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My Youth in Arcadia
by Best Film and Video

Ow! My feet! My feet! Why are we standing on the goddammed SUN?!

Ha! I knew it! It had been my firm belief for many a year that the Peregrine Films dub of Arcadia had been dubbed in its entirety and then edited, and in 1995, I was proven right when the uncut version was put out by Best Film and Video. Simply retaining the original Japanese name My Youth in Arcadia this time, and with the same reason-defying shot of Zoll popping one in ole' Harlock's eye on the box cover, the Peregrine dub could now be heard in its entirety. All the audio problems with the original version can also still be heard in their entirety, but them's the breaks.

I've already discussed the original, edited version of this dub (Vengeance of the Space Pirate) elsewhere, so I'll simply focus on the few new details provided by this cut (or lack-of-cut, as it were). The Owen-Stanley Mountains sequence is back in, which is by far the biggest bonus to be had with this version versus the older version. Unlike the Japanese film, Phantom F. Harlock senior is played here by the same voice actor that plays junior and Captain Harlock, and while it isn't that big of a deal, it would've been nice if he had affected an even slight variation on his performance. But after all, these folks were mostly accustomed to dubbing kung-fu flicks. We can't really expect the world on a platter here. The song is still stuck in the middle of the film, though we do get to hear the second verse at the end, where the song belonged in the first place. There is no English version of Maya's "The Sun Will Not Die" song from the beginning, though there is still the same audio dropout when the Deathshadow crash-lands, and the background mumbling is still audible in places. We do get to see Maya's actual death scene onscreen, though her farewell message is somewhat truncated from its original length, even without any footage having been removed. All in all, it's completely superior to the Vengeance dub, and if you're one of those who simply cannot watch subtitles, then this is the version to seek. But really, just learn to read and get the subbed version on DVD. It's definitely a cut above.

A word of warning to potential shoppers: this tape was released in both 2-hour mode and 6-hour mode. The boxes look exactly the same, and the only way to tell which version you're holding is just to pull the cassette out of the box and see how much tape is wound around the spool. If it's a teeny amount, keep shopping. (For this reason, ordering on-line is a bit of a crapshoot.)

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