We’re really late this time (see the final section), but we’re back again! And at least our delay means there’s plenty of new material about older anime gathered from the web and presented for your edification in the following post.
As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.
In our last post we noted Orphan completing English subtitles for Hidamari no Ki (2000), which adapts a 1981–86 Tezuka manga. Now Bednorz has a useful post up explaining what the show is, what it’s like to watch, and some of its historical context.
Orphan themselves, meanwhile, have put out Japan–America Rice War (1993), a spin-off film from the anime adaptation of the very long-running manga Oishinbo. collectr declares it ‘one of the most boring anime movies I have ever seen’. So possibly not something to rush out and watch, then, but as usual collectr’s comments on this title and the food politics behind it are educational.
Orphan have also translated Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call (1997), an OVA adapting a manga about a cyborg salaryman consultant, and again collectr has a useful primer.
R042 has a new and enjoyable appreciation of Horus, Prince of the Sun (1968) up.
At Land of Obscusion, George offers a very detailed rundown of the little-known shounen manga adaptation B’t X (1996), and its North American release.
AngryJellyfish has written up Southern Cross, a 1984 giant robot show. I watched this a few years ago. I don’t think it’s a classic, but it has its strong points, including some rather fun armour and transforming mecha designs. Trivia collectors might be interested to hear that, as far as I know, this is one of only two 80s mecha TV shows with female lead pilots. Like Thaliarchus, I also watched Southern Cross a few years ago. That show’s really interesting to think about, mainly because of its all-female lead cast. It also has a rocking soundtrack, with some of its tracks paying homage to popular rock songs of the era.
Anime News Network has a retrospective piece on Gunbuster for its coming thirtieth anniversiary, by Dawn from the Anime Nostalgia Podcast. Gunbuster‘s a really special anime. It has historical significance, intense mecha battles and sequences, an odd final episode, and a cathartic ending — plus it’s easy to recommend due to its short length. It also actually makes an effort to appropriately implement time dilation and other concepts of physics and relativity. I have mixed thoughts on Diebuster but I agree with the author that it manages to evoke the same sense of emotion that Gunbuster had in its finale. Happy 30th! I hear they’re making a third instalment. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, because I just can’t see it being any good. Let the series rest, it ended perfectly.
Mike Toole’s latest column tackles Chibi Maruko-chan, to mark the passing of its creator Momoko Sakura (noted in our last post).
EyebrowScar has a piece on the 1982 pilot for a futuristic Lupin III, Lupin VIII. I knew the outlines of this curious eddy in the history of Lupin III, but it’s always nice to have a refresher. If the nonexistence of Lupin VIII pains you, you might enjoy Galactic Cyclone Braiger—it’s not at the level of good Lupin, but it’s reasonably entertaining and has a famously fine opening.
ANN’s Answerman column has a usefully technical entry on colour correction in the transfers of older anime made for bluray. This piece touches on something I’ve been writing a draft about recently: the fact that amazing-looking older anime in HD looks both different and better than it ever could have when it was made, which means that in at least some cases we’re seeing things which are bright, sharp and stable in ways which couldn’t have been foreseen by their creators. Answerman also has a column on the costs and (perhaps more strikingly) the processes involved in remastering film-era anime from the physical film itself.
The Great OAV Watch treats Grey: Digital Target (1986), Psychic Wars (1991), Vampire Wars (1990), Twilight of the Dark Master (1998), Black Lion (1992) and Armour Hunter Mellowlink (1988). Mellowlink is a personal favourite of mine for its highly effective simplicity, and because it captures a particular moment in the tradition of animated mechanical action in anime (on which, see this post at Anipages).
Oldtaku no Radio has an episode dedicated to Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer. Always a joy to see people appreciating this masterpiece.
Dynamite in the Brain convenes a fourth journey through one period in the output of Tokyo Movie Shinsha, this time examining 1983–86.
The Anime Nostalgia Podcast dedicates an episode to the bloody good OVA Macross Plus which I strongly recommend if you’ve not tried it.
- Bonobono (1995) episode 27 (GANGO)
- Madou King Granzort episodes 4, 5, 6 (GANGO) I’m glad Madou King Granzort is receiving proper fansubs. I believe it has the same director as Wataru, which debuted in Super Robot Wars X earlier this year. My understanding is that both shows were popular in Japan and other East Asian countries, so it’s nice to see them getting some love.
- Ganba no Bouken episode 16 (Senritsu)
- UFO Robot Grendizer episode 8 (JohnnyEnglish)
- Dr Slump and Arale-chan episode 72 (SES)
- Japan–America Rice War (Orphan, as above)
- Kigyou Senshi Yamazaki: Long Distance Call (Orphan, as above)
- Gutsy Frog episode 11 (Gutsy)
- Dash! Yonkuro episode 20 (Square; no post, but available in the usual trackers)
- And an unusual curiosity, a music video made for one of the insert songs in Armored Trooper Votoms (Skaro)
- The Anonymous Russian Rippers have, as usual, been making progress through various shows (Mechander Robo, Trider G7, Groizer X &c) and their work can be found in the right trackers.
What we’ve been up to
Feez — Busy, busy! I’ve barely even had time for myself. Most of my free time has been dedicated to Dragon Quest XI, which I believe I’m nearing the end to—at least its main story.
Thaliarchus — I had a big, big job interview this Friday, plus several other deadlines, and they’re big factors in this post’s delay. But I don’t want this section to just be two professionals complaining about their jobs, so I’ll note here that I’ve nearly finished rewatching the original Mobile Suit Gundam with a friend, and it’s been a very enjoyable experience. Externally, of course, we know that the show was truncated, but the effect when watching it at a rate of one episode a week is a surprisingly effective sense of gathering momentum, as the revelations about Newtypes and the new, bizarre enemies come thicker and faster.