Post Reply Samurai Pizza Cats Myths and Misinformation
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16
In the past few years Samurai Pizza Cats has come back into the spotlight thanks to some long overdue DVD releases, some new merchandise, and even a streaming deal here on Crunchyroll. It's great to see the show getting more attention from both companies and fans. But one thing I notice is a lot of the same myths and misinformation with regards to the source material being repeated over and over again. I try to correct people when I can, but it gets tiring doing it over and over again, so I figured I'd try and make a post clearing things up in a place where lots of people might see it and start sharing the truth themselves.

Now before I go any further, I don't want you to go into this with the wrong idea. I'm not some weeaboo who views the Saban dub as a butchering of a glorious Nippon masterpiece or anything. I love the dub, it's hilarious, it's often clever in its handling of the source material, and there are good reasons for why they did it the way they did. It's also how I was introduced to the show, after all. However, I also think the original show is just as good, and I think it's often not given a fair shake by Western fans, largely because this sort of misinformation persists.

"The original was a boring, serious show."


Couldn't be farther from the truth. Personally, I don't see how anyone could look at what's going on on-screen and think this was ever the case, but this idea still seems to get perpetuated. The intention of the creators from the very beginning was to make a gag show, drawing inspiration from Tatsunoko's own Time Bokan series. And the show only got sillier as it went on. Most of the sorts of humor that the dub is known for, such as puns, pop culture references, ad-libbing, fourth wall breaking, self deprecation, and a wisecracking narrator who trades quips with the characters are all present in the original show. Multiple members of the staff have said that Teyandee was by far the most freedom they were allowed in anything they've ever worked on, and they took advantage of that freedom, basically doing whatever the heck they wanted so long as it was funny. Quite similar to the dubbed version in that regard.

One scene only present in the original show even goes farther with the fourth wall breaking than the dub ever did. Upset at a quip from the narrator made at her expense, Usahime (Princess Vi) calls him out by his voice actor's name, and orders him to be exiled to the prison island. This is then depicted by an actual photograph of the voice actor's face being pasted onto an animated character.

"The original show was a flop in Japan."


Not true. It got good ratings, peaking at 14.6% and averaging at 10.32%. For comparison, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water which aired the same year peaked at 12.2 % and averaged 8.8%. A few years later Neon Genesis Evangelion peaked at 10.3% and averaged 7.1%. It also had an active fanbase which thrived on on the early internet message boards of the time, and created many doujinshi, one of which was acknowledged by the show's head writer to have sold over 3000 copies. They were also able to get Bandai to greenlight the conclusion of a pilot chapter of a manga followup by voicing their support a year or so after the show had ended, and a Famicom game was also released about a half a year after the show had ended, so it had retained a following even after the show was over.

So it clearly had fans. If we want to talk merchandising, then no, it wasn't much of a money-maker in Japan. A decent amount of stuff was released, but the sales were mediocre. But considering that the dubbed version was barely even merchandised at all (a very, very small production of localized toys were released, but they disappeared from the shelves almost instantly and are rarer than the Japanese originals now), that's something of a moot point. If anything, this just draws yet another comparison between the original and the dubbed versions: they're both beloved, but not all that profitable.

"The original creators prefer the dubbed version to the original."


I hear this repeated a lot, but have yet to see anyone provide a source. Nothing about the dubbed version ever comes up in any of the interviews with the original staff that I have come across. In particular, the character designer (who loves the show so much that he's still drawing the characters 25 years later) has said that he hasn't watched the dub, and that while he's curious about it, he doesn't really care enough to buy the DVDs and watch the whole series. If anyone can give me a source for this claim, I'll gladly retract my opposition to it, but everything I've seen in the interviews I do have has the creators remembering the show fondly and being glad to have been allowed to run amok and make something so zany and off the wall. No hints of anything that would make me think their mindset was "We made something okay, but it only really got good once Saban got involved."

I hope I was able to clear up some of these misconceptions, and I would like to wholeheartedly encourage any fans of the Saban dubbed version to check out the original show. It's got a DVD release from Discotek (a separate one from the dubbed Samurai Pizza Cats set due to editing differences between the two). It's really a lot more like the dubbed version than many people would have you think. At the very least you'll get to see lots of scenes you had never seen before, and be treated to a great performance by an all-star voice cast. Granted, Discotek's translation job isn't perfect, but it's serviceable. I'd also encourage everyone to try and correct all these things when discussion of the show comes up. They say a lie can run around the world before the truth can even get its shoes on (especially when those lies get perpetuated by e-celebs on video sites and such), but let's add some hover jets to those shoes and maybe the truth can start to glide around.
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Posted 4/16/16
*waits for a bunch of mafiosi mice to come and drag the topic creator off to parts unknown*
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Posted 4/16/16
I doubt anyone will watch the series. Since there is no "legal" platform.

But the more you understand an anime which is nice.
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16

AnimeKami wrote:

I doubt anyone will watch the series. Since there is no "legal" platform.

Discotek released a subtitled DVD set of the series which is still available for purchase from their website. They had to release both it and SPC separately because of big editing differences between the two which made simply putting two audio tracks on one video impossible. Means you have to pay a bit more if you wanted to see both versions, but it meant both got to be released in their proper forms.
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Posted 4/16/16
This seems like a rip-off of TMNT

Ninja Turtles ~ Samurai Cats

Pizza being an important theme in both series.

Coincedence? I think not.
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Posted 4/16/16 , edited 4/16/16
The comparison comes up a lot, but I don't think anyone's ever been able to show any actual connection between the two. TMNT was basically unknown in Japan at the time (it didn't get broadcast there until a few years later). According to creator interviews, the whole thing initially just sprung from some random drawings of chibi mecha ninja cats that Hiroshi Ogawa had been doing. Some colleagues of his saw those and made then into a half-baked show proposal to use as portfolio padding, but it ended up actually getting greenlit, so they expanded it from there. They wanted to give the heroes a day job they could use as cover and apparently they considered having them run a noodle shop but ended up settling on delivery pizza because it was sort of a new, trendy thing in Japan at the time. The producer also specifically mentions that the Pan Galactic Pizza Port which had just opened at Tokyo Disneyland influenced that decision.

Of course the dubbed version obviously had TMNT in mind, making several jokes and references to them over the course of the series (in the theme song, even)
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Posted 4/16/16

CKD-Anime wrote:

This seems like a rip-off of TMNT

Ninja Turtles ~ Samurai Cats

Pizza being an important theme in both series.

Coincedence? I think not.


It's nothing like TMNT.

It's primarily comedy.

If anything it's closer to like the Kirby anime or Sonic the Hedgehog anime.

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Posted 4/16/16

AnimeKami wrote:

I doubt anyone will watch the series. Since there is no "legal" platform.

But the more you understand an anime which is nice.


well... http://www.crunchyroll.com/samurai-pizza-cats

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Posted 4/16/16

curr0001 wrote:


AnimeKami wrote:

I doubt anyone will watch the series. Since there is no "legal" platform.

But the more you understand an anime which is nice.


well... http://www.crunchyroll.com/samurai-pizza-cats



Getting too old for this lurking shit.

prove me wrong
Posted 4/16/16
huh lol
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Posted 4/16/16

xxJing wrote:


CKD-Anime wrote:

This seems like a rip-off of TMNT

Ninja Turtles ~ Samurai Cats

Pizza being an important theme in both series.

Coincedence? I think not.


It's nothing like TMNT.

It's primarily comedy.

If anything it's closer to like the Kirby anime or Sonic the Hedgehog anime.



I agree and a friend of mine who is about your age loved this series.
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