Welcome back! We’re pleased to note that we’ve been at this for about half a year now, and we’ve begun gradually building up the kind of longer-term, searchable archive of discussion about older anime that we wanted. As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.
At Zimmerit Sean has a piece on the Bubblegum Crisis spin-off A.D. Police. In BGC itself, the A.D. Police were the local law enforcement who were usually being blown up to establish a threat and set the scene for the Knight Sabers to do their vigilante stuff—this is the meat of the OVA’s famous starting scenes (for the performance part of this, compare Streets of Fire). A.D. Police focused on the force’s investigations, and you could frame it as an attempt to take the cyberpunk look’n’feel of BGC and graft on a more thoroughly cyberpunk tone and set of themes. Interestingly, Sean suggests that the A.D. Police manga might be more worthwhile than the related anime.
Dave’s latest column at Let’s Anime traces a set of anime adaptations of Western books and comics, with asides on where some of them can be watched. (This is a sequel to a previous post on the topic, which is also worth a read!) Another whisper in the ear of today’s boosters of the ‘new’ globalisation of anime, pointing out that anime has always been rather global in various ways.
Feez has put out an expanded and updated post on the unsubstantiated rumour that in the original planning for Turn A Gundam the hero, Loran Cehak, was intended to be a woman, and that this idea was squashed by executive meddling. I hope people have been enjoying these posts! I have many more planned.
Jonathan Clements briefly comments on the variety of recent obituaries for Isao Takahata. It’s a quick read and a bit of useful insight on the uneven state of English-language knowledge about the man.
Let’s stick with Studio Ghibli for a moment. Motoko Tamamuro reviews Stephen Alpert’s book I Am a Gaijin, which covers his years as a foreign employee at Ghibli from 1996 onward. I Am a Gaijin was published late in 2016 in Japan but hasn’t been translated, making Tamamuro’s piece a valuable window on something that’s otherwise inaccessible to many of us. (Fragmentary blog posts which formed part of the book’s raw material can be found archived on the web, and are linked in Tamamuro’s article.) The book particularly discusses the production and international transmission of Princess Mononoke. If you’re interested in Ghibli and weren’t aware of Alpert or his book before I’d strongly recommend giving this a read!
All the Anime’s company blog also has a new post from Hugh David on Angelic Layer (2001). Angelic Layer is a curious CLAMP adaptation which is not a million miles from Build Fighters, if you’re familiar with that. I believe its Japanese title is a play on the original Mobile Suit Gundam…
Mike Toole’s latest column, taking the World Cup as inspiration, uses the exercise of selecting a team of anime and manga footballers to trot through some interesting football titles. These type of posts are always fun in the midst of an international event (in this case, the World Cup). I haven’t watched many soccer anime, but I have seen a few episodes of Inazuma Eleven, which Mike’s post highlights. I believe it has a soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda!
The Great OAV Watch continues with capsule reviews of Cosmo Police Justy (1985), M.D. Geist 2 (1996), Tenchi Muyou Ryououki (1992) and Mazinkaiser (2000). Which is a pretty mixed bag! I’ve never quite understood many fans’ disdain for M.D. Geist, which is simple and messy, but still a long way from the worst thing I’ve ever seen. And reading about Tenchi Muyou was interesting: when I became an anime fan in the mid-2000s the franchise was a distantly remembered thing which had once been important, and I’ve never seen anyone sit down and try to explain in simple terms how it kicked off before.
Over at Animehead’s Retroworld meanwhile, Craig has a run-down on the 1987 film Lily C.A.T.
Humble Ace’s episodic progress through the original Macross continues with episodes 16–18.
The coverage of Simoun at Wrong Every Time has reached episode 13.
Finally, Ogiue Maniax carries a piece on ‘the relevance of older anime to newer fans’.
The latest episode of the Anime Nostalgia Podcast tackles the curiosity Dragon Half. (Also, congratulations to the podcast on its fifth birthday! That’s a long time in podcast terms.) I think I dimly remember the Dragon Half OVA being one of the first anime I was vaguely aware of, having seen a case for it on DVD or VHS. But I’ve never seen it!
Dynamite in the Brain’s ‘MANV Feud’ survey of Manga Video VHS releases reaches its twilight period.
- Bonobono (1995) 23 and 24 (GANGO)
- Gutsy Frog: The Movie (Gutsy)
- Yawara 23 (bluray; live-evil and frozen)
- Dragonar 30 (/m/subs)
- Ginguiser 9 (Luurah)
- Stop! Hibari-kun 31–35 and finished (Orphan)
Anonymous Russian Rippers (yes, that’s a translation name not just, like, anonymous Russian rippers in general) have also been releasing or re-seeding a plethora of episodes from older and more obscure titles—so many, in fact, that listing them exceeds our record-keeping capacity! So check out their RSS or Twitter feeds for info on those. Of note (to me), they’ve been releasing episodes of the two Dragon Quest TV anime. I find it odd that they aren’t already subbed! My understanding is that the anime and their corresponding manga were incredibly popular in Japan. But alas, popularity and/or demand does not necessarily carry over continents.
What we’ve been up to
Feez — Busy, busy, busy! This past week’s been especially busy for me, both at work and with family. I haven’t had much time to play or watch anything, and this coming week is Anime Expo! I’ll be there. As I said in the last post, if you’re going feel free to hit me up. I can’t wait to meet Go Nagai, akiman, and Yuji Horii. I promise I’ll have more to add in next fortnight’s roundup.
Thaliarchus — Mostly, I’ve been trying not to expire in the UK’s heatwave. I know I probably shouldn’t say that when my co-blogger is in SoCal, but our buildings and infrastructure just aren’t built for this! (I learned recently that one of our national newspapers operates from offices which do have AC—unusual here—but it’s AC that shuts down if the temperature rises above about 32 Celsius.)
Other than that, though, I’ve been too busy with work to attend all that much to anime. I’ve finally gotten round to sampling Clannad which is, now that it is finally being forgotten, an interesting anthropological study in what excited the anime blogosphere—though perhaps not anime fans in general—in 2008. And I’ve moved on from Super Robot Wars X to Super Robot Wars Gaiden. This is the first SNES game I’ve ever played! It’s definitely from a different era, with experiments in modelling facing and elevation which are absent from most SRW titles, and also no hint of pulled punches in its difficulty (I am a bad tactician). But it has some beautiful art, and other elements of the SRW mechanics familiar today are already firmly established in it.