Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mrs. Maple

The North American dubs of Maple Town had something that the original Japanese version and the other foreign dubs didn't have - a live-action host opening and closing the show.

Each episode of the North American English dubs would open and close with a live actor named Mrs. Maple on a kitchen set.  She was implied to be the only human living in Maple Town and would introduce the episode, bringing up what was going on in Maple Town and what that episode's plot would be.  

After chatting with the viewers for a bit and mentioning elements of the episode's story, she would turn to look out of a window into Maple Town, which had the animation added in (probably with Chroma key).

Mrs. Maple (Janice Adams) looking out her window into Maple Town

At the end of the episode, we (the viewers) would return to Mrs. Maple's kitchen where she'd sum up the story and/or its moral and then say goodbye to the viewers.

Later episodes of the English dub made Mrs. Maple's role less important; she'd give more of a summary of what to expect in the episode rather than the longer introductions she did early on.

Mrs. Maple was portrayed by Janice Adams.  According to her listing on IMDB, Maple Town seems to be her only acting credit - nothing else before or after is listed.  There's no other information about Janice Adams so any acting background, her current whereabouts, etc. are unknown.

This is the only post where I really plan to discuss her character.  She isn't really important, even to the English dubs, so I won't mention Mrs. Maple much from here on.

That's it for now.  Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Patty Rabbit

Today, I'm going to talk about the protagonist and heroine of Maple Town and its sequel Palm Town.  Her name is Patty Rabbit and is pretty much the iconic character of both series.

Before I go any further, I want to emphasize that for clarity, I will be using the North American English names for the characters like Rachel Rabbit, Fanny Fox, Suzie Squirrel, etc.  Should I come across a character that I'm unsure of their name or if they made it to the English dubs, I will use the best name I can find from the dubs I have.  If anyone out there can help fill in the missing information, comment here or email me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.  Anyway, without further ado, let's get this show on the road.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Maple Town: An Introduction

Maple Town, officially known in Japanese as Maple Town Stories or Maple Town Monogatari (Japanese:  メイプルタウン物語), was a 1986 Japanese animated series produced by Toei Animation, created by Chifude Asakura and directed by Junichi Sato (who also worked on Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Sgt. Frog).

Maple Town was a 52-episode anime that could be described as slice-of-life with elements of adventure and drama.  The series revolved around a young female protagonist named Patty Rabbit.  At the start of the series, she moves with her family to Maple Town, where her father runs the post office.  During her time, she meets Bobby Bear and a number of other town residents like Danny Dog, Fanny Fox, Susie Squirrel, etc. and has run-ins with a local bandit named Wilde Wolf.

The series was animated by Toei and broacast on TV Asashi on Sundays from January 19, 1986 to January 11, 1987.  

After its initial run, a sequel was made called Palm Town or formally as New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter or Shin Maple Town Monogatari: Palm Town Hen (新メイプルタウン物語-パームタウン編), with this series running for about 50 episodes.  Palm Town only had Patty Rabbit with some of the original Maple Town characters appearing on occasion.  This show originally broadcast from January 18, 1987 to December 27, 1987.

My sources tell me two movies were made - a Maple Town movie was released on July 12, 1986 and a Palm Town movie was released on March 14, 1987.  I know the Maple Town movie is an original story, but I have not viewed it so I can give no more information at present.  In contrast, the Palm Town movie is a compilation of the first episode of Palm Town with the last few episodes of Maple Town spliced in.  I viewed this movie years ago on YouTube but it has been since taken down due to copyright issues.

Sometime in 1987, Maple Town was exported to a number of other countries including (but not limited to) the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, France, Poland, Hong Kong and various Arabic speaking nations.  Some countries did also get its sequel Palm Town but other did not.

For the United States and Canada, an English language dub was produced by Saban Enterainment and the Maltese Companies in conjunction with Tonka producing merchandise of Maple Town.  The series originally ran in syndication on independent television stations in 1987 and then moved to cable channel Nickelodeon.  For reasons unknown, all 52 episodes were not shown on US television; Maple Town ran until April 2, 1993 on Nick.  

Merchandise was released in Japan and other countries; Tonka licensed the toys here in the USA.  Maple Town toys were collectible figurines with clothes as well as vehicles, furniture and playsets.  The usual other merchandise was released such as puzzles and coloring books.  Home video releases were released too as mentioned on the home video post. 

That's it for now.  I'll have some more posts up during the week.  

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Welcome to the Maple Town Compendium

Good day to all of you out there.  My name is Max West and I'd like to welcome all of you to my new blog.

The focus of this blog is to discuss the 1986 Japanese animated series Maple Town Monogatari  (Japanese: メイプルタウン物語), more commonly known as Maple Town.  

What's that?  You've never heard of this anime?

I hope to change that.  Maple Town seems to be unknown except to three groups of people.  The first would be animation buffs, especially those big on animation history.  The second would be those who were children in the 1980s.  Maple Town would run alongside many other animated series of the 1980s like He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, the Real Ghosbusters, and many more.  The third would be the furry fandom.  This series is noted by furry fans from Japan, USA, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, etc. because of its focus on anthropomorphic animals.

Anyway, my goal is to raise awareness of Maple Town, discuss the series and document its existence for future generations.  This show is quite unique and not just because of its Japanese origins.

When I viewed the show years ago  in 1987 when it broadcast in the United States of America, first airing in syndication and then the cable channel Nickelodeon, I found it fascinating.  Besides its cute nature, the beautifully rendered backgrounds are a technical marvel.  

The very essence of the show was bewildering; this show was made in the 1980s and the sequel series to Maple Town, Palm Town (which I will also discuss on this blog), clearly establishes Maple Town takes place around 1986 and 1987.  Yet everything was old-fashioned.  In the decade of neon-colors, skinny neckties and legwarmers, everyone wore clothes resembling the first half of the twentieth century.  The technology was old-fashioned too.  In spite of this apparently taking place in the 1980s, any technology appearing was antique.  There was a notable lack of television, computers, video games and so on.  I just did not understand why this hamlet called Maple Town seemed to be isolated from the modern world in terms of both culture and technology.  But it still fascinated me.  I watched reruns of Maple Town on Nickelodeon until they stopped airing around April 1993.  The thought of that small village never left my mind.

Years later, I started drawing comics.  Inspired by Maple Town, I created a series with a similar concept - a small, isolated village inhabited by anthropomorphic animals.  It's titled Sunnyville Stories and owes a lot of Maple Town.  That has its own blog so I won't bring it up here that much.  The link is below.

The blog will get regular updates on Sundays; I may do occasional posts during the week.  Welcome to this blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Links and Further Reading

I would like to share with you the links and resources I used to help in putting together this blog.  These are also worth checking out for more information about Maple Town.

Maple Town's entry on Wikipedia

Maple Town's entry on IMDB

Maple Town's official entry on Toei Animation - This is in Japanese.

Maple Town on the Big Cartoon Database

Maple Town Wiki - A wiki for Maple Town; a very handy reference I used for my research.

Maple Town Story Forums - A forum powered by ProBoards about Maple Town, Palm Town and anything related to it.  As of early 2017, there's not much activity going on but it is handy for tidbits of information.  I plan to cite info from here when I can.  Anyone browsing this blog/compendium should check the board out and maybe give it life again.

Maple Town Page on Tripod - This page was very handy and was what jogged my memory about this anime series.  While it's a goldmine of information, it seems to be dead.  It doesn't seem to be updated and there's no way to contact anyone who maintains the page.

This post will be updated regularly as I learn more information.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Maple Town Home Video Releases

Maple Town did get home video releases on VHS format back in the late 1980s.

According to this Tripod based Maple Town page, six videocassettes were released by Family Home Entertainment from about 1988 to 1990.

The first cassette pictured here, titled "Welcome to Maple Town", was released in 1987 and has about 4 episodes running about 86 minutes total.  These episodes are: Welcome to Maple Town, The Stolen Necklace, The Pot That Wouldn't Hold Water and the Greatest Treasure of All.

The remaining five videos released all have just two episodes each.  They are as follows:

"The Prettiest Dress In Maple Town", 1987, containing The Prettiest Dress In Maple Town and The Children's Forest Patrol

"A Baby Comes to Maple Town", 1987, containing A Baby Comes to Maple Town and When Children Must Be Grownups

"The Case of the Missing Candy, 1987, containing the Case of the Missing Candy and Teacher, Please Don't Go

"Medicine from Maple Mountain", 1987, containing Medicine from Maple Mountain and the Ransom of Maple Forest

"The House Made of Love", 1987, containing the House Made of Love and A Most Unlikely Heroine

In Japan during the 1990s, Toei Video released about ten videocassettes with about three episodes each.  (Above image courtesy of the Lost Media Wiki.)  The UK got a few video releases through Multiple Sound Distributors.  Meanwhile in the Netherlands, CNR Video released a few cassettes with episodes.

As for DVD releases, even in this day and age, they are quite rare.  DVD releases exist in Japan, Spain and Hungary.

This is the DVD release of the Spanish Maple Town dub known as "La Aldea Del Arce".

I have no pictures of the Hungarian DVD release at present.  In its native Japan, Toei has released both Maple Town and Palm Town on DVD over two boxed sets.  My sources tell me that as many DVD sets do, there's bonus material such as production art, storyboards and character model sheets.

At the time of this writing, no other DVD releases have been announced for elsewhere like the United States.

There are two points of order that I need to address here.  The first is that anyone in North America interested in getting any of the above DVD releases should take heed.  Europe and Japan uses a region 2 coding for their videodiscs; these will NOT work on a North American DVD player, which are region 1.

The other one is directed at anyone looking for episodes in any format (DVD, videocassette, digital files and so on).  PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ME HERE OR BY EMAIL ASKING FOR EPISODES.  For legal reasons, I cannot offer them nor can I direct you to any sources for these episodes.  You are on your own for locating these.

Should the situation change with any sort of digital or optical disc release, this post will be updated.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Maple Town Episode List (North America)

Maple Town was exported to many other countries throughout the world in 1987 and translated into a number of languages for foreign viewers.

When it came to the United States of America, all 52 episodes were not broadcast in the United States market.  My research shows that a run of 65 episodes were planned but this was not done.  (On another note, since Maple Town only contained 52 episodes, this implies they may have planned to dub some of the episodes from its sequel series, Palm Town, to add onto this planned 65-episode run.  But this is only speculation on my part.)  The reasons for this and why its sequel Palm Town never made it to this side of the Atlantic Ocean is unknown (but that's another blog post).

Select episodes ran in barter syndication sometime in 1987.  More episodes started airing on children's cable channel Nickelodeon until it was pulled from their lineup around April 2, 1993.

The following are the English titles of episodes that broadcast in the USA and possibly Canada.  I don't have full information on which episodes ran nor do I have their exact airdate; I can only speculate from my research that these aired originally in 1987 and 1988 in both syndication and on Nickelodeon.

1. Welcome to Maple Town!

2.  The Stolen Necklace

3.  Box Go Boom (Alternate title may be "The Silver Spoons")

4. The Greatest Treasure of All

5.  The Pot That Wouldn't Hold Water

6.  Medicine from Maple Mountain

7.  The Children's Forest Patrol

8.  The Ransom of Maple Forest

9.  A Most Unlikely Heroine

10.  The Prettiest Dress In Maple Town

11.  The House Made of Love

12.  Teacher, Please Don't Go!

13.  The Letter That Saved Mayor Dandy Lion (Alternate title may be "Letters of Love")

14.  Father Still Knows Best (Alternate title may be "A Lesson from Father")

15.  A Baby Comes to Maple Town

16.  The Spirit of Twin Peaks

17.  When Children Must Be Grownups

18.  A Love Letter to Miss Deer (Alternate title may be "Love Letter Mix-Up")

19.  The Beaver Family's Swimming Hole (Alternate title may be "The Beaver Family Pool")

20.  The Maple Town Children's Newspaper (Alternate title may be "The Maple Town Newspaper")

21.  The Mystery Man of Maple Town

22.  The Case of the Missing Candy

23.  The Forgotten Dream (Alternate title may be "A Long Forgotten Dream")

24.  Friends of Maple Town

25.  Angels of the Valley

26.  The Witch's Castle (Alternate title maybe "The Old Witch's Castle")

27.  High Tide

28.  The Ghost Piano

29.  Panic in the Hospital

30.  Unfortunate Predictions

31.  A Maple Town Wedding

32.  Rotten Fruit

If anyone has more information about episodes that aired in the USA or Canada, feel free to comment here or contact me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Maple Town Episode List (Japanese)

Maple Town's official Japanese title is Maple Town Monogatari (Japanese: メイプルタウン物語), which translates as "Maple Town Stories".  The show was produced by Toei Animation of Japan and was broadcast Sunday mornings on TV Asahi from January 19, 1986 to January 11, 1987.  A total of 52 episodes were produced plus one film.  A sequel series titled Palm Town or officially Shin Maple Town Monogatari: Palm Town Hen (Japanese: 新メイプルタウン物語-パームタウン編) which translates as "New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter".  That ran for 50 episodes and in the same time slot on TV Asahi as its predecessor did.

The following is a list of episodes that ran; these titles were obtained from Wikipedia and Anime News Network.

1.  "Kochira dōbutsu taun" (こちら動物タウン) - Jan. 19, 1986

2.  "Nerawareta kubikazari" (ねらわれた首飾り)  - Jan. 26, 1986

3.  "Kie ta gin nosaji" (消えた銀のさじ) - Feb. 2, 1986

4.  "Hori ate ta takara mono" (掘り当てた宝もの)  - Feb. 9, 1986

5.  "Ubawareta nabe" (うばわれたナベ) - Feb. 16, 1986

6.  "Kowareta kusuri bin" (こわれた薬びん) - Feb. 23, 1986

7.  "Mori no minarai keibitai" (森の見習い警備隊)  - Mar. 2, 1986

8.  "Watashino e wo mite!" (わたしの絵を見て!)  - Mar. 9, 1986

9.  "Hiroin hawatashi" (ヒロインはわたし) - Mar. 16, 1986

10.  "Papa, kocchi mui te" (パパこっち向いて) - Mar. 23, 1986

11.  "O kashi no ie no yakusoku" (お菓子の家の約束) - Mar. 30, 1986

12.  "Ika naide! Sensei" (行かないで!先生) - Apr. 6, 1986

13.  "Ai wo yobu tegami" (愛を呼ぶ手紙) - Apr. 13, 1986

14.  "Tōsan arigatō" (父さんありがとう) - Apr. 20, 1986

15.  "Haro! Akachan" (ハロー!赤ちゃん) - Apr. 27, 1986

16.  "Usagi yama no kami sama" (うさぎ山の神さま)  - May 4, 1986

17.  "Kodomo dakeno machi" (子供だけの町) - May 11, 1986

18.  "Tanoma reta koi no tegami" (頼まれた恋の手紙) - May 18, 1986

19.  "Biibaa ie no natsu" (ビーバー家の夏) - May 25, 1986

20.  "Patei no kodomo shinbun" (パティの子供新聞) - Jun. 1, 1986

21.  "Nige tekita kaizoku" (逃げてきた海賊) - Jun. 8, 1986

22.  "Kodomo tachino mujintō" (子供たちの無人島) - Jun. 15, 1986

23. "Yume nowasuremono" (夢のわすれもの) - Jun. 22, 1986

24. "Yama kara kita tomo dachi" (山から来た友だち) Jun. 29, 1986

25.  "Tanima no tenshi tachi" (谷間の天使たち) - Jul. 6, 1986

26.  "Majo no sumu o shiro" (魔女の住むお城) Jul. 13, 1986

27. "Kai garani negai wo!" (貝がらに願いを!) - Jul. 20, 1986

28 "Koibito tachino aoi umi" (恋人たちの青い海) - Jul. 27, 1986

29 "Fushigina piano" (ふしぎなピアノ) - Aug. 3, 1986

30 "Byōin ha taisa wagi" (病院は大さわぎ)  - Aug. 10, 1986

31 "Yōkoso! O kyaku sama" (ようこそ!お客さま) - Aug. 17, 1986

32 "Shōtaijō gahoshii!" (招待状がほしい!) - Aug. 24, 1986

33 "Gureteru no koi uranai" (グレテルの恋占い) - Aug. 31, 1986

34 "Tabi no shoujo dōra" (旅の少女ドーラ) - Sept. 7, 1986

35 "Kinenshashin de chīzu!" (記念写真でチーズ!) - Sept. 14, 1986

36 "Akai tori mitsu keta!" (赤い鳥 見つけた!) - Sept. 21, 1986

37 "Akogare no baiorin" (憧れのバイオリン) - Sept. 28, 1986

38 "Kekkonshiki haomakase" (結婚式はおまかせ) - Oct. 5, 1986

39 "Daiana nonamida" (ダイアナのなみだ) - Oct. 12, 1986

40 "Himitsu no ie no onnanoko" (秘密の家の女の子)  - Oct. 19, 1986

41 "Watashi no penfurendo" (私のペンフレンド) - Oct. 26, 1986

42 "Jasumin matsuri no yoru" (ジャスミン祭の夜) - Nov. 2, 1986

43 "Hoshi nitodoita tegami" (星にとどいた手紙) - Nov. 9, 1986

44 "Mafurâ no okurimono" (マフラーの贈り物) - Nov. 16, 1986

45 "Yama no ie hamou fuyu" (山の家はもう冬) - Nov. 23, 1986

46 "Mizuumi no sukêto kyousou" (湖のスケート競走) - Nov. 30, 1986

47 "Moshikashite megamisama?" (もしかして女神様?) - Dec. 7, 1986

48 "Sono kinko woakete!" (その金庫をあけて!) - Dec. 14, 1986

49 "Futagono akachan" (ふたごの赤ちゃん)  - Dec. 21, 1986

50 "Kêki de shinnen wo!" (ケーキで新年を!) - Dec. 28, 1986

51 "Minami no machi noobasan" (南の町のおばさん) - Jan. 4, 1987

52 "Patei no tabidachi" (パティの旅立ち) - Jan. 11, 1987

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A Word on Copyright

While I have put a copyright page here on this Maple Town blog, I feel it important to stress this as well in a blog post.

Maple Town and Palm Town are NOT my creations nor do I have any connection with those who created/produced the show.  The copyrights and trademarks on this intellectual property belongs to their respective holders.  I make no claim to said copyrights/trademarks whatsoever.

I will be sharing screenshots from Maple Town and Palm Town, video clips (courtesy of video sites like YouTube) and pictures of various merchandise.  The purpose of these images and this site is for informational and educational purposes only; no infringement of any kind is intended to the rightful owners on the copyright/trademark on Maple Town.  I repeat - I make no claim to any copyright on the aforementioned work and this blog would fall under fair use.

Monday, June 4, 2018

About Me

As for the humble author of this blog?  My real name is my own business.  You can call me Max West.  I was born on January 4, 1980 in New York City.  I grew up in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens and during the first half of the 1990s, lived in rural North Carolina.  I presently live in Fargo, North Dakota.

What do I do?  Besides doing this blog, I draw comics.  I draw an independent comic series, Sunnyville Stories, as well as a webcomic titled Tiffany & Corey (links are below).  I also write.  I've tried my hand at writing fiction and, as you can surmise, I do much blogging too.  My degree is in creative writing from Baruch College of New York City.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Reminder - Official Launch June 10th

Just a reminder - on Sunday, June 10, 2018, the Maple Town Compendium will officially launch.

This blog will be updated weekly on Sundays and is meant to examine the 1980s anime series Maple Town. 

From now until that launch date, I will have a blog post up each day covering a couple of subjects such as myself, brief episode lists and some other material.

While you're waiting, be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.