there is consistency with the translation of Ninja Red's Art of the Doppleganger attack where he creates copies of himself. Daradara is meant to be similar in appearance to His Infernal Majesty, though he obviously doesn't look identical. This amounts to Daradara being intended as an altered copy, one which still has a mystical connection to His Infernal Majesty despite having a very different appearance.

    In Japanese, this is a rare but valid use of the term "bunshin," which is usually used in ninja-related works to designate a character creating clones or copies of himself. In a broader sense, though, you can use it to describe anything someone might create purely from their own body. In a scientific sense, a bunshin could be considered a clone, although we didn't think that word fit into Kakuranger's magical milieu very well.

    As a final note, you may wonder what's up with His Infernal Majesty creating daradara by, basically, spitting out an egg. There's not any sort of mythological basis for this that we could find. It is something that Piccolo Daimaoh famously did in Dragonball, which would've been a contemporary of Kakuranger back when it was made. The term we translate as "His Infernal Majesty" in Kakuranger is "Daimaoh." Maybe the Kakuranger team meant Daradara's birth as a way for their Daimaoh to homage the more famous one?

    [04:52.52] You mean a work transfer!

    "Work transfer" is the way we're opting to translate "tanshin funin," a Japanese phrase that refers to someone moving to take a job, but without taking their family with them. It's a very common practice in Japan, due to a variety of factors.

    Buying and selling property can be a headache in Japan. Elderly relatives may be receiving care in a family home, and transferring children to different schools is thought to be undesirable. It's easy for a tanshin funin husband to work in a remote part of Japan, then take the train back to whatever city where his family lives on his days off. In the case of a father who is transferred overseas, his children can be spared the stigma of growing up as nikkeijin if they stay behind to grow up in Japan.

    Like many broadly accepted Japanese practices, though, tanshin funin has its fair share of Japanese critics who deplore it. In particular, in the early 90s, it was becoming typical for tanshin funin fathers to be separated from their families over greater distances, and for longer periods of time. Critics argued this was leading to generations of Japanese children growing up effectively without fathers, and forcing lives of lonely isolation on male Japanese breadwinners. Here's a link to a more in-depth article about tanshin funin that originally ran in the Los Angeles Times in 1993.

    Kakuranger's depiction of the practice is ambivalent, which was a fairly subversive move for a children's TV series at the time. Most of Kakuranger's contemporaries, if they acknowledged tanshin funin in the show at all, would put the emphasis on how a child's father still loved him/her and was making a sacrifice. Kakuranger instead focuses on the emotional pain experienced by the children left behind, particularly by viewing Tsuruhime's situation with her estranged father as a metaphor for tanshin funin. Many of the children watching this episode of Kakuranger when it first aired probably would've had absent tanshin funin fathers themselves, and probably would've identified closely with Tsuruhime's conflicted feelings.

    Ninjaman has no real understandning of modern concepts like this, of course. In his line at 04:40.42, he confuses tanshin funin with "tanishi ni fundo shita," wbich would mean "got angry at a snail." As this pun wouldn't translate in any literal way into English, we just had Ninjaman mishear the term "work transfer" as "wortrans fur."

    Spoiler for Episode 43 notes:
    No notes this episode! Enjoy the show.

    Spoiler for Episode 44 notes:
    Still no notes this episode! Keep enjoying the show.

    Spoiler for Episode 45 notes:
    [03:07.52] The Hasty Santa!

    This episode takes its name from a Japanese Christmas song, Awatenbo no Santa Claus, which is usually translate as The Hasty Santa Claus. The song describes a clumsy, silly Santa Claus who messes things up. You can listen to it here.

    [03:35.44] The miffed and muddled Oomukade!

    Oomukade in folklore was an enormous centipede, as large as a mountain, that lived in the Japanese mountains near Lake Biwa. Oomukade was so troublesome that the dragon who ruled Lake Biwa called upon the folk hero Hidesato to slay it. Hidesato accomplished this feat by dipping an arrow in the oomukade's poisonous saliva, then shooting the arrow into the monster's brain.

    Kakuranger's version of oomukade does not owe much to the folk legend, besides the idea of his centipedes being infectious. Oomukade is probably a football-playing yokai as a playful reference to the idea of the yokai being a "giant." More traditional oomukades show up very frequently in Japanese video games, anime, manga, and other visual media.

    Spoiler for Episode 46 notes:
    [02:28.95] It's only 30 yen.

    This sum converts into €.22 or $.30. Even if you factored in inflation, that's still a stupidly cheap price for a new manga. The idea is that the kid should've realized the price was too good to be true.

    [02:51.04] Yokai Mujina!

    This week's yokai is obscure, even for Kakuranger. Mujina is an antiquated Japanese term for a badger, and in some regions could also be used to refer to a tanuki or raccoon dog. Folklore sometimes considers mujina to be yokai, and gives them the ability to shapeshift into human forms. In folklore, yokai mujina were generally tricksters who would deceive humans. They weren't especially malevolent, and had no particular connection to artwork.

    Yokai mujina's folklore is sometimes confused with the folklore of the nopperabo, a yokai that Kakuranger did a version of back in episode 39. And yeah, since nopperabo is sometimes confused for nuppefuhofu (who appeared in episode 32), this makes mujina's actual folklore pretty... mushy. It's no surprise that Kakuranger used it as a basis for a trickster-type monster with a similar look to the animal, but unrelated powers.

    Much like the nopperabo, mujina have become something of an urban legend in Hawaii, where Japanese culture is very influential. Sightings of mujina have been reported in Hawaii throughout the 20th century. You occasionally see mujina crop up in anime and manga, but it's not one of the more popular yokai.

    [08:50.83] Sometimes, I am the merciless swordsman.

    This line and the four that follow are parodying the catchphrase of the 1973 anime/manga heroine Cutey Honey, who could transform her costume into any type of clothing for purposes of disguise, getting cool weapons, or giving herself skills. A tokusatsu Cutey Honey movie was made in 2004, with a TV series following in 2007.

    Spoiler for Episode 47 notes:
    [03:51.04] You're the yokai, Kasha!

    This week's yokai, Kasha, has a name that means "burning chariot" or "changed wheel" depending on how it's written. Kasha folklore is a bit tangled, due to regional and historical variations in what people thought a kasha could do. On a basic level, a kasha was thought to be a type of yokai that stole the corpses of wicked people from their funerals. In regions where this folk tale was popular, funerals for the dead were held twice, once with a rock inside the coffin, to confuse any kashas that might be prowling about.

    The association with fire and fireworks we see from Kakuranger's Kasha touches on an obscure aspect of the folklore (and, well, how the name can be written). Japanese folklore also believed that many other types of creatures would also try to steal corpses from funerals. One of them was a type of demon called a gokusotsu, was was said to drag a burning wheel of fire in its wake while trying to steal corpses. Early legends about kasha associated them with lightning and storms, but over time, these stories clearly got confused with stories about the gokusotsu's wheel of fire.

    The famous yokai artist Toriyama Sekien introduced the idea that, on top of everything else, kasha were somehow cats. This was probably born from confusion with legends about cat yokai that were corpse thieves, or Sekien may have just thought a flaming cat demon would make for a pretty arresting image. In any case, almost every Sekien depiction of a yokai had a profound influence on how later generations of Japanese people thought about the monsters, so many people now consider the kasha a yokai related to the bakeneko (seen in Kakuranger 8).

    Kakuranger didn't play up this aspect of the monster's folklore in the suit design, instead opting to focus on the idea of fire. But the artwork you see at 03:56 when the monster is introducing itself uses the traditional cat-like imagery.

    [04:00.19] And after performing many evil deeds with my fire, I was captured.

    This entire exchange between Kasha and Sasuke hinges on the monster trying to introduce himself, and Sasuke already being familiar enough with the yokai's legends to beat him to the punch. We're not 100% certain exactly which kasha legend the show is talking about here, since there's a lot of them. Our best guess is the tale "Priest Kitataka" from the Hokuetsu Seppu. In that story, a virtuous priest named Kitataka repels a kasha who attempts to steal a coffin during a funeral.

    [04:16.56] Fireworks are best launched into the frozen winter sky.

    This is a pretty strange line if you're familiar with the place fireworks have in Japanese culture. Although it's addressed later in the episode at 10:02, there's probably a real world reason for it coming up. Usually, the Japanese associate fireworks with summer, especially as a major fixture of summer festivals. This episode of Kakuranger originally aired on January 13. It's possible the monster's lines here and later in the episode are just meant to explain why Kakuranger was doing a fireworks plot "out of season," so to speak. There are winter fireworks festivals in Japan, but not many.

    [09:53.72] (Kasha frozen in a block of ice)

    That block of ice is the same one Princess Ial spent most of Maskman trapped in.

    Spoiler for Episode 48 notes:
    Sorry for the delay. Here's hoping it's the last one!

    [02:30.12]The Great Yukionna's Snowball Fight

    Yukionna means "snow woman," and usually appears as a tall, beautiful woman with pale skin and blue lips, often wearing a white kimono. It is often specified that her clothing is a summer kimono that's much too light for the cold weather she appears in. Her only supernatural powers, when she has any at all, are the ability to transform into a cloud of snow or mist.

    She is sometimes depicted as somewhat ghost-like, and may appear as a ghostly apparition with no feet that flies over the snow. In these tales, the yukionna is often the spirit of someone who perished during a snowstorm. Other stories simply say that her footprints won't appear in snow.

    Up through the 18th century, yukionna tales uniformly depicted this yokai as murderous. She would use her resemblance to a human to trick mortals into getting close to her, then ruthlessly kill them. She could freeze travelers with her icy breath, or would lead them astray in snowstorms to die of exposure. In some stories, she could invade homes to make those within freeze to death.

    There is little agreement in folklore about why yukionna would try to murder humans. In many stories, there is no explanation at all. In a few, she is something like a vampire, draining blood or life energy from her victims. There's also a genre of stories where she's a succubus-like creature that uses her beauty to prey upon men.

    In more recent stories, it is possible for a yukionna to be gentle and loving. In these tales, she may let a particular (male) victim go free because of his youth and beauty. In one such story, she lets a man go on condition that he never speak of their encounter. He only does so years later to his wife, who turns out to be the yukionna herself in human form. In some of the stories where yukionna only wishes to peacefully marry a human man, she will melt away if her true identity is discovered.

    Kakuranger's depiction of the yukionna is the usual odd blend of ideas taken from folklore, like the monster's preference for attacking young victims full of life energy, and completely made-up ones like the snow mandala sorcery. Her ploy of turning people into snowman could be taken as a play of her traditional power of freezing humans, or just show-themed sentai silliness.

    Yukionna are by far one of the most well-known yokai, both inside and outside of Japan. Chances are good that if you regularly consume any sort of Japanese pop culture, you've seen a lot of depictions of yukionna. Manga in particular that cover supernatural themes are likely to have a yukionna character. Yukionna are also particularly popular in video games, where they can serve as snow-themed monsters or bosses.

    Spoiler for Episode 49 notes:
    [04:25.59] The yokai, Binbougami!

    Binbougami aren't traditionally considered yokai. Their name translates as "poverty god," and they are usually counted among the hundreds of thousands of minor deities that populate the world of Japanese Shinto. A binbougami is, specifically, a god who enters a household to bring about misery and poverty. Traditionally, he's depicted as a skinny, dirty old man who carries a hand fan.

    In folklore, Binbougami can bring about misfortune like falling ill, as well as the sudden loss of money or goods that Kakuranger depicts. Many superstitions concern rituals one could perform around a household around New Year's to drive out any binbougami in a dwelling and invite in fukunokami, the god of good luck. In particular, binougami were thought to enjoy baked miso, and rituals in certain localities would attempt to use the smell of baked miso to draw binbougami out of local buildings.

    Some traditions say that binbougami can be appeased and made to send good luck with offerings of sake, rice, and prayer. Kakuranger may be referencing this with Binbougami's power to create wealth, or it could be just using it as the loose motif for a money-themed monster. The episode does refer to Binbougami as a moneylender yokai, but there's no association between moneylenders and binbougami in folklore. Likewise, the origin story for Binbougami presented in this episode is purely Kakuranger's fabrication.

    In pop culture, binbougami are now best-known for being the subject of the relatively recent anime and manga "Binbougami ga!" The series is also known under the name "Good Luck Girl!"

    Spoiler for Episode 50 notes:
    Episode 50 of Kakuranger begins the four-episode story arc that ends the show. As such, the notes for it are a front-loaded, and this will be our final set of notes for Kakuranger. Enjoy the rest of the show!

    [02:48.08] These Jizo statues...

    Jizo is the Japanese name of the bodhisattva known more commonly in English as Ksitigarbha. Jizo is a figure associated with mercy, who takes women, children, and travelers under his protection. Jizo statues like the ones seen in this episode are frequently seen at crossroads and interactions in Japan.

    It is thought that the presence of Jizo, through the statue, will help travelers pick the correct path. So it's quite significant that in this episode's plot, the Kakurangers realize they're lost thanks to Jizo statues. Often groups of six Jizo statues will be placed at intersections, since Jizo is the "Lord of Six Ways," an allegory for the six paths a soul can take during transmigration.

    [05:08.35] Yamanba

    Also spelled Yamauba and Yamamba, Yamanba is the name of a yokai who appears as a hideous old woman who lives in the mountains. Yamanba is filthy, wearing tattered kimono, and eats human flesh. She has an association with the culture hero Kintaro, serving as the midwife at his birth in some stories, and in others raising him. Typically, though, Yamanba is depicted in stories as a devourer of children.

    Yamanba is most famous for being the subject of a famous Noh Drama, whose title is usually something like "Yamanba, Dame of the Mountain." In this play, Yamanba is depicted as a guardian deity who has cared for the mountains since time began. "Yamanba" is also the name of a Japanese fashion subculture, distinguished by girls who tan themselves extremely dark and then lighten their hair. In Noh performances, the actor portraying Yamanba often does so wearing very dark make-up.

    Yamanba's associations with His Infernal Majesty and Daidarabocchi appear to be entirely made-up for Kakuranger's story purposes. In folklore, Yamanba is never depicted as having siblings. While kidnapping children is pretty consistent with Yamanba's folklore, her ability to transform them into chickens is wholly made up by Kakuranger.

    [05:08.35] Daidarabocchi

    Daidarabocchi is a relatively obscure yokai, known primarily for being completely enormous. His footprints were so big that they would create lakes and ponds. He is also credited with splitting the peak of Mount Tsukuba into two, by accidentally dropping it.

    Although frequently considered a yokai, there's reason to believe that Daidarabocchi was once worshipped as a deity. His name is referenced by place names throughout Japan, especially mountainous areas and wetlands.

    The idea of daidarabocchi as a breed of mountain yokai is wholly Kakuranger's fabrication. Most Daidarabocchi legends talk about a singular giant who was big enough to dwarf mountains.

    Spoiler for Episode 51 notes:
    No notes this episode! Enjoy the show.

    Spoiler for Episode 52 notes:
    No notes this episode! Enjoy the show.

    Spoiler for Episode 53 notes:
    No notes this episode! We hope you enjoyed the series, and thanks for watching.
    Last edited by FortMax; 07-15-2014 at 09:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Mar 2011
    Its official... GUIS are now fansubbing gods. Bioman, Fiveman and now Kakuranger... its officially Christmas again.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Apr 2013
    the song from ep 17 is by TRF. its called samui yoru dakara euro-house mix.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Jun 2012
    Chicago IL
    I don't get the Ursado translation. What connection does it have with Kuma / bear?

  6. #6
    Jul 2011
    I don't get the Ursado translation. What connection does it have with Kuma / bear?
    Sorry about that. It's meant to be a play on "ursine," a word in English used to describe something related to bears or that is bear-like. It derives from ursus, the Latin word for bear.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Apr 2011
    Thank you so much !

    Will the episodes also become available in MP4 ?

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Jan 2013
    I made a account to come on and say....and zyuranger and now kakuranger...I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Jul 2012
    you really rock, thank you so much !

  10. #10
    I did leave a comment over at the HS blog offering to do hardsub encodes, but haven't heard back so I figured I'd check here too. I always wanted to see the Sentais that made the early PRs, as that's really how I got into Toku in the first place, so if I can help anyone else see this shows then I will (I think that wanting to help other people see stuff is pretty much what I said to Mega back when I first asked him if I could do the encodes for him).

    I've seen a few people here and there ask for AVIs and MP4s but you know this is not my work so I'd like to have an official OK before I go giving out links for them. I really don't know why I feel so nervous and hesitant about asking I did them for Zyu so I should just be a lot more chill about asking it's crazy, but so am I, I guess.