Batten Robomaru now fully subbed!

Are the people of Karinto New Town happy or sad about this? You’ll just have to watch and see!

Hello everybody! Hope you’re all doing well. I’d like to take a moment to announce that my collab with Bistrot Jurer subs, Batten Robomaru, is now complete! All 51 episodes and the movie from the 1982 Toei Fushigi Comedy Series show are now subtitled and downloadable for your viewing pleasure.

Like many of my collabs, I didn’t quite know what to expect when I took on Robomaru as a project, but what a wonderful surprise it’s been. Robomaru is charming as hell and deserves a watch from anybody who just wants to be entertained.

Machiko Soga’s characterization of Robomaru never gets stale, and while some of the plots get a little… crazy, there’s never a dull moment in this show. It reminds me a lot of Animaniacs, Tiny Toon Adventures, and a bunch of other 90’s cartoons that were clearly made for kids, but every once in a while had a joke that only grown-ups would understand.

If you haven’t already, give it a watch! I definitely recommend it. Head over to the Releases page for download links!

Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop 1-36, or, I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Green Screen

Well hello there! Long time, no see. I’ve been working in the background for the past few months on a new project and it’s finally ready to greet the world! Say hello to Toho’s 1988 one-off toku series, Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop, which I’m translating as “Cybernetic Police Cybercop.”

Cybercop was aired in 1988/1989, and was later imported to Brazil in 1990, where it was insanely popular (like Juspion-level popular) as well. As a side note, I’ve released dual audio Japanese and Brazilian Portugese raws that you can download here. Olá pessoal!

Cybercop takes place in 1999, and features five detectives, four of whom don specialized armor and weapons to defeat an increase in terrorist activity, and one who doesn’t. Why? I don’t know. It’s never really established why Uesugi (the girl) doesn’t get a Bit Suit. She’s sassy and smart and doesn’t take lip from anyone though, so I guess that makes up for it (?). I really like Uesugi, though. She’s a very multi-faceted character, unlike some other girls in toku series.

In the first few episodes, our heroes are pretty interesting, and by interesting I mean hilariously one-dimensional, but thank goodness that changes about 7 or 8 episodes in.

Our heroes are even in a band… for the first few episodes anyway. And Uesugi sings the ending theme song, which I first heard back in like 2000 when I was just a baby tokusatsu fan and I’ve loved it ever since.

Cybercop was a production of Toho, the studio famous for the Godzilla franchise, but has had very few forays into tokusatsu TV series. They had a few in the 70’s (Rainbowman, Zone Fighter, Greenman/Godman, Megaloman, etc.), but there was a big gap after Megaloman in 1979. Then came Cybercop in 1988, which was the first real tokusatsu series filmed on video instead of film (although you could count Tsuburaya’s 1983 series Andro Melos, but that was only 45 5-minute episodes). After Cybercop, they wouldn’t make another series until Guyferd (which was a co-production with Capcom), and their return to sole production wouldn’t be until 2003’s Chouseishin Gransazer (which I highly recommend).

Now that’s the Toho I know and love.

A lot of people make fun of the series for the effects, which are A LOT of green screen. Like a lot. A lot a lot. There are just random rooms shown where they could have just gotten into a room to film but no, it’s green screen. In 1988, these effects were probably top of the line, but now they look kind of ridiculous. See also: the video composites used in Flashman, except all the time. Because the show was digitally filmed and edited though, some of the effects are really crazy.

This is what happens when Jupiter gets mad. Also, I swear I had this exact same design on a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper when I was a kid. Don’t judge me. I like unicorns and dolphins.

The overall series plot is really well done and kind of reminds me of a major blockbuster film from 1984. You’ll see what I mean, but the series plot doesn’t get going until episode 14 or so. It’s really good though, highly enjoyable.

Cybercop is fun because it’s actually pretty funny too. Like laugh out loud funny. Mouri (Saturn) is just such a character. He’s hilarious in most of his scenes. Uesugi is pretty funny too. The rest get their moments; it’s not all drama and heroism.

This is all you’re getting, but this is the funniest episode in the whole series. Not joking. Just hilarious.

The whole series is available for download, so get clicking over to the Releases page! Enjoy! “ZAC, dispatch!”

The Metallic Fansubs 2020 Christmas Special: Tokusou Exceedraft 43 & 44

Hope everyone’s holiday season has been fun so far! You know what 2020 needs more of? Crazy Metal Hero Christmas episodes! Because Shaider really just wasn’t enough…

Part of my toku binge since I stopped fansubbing was Tokusou Exceedraft, the 1992 Metal Hero series and the final entry in the Rescue Police series. I realize it’s not fully subbed yet, but you know… I speak the language, so I watched it in full.

Exceedraft starts as a standard Rescue Police show: saving the day from who or whatever threatens the city and its people without much overall plot. About halfway through the series though, it starts to return to Metal Heroes’ creepy roots and gets really weird with a God vs. the Devil plot and Earth’s fate hanging in the balance! I am all about that!

Except Kousaku and Ken become glorified comic relief during main plot episodes. I’m not all about that.

Exceedraft features three human heroes in super suits (Hayato/(Sync) Redder, Kousaku/Blues, and Ken/Keace), their commander (Kisaragi), and their assistant (Ai Hyuuga). Keace is a play on the Japanese word for yellow, “ki”. Also, the assistant’s little brother Masaru shows up sometimes for some kiddy focus.

Along the way, Hayato starts seeing visions of a little girl who tells him the apocalypse is coming. These two episodes are a small part of the series plot, but with a little twist…

There are ladies dressed as Santa Claus. And they can fight! Because… it’s toku, so why not?

So basically, God and the Devil are headin’ toward Armageddon and it just so happens the prelude is happening on Christmas Eve and that’s really all you need to know going into it. There are a few clip montages to catch you up if you’re lost. Also, a lot of biblical lore and imagery abound, so enjoy that…

Nothing to see here! Just God and the Devil’s forces facing off… in Santa costumes. Wait ’til you see the black Santas’ introduction.

I really liked Exceedraft, but I will not be subbing it beyond these two episodes unless it is officially dropped at some point.

A translation note: I’ve decided to use Weeaboo Shogun’s “Boot Up!” translation for “Jissou!”, the team’s equip command. It translates to “Implement!”, but I like the double meaning of Boot Up, first of starting up a computer or software, and the other of literally putting on boots (as well as the rest of their armor).

Head over to Releases to get downloading. Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday season!

If you really squint, these explosions look like a menorah! Look how multicultural toku is! (/sarcasm)

Surprise Collaboration! The Kagestar

Well, hello! Long time no see! I’m taking a minute to announce my newest collaboration, The Kagestar! I’ve been working on this in the background for a couple of months now. I’m working once again with Tokugami of Big Nova Subs, and a new collaborator, Nemet, who produced a scrub of the original subs of Battle Fever J from Hawaiian TV.

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A delightful story of two heroes who begin their journey… by being electrocuted. Charming. Those 70’s shows really do hit differently.

For those who don’t know of it, The Kagestar was a one-off tokusatsu series produced beginning in 1976. It was the first series EVER to be created by “Saburou Yastude”, the pseudonym of Toei studios’ writing staff. It is also slightly notorious as the inspiration of a villain in The Powerpuff Girls during the 90’s, Mojo Jojo. The characters’ helmets are almost identical, and the reason is creator Craig McCracken had a figurine of Kagestar when he was little.

The Kagestar has been really fun so far. It’s very stylish and fun. The characters are all pretty unique, and the hero costumes are just wonderful.

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I keep saying I’m going to have a bed comforter one day of Kagestar’s cape, so I can sleep warmly under his shadowy goodness.

With 35 episodes and a movie, our batch release plans are the first 12 episodes, then 13-23 plus the movie, then 24-35. Episode 13 introduces a major villain arc which is a perfect place to separate the first two batches.

Episodes will be available via nyaa torrents as well as via DDL on Big Nova’s blog. Visit Big Nova Subs for links! I hope you enjoy! Kage Kage Kage, GYU GYUN! Kagestar!

The Post Nobody Wanted But Is Happening Anyway

spongebob

Shaider will be my last release.

After releasing or helping to release 13 full series in less than 2 years, I no longer have the motivation or excitment to keep doing this, so as of today, I am retiring from fansubbing. I will continue to work on my current collaborations, but I will not be accepting new ones.

The funny thing about fansubbing tokusatsu is that it leaves very little time for watching tokusatsu, so I’m very excited to get back into the actual viewing.

That’s not to say I’m done forever. I just need a (possibly very long) break. There just aren’t any more shows right now that I’m passionate about getting people to watch. If I do find a show I want to release down the line, it will drop as an entire series without warning, kind of like my “Secret Side Project” releases.

This has been a wild adventure for me. It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of work, but the rewards have been worth it. I feel connected to a community that I never really felt part of before, and for that I will always be grateful.

On a personal note, I am currently laid off from my job. Fans have asked if they can support my work, to which I’ve always said “thanks, but no thanks”, but given my current situation, I’ve started a Patreon where you can donate if you enjoy my subs. You can access that HERE. Anything helps and it’s very much appreciated.

If you’re interested in following the man behind the subs, I’m bluephlash on basically every social media app. I’m most active on Instagram.

Peace and love, and happy viewing!

– bluephlash

Uchuu Keiji Shaider 37-49 + Movie 2, or, Did You Know Shaider Completes His Sintering In Just One Millisecond?

Wait, really? What?! I had no idea! Seriously? Wow! … It’s only mentioned in LITERALLY EVERY EPISODE.

[This concludes Shaider and the full batch has been released. There is only one v2, and it’s an OCD item. In episode 9, I subbed Poe’s name as “Priestess Poe” instead of “High Priestess Poe”, so that’s been fixed. All other files are the same as previous releases. You can uncheck episodes you’ve already downloaded when your torrent client starts. Again, the 2nd movie is in DVD quality only as it hasn’t been released on Blu-ray yet.]

Well, here we are! The end of Shaider! I hope you’re all enjoying what we’ve seen so far, because now we’re at a weird level of 1000. Seriously. You thought the Santa episode was going to be the only one in this batch? Let’s get started.

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Have yourself a scary little Christmas. And be haunted by the hymnal version of the Strange Song.

So I figured something out. Remember how episode 2 was crazy? Like dancing little people angels and stuff? Even episode 1 was pretty weird. There were random people with bird and badger heads in the space sheriff training class for no reason and they’re never referred to or seen again. Plus that’s where the bizarre ritual before the birth of a Strange Beast comes from.

The same director, Shin’ichirou Sawai, did episodes 1, 2, 38 and 39 (the Santa episode). That’s right! It’s all one guy. He never directed any other tokusatsu except the first two episodes of B-Fighter, which makes me REALLY want to check those out now. You’re probably asking yourself “Is 38 really weird too?” Here’s your answer:

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This isn’t the version of Super Mario Bros. I remember playing as a kid.

Every once in a while I run across a Japanese term that I don’t know. Usually it’s something that I would have never learned in my studies or just doesn’t come up in normal conversation (scientific and technical terms account for a lot of this). Here’s one that I had to look up from episode 43. Would children even know what this is?

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I’ve never had the occasion to require a payday loan in Japan, so… Hello, dictionary.

A weirdly dark episode for sure. That plant Strange Beast has an interesting distinction in the series. It can speak without the need for a human form!

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I feel like the only talking Strange Beast in the entire series should have been used for more than just eating a crapload of food and hanging out in some random home, but that’s just me I guess. Also, why don’t any of the Strange Beast human forms count as talking?

Anyhow, weird weird weird, then we get to the ending! Fuuma’s endgame begins with their all-out invasion of the galaxy in episode 44, so we get 5 episodes of pure plot bliss. Well, sort of. Episode 46 is super weird. All it is is Poe getting upset and throwing Shaider into a crazy world of disguises and trickery and it’s basically just how many disguises and settings they can pull off in one episode wihout actually advancing the plot at all. Lots of awesome action though, so that’s a huge plus if you like that (which I do).

Episode 49 is a Space Sheriff special, since Shaider would be the last Space Sheriff series. Great to see Gavan, Sharivan, and Shaider in the same episode, but I wish it had a little more content to it. It’s largely a glorified clip show. Oh well.

Shaider’s been massively fun for me to sub and I’m hoping you all enjoy it as much as I have. Head over to the Releases page to get downloading! Sinter!

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Uchuu Keiji Shaider 25-36, or, Cashing In On Your Phobias

Phasmophobia (fear of ghosts). Arachnophobia (fear of spiders). Automatonophobia (fear of ventriloquist dummies). Coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Warrior Shaider-phobia? It exists (in one episode). We’ve got it all in this batch!

Note: This batch contains easily the creepiest episode of Shaider. Easily. Sure, the forthcoming Santa one is just flat-out eerie in a “wow, that’s weird” kind of way, but the ventriloquist dummy episode contains not only a heavy shot of weirdness, but it’s also creepy as hell with its monster’s stranger danger human form and the fact that dummies are just creepy in general. And why are there always clowns now?!

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Annie is like “if I turn around right now and there are dummies staring at me, I’m going to lose my shit.”

Hello hello hello! Ready for some more Shaider strangeness? I can hear you screaming “Yes!” through your screens, so here we go!

We get a little more plot advancement in episode 34, where we find out what actually happened to the Land of Mu. Hint: It wasn’t the Galactic Patrol that destroyed it. Also, we find out more about Fuuma’s history and a secret connection between two of its members.

The one-off plots themselves are still pretty much normal: make people lazy, kidnap children for whatever reason, but the execution of them is what is beginning to border on the insane. Plus, there are always inexplicable clowns. They’re in, like, almost every episode now.

The Strange Beasts are starting to look really cool though, taking on Aztec and Maya inspired motifs, which is so unique to any tokusatsu series. Think lots of geometric designs and gold, red, and green colors. Fuuma is showing its connection to Mu and those ancient civilizations more.

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Except this guy. 1) He turns into a bouncy house that eats children. Yes, you read that correctly. 2) Buyobuyo is an actual Japanese onomatopoeia that means “soft and flabby”, which… same dude. Same.

We’re starting to get some time waster scenes too, which can range from just that, time wasters, or can be actually very entertaining. This “someone grab the thing” scene in particular is actually pretty funny and well executed.

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No, they don’t play the Benny Hill Show theme song during it (unfortunately).

We also have an interesting episode where Kubilai makes a bunch of mini eggs, so Fuuma’s like uhhh, ok, let’s use them anyway and they become cute, cuddly pets and it’s very “The Trouble with Tribbles” until they make one feral and all hell breaks loose. A testament to Naomi Morinaga’s acting ability, she actually looks legitimately frightened of a bunch of stuffed puppets slowly inching toward her. Brava!

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The one with the teeth (the leader) is voiced by Eisuke Yoda, who just makes it so much creepier. He voices an astounding number of monsters of the week from the 70’s through the 90’s, as well as voicing Shine in JAKQ, Fuhrer Taboo in Goggle Five, Geldling in Metalder, and playing Youko and Ryou’ichi’s dad back in episode 5 of Shaider.

Can’t forget about my favorite thing, the composite background fight scenes! They’re still hanging on, and of course some look cooler than others. The kind of computer world one from episode 36 is very cool and feels like something out of Tron. Others, like this one…

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It’s a little paper monster cutout that rides by Shaider on an arrow! It’s hilarious! I get the intention, but my god, the execution! Hysterical!

We’re almost there! The final series batch will be out in the next couple of weeks, including uh… Ho ho ho! Leave out your milk and cookies! Head over to Releases to get downloading!

Uchuu Keiji Shaider 13-24 + Movie 1, or, A Slow Descent Into Madness

It’s starting. Sure, so far there have been some weird episodes of Shaider here and there. They’re gradually getting more and more strange though. The weirdest one in this bunch is probably 24, the last episode, and they’re just going to get weirder from there. Trust me.

Well hi! The next batch of Shaider is ready for your viewing pleasure! There’s a good deal happening in this batch, with 2 (maybe 3 if you stretch it) overall plot episodes, including the origins of how Dai Sawamura was chosen to be a space sheriff. It only took 17 episodes to get to that. I guess plots about replacing kids with animals and making people lazy are more important.

There are a few other well done one-off episodes too, including one with an astronaut who comes back after having been missing for 20 years, and also he’s a mutant. Oops. There’s a really good chase episode with the girls of Planet Marine, a planet populated only by ocean dwelling young girls.

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Alright, calm down Dai. Perv.

A new trend in these episodes is the monster of the week turning into three random fighters to face Shaider in Strange Space. They’re variable, but they generally keep to the theme of the episode, like in one episode about the Strange Song Flower, the three fighters were dressed in green and had bushes covering their faces. Others don’t match up quite as well…

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These guys show up in one episode and their backing music is a giant ripoff of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. No, seriously. You need to see it to believe it.

Remember how I said episode 24 was the weirdest of the batch? We learn some interesting info about High Priestess Poe in that one at least. Also, there are these guys in that episode.

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What? You’ve never seen 5 people wearing white hoods and sheets with crucifixes on their chests and knives in their hands? Nothing to see here, move along.

Probably the best one is the episode with the Strange Beast who gets hit on the head and turns into a baby. It’s adorable and cute and a really interesting premise that’s well executed. The baby ends up getting into some house somewhere and gets into the fridge, and…

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Yes, that is a bottle of wine, and no, that is not a selfie of me. Give this quarantine a few more weeks though…

This batch includes the first movie “Space Sheriff Shaider: The Movie”, released the day after episode 19 aired. It’s never been released on Blu-Ray, so both batches contain the 480p DVD version, which honestly, is pretty sharp anyway.

Clickety-click over to Releases to get downloading!

Surprise Collaboration! Batten Robomaru

Well, it may not be a surprise since it’s been up on Twitter for a few days now, but whatevs!

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I’m working with AMeanMotorScooter of Berndadelta Subs again and a really cool toku fan called Azurillkirby to bring you Batten Robomaru, the second entry of the Toei Fushigi Comedy series, airing from Oct. 1982 to Sept. 1983.

Never heard of it? You’re in luck. It’s a ridiculously charming and actually funny show! The humor kind of reminds me of Animaniacs if you ever watched that back in the day. Definitely made for kids, but there are some jokes in there for adults too.

The Toei Fushigi Comedy series is probably the most overlooked tokusatsu franchise in existence. There were barely even raws available until recently, even though the series ran from 1981 to 1993 and has been available on DVD in Japan. Many fans recognize its most popular export, Poitrine (1990), about a masked heroine who fights crime since it aired in a few countries outside of Japan.

Batten Robomaru himself is played (wonderfully) by tokusatsu queen Machiko Soga, better known as Bandora from Zyuranger, Pandora from Spielvan, Queen Hedorian from Denziman/SunVulcan, etc. Her characterization is just perfect in every way.

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I am the night… no wait, that’s Batman.

Please check out Bistrot Jurer Subs for more information about our new group, the project, and download links. Enjoy! Fungaro!

Uchuu Keiji Shaider 1-12, or, Mr. Shaider’s Wild Ride

Well, since Disneyland (and everything else) is closed, enjoy a different kind of wild ride, Shaider!

Hi there. Hope everyone is doing well. Definitely didn’t expect a pandemic to be happening during my next post. Crazy. Anyway, here’s the first batch of Uchuu Keiji Shaider, or Space Sheriff Shaider, the 1984 Metal Hero series and last Space Sheriff series.

Shaider is known for… being weird. Like really weird. Surreal. Creepy. The villains even call all of their stuff “strange”, and trust me, it is. Sharivan was just the tip of the iceberg with this sort of stuff. Seriously.

For starters, the main strategist of Fuuma is Priestess Poe, clearly meant to be a female, but is played by a man (Jun Yoshida in fact, who also played Bilgenia in Kamen Rider Black). There’s also a cast of random monsters who just basically dance around all the time and make noises. Plus their boss, Kubilai, looks like a nutsack with a vagina on its forehead weird too. The designs are just ridiculously bizarre.

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This is a Fuuma battleship. I don’t even know what to make of it. Is it supposed to be a kappa? An English barrister? So many questions.

If you think the designs are weird, wait ’til you hear some of the plots. They are just the most convoluted, crazy, roundabout ways to take over humanity. Most of them involve targeting children, which is fair I suppose. Japanese children in tokusatsu shows make themselves easy targets. There’s one where they’re trying to make everyone on Earth lazy (where do I recognize that plot from), but the victims all share something in common.

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They all lie in giant cotton cocoons constantly eating fried chicken, which is what I’ve been doing during my “stay at home” order. Oops. Maybe Fuuma got me.

There are not one, but two plots involving animals. One episode they turn kids into animals to see if the parents will still love them (?), the other they turn animals into ferocious beasts (another recycled trope, oops), but then uh…

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The monster of the week’s human form is a little person dressed as an angel playing the trumpet. Remember when I said Shaider’s episode 2 turned the crazy meter up to 12 out of 10? Yeah, here we are.

OK, Fuuma’s weirdness has been sufficiently covered. Let’s talk about Shaider and Annie! They’re both new recruits, so there’s a slight learning curve for the first few episodes, which is an interesting light to see our heroes in. Annie is played by Naomi Morinaga (who went on to play Helen in Spielvan), but in a change from the past two Space Sheriff series, she is the JAC trained stuntwoman, and our Shaider (played by Hiroshi Tsuburaya, grandson of Godzilla co-creator and Ultraman creator Eiji Tsuburaya) is the pretty boy who can’t really fight. Which means a lot of Annie action scenes ensue. Yessss.

Shaider’s blue combat suit looks a little more high-tech than Gavan’s and Sharivan’s, but the real star is Vavilos, Shaider’s battleship. Gavan’s Dolgiran was cool for sure. A giant robot dragon? Yes please. But Vavilos?

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Vavilos turns into a freakin’ gun! A literal BFG! Try not to be excited in episode 1 when this first happens. Just try! IT TURNS INTO A GIANT GUN AND HAS THE BEST THEME MUSIC EVER!!!

But wait! There’s more! It’s a triple changer!

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Screw you, Juspion. I was the first metal hero with a giant humanoid robot!

As with the other Space Sheriff series, Chuumei Watanabe composes the music, and it’s probably the best out of the three if you ask me. Except (unfortunately) the Laser Blade theme, which is not my favorite. Sharivan holds that title. My favorite insert song “Shaider Blue” plays in episodes 9 and 15, sung by Takayuki Miyauchi while he was taking a break from singing for the Bioman soundtrack. It will lighten whatever mood you’re in, I promise.

One major theme is Fuuma’s “Strange Song”, which you can listen to here. In the show, it makes people do weird things. In real life, it’s just a weird, funky track that’s an earworm, so be careful of/enjoy that. A bunch of the background tracks are variations of it, including the haunting hymnal version you’ll hear in… well, you’ll see.

I’m so excited to bring this masterpiece to you all, so get over to the Releases page and get downloading!