Last December, after newly registering on Yahoo! Auctions Japan, I won an auction for the entire seven seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9). At only 5,000 yen ($60) it was an amazing deal. A Kiwi guy in Otaru had them for sale, and I just got lucky. They were the authentic, North American release retail dvds that sold for $120 per season when they were first released. They still go for half that now.
While I was pretty jazzed and excited about my great steal of a deal, I wanted to have the Japanese release of the DVDs, complete with Japanese subtitles and Japanese dubbing. Yes, I know, this is a bit specifically obsessive and weird, but I thought that rewatching this series that I love in another language that I am studying would be like killing two birds with one stone. On weeknights when I end up watching eight episodes in a row non-stop, I wouldn’t be retreating into my own little English sci-fi nerd world, I would be retreating into my own Japanese sci-fi nerd world.
However, the Japanese releases were going for anywhere from 8,000 yen to 15,000 yen per season, used. Not affordable. Well, last week, I came across an auction that had ALL seven seasons of DS9, which included Japanese subtitles and dubbed dialogue. Only 10,000 yen. I bid on it without thinking. On the auction page, this was the only image of the box set:
At the time, I realized that it was sort of odd for there to be a set containing all seven seasons of DS9 in a single box, and that it was weird for it to say “Star Trek 4” underneath the main title. After all, DS9 is the third Star Trek series, and the term “Star Trek 4” typically refers to the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, starring the original cast.Today, I received the DVD set. Picking it up at the post office, I was at first confused what I had even received. It had been shipped from China. It took me a while to realize that inside were the DVDs I had ordered. I became suspicious. Arriving at home, I opened up the package, looked at the front – same as the image on the auction page. I then looked at the spine of the box set, and realized that what I had ordered, paid for, and received, was an authentic Chinese knockoff. “SEASON TNG 1-7 STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE 4, 48 DVD SET.” Great.
My spirits sunk. I had been ripped off. Or had I? Reading the atrocious English on the back of the box (which was funnier knowing that it had probably been simply transcribed badly, not composed badly) lifted my spirits. Even the main image of the cast was wrong, superimposed over an image from Star Trek: First Contact, a TNG movie.
While the top title was grammatically and punctually correct, the rest was far from it. As you can see, it lists
OVER AN HOUR AND A HALF OF BRAND-NEW FEATURERRES:
TRIALS AND TRIBBLE-ATIONS: UNITING TWO LEGENOS- Traces the origins of the episode with Ira steven benkc,the cast guest stars and willters.
TRIALS AND TRIBBLE-ATIONS: A HISTORIC ENDEAVOR-Examines the techincal challenges of”forrest gumoing”the episod.Features interviews with Ira sleven Beht,Rick Berman. Herman Zimmerman,plus the visual effects leam
CREW DOSSIER:MILES O’BRIEN-A prafile of Colm Meanry’s character from The Next Generalion to DS9,featuriing interiews with castaand crew.
INSIDE DS9 WITH MIKE DKUDA-The veleran graphic artist takes us on a speclal tour of the promenade and reveals hidden jokes seen throughout the station.
MICHAEL WESTMORE’S ALIENS-Includes a look at cast members becoming klingons,the jem”Hadar and other races.
special feahures not Rated
It seems liked it had almost been scanned from the original box and run through OCR software. It’s also strange that the contents described are actually from the season 5 disc only. What a mix up.
Well, this might all be amusing, but I worried that this would be a pile of junk. Ok, it is a pile of junk, but would it play?
The first disc that I put in started rattling so badly that I became afraid it would damage the drive. I did a quick hard shutoff and ejected the disc as the boot process began. Tried another disc, and it worked fine. The video quality is… lesser than. But the Japanese subtitles and dubbing are all there. I think that I will buy a cheap, cheap DVD player to play these in, rather than my new MacBook Pro.
Moral of the story: Watch out where you buy your Japanese DS9 DVD collections!