A few weeks back Siew Toh mentioned to me about an anime series she watched when she was way younger. She happened upon the VCDs in Jaya Jusco and she remembered not having watched the ending so I bought a copy last week and we watched all of it within the span of a week. Reason being that the VCDs cost me RM99.00 and only came with a 2 week warranty. There's more to this story, read on.
Shurato is a 38 episode TV series first aired circa 1989, which makes this show over 15 years old. Wow! Shurato's closest relative in Japanese anime is the Saint Seya series ( which sadly I have never watched ). I'm not going to give a review of Shurato because that's not the real point of this post so if you're interested in finding more about Shurato please visit Arcadia's Shulato Shrine
The main characters.
Now for the real point of this post:
In recent years anime DVD and VCDs have been popping up in many shopping complexes. They are widely available and their selection is quite good ranging from old classics to obscure titles you will likely not want to watch. One thing you notice up front though is that they are not cheap ( to be fair anime can not be found cheap anywhere in the world ).
What's not obvious however is that despite all the Original Hologram Sticker brandings ( see first two pictures ) there remains no way to purchase legal original anime videos in Malaysia ( other than importing them directly from Japan or America ). Believe it or not every single anime I have seen being sold in Malaysia are pirated ( bootleg ) copies from Hong Kong or Taiwan.
The title in English reads "Heaves (sic) Wars Shurato". The hologram sticker on the top right corner reads "TULEN KPDN & HEP ORIGINAL" The blue sticker at the bottom is issued by the "Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia" ( Malaysian Film Censorship Body ).
This was not the first time I have purchased anime discs ( in this case it's VCDs but usually they are DVDs ). As such I knew what I was getting myself into. The thing is, if you're purchasing videos of older animes don't expect good video or sound quality and if you can't understand Japanese you better be good at reading Chinese because the damn bootlegs typically come with good Chinese subtitles and terrible subtitles for English. Look at the picture below... I did not make this up!
"My imeartant inneenea is gone!"... what the fcuk?
I'm pretty forgiving with bad subtitles though. As long as I can follow the show then it's ok with me. However this "original" product had another surprise for me. I mentioned earlier that Shurato was a 38 episode series. The Shurato VCD box set that I bought consisted of 19 VCDs, each storing 2 episodes. Imagine my surprise when Siew Toh put in Disc #18 and clicked the play button:
"Welcome to Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty with me Lorraine Hahn and Dan Childs"
Disc #18 was a show about cosmetic surgery hosted by Lorraine Hahn. Lorraine Hahn of course is the host of CNN's Talk Asia. Who would have guessed that she endorses plastic surgery. OK... what the fcuk happened to Shurato? Disc #18 is where all the events are resolved but instead of that we get to see Lorraine Hahn and some stupid fella go interview some plastic surgery patients. They also have a scene where this doctor slices up a woman's neck using a scalpel... crap... I'm not gonna sleep well tonite.
I'm really bitter about this and I'm going to go back to Jaya Jusco tomorrow to get Disc #18 changed to the proper one. However being a bootlegged "original" product I expect that all Shurato VCD Disc #18s are of Lorraine Hahn babbling about plastic surgery so I may probably replace my Shurato VCDs with another title or get a refund altogether. Wish me luck!