Redshift #32

Royal Space Force (1987)

This site’s been silent for too long! Our audience look up, and are not fed. But—with heartfelt apologies for the delay—we’re back. This post covers new material up to 22 June, and a subsequent post will catch us up. We hope! We’ll be experimenting with monthly rather than fortnightly updates from then on, and we’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, the links gathered here contain all kinds of good stuff, and the translation section contains several capstone releases which complete the first full English translations of older titles, something that’s always a delight to see.

As usual, remarks from Feez are in blue and those from Thaliarchus are in red.

Blogging

Over at Heisei Etranger, there’s a translation of a 2015 review of Royal Space Force by Kiyoaki Oukubo, an associate professor at Yamagata University. I think this is the first time I’ve read an anime review by a Japanese university professor, so it’s very interesting to read them reflect on it as a product of its time. The Wings of Honnêamise is a film I should revisit myself.

Cries in Newtype has a new translation of an interview with Ryousuke Takahashi, originally conducted shortly after the end of Fang of the Sun Dougram (1981–83). Takahashi talks about characterisation, the show’s handling of morality, and the different theoretical standpoints which underpin the story’s ideologues. Dougram fascinates me: it signals many things that’d continue to be central in a lot of Takahashi’s later work, and is very much in dialogue with its own times (to the point that it uses photographs of real-life newspaper headlines in one or two shots). But since it’s long, and was made a pretty hand-to-mouth manner, I do sympathise with anyone who never gets round to it…

Empty Movement has another new translation up, of a discursive 2000 interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara about sexuality and Utena.

The 1982 Captain Harlock TV anime Endless Orbit SSX gets a thorough write-up from Dave Merrill. I like Dave’s positioning of the show as in some ways a last hurrah for the 1970s strain of Matsumoto space opera material. The scene Dave references from episode 4 is as wild and hilarious as he describes. I gif’d a clip of it here, back when I was watching the show. 

Orphan have put out a better release of Meisou-Ou Border, and as usual Collectr’s written a useful primer on it.

R042’s latest post examines the messy, conflicted portrayal of revenge in Gun x Sword.

Bateszi’s written a brief reflection on Kaiba (2008). It’s good to remember Kaiba at present, as we live through a burst of interesting new material from Yuasa!

Marion Bea’s written an article on the portrayal of female ambition in Rose of Versailles (1979).

At Land of Obscusion, George has a new post on the 1999 Arc the Lad anime, covering its origins and its unusual focus on drawn-out drama.

Through the Painting carries some brief notes on Touch across various incarnations (the manga, the animated compilation films, and the live-action cinema adaptation).

All the Anime’s company blog has a write-up from Andrew Osmond contextualising Char’s Counterattack and exploring some of its staff connections. Osmond’s also posted a piece assessing Martian Successor Nadesico on his personal blog.

The Great OAV Watch continues through Master of Mosquiton (1996), Ojousama Sousamou (1996) and Evil Dragon War Chronicles (1987).

B0bduh’s episodic coverage reaches Princess Tutu episode 24 and Simoun episode 18.

Daryl Surat has produced a trot through anime which see their twentieth anniversary this year for ANN. 1999 is a year in anime history I’m attached to because of Turn A Gundam, as the article points out, but an additional title I feel worth mentioning is Infinite Ryvius. It was the directorial debut (in a solo capacity) of Goro Taniguchi, who’d later go on to command titles such as s-CRY-ed, Planetes, and Code Geass.

Podcasting

The Retro Anime Podcast covers Rhea Gall Force (1989), Gall Force: Earth Chapter (1989) and Gall Force: New Era (1991).

Dynamite in the Brain’s fine series of generational thought on ‘the anime that didn’t make us’ continues with an episode discussing Chikkun Takkun (1984), Jushin Liger (1989) and Tokyo Pig (1997). The next of their ‘famous anime’ conversations examines all kinds of anime about mat sports.

Anime Feminist begins a set of discussions of Princess Tutu, starting with episodes 1–6.

Mobile Suit Breakdown covers the third and final Mobile Suit Gundam compilation film (1982), and then launches into Zeta Gundam (1985), with a prefatory piece and instalments on the first, second and third episodes.

The CCP convenes to chat about Redline (2009) and Angel’s Egg (1985). Now that’s variety.

Secret of the Sailor Madness and guests from a podcast dedicated to discussing Christmas films all year round (no, really) chew over Tokyo Godfathers (2003).

The Backloggers cover memory and mecha in The Big O (1999).

Anime World Order reviews the Devilman OVAs (1987, 1990, 2000).

The USA’s WWII Museum’s podcast did an episode on Grave of the Fireflies (1988). For what it’s worth, when I watched Grave it seemed less focused on World War II specifically than I had expected, and more angrily exercised by communal, societal neglect. But what do I know? In any case, podcasts like this are always an interesting chance to get a sense for what people who aren’t focused anime fans make of famous anime.

Translations

We’d also like to draw attention to the existence of The Vault, a project to keep a running list of all TV anime which started airing before 31 December 1996 and are fully available in English (via any means, sub or dub). We’ve added it to our resources page.

What we’ve been up to

Feez — It’s been a while! My sister got married mid-June and that was quite an ordeal for me and my family. Weddings in our culture are long and involved, and the past six months of planning and preparation have been very hectic. I’m happy for her and both sides of the family are satisfied, so all’s well.

I went to Otakon this weekend. This was my second time attending the event and also my second time in Washington, D.C. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I like that city’s vibe; it’s not as overbearing as other metropolitan cities in the U.S. The convention itself was great. Most notably I had the opportunity to meet Toru Furuya, Amuro Ray’s voice actor. He’s a very friendly and approachable fellow who seemed genuinely enthusiastic to interact with fans. He willingly asked for hugs and kisses and photos after one of his panels was over. I want to thank all the friends who made the trip worthwhile and all the Twitter peeps I met up with, even if only briefly.

With sadness, I have to address the recent Kyoto Animation incident. It still saddens me. I’ll be the first person to admit that KyoAni’s media output has not always been my cup of tea, but I’ve always respected their talent, presence in the industry, and corporate culture and mission. I want to thank Twitter users @highimpactsex and @ultimatemegax (amongst others) for covering the event and providing updates on the situation. There are various methods to donate to KyoAni, and I encourage anyone to do so if they can.

Thaliarchus — It’s difficult to know what to say about the terrible arson attack on Kyoto Animation; in fact, as someone without relevant expertise, it seems to me that there’s nothing useful I can say. I wondered about noting the studio’s past contributions to a wider range of older anime than the titles they’re associated with in the public mind, or somesuch thing, but ‘having an angle’ at the moment seemed slightly tawdry. I suppose I can say that I’m glad I’ve not encountered the name of the perpetrator yet, and I hope I’ll forget it if I ever do.

That news has left me slightly despondent, but otherwise I’m well, and recovering from conference season. This year one of the papers I’ve given was at a meeting in Dublin, which is a wonderful city and a place I’m always delighted to visit. It’s unfortunate that academic conferences tend to happen at exactly the same time of the year as anime conventions, presumably for similar reasons!

Lately I’ve been reading a few of Jonson’s epigrams a day, and, more concentratedly, Jonathan Sumption’s four-volume history of the Hundred Years’ War. The latter is a very traditionalist kind of history, but it’s clear and well-written, and is filling in various detailed blanks in my knowledge. I’ve just finished watching RahXephon for the first time (thread), which was fun though I didn’t warm up to it as much as some have. And I recently watched Space Battleship Yamato 2202, which I thought was a bit of a step down from its predecessor. Still, we’re not up to our necks in space opera anime at present, so if you’re looking for recent material in that line and you liked 2199, it’s worth a look!

2 thoughts on “Redshift #32

    1. Thank you! In general, we tend not to cover things becoming available via Crunchyroll &c, because news about their availability already tends to be covered by places like ANN, Anime Nostalgia and so forth; and because their availability tends to be limited—NG Knight Ramune & 40 isn’t available on Crunchyroll where I live, for example.

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