This post is late—too late—but on the plus side, it exists, which is the preferable option if you have to choose between the two! We’ve once again gathered together blogging, podcasting and translation activity focused on older anime from around the English-speaking web, and it’s all indexed below for your convenience.
As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.
At Takarabako, Ruben’s posted the first and second parts of a full translation of the interview which Toshi Suzuki gave about Isao Takahata last year. You might remember quotes from this interview making headlines in the small world of English-language anime media (they say journalism’s the first draft of history, but those of us who’ve first-drafted anything know exactly what that means). now you can make a start on reading the interview as a whole, with context.
Atma & Funomena carries a transcription of an interview with Tsuneyoshi Saito about the composition and recording of the music for 2004’s Fafner (hitherto this interview was only available in the liner notes of the out-of-print US release of the soundtrack). The music was recorded by the Warsaw Philharmonic and, as you can pick up if you read the interview carefully, this was by no means the first time that orchestra had provided an anime soundtrack: you can hear them in, for example, Giant Robo, Super Atragon and Escaflowne.
Washi explores the early career of Yasuo Otsuka, tracking his work through early Toei films and advancing an argument about his particular style of realism.
To mark the currently-airing Dororo anime Sakuga Blog examines the long history of the title, including the production and nature of the manga’s first adaptation (1969—its fiftieth anniversary falls on 6 April!). They also have a new post up marking the twentieth anniversary of the theatrical debut of Mamoru Hosoda with Digimon Adventure: The Movie.
In his latest post for Let’s Anime, Dave Merrill resurrects an unusual object: an English-language copy of GPress, Gainax’s turn-of-the-nineties in-house newsletter (the ‘GP’ stands for ‘General Products’), issued to US readers at A-Kon in 1991. This fascinating time capsule is a kind of index to Gainax’s commercial interests at the time (beside anime, lots of garage kits and dubious PC-98 games). In some ways it marks the end of a period: Gainax’s efforts to market and sell directly to US fans were ultimately doomed. But, as David points out, the magazine also anticipates more modern connections.
Mike Toole’s latest column is a useful primer on the origins and lineaments of the various Votoms anime. (Which is still winning new fans: over at Mechanical Anime Reviews, Scott has just written enthusiastically about the original TV show upon finishing it. He just reviewed Giant Gorg (1984), too!)
A short essay from wendeego considers the conclusion of Texhnolyze.
Ogiue Maniax carries a concise but thoughtful assessment of Da Garn, one of the less famous (but still perfectly enjoyable) ‘Brave’ super robot shows from the 1990s. I enjoyed Da Garn. I believe it shares some of the scriptwriters that would later go on to work on GaoGaiGar, so it’s interesting to view it as a bit of a predecessor.
Orphan have translated two more titles, and as usual Collectr has useful explanatory blog posts. Fukuyama Gekijou: Natsu no Himitsu is a charming anthology of shorts, and Oedo wa Nemurenai! (1993) is a historical shoujo piece full of intrigue. Collectr’s also put out another interesting post about the challenges of preserving older anime which hasn’t been released on DVD or bluray, with various fun details about esoteric equipment and the quest for more direct access to the raw signals produced in laserdisc players and VHS decks.
Feez’s series on the key staff members of Turn A Gundam continues with two particularly famous figures: Yoko Kanno, the composer, and Syd Mead, the mechanical designer. I’ll be posting the rest of this series in the coming weeks, to close it out before the twentieth anniversary on 9 April.
The companion blog for the Retro Mecha Podcast has a new post from Ian describing how computer games led him to mecha anime. This is an interesting post! A lot of old (and new) Japanese shoot ’em ups are indeed reminiscent of mecha anime aesthetic. An example which has definitely stuck with me over the years is Einhänder for the PlayStation.
Land of Obscusion’s latest review evaluates the first half of the 2001 Grappler Baki anime.
Senritsu have started translating Ganso Tensai Bakabon (1975) and to mark the occasion they’ve posted a useful guide to the show’s origins, context and merits. The release post for the first episode is also a gold mine of detailed information in its own right.
Dawn just pointed out that what would have been the soundtrack to the once-proposed anime adaptation of Katushiro Otomo’s Domu is about to receive its first non-vinyl release.
Finally, I liked this collection of clever translations in various iterations of Pretty Cure (most of them old enough to fall within our purview). The variety of ponds and equivalencies on display is rather fun.
Secret of the Sailor Madness convenes to discuss the 1993 Battle Angel Alita OVA.
The Mobile Suit Breakdown podcast has been working its way through the original Mobile Suit Gundam; their latest instalments cover episodes 31 and 32, 33, 34, and 35 and 36. This is a really neat project, with lots of contextual and historical information thrown in. It’s ambitious too: they plan to cover all of Gundam, in production order. Good luck to them!
Oldtaku no Radio has a new episode reviewing the ‘animated D&D’ Record of Lodoss War OVA series.
Dynamite in the Brain has, as usual, been knocking out lots of episodes. There’s one on Porco Rosso, one on cyborg anime (Appleseed, Alita, Goku Midnight Eye, Oedo 808 &c), and one assessing which anime from 1999 have achieved lasting fame. Finally, with a concept that I particularly enjoyed, there’s the first entry in a new series discussing ‘anime that didn’t make us’: titles which the participants reckon they would be nostalgic for, had they had the chance to see them in childhood.
Anime World Order’s latest review examines Gun × Sword (2005), which is very topical as it’s one of the anime used in Super Robot Wars T!
- Bonobono (1995) 31 (GANGO)
- Bosco Adventure 10 (GANGO)
- Madou King Granzort 13 (GANGO)
- Chikkun Takkun 2 (SES)
- Oishinbo 2, 3, 4 (SES)
- Magical Emi 24 (Live-eviL)
- Yawara! 30 (Live-eviL, Frozen; BD)
- Ganba no Bouken 21 (Senritsu)
- Ganso Tensai Bakabon 1 (Senritsu)
- Goldfish Warning 51, 52 (Senritsu)
- Dragonar 34 (/m/subs)
- Getter Robo 36, 37 (/m/subs)
- Oedo wa Nemurenai! (Orphan)
- Tsuki ga Noboru made ni (Orphan; LD)
- Fukuyama Gekijou: Natsu no Himitsu (Orphan)
- Wandering Sun 4–7 (Old Castle)
- Attack No. 1 88–92 (Old Castle)
- Magnerobo Gakeen 9 (Luurah)
- Grendizer 9 (Johnny English)
- Attack You! 23 (Johnny English)
- Baby and Me 20 (Saizen)
- Yume no Crayon Oukoku 44–48 (Square; no release post but check trackers)
- Dragon Quest Dai no Daibouken (tenshi; remastered VHS; no release post but check trackers)
What we’ve been up to
Feez — It’s been a while since our last post! I finished Endless Orbit SSX, just in time for SRW T, and I wonder how it’ll be utilized in its plot. It’s not a narratively powerful anime, but I wouldn’t be surprised if T’s story revolves around the journey to ‘find Arcadia’. I’ve also been going through Rayearth‘s second season with some friends. Doubt I’ll finish in time for SRW T though.
Thaliarchus — I too have been watching the second season of Rayearth! I think it drags at times, and it might be one of the most nineties nineties anime that I’ve seen. But the giant robots are good. Speaking of those, I just bought Into the Breach for the Switch, and it’s proved very addictive. Great soundtrack, too.
The rest of my life has been tremendously busy, with a very demanding end to the spring term’s teaching. I’ve just been summoned to Boston to give a paper at Easter, which is flattering but will also require me to, you know, actually write the paper. Ah well, back to the grindstone…