movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link (get all 5 discs!)] [Wikipedia link talking about the dubbing] Super Milk Chan! One of the most brilliant adult cartoons ever created, and the only one whose brilliance only shines in the *second* English dub, not the original Japanes audio OR the first English dub found on Cartoon Network (For Netflixers, Disc 2s are good, Disc 1s are bad).

Why is Super Milk Chan so brilliant? ADV Films (R.I.P.!). They sometimes take artist license, and create a localized dub where they re-write jokes to be funny instead of stupid. Super Milk Chan isn’t actually that funny in Japanese (or in the literal/1st English dubs). It is ADV‘s sense of humor in rewriting the jokes that made this show a triumph. The Super Milk Chan ADV 2nd/Adult dubs can actually be considered a “remix” of the original cartoon. One that’s actually funny. (Similarly, some of Sealab 2021 can be considered a remix of Sealab 2020.)

After re-watching all of Super Milk Chan for the 2nd time in a decade, I realized that these localized funny-dubs are a rare thing indeed. One must actually do some digging to find out if anything else has been done like this. I read up a lot on Super Milk Chan and ADV films to see if they had ever given the “Super Milk Chan treatment”. From what I could gather, the only other series to receive as through of a treatment from its dubbing process as Super Milk Chan — is GHOST STORIES, the series that this post is about.

So we got it, and we watched all 20 episodes! Rather quickly!

PEOPLE: Mostly a Japanese production involving people nobody’s heard of… But the ADV dubs involve a few voice actors we know:

Hilary Haag (Milk of Super Milk Chan) stars as Satsuki, one of the main characters. Rob Mungle (Milk’s gay landlord from Super Milk Chan) plays Amanojaku. There was a character named Amano Jyaku in Urotsukidoji (Legend Of The Overfiend), and it was not until watching Ghost Stories that I realized that an Amanojaku is actually a class of Japanese mythical beast. It’s weird to watch an anime in 2011 that teaches me something about anime I watched in the 1990s…

Here’s a strange thing: BOTH Tetsuko’s from Super Milk Chan star in Ghost Stories. Marcy Bannor, voice of the gritty, funny Tetsuko from the 2nd/Americanized dubs plays Satsuki’s and Keiichirou’s deceased mother. But Monica Rial, voice of the gentle, not-really-funny Tetsko from the 1st/literal dubs played Momoko. Hearing both Tetsukos in a single episode?! Priceless.

PLOT SUMMARY: High school kids deal with ghosts in their haunted school. Plot-wise, this series is actually lame. “Ghosts” and “cartoons about kids” have rarely been a good pairing. At least Scooby Doo was kind of unique. BUT THEN THEY RE-WROTE THE DIALOG TO THE SERIES, MAKING IT GOOD IN SPITE OF THIS PLOT.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] School district endangers students’ lives.

QUIRKS: Horror anime re-dubbed with American humor.

In Episode 1, their cat gets possessed by a demon that wants to kill them. So yes, one of the main characters is a talking cat. And he’s a pretty good character too. His character evolves over the course of the series.

“Short Bus”, the kid who is re-dubbed as possibly being retarded (at the very least, being *called* retarded), doesn’t really talk until several episodes in. He just cries in this crazy, high-pitched, whiny cry that is HILARIOUS HILARIOUS HILARIOUS. Carolyn & I have spent many minutes trying to imitate “Short Bus”. I am normally excellent in mimicry, but it was a sound I could not make until I had some practice. Carolyn’s still better than me at it. He is hilarious though. Especially at the beginning.

The one girl — they re-wrote her as a devout Christian. Her dialog is hilarious. The only flaw here is that she is more of a supporting character than a main character, so there’s not as many chances for Christian-bullshit hilarity as there could be.

They break the 4th wall a lot, especially near the end of the series. With some of the later episodes, the dialogue involves directly talking about how the show makes no fucking sense at all. I’m sure this is a lot easier to swallow than watching the original Japanese audio, because the original series just looks awful. Just awful.

VISUALS: Indistinguishable from any other generic anime.

MORALS/POLITICS: Devoid of morals and politics. This is just some kids trying to get through their day. Perhaps there is a stupid ghost-related moral: Don’t lock ghosts up in schoolbuildings. Think of the children. Use on of those boxes from Ghost Busters instead. Or a Pokemon pokeball.

GOOD STUFF: My God… No anime on the face of the planet would ever have these kids saying what they are saying. But ADV is quite willing to dub this over someone else’s shitty anime, resulting in hilarity that is far more mature than the original series. THIS IS NOT FOR KIDS!

BAD STUFF: This series failed in Japan. It was poorly written and full of plot holes. It was just poor television.

CONCLUSION: Brilliantly hilarious and irreverent, this series was redubbed in such a way as to make fun of itself, and make it better than it originally was. It’s a remix cartoon, like Space Ghost Coast To Coast, SeaLab 2021, or Super Milk Chan. Any fan of the Super Milk Chan 2nd/Amercanized/funnier dubs should automatically and by default love the ADV dub of this series. They rewrote a character to be a devout Christian, they rewrote a character to be retarded (“Short Bus”, they call him), they rewrote everything because the original series is actually awful. ADV made it brillint. Too bad ADV went out of busines last year — after 17 years of dubbing anime :/


Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10. Starts with 7/10 episodes, reaches its stride with 8/10 and 9/10 episodes, and ends with 10/10 episodes.

Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10. “But the last 25% of episodes were 10/10. I must be a fan of breaking the 4th wall, because I always find it funny. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, and Toxic Crusaders comes to mind.”

The native public rating for this series is: IMDB: 7.5/10, Netflix: 3.7/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.9/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: It’s kind of hard to find DVDs of the ADV Americanized Dub — but Netflix [see link at top] appears to have them in stock. The first few episodes aren’t as outrageously funny because it takes them a bit to hit their stride. But once they hit it, they hit it hard.

SIMILAR SHOWS: Super Milk Chan (Americanized 2nd Dub).


Satsuki Miyanoshita: You can mess with me… you can pick on little brother and friends… but don’t FUCK with my cat!

Satsuki Miyanoshita: [after realizing they’ve traveled back in time] HOLY TIME MACHINE BATMAN! It’s 1973!
Hajime Aoyama: Holy pre-Parkinson’s Michael J. Fox Christopher Lloyd Back To The Future plot ripoff device! where’s my DeLorean?
Satsuki Miyanoshita: Pre-Parkinson’s? You are so shockingly hateful.
Hajime Aoyama: I don’t feel sorry for him, he was in “Light Of Day”. [*shudders*]

Phone Recording: [Satsuki attempts to call the Ski Lodge] The number you have dialed is no longer in service. HEY! MAYBE IF THEY PAID THEIR FUCKIN’ PHONE BILL YOU COULD CALL AGAIN!
Satsuki Miyanoshita: Asian trash, can’t pay the phone bill.

Satsuki: [answers phone] “Milk speaking! … I love doing that.” (a direct homage of Milk-Chan answering the phone in Super Milk Chan)

^ Hilary Haag, voice of Super Milk Chan. More like Hilary Hotttttt.

Mood: annoyed
Music: Triptykon – Goetia