Confirmed Name of One of Skunk Kusai's Henchmen

Talk about all things Astro Boy!
User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Confirmed Name of One of Skunk Kusai's Henchmen

Postby Fauna » 3 years ago

So, I am currently on the moon right now (and/or having a stroke), because I discovered something pretty wild this weekend. I don't know how many others will be as excited as I am, but I really wanted to share. I've got the actual, canon name of one of Skunk's henchmen, specifically from the 1980 series.

Image

It's this little guy on the left. He's easily one of the most recognizable henchman Skunk has, because he's in every Skunk episode (albeit occasionally horribly off-model, i.e. Death Balloons or the arena scene in White Planet. Maybe that's just a lookalike in the gang?) He never seems to have a name, especially not in the English dub, and a friend of mine just started calling him "Harry" many years ago because it didn't make sense that he didn't have a name, despite being a pretty important foil for one of the series' reoccurring villains.

I've gotten better at reading and hearing Japanese, so I decided to go into his first episode, "Atlas Lives Again", and check out the credits. I found actor listings for all the named characters (i.e. "Atomu no Papa", "Ochanomizu-hakase"), but oddly enough, this:

Image

Pira: Chiba Shigeru

Now, I immediately knew to listen for Shigeru Chiba's voice on our guy - he plays the villain of one of my favourite old anime, Chikkun Takkun, and I know the range of his voice well. And sure enough, there was Chiba doing our guy's lines. If you want, try listening to any scene with him talking in "Frankenstein" or "Atlas Lives Again" and comparing it to a character he plays elsewhere. I knew I had a match for this credit.

Now, his name: "Pira" when romanized comes out to "Pilat", a European last name, most common in France and Slovakia. A last name is still better than nothing!

However, he still gets demoted, come the Light Ray Robot episode:

Image

Henchman A: Chiba Shigeru

Now he begins to be listed as Henchman A in episodes, despite being named as Pilat in two episodes. He doesn't speak in all his appearances, but for most of them, he's played by Shigeru Chiba. The exception is "The White Planet" when another guy plays him. It's not really noticeable, unless you're expecting Pilat to bounce between rough and squeaky like Chiba.

My final test was to see if I could catch any audio reference to his name, since it certainly doesn't appear in the subtitles. I found two instances in Atlas Lives Again:

Image

Go to the above scene when Skunk is scooping money into the air. You should hear, right after Skunk's initial laughing, "Oi Pira! Kane da, kane da! Kane mochide!" ("Oh Pilat! Money, money! We're rich!") more laughter, then, "Pira yo," before he continues the rest of his line about the money. That's about all I've found so far. But the fact that I found this at all is a massive headrush.


Image

I can't believe Pilat has an actual name. Then again, why wouldn't he? He's in so many episodes. I'm so used to calling him by my friend's name for him, Harry, that it's hard to wrap my mind around an alternative. But she had a first name and the series gave a surname, so...Harry Pilat. I'm all for this.

My next operation is to see if Skunk's two henchmen in the 2003 series had any names. Skunk's my favourite AB villain who isn't Dr. Tenma so this is a lot of fun for me to discover.
ImageImageImageImage
Dr. Tenma lover and aficionado since 2006!
Now featuring the Sad Old Dad Squad (The S.O.D.S.)

User avatar
Rejoyce
Rocket Ball Champion
Posts: 315
Joined: 4 years ago
Location: USA

Postby Rejoyce » 3 years ago

I am so excited about this! Thanks Fauna!

User avatar
Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
Posts: 4545
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: South Florida
Contact:

Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

Well is there a Japanese equivalent to 'Harry'? IE, my first name, 'Kenneth' might be Kenichi in Japanese (Though I think they also use 'Ken', perhaps as a shortened form). If so you could just go with that!

I'm guessing that Pilat only appeared in the 1980 anime series, though he might have been in one of the 2003 episodes that included skunk, the one with Jumbo the robot comes to mind. I think in the 1963 series Skunk was paired with either Hamegg or Lamp in the episodes that he was in.

Anyway, I'm going to have to remember the name Pilat, might come in handy for any future fan fic ideas.
[sigpic][/sigpic]Image

:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)
https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4672860/Tetsuwan-Penguin

I can also be found on Deviant Art http://tetsuwanpenguin.deviantart.com/

My home page
http://scharkalvin.weebly.com/about-me.html

User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Postby Fauna » 3 years ago

"Tetsuwan Penguin" wrote:Well is there a Japanese equivalent to 'Harry'? IE, my first name, 'Kenneth' might be Kenichi in Japanese (Though I think they also use 'Ken', perhaps as a shortened form). If so you could just go with that!

I'm guessing that Pilat only appeared in the 1980 anime series, though he might have been in one of the 2003 episodes that included skunk, the one with Jumbo the robot comes to mind. I think in the 1963 series Skunk was paired with either Hamegg or Lamp in the episodes that he was in.

Anyway, I'm going to have to remember the name Pilat, might come in handy for any future fan fic ideas.


I don't really think Pilat would have a Japanese first name...given his name and appearance, he's definitely a gaikokujin. He definitely seems coded as a foreigner in his character design, along with a few other guys in Skunk's gang.

And yeah, Pilat only appears in the 1980 series. He does have a lookalike in the 2003 series (whom I'll try to find the name of tonight), who looks like Pilat if he were older and had a harder life:

Image

I honestly think the design influence of Pilat is present with the above guy.
ImageImageImageImage

Dr. Tenma lover and aficionado since 2006!

Now featuring the Sad Old Dad Squad (The S.O.D.S.)

User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Postby Fauna » 3 years ago

I hate to double-post, but I indeed have a meaty name update! This has been an exciting week for Astro Boy news for me. (This includes something else I'll save for another thread.)

Image

So, I've always wondered about the names of Skunk's two schleppers in the 2003 series. They appear in 4/5 of his 2003 episodes, and didn't seem to be named. Over the years, a friend and I just started referring to them as Nooj and Kuma respectively. (The names are a long story.) I decided to go into the credits of each of their episodes and check...

Image

Skunk: 矢尾一樹 (Yao Kazuki)
Jazz: 中嶋聡彦 (Nakajima Toshihiko)
Blues: 遊佐浩二 (Yusa Kouji)


Sure enough, each time, there was this trio of credits.

Now, there was an issue here...unlike with Pilat, their names don't seem to be ever said out loud. Maybe I've missed something in my listening tests. They were probably named in studio scripts and production art just to make it easier for the staff. Regardless, they have names! My only problem with this lack of spoken names was that I couldn't tell who was who. I had to go about comparing Jazz and Blues's voices to other characters played by Yusa and Nakajima.

Image

Nakajima was immediately identifiable as the fat ponytail guy, who I'll now call Jazz. Nakajima has played a wide range of shady guys in his career, and he had a distinct loud-but-gravelly voice that I heard in Jazz. It was a match.

Image

I ran a few comparison tests to be sure, but indeed, Blues was the tall earphone guy. According to his Wikipedia Japan page, Yusa is also credited as playing as an unnamed pilot and a staff member in AB2003. He has a good range, but he's mostly known for playing younger, slicker characters...including Shadow the Hedgehog in Sonic X.

Final note: Last night, I considered if Blues was also named "Bruce", since they're spelled in katakana the same way. I highly doubted this was the case; they were so totally named Jazz and Blues together, in the same vein of how Tezuka would name his characters. My interpretation...he's canonically named Blues, but maybe that's just a nickname and his real name is Bruce. I invite you all to run with this.

So, this wraps up a many-year-long mystery! I hope others will find this as interesting as I do. Heck, I hope people will pick up calling these guys by these names too! (I just need to possibly unlearn "Nooj" and "Kuma"...)
ImageImageImageImage

Dr. Tenma lover and aficionado since 2006!

Now featuring the Sad Old Dad Squad (The S.O.D.S.)

User avatar
Tetsuwan Penguin
Robot Revolutionary
Posts: 4545
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: South Florida
Contact:

Postby Tetsuwan Penguin » 3 years ago

Great detective work! (It sure helps being able to read the Japanese titles!) Now I wonder, were those characters given names in the English dub?

Another question would be does the character design of those two have an origin with any of Tezuka's other Manga characters? Remember that the design of Reno came from a Tezuka character (there was a thread here a while back on that. IIRC, Reno came from a character in Ambassador Magna)
Last edited by Tetsuwan Penguin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
[sigpic][/sigpic]Image



:tenma: I'm on Fanfiction.net as Tetsuwan Penguin. Please check out some of the other stories I've written! ;)

https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4672860/Tetsuwan-Penguin



I can also be found on Deviant Art http://tetsuwanpenguin.deviantart.com/



My home page

http://scharkalvin.weebly.com/about-me.html

User avatar
Little Brown Fox
On a Flight into Space
Posts: 1630
Joined: 9 years ago
Location: *LOUD INTERNAL SCREAMING*

Postby Little Brown Fox » 3 years ago

Actually, as I understand it, both his normal appearance and his robot disguise came from two characters in the Ambassador Magma series. I cannot recall their names, though; I just remember that they both resemble each other, for specific reasons (but they are definitely two different people).

This is kind of interesting. Of course, most people will probably continue to call them whatever they want. I happen to find the musical naming dynamic of "Blues" and "Jazz" to be charmingly amusing, though. (As well as the fact that the guy who apparently voiced Blues also did the voice of Shadow the Hedgehog; who'd have thunk it?)
lolwut

User avatar
Firelord Zuko
Kokoro Robot
Posts: 29
Joined: 3 years ago
Location: The Fire Nation

Postby Firelord Zuko » 3 years ago

Never knew he had a name. Good to know.

User avatar
Astrogirl500
Rocket Ball Champion
Posts: 226
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: France
Contact:

Postby Astrogirl500 » 3 years ago

I prefer the henchmen from 2003's version. They're cool!
Image

User avatar
Fauna
Beyond the Stars
Posts: 2244
Joined: 12 years ago
Location: Saskatchewan
Contact:

Postby Fauna » 3 years ago

A quick edit to my earlier post...I claimed that Blues and Jazz only appear in 4/5 of Skunk's episodes, but that's incorrect. I incorrectly remembered one episode, and the truth is, they appear with Skunk in all five episodes.

"Tetsuwan Penguin" wrote:Great detective work! (It sure helps being able to read the Japanese titles!) Now I wonder, were those characters given names in the English dub?


From what I've seen, they didn't get any English names. They were probably chalked up in scripts as the classical "Henchman A and B".

"Tetsuwan Penguin" wrote:Another question would be does the character design of those two have an origin with any of Tezuka's other Manga characters?


I honestly think Jazz was partly inspired by Pilat, from the 1980 series. Blues is probably an all-original design. Like a lot of the 2003 characters, Blues looks kinda like an ultra-modernized Tezuka design. (And to be honest, he actually looks to me like an older version of Taro from the 1997 Dr. Slump anime.)

"Little Brown Fox" wrote:This is kind of interesting. Of course, most people will probably continue to call them whatever they want..


Aw man, I'd personally hope people would pick up these names, at least for Blues and Jazz. I know I've been waiting years to see if they ever had canon names.

"Astrogirl500" wrote:I prefer the henchmen from 2003's version. They're cool!


I think the optimal henchman situation is for Pilat, Jazz, and Blues all working together on the same team. One can dream, I suppose. :hyo:
ImageImageImageImage

Dr. Tenma lover and aficionado since 2006!

Now featuring the Sad Old Dad Squad (The S.O.D.S.)


Return to “Astro Boy Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest