The Confusing Conclusion (Final Thoughts)
Is this show's idea of 'the circle of life' too hardcore?
Rintaro was in charge of directing the remaining episodes. It's just strange that the quality of Jungle Emperor suddenly declines half way through, when Rintaro's earlier episodes seem consistent with Tezuka's vision. In fact, Rintaro had worked for years with Tezuka before directing the show and was personal friends with Tezuka. Perhaps Rintaro attempted to make the show distinctive or else 'update it' for modern audiences. (But, apparently he forgot that this the show is supposed to be Kimba the White Lion not Ginga Nagareboshi Gin!)
"Remember Leo, a leader is neither a boss or a king."
About the Dub:
Part of the reason why this show remains so obscure outside of Japan is due to its dubber's infamous hack job. Unlike the dub of the original show (which is a bit hokey but decent by '60s standards), the 1989 series's dub by Pioneer completely changes its narrative flow. Episodes two and three were completely omitted, and only episodes one through fifteen were released on tape. Pioneer apparently tired to edit 'The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion' into something more upbeat, and just gave up after they realized the show would continue to get darker. In the process they rid the show of its charm, only to replace with it bad jokes or annoying dialogue. (In other words, the characters never shut up.) And the voice acting itself is just as awful, if not worse than the edits.
Thankfully, these terrible VHSs are long out print. Avoid them like the plague.