This Page Is Intended to provide little known
Historical Data on the Social Climate and Conditions that surrounded the 8 Man Production/Broadcast Years in the 1960's
It is not Intended to slight or demean ANY Nationality or its populace.
My stance is that of a Neutral Observer who is attempting to report the facts concerning these things.
The author prays that you will be
Entertained & Enlightened by these Historical Facts!
Glad that you found this part of the 8th Man Website!
Because we are about to embark on a much more adult and serious subject
Why was 8th Man edited, Prepare yourself for...
Now...for just a moment, put away your pleasant memories and fantasies of youth
a side of the 8th Man cartoon series that you may have thought about...
Or maybe it just lingered in your sub-concisous mind, a curious notion.
in every way possible to attempt to de-emphazise its inherent "Japaneseness"?
Because we are about to embark on a much more adult and serious subject
Why was 8th Man edited,
Prepare yourself for...
The dubbing team at Copri International didnt seem to mind if viewers thought the people and places in the English-version of 8Man were "far eastern" or "Oriential" but why conceal the fact the story of 8Man takes place in Tokyo, Japan and its environs?
I have encountered two schools of thought on the subject, one is the editing was done basically to simplify the content and eliminate any elements that might "confuse" the kiddos watching the these Japanese produced shows. Astroboy didnt pose much of a problem in this area as its production was tightly controlled and monitored by NBC films after the first dozen or so were produced, And yes, out of these early episodes many were unacceptable and refused completely.
The other school of thought is that at the time prejudice and a lot of bad feelings were still present in our two countries from WWII and public knowledge that "8th Man" was Japanese would hurt syndication sales. I tend to believe this prejudice still existed in the USA - and mainly in the South. I think both schools of thought prompted the editing of 8th Man. Lets look at the history.
Enter, TCJ Productions: 8Man. Targeted mainly for a Japanese television audience and completed and done with before ever touched by American hands. The Production of 8Man was not monitored nor controlled by American interests whatsoever. Where did the idea for 8Man the anime come from?
In the original manga (comic book) the basic background/storyline is not really flattering at all if you happen to be an American. While not singling out the American citizery the Magna writing made fairly direct criticism of the Government and Military portraying them as "power-hungry" and using ruthless methods to obtain their goals.
But in the Anime the direct references to America, CIA, Soviet Union, etc were replaced with Armaco, Solarian Union, etc -- now certainly the Japanese KNEW what these new titles really refered to but outside Japan they would remain vauge.
Copri made doubly sure.
8Man fell into the hands of people who were undaunted by anything else they had took on previously. Make Mexican budget films into "Kiddie Matinees"? Sure!
Copri Films said: no problem, we will just cut out what we can and explain away the rest. So, thats exactly what they did! (see the episode guide for detailed "cover-ups")
Sure, it was unlikely the word would get out in the USA that 8th Man the anime had "un-american" origins but still the slash-n-burn editing was done to better make sure that 8th Man would be a viable American product not lose money.
So, it was fixed as best as possible to not appear Japanese, even at the expense of making some scenes seem illogical or plain silly! Maybe 8th Man may have been the worst offender, with Katana and Kanji so a lot of scenes were just completely cut-out - sometimes leaving a transient frame of the cut here or there. You can see them clearly on the Japanese videos and DVDs though.
Japan's animation industry saw that the United States was a important market for their wares though and by the late 60's they tailored certain shows for the American palate, gone were the billboards, signs, doors and desk name plates with Japanese writing all over them. Today, there is no reason why we cant speak of these things freely, so I am going to go into some of the details.
Please do not be disillusioned, and just enjoy learning something you had not known previously!
There are some playful little pokes, here and there at America, and other nations in the 8Man series...some easily seen, many hidden in the Japanese language, I only know of some of them I can share here...
The following is taken from a website in Japan, it's translated, rather clumsily, into English. So much for WEB-based translators - Check it out.
So, Was this the viewpoint from Mid-Twentieth Century Japan? Was it pleasing to Japanese TV audiences to see the (Tani) valley doctor steal a super-robot from the American War-machine and THEN place a Japanese Mind and Heart into it, thus making robot-008 completely loyal to Japan? And then used to fight back against the ones who provided the resources to create it in the first place?
I say SURE WHY NOT!?
My, my! This is funny. A very Recent episode of the anime "Pretty Sammy" has this sequence with Washu, the scientist demostrating a super-weapon to the President! Apparently, the US contracted this work by her, and when she asked what it was to be used for and found out it was for military purposes - she promptly destroyed it by remote control, saying, "Peace is better"! This was a playful, but yet sort of poking fun at the Good Old USA wasnt it?
I truly believe the the Japanese are peace-loving people today, but hey dont forget WWII...
But it is Pretty unbelieveable isnt it? The irony of it all is this aired in Japan, AND THEN was doctored up BY Americans and shown to kids over here in a completely different light.
This still blows my mind when I think about it!
In the episode "7 days of Nightmare" or Seven Days of Terror, in the English-dubbed, Japan is assailed on every side it seems, with the European Spy-Gang, The Black Butterfly ready to blast Tokyo with a "neutro-bomb"!!
What's that you say? A neutron bomb? Europe? huh? Prove it!
Once again, from a website in Japan describing episode #27...
Even so the Japanese did seem to acknowledge their 8 Man was an American-built robot, for one thing, in the original Japanese he is called eight man, in rather hurried sounding English - it sounds like "eigh-taman" but the Japanese have their own words for eight & for man...why did they use English, was it because they wanted to remind the TV viewer the American origin of this robot? I dont know, an interesting thought.
Here is an interesting little example that you can see for yourself, that is if you have the episode, "Icefinger the Executioner for Intercrime", or "Hit Man Gaea Ream" as the Japanese episode is named. So, here is what to look for:
In about the middle of the episode there is a shooting contest and the MCee of the event says, "In addition to the Fumblethumbs job the winner will also recieve this four-barrelled feeble-blaster" and we see this four barrelled pistol with a skull for the sights, look closely at the base of the stand it is sitting on...some tiny Japanese writing with "USA" too!
I wonder if that could be translated, Made in the USA?
There are more instances, and I will be adding to this page as I learn more myself about the Japanese series and its secrets!