So. Does anybody know what the heck “Ro-G Panty Complex” is? I’m now curious to know if the line is the result of a bad translation.
For example, in Fugitive Alien the movie regularly uses “Star” when they clearly mean “planet”; I understand that’s an example of a poor translation of the Japanese script (which is on-brand for Sandy Frank).
I’ve seen the Japanese version and the subtitles translate it as “Rhodium and Panium”.
Rhodium is a rare metal, but as for panium… according to wiki it’s… an ancient name in honour of the god Pan, and may refer to:
Banias, an ancient site in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
Panion, a city in Eastern Thrace, modern Barbaros
Battle of Panium, a conflict in 200 BC
None of that has to do with metal, unless they meant Palladium, which is also part of the Platinum group.
As to how those elements create a complex, I haven’t a clue.
My best guess is that what had been said was Roppongi Complex. Roppongi being a district in Tokyo that had some American military installations at the time of the film, and in more recent years has become known for its nightclub scene.
We’re going to need screenshots and vid clips to properly evaluate this phenomenon.
I heard them say rhodium one of the times in the dub. He’s analyzing the alloy from the alien craft. I think it’s just technobabble, like the unexplained sigma waves that are a known part of the electromagnetic spectrum, are undetectable by earthly equipment, can cause electronics to run backwards or shut down, and also absolutely can be detected by both Japanese and US radio telescopes. Here, we’re talking about the fictional scientific formula for the alien alloy, which, once known, can be detected by their scanners.
I do feel like maybe there’s a bit more to it that got cut for time. The movie seems to frequently expect the audience to be familiar with things they just skipped over. Although the full runtime is 1:14, so I don’t think much was cut. And, unlike Prince of Space, it wasn’t adapted from an existing TV show. They seem to just be counting on the kids in the audience being familiar with the genre and just rolling with things. At no point in the film is Space Chief’s identity or origin explicitly revealed. You’re supposed to fill in those blanks yourself. (The main character is a brilliant scientist and engineer who somehow expected an alien attack and built a flying car with lasers in his spare time without anyone knowing it, and somehow he always knows when the kids are in trouble. Okay.)
It’s also just a bad dub. “Look! It’s Space Chief! He’s real! Who are you?” “The name you just gave me will do.” “Hey, everyone! We saw Space Chief!” “What are you talking about?” I think it’s the first time he’s ever appeared, but the way the dub is written, half the time it sounds like the kids have already heard of him and expect everyone else to have heard of him, too.
Also, according to Wikipedia (for whatever that’s worth), the “Neptune Men” are alien robots of unspecified origin and “Space Chief” is Iron Sharp. I wonder what else they changed.
The B-Natural family member they never talk about…
I expect it makes a little more sense in Japanese. Iron isn’t just a metal. It’s a symbol of strength and good quality, and, as such becomes an adjective. Like Iron Chef or Supreme Iron Goddess of Mercy (a high quality Chinese oolong tea). Like Superman, Iron Sharp is a descriptive name that just means he’s strong, reliable, the best, and… I guess Sharp refers to his fighting ability? I don’t know if it also implies a keen sharp mind. It would be a natural pairing with iron, in any case. Wouldn’t be the first superhero to be named for a weapon. Makes more sense than Planet Prince (AKA Prince of Space), anyway. It’s better than Night Thrasher. Or Iron Fist. Or The Whizzer. Or any number of other comic book superhero names.
Let’s face it, ‘Iron Sharp’ is no ‘Prince of Space’ when it comes to Japanese hero names.
The existence of a Space Chief implies the existence of a Space McCloud.
What does Pigs In Space imply?
Or Man of Iron. That’s a good superhero name, right? As a bonus, it’s extremely unlikely to be co-opted by a 20th century Russian dictator, oh, wait.
From Japanese audio, “roGEEum” (hard G) and paNEEum" (“rogium and panium”?) seems as close as anything else. (The actor places the accent for each word on the i.) Also, we probably shouldn’t be looking to science for answers. The full statement (archive.org subtitles, with minor corrections by me) is pretty much gibberish:
I’ve been told (I don’t actually speak Japanese) that the Japanese have the same word for ‘star’ and ‘planet’.
How many times do I need to tell you Phantom?
Your Translations have no effect on me!
Yeah, that point came up in the Club MST3K discussion threads. It still drives me nuts because whoever did the translations into English should have known the difference. So we get multiple Japanese dubs where “star,” “planet,” “solar system,” and “constellation” are all jumbled up into a nonsensical mess.
But seems like we have the answer: He identifies the scrap of ship hull that the kids found as being composed of (a mispronounced and mistranslated) rhodium-palladium alloy, which has technobabble properties that allow them to target the ship with a guided missile that’s specifically magnetically attracted to the hull metal they use. Which I guess means Space Chief has to destroy all the drone fighters before they can launch, or else the missile might impact one of them instead of the mothership.
Funny thing here is that this is another mistranslation. In the original Japanese, Prince of Space is (according to Wikipedia, anyway) saying “Your weapons are useless against me because I can dodge them,” which is very different from what we heard in the dub, but does make a lot more sense of why he’s constantly shown jumping and rolling out of the way. Apparently, there was also a Prince of Space TV show with a goofier costume, which was popular enough that they decided to do two movies. So audiences were expected to be somewhat familiar with the character and to know that he had no powers or invulnerability, just skill and technology.
I remember back in the 80s there was still confusion about “solar system” vs “galaxy”. And that was just in English
My first experience with the dubbed Prince of Space wasn’t MST3K but a compilation some anime fans made called B.A.D.: Bad American Dubbing. In that the “Your weapons” was included and had always stuck with me.
It was questionable (err…lazy) translations that led to my username, as I ended up joining an anime subtitling group, and found myself helping with a number of tasks, starting with timing subtitles to movements/speech, to the actual subtitle overlay, and eventually on a few projects working on what we joked as “Context Editing”, (Editing… Editor… get it? Yhea you got it.) taking the raw translations and trying not to use a literal translation, but what was actually implied to give hopefully provide the end product with a better means to understand what was happening/said than just tossing the scripts onto the timecodes.
Our Translators for a few projects I worked on were bombarded at times with “I get what it says, but what are they saying?”