Here’s your latest round-up of attention to older anime!
A commenter has recently let us know of a few translation efforts we weren’t aware of, so we’d like to say here that suggestions for extra things to include, whether they’re new translations, blog posts or podcasts, are always gratefully received! Our feed-readers won’t catch everything, and unfortunately we can’t go to some kind of resource which would capture all of what we’d want to cover, because that’s what we’re trying to be in the first place… So the best way to proceed seems to be to gather leads constantly, and hope that we’re casting our nets more and more widely as time goes on.
As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.
The anime writer Yuu Yamamoto passed away at the end of November, and Land of Obscusion has a detailed article covering his career. Inasmuch as Yamamoto was known in the English-speaking world, he was probably known for writing the scripts for about a quarter of the original Mobile Suit Gundam. But he had a very active career in the 1970s and 80s, and in the latter decade he made his mark helping to create and write a slew of more free-wheeling mecha anime, including Acrobunch and the ‘J9’ trilogy: Braiger, Baxinger and Sasuraiger. Braiger is a real favourite of mine. I love its strange heist plots, flippant tone, funky soundtrack and famous opening. As George explains, in recent years Yamamoto had been trying to get a potential J9 revival off the ground; sadly, his departure probably casts more doubt on that project, but we can remember him as someone committed to making interesting anime to the end. This one’s a big loss. I remember when the J9 revival was announced years ago; it’s a damn shame it may never see the light of day.
Motoko Tamamuro offers an entertaining synopsis of Let’s Talk About the Ghibli No One Talks About, a book by (ahem) Mamoru Oshii which in her account mixes grudging admiration and outspoken assessments:
Hayao Miyazaki ‘cannot direct’—he is ‘less than second-rate as a director.’ ‘There is no coherent clear story’. ‘Mood’ and ‘ideas’ dictate his films and ‘there is no logic’. Meanwhile, Isao Takahata turned into a ‘shit intellect’ who created ‘propaganda films.’
In a post for Atelier Emily, Emily describes how her view of one Sailor Moon character has shifted since her childhood. Having properly watched Sailor Moon a few years ago, I can agree with much of Emily’s assessment. I view Usagi and Rei as having a dynamic that plays off their intertwining natures.
At blautoothdmand, you can find some new appreciations of older and relatively obscure shorts: Kouji Morimoto’s music video for Extra (1996), and Kikumana, an early (2001) work from Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Time of Eve, Patema Inverted).
Ryousuke Takahashi, director of Dougram, Votoms, Flag &c and general industry stalwart, has what sounds like a professional autobiography due out in February (in Japanese, and don’t necessarily expect it to get translated!). Thanks to Brian Ruh for pointing this out. I hope someone reads through it and details some interesting facts.
Twitter user @buildknuckle recently organised a group watch of the legendary Takahata anime adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (1979). One result which might be of use to anyone interested is a complete English-translated list of per-episode credits for episode direction, scripts, storyboarding and key animation, which you can find here.
Zannen, Canada has a fascinating new episode on the afterlife of UFO Robo Grendizer (1975—the third of the original three Mazinger TV anime) in Francophone Canada.
The Retro Anime Podcast convenes to discuss two obscurities, Explorer Woman Ray (1989) and Bavi Stock (1985).
AniFem’s series of podcasts on Escaflowne covers episodes 7–13.
Warui Deshou considers two dangerous Christmas specials for Ken Akumatsu properties, the Love Hina Christmas special (2000) and Itsudatte My Santa! (2005). Yes, the URL looks like something different. Trust me, that’s the episode’s post.
Continuing the theme of dangerous material, Blade Licking Thieves’s latest episode tackles Angel Cop (1989).
Finally, Anime World Order have an episode out marking the death of Fred Patten and reviewing the 1991 OVA Judge.
- Sabu and Ichi’s Detective Tales 27 (Skaro & Hokuto no Gun)
- Ninku 43 (Saizen and Soldado)
- Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo 133, 134 (Kindaichi Lovers)
- Bonobono (1995) 29 (GANGO)
- Nine 2: Koibito Sengen (Orphan; see previous post)
- Nine: Kanketsuhen (Orphan)
- Dr Slump and Arale-chan 74 (SES)
- Yume no Crayon Oukoku 36, 37, 38 (Square; no post, but see usual trackers)
- Glass Mask 21, 22 (Old Castle)
- Attack No. 1 78, 79 (Old Castle)
- Aim for the Ace! 2 9 (JohnnyEnglish)
- Magical Idol Pastel Yumi 22 (JohnnyEnglish)
What we’ve been up to
Feez — Most of my free time has been occupied by Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s a real blast!
Thaliarchus — The coming week’s my last in my current job, so I’ve been busy with various completing-and-finishing tasks. One took me to London last Tuesday to consult some manuscripts in the British Library (an institution which people in my profession cheerfully and confusingly call ‘the BL’). Fellow old-anime-liker Niall Flanagan kindly spared some time to lunch with me while I was there, so here’s a shout-out to him! Anime-wise, I’ve reached the halfway point in Gun x Sword. The show manages a decent mid-series climax, with the direction and script noticeably improved for a couple of episodes. So that’s been nice! I’m still looking forward to letting my SRW T preparations take me on to watch more Captain Harlock, though.
I’ll leave you with this blog post from bateszi articulating an attitude to watching anime which I largely share.