Welcome to our first round-up! We’re planning to try putting out one of these every fortnight, and we’ll see how that goes. For this opening one we allowed ourselves to range a little further back than just two weeks.
Zimmerit recently celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the OVA MADOX-01, directed by Shinji Aramaki who will, as it happens, be a guest of honor at AnimeNEXT 2018.
The Land of Obscusion carries a detailed discussion of the anime-original content in the 2000 adaptation of Saiyuki, trying to judge whether the Saiyuki anime can comfortably be cut down to its core of adapted material.
Wrong Every Time has a post on Belladonna of Sadness (1973), Eiichi Yamamoto’s psychedelic and unsettling ‘patchwork film’, which has been enjoying a slightly improbable but very welcome reinvention as a cult piece in the last few years. B0bduh also has some episode-by-episode write-ups of non-current titles running, including the first ef (episode 9), and Simoun (episode 7). (Which reminds me, I need to get around to watching that show — F.)
Moonlight Scanlations released a transcription of an interview with mechanical designer Syd Mead from the Turn A Gundam (1999) DVDs. (Don’t mind me, just plugging in my own content. I was very surprised to learn that the official SyFy Twitter account caught wind of this! They contacted me and sent a gift of appreciation — F.)
Speaking of Gundam, over at a ‘Gundam Pans’ tumblr Tom has been assembling pans from the original Mobile Suit Gundam on bluray. The latest instalment contains pans from episode 34.
ANN’s Answerman column discusses why shots in some older titles from the film editing era appear to jerk sideways at cuts. This is a quirky piece of production history.
The AoY Podcast have a Christmas special reviewing the 1985 oddity A Penguin’s Memories, a story about living with war veteran’s trauma mediated through picturing all the characters as penguins.
The Retro Anime Podcast reviews and discusses two fairly obscure OVAs, Dream Dimension Hunter Fandora (1985) and Dragon’s Heaven (1988). Dragon’s Heaven, in particular, is perhaps the only anime entirely given over to a style inspired by the French artist Moebius/Jean Giraud; it also has a charming title sequence shot using little giant robot models.
The Anime Nostalgia Podcast has an episode dedicated to MADOX-01 for its anniversary.
Blade Licking Thieves cover Whisper of the Heart, and also touch in passing on One Piece and Record of Lodoss War. (Whisper remains one of my favourite Ghibli films, so I’m excited to catch up with this! — T.)
One of 1986’s oddest anime is a one-off special about Princess Diana’s early years. This fascinating thread has some details and images. (I’m not an ardent monarchist, but I’m amused by this and curious about, like, why it exists… — T.)
Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Space Runaway Ideon (1980) is an uneven show which was followed by two films: one, A Contact, was a clipped summary, while the second, Be Invoked, was a well-regarded and influential sequel. Here’s @RetroAnimeOP proposing an a condensed viewing order as a compromise between A Contact‘s concision and the TV anime’s length. (I’m not sold that this is a satisfactory way to experience the series, but it’s certainly an interesting proposition. — F.)
@ajolipa has been translating voice actors’ remarks on their Legend of the Galactic Heroes characters from a series guidebook.
A full English translation’s now available for the previously elusive first season of UFO Senshi Dai Apolon (1976)!
What we’re up to
Feez — I’ve begun watching Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, directed by Hideaki Anno. It’ll be a new addition to Super Robot Wars X, so I figure now’s the time to finally cave in and watch it. I’ve heard many things, good and bad, and that it was marred by production issues up the ass. Guess I’ll see! Follow my progress here and feel free to comment. I love chatting with people, especially passionate fans! I’ve also been playing way too many games and have been hosed with work lately.
Thaliarchus — I’m also preparing for Super Robot Wars X—one thing I like about SRW games is that they make me get round to watching things—and in my case it’s Aura Battler Dunbine, the fantasy mecha show that sits between Xabungle and L-Gaim in Tomino’s directorial career. I’ve been enjoying its insectoid mechanical designs, its angry fairy, and its accidental position as a point of comparison for present-day otherworld anime. I’ve also been playing Yakuza 0, which is as fun as everyone promised, and I’m trying to wring a copy of Edwin Morgan’s Sonnets from Scotland out of my local library system.