We’re back, after a festive extra week’s break. The holidays seem to have brought out a feast of posts and podcasts about older anime, and of new translation work, perhaps because we’ve all had a bit more time to spare. So, without further ado, here’s all of that activity that we could find, indexed!
As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.
Heisei Etranger has two new and pieces of translation relating to the soundtrack for Royal Space Force. The first translates a recent article analysing the film’s music: its overall goals, and the nature and use of each individual piece. The article mentions the possible dissatisfaction of the composer, Ryuichi Sakamoto, with his music and/or the overall project, and the second translation follows this lead up, rendering Toshio Okada’s comments earlier last year on Sakamoto’s role in the production. There’re some fascinating details here about the interpersonal and logistical frictions involved in making the film! Do check the comments sections to both posts (now there’s a phrase rarely written these days!) for further context offered by Royal Space Force superfan Carl Horn.
Austin’s also translated some entertaining statistics from the Patlabor 25th anniversary book. (‘When Goto asked if anyone had any questions, Section 2 members asked questions 5 times’!)
SatchiiKoma carries a long article marking the recent twentieth anniversary of Serial Experiments Lain, digging into the show’s staff, creation and themes.
Slightly Comfy has a short reflection on watching Mobile Suit Gundam for the first time. I liked reading this: it’s fun and useful to be think about how the original TV series can feel without the teleological weight of knowledge of its successors sitting on top of it. The same blog has a similar reflective post on watching the first Cardcaptor Sakura film.
Over at Zimmerit, Sean’s put out a summary of Universal Century 0087, a Zeta Gundam model kit doujinshi which was self-published while Zeta itself was still airing. Fans seem to have been very actively and creatively engaged with the show’s mecha at the time, despite or possibly because the commercially available kits lacked the obsessive detail and sophistication of the best modern Gunpla.
Jasper Sharp writes on All the Anime’s company blog about the (non-)relationship between Millennium Actress and the broader history of Japanese live-action cinema.
The latest piece at Let’s Anime is a sympathetic discussion of Rintaro’s 1983 Genma Taisen / Harmageddon film, covering its origins, the film itself, its context and its reception by English-speakers. Like Dave, I’m inclined to the view that while this film might not work as a whole package, it contains passages of excellence which make it worth seeing at least once.
The Skaro Hunting Society have a new essay on the troubled release history of the two Lensman anime (TV and film, both 1984; see Translations, below).
Through the Painting reviews Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi and Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. This post brings back memories. Moribito balances its strengths well: the fight scenes, the character development and interactions, and the world building. I remember liking its soundtrack as well, particularly the opening song.
The City Hunter survey at Juve-Niall Delinquency reaches the first CH feature film, .357 Magnum (1989).
R042 has a new article on Arcadia of My Youth: Endless Orbit SSX, the 1982–83 iteration of Captain Harlock, with a particular focus on the show’s bleak morality of resistance.
Land of Obscusion’s latest piece is a deep-dive on the 1991 Sukeban Deka OVA.
Chris Siebermann recently re-watched Black Magic M-66 (1987), and reflects on how it has aged.
At Ogiue Maniax, sdshamshel writes about the first Patlabor OVA (1988), with a focus on Noa Izumi’s role.
The Great OAV Watch continues with Psycho Diver: Soul Siren (1997), City Hunter: Million Dollar Conspiracy (1990), the Guyver OVA (1989), the Grappler Baki OVA (1994), Strait Jacket (2007), Zeorymer (1988), the 1996 Ninja Turtles OVA, Lemnear (1989) and Prefectural Earth Defence Force (1986).
Feez covers the storyboard for Turn A Gundam episode 43, exploring how it compares to the episode’s finished animation. I still have episode 47’s storyboard to share; just a matter of actually getting off my ass and studying it. There are also a lot of humorous storyboard scribbles I’d like to share eventually. Feez has also written about the end of the first episode of Turn A, a scene which integrates Yoko Kanno’s music to powerful effect.
The series of posts on relatively obscure short anime at blautoothdmand’s blog has continued, including various titles which fall within our purview: A Child’s Metaphysics (2007), A Feather Stare at the Dark (2003), Glassy Ocean (2008) and Fantascope: Tylostoma (2006).
The Anime of Yesteryear podcast has a detailed review of Voltes V (1977), in its (culturally and historically important!) Filipino English dub form
The Retro Mecha Podcast convenes to chat over the 1989 Five Star Stories film adaptation.
Akibahara Renditions’s latest episode examines The Twilight of the Cockroaches (1987).
All Geeks Considered dedicate an episode to Robot Carnival (1987).
Noted Christmas anime Tokyo Godfathers gets a treatment from the Casual Anime Podcast.
Retronauts spends half an episode on the light-gun tie-in show Zillion (1987).
The Anime Nostalgia Podcast has a general year-in-review episode out.
- Mama is a 4th-Grader 13–15 (Golden Roze)
- Attack No. 1 80–82 (Old Castle)
- Glass Mask 23 (Old Castle)
- Lensman: Galactic Patrol 1–10 (/m/subs/Skaro)
- Eguchi Hisashi no Kotobuki Gorou Show (Orphan)
- Mahoutsukai Tai! vs Shamanic Princess (Orphan)
- Oshare Kozou wa Hanamaru (Orphan)
- Collectr also has a post up explaining Orphan’s translation plans for 2019 and another summarising their work in 2018.
- Ganba no Bouken 18 (Senritsu)
- Granzort episodes 7, 8, 9 and an advert for the show’s toys (GANGO)
- Bosco Adventure 9 (GANGO)
- Let’s Go! Anpanman – The Amazing Naganegiman and Yakisobapanman (SES)
- Yume no Crayon Oukoku 39 (Square, no post)
- (deep breath) The Three Musketeers 12, Little Prince Ceddie 11 and 12, Jungle Emperor Leo 8 and Magical Emi 23 (Live-Evil)
- Laughing Salesman 61–63 (Live-Evil and Saizen)
- Yawara! 27 and 28 (Live-Evil and Frozen)
- God Mazinger 1 (/m/subs)
- Yuusha Raideen 33 (/m/subs)
- Dragonar 32 (/m/subs)
- Ninku 44 (Saizen)
- Finally, Anonymous Russian Rippers have as usual been putting out episodes of a wide variety of titles, if you want to track their work down.
What we’ve been up to
Feez — Happy New Year! I finally finished Daimos to close out the year. It’s a fantastic anime and definitely a major step up from Voltes V in terms of storytelling and having a dynamic character cast. I’d say it’s very good at crafting characters the viewer is clearly meant to hate. 2018 was a bit of a slow year for me when it came to anime, so I’m looking to bounce back in 2019. Super Robot Wars T releases in a few months, with its odd assortment of series, so I’d like to watch some Harlock and finally tackle Rayearth‘s second season. We’ll see though!
Thaliarchus — I’ve moved house, for the sixth time in the last three years. Don’t move house, it is stupid.
In other news, I finished watching Gun x Sword, which I enjoyed well enough but wouldn’t especially recommend. I’ve also watched the 2006 Utawarerumono anime adaptation, about which I would say more or less the same thing! It seems the turn of the year has been a time for me to remind myself what anime was like in the mid-2000s.
Oh, and: to mark the start of 2019 I drew up a non-exhaustive list of anime which will have their tenth, twentieth, thirtieth, fortieth or fiftieth anniversaries this year