13 CommentsRetro Season Previews / By Scamp /

Fall 1978 Anime Season Preview

Sorry about the poor quality of some of these images. It can be hard to get information like this over the Iron Curtain.

Galaxy Express 999

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 14 Sep

Studio: Toei

Synopsis: In a distant future, Tetsuro is a human boy who wants his body replaced with a robotic one. This is possible, but to do so he has to reach the Immortal Planet onboard the space train Galaxy Express 999. Maetel, a beautiful and mysterious blonde woman dressed in Russian style, joins him in the long journey through space. Every episode sees our heroes arriving in a new planet’s space train station.

It’s almost a shame I have to start this preview with this anime. Everything that comes after will just seem underwhelming next to it. So yeah, this has absolutely painfully obvious hit written all over it. Leiji Matsumoto’s manga turned anime, along with many of the same staff who worked on Space Battleship Yamato and the still-airing Captain Harlock. It looks typical Leiji Matsumoto and from what few opinions I’ve heard from those who’ve read the manga, this could be his best work yet. We’ll have to wait and see obviously, but even you’re one of those strange folk who don’t like his work, this could be the one to win you over.

King Fang

Type: Unknown

Air Date: 23 Sep

Studio: Nippon Animation

Synopsis: Something about a giant bear and a giant wolf, judging by the promo art

Can’t say I know an awful lot about this one. But the combination of the director who’s only worked on kids shows before and Nippon Animation, who only ever make kids shows, tells me that this is nothing more than another family friendly piece. I’m not even sure what release format it’s in. A theatre release? I dunno. Not much to see here anyway

Kagaku Ninja-Tai Gatchaman II

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 1 Oct

Studio: Tatsunoko

Synopsis: Two years after suffering defeat at the hands of the Gatchaman team, Sosai X returns to Earth and crashes into an ocean liner. During the crash, he takes a four-year-old girl aboard the ship and mutates her into GelSadora, making her the new Gallactor leader. With Gallactor back on the rise, Dr. Nanbu and the ISO bring the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman back into active duty. But the Gatchaman team get the shock of their lives when their former teammate Joe the Condor – once thought to be dead after the team’s final battle with Gallactor – returns as a cyborg.

Yup, it’s a sequel to Gatchaman, which I’m sure many people will be delighted by after it ended its 105 episode run 4 years ago. I don’t think we’re looking at something quite as long lasting this time around. However most of the rest of the news is good. The director and most of the staff return for this sequel. So do the same animation team and, arguably more importantly, the same voices for the Gatchaman team. For anyone who hasn’t watched the original series then I’m not sure if this will be the right place to jump in. But for the fans, get ready for some more awesome Gatchaman!

Treasure Island

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 8 Oct

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Synopsis: Jim Hawkins is a young boy lead by progressive events to embark on a search journey for the legendary treasure of the once dreaded pirate, Captain Flint. on their way to Treaure Island, John Silver, Jim’s best friend (and evetualy father-figure), takeover command of the ship revealing his true self as the ruthless pirate who was once the right hand of Flint himself. feeling betrayed, now Jim has to deal with his mixed emotions and face Silver who still consider himself and Jim as friends.

An anime version of Treasure Island? How friggen awesome is that! This season just keeps getting better and better. It’s not like they’ve skimped on the staff hiring either. Osamu Dezaki has been directing anime since time began (no really, he worked on Astro Boy). The artwork look a bit…unconventional but hey, it’s Treasure Island. At least we know the script will be solid.

New Aim for the Ace!

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 14 Oct

Studio: Madhouse

Synopsis: On her first day at Nishi High School, 15-year-old Hiromi Oka is inspired by top player Reika “Ochoufujin” Ryuuzaki to take up tennis. Shortly after joining the school’s tennis club, she encounters Jin Munakata, the club’s new coach. Munakata puts everyone under rigorous training that even puts Ochoufujin to shame. Despite the hardships, Hiromi’s determination prompts the coach to select her as part of the club’s main players. Because of this, Hiromi must endure the peer pressure from her seniors to become an ace tennis player.

Another sequel to another anime TV series that ended about 4 years ago. But again, this tennis manga adaptation was very popular so a sequel is certainly warranted. I do have to wonder why Osamu Dezaki is working on yet another anime this season. Can a director really keep his attention on both series? Ah well, the same cast and staff have returned for this season, along with the relatively new Madhouse animation studio. In fact, the first season of Aim for the Ace (or Ace o Nerae! if you want to be a weeaboo) was the first anime they ever made.

Star Blazers: The Comet Empire

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 14 Oct

Studio: Academy Productions

Synopsis: Peace has reigned on Earth, for awhile now, and now the Earth Defense Force has been upgraded quite extensively after the Earth was saved from radioactive decay at the hands of the Gamilon empire. But danger is yet again approaching in the form of a giant, white comet.

Just in case one Leiji Matsumoto anime wasn’t enough for you this season, along comes a sequel to Star Blazers! Right, the timeline for these series isn’t that confusing but I’ll explain it for you anyway. Star Blazers is an adaptation of Leiji’s Space Battleship Yamato manga, which the movie by that name is an alternate re-telling of. Understand? I’m personally more interested in Galaxy Express 999 myself because I’ve never seen the first season, but more Leiji anime is always a good thing. Although that’s two anime this season he’s working on, along with the still airing Captain Harlock. And to think I was berating Osamu Dezaki for having two anime under his belt this season.

Pink Lady Story: Angels of Glory

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 24 Oct

Studio: Toei

Synopsis: Based on the real life-story of Pink Lady, a female pop duo that rose to superstardom in the last few years

Urgh, and to think we were having such a great looking season so far. Along comes the Pink Lady duo to appeal to the Idol Otaku. Seriously, these two are the ultimate example of Japanese Idol fascination. Two pretty girls singing lots of annoyingly catchy tunes. They’re even making an anime out of it? Blergh

Captain Future

Type: TV Series

Air Date: 7 Nov

Studio: Toei

Synopsis: Curtis Newton, aka Captain Future, is an orphan. His parents died in their artificial satellite while he was an infant. His father was a scientist, who has abandoned earth for the satellite to dedicate his life for science along with his aging friend the genius Dr Simon Wright. Wright senses his death, and decides to implant his brain in a mechanical container. They both manufactured a superior robot and an android. Captain future dedicated his life to fight evil along with his three men, the brain, android, and robot.

Toei sure are busy this season eh? I thought every show having to follow in the path of Galaxy Express 999 would be a downer, but this is turning out to be a fantastic season of anime. Thank you glorious Nippon! More sci-fi goodness for us to enjoy. The director has worked on some pretty awesome mecha series too, from Getter Robot to Great Mazinger, albeit never as the cheif director. Still, in an animation world where Leiji and Dezuki are directed half of the anime in the season, it’s great to see new directors and new animation studios like Madhouse come through. The future is certainly bright for anime. Let’s hope that the idol shows like Pink Lady Story isn’t where the future really lies.


Matsumoto Leiji was the Shinbo of his era. Series Director for three anime at once? Actually, on the subject of Leiji, I feel rather silly for not realising what a huge influence he had on anime back in the day. Makes me rather depressed that the only work of his I’ve seen is a 5 minute rather boring music video for Bohemian Rhapsody. That’s a gap in my anime viewing anthology I have to correct.

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  1. Posted October 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    lol this is cute XD

    I love Galaxy Express 999. I really should re-watch it sometime. <3

    I never even heard of Pink Lady Story: Angels of Glory before and I'm kinda glad I hadn't….. It scares me….

  2. Posted October 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I”m so glad I finally got around to being reincarnated back in July. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Yamato ever since some dead fanboy told me about it in limbo. Now I’ll get my cha… DAMN! They sent me to the US instead of Japan? How in the hell will I ever get to see this? They don’t show Japanese cartoons in America!

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      I have a penpal who said he was going to tape some anime off the TV and mail them over to me. Problem is, I don’t have good Japanese so…

  3. Posted October 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    No shoujo? Bah. Season automatically sucks. (Galaxy Express 999 looks interesting though.)

    When the hell will The Rose of Versailles get an anime!?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      There’s rumours it’s getting an adaptation but I’m not sure how much truth there is in those

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    While this period of anime is well before my time, i’m loving the art of Galaxy Express 999.

    I don’t know anything about Leiji Matsumoto but I could tell from the screenshot (although I did confirm on wikipedia) he was responsible for that Dart Punk music film, “Interstella 5555” some years back. Really distintive and cool art.

    Wonder what the otaku back then would think if they knew that in 30 years time technological advancements and changes in style would herald a new age of anime; moeblob!

    Bet they’d be green with envy… or vomit.

  5. Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    i used do watch these shows back in cuba, this really takes me back. and yea, somehow these shows made it to cuba.

  6. Posted October 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Man, I’m so excited for this season! More Ace wo Nerae? Friggin’ sweet! I remember watching that show on the kinescope and then talking about it with my best friend Jesus while we carpooled to work in my Model T.

  7. Ragnarok
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t even born yet,
    Pink lady gives me the creeps *shivers*
    Is amazing how the art has changes over the years, now we have lot’s of moe (not that’s bad thing) I wonder how will be in the future.
    Look out for the nukes!!!

  8. Posted October 16, 2010 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Star Blazers for ever!

  9. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Wait…are the pink ladies guys or girls? Cuz they look like guys.

  10. Posted October 16, 2010 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    dude, how are you even posting this? internet barely existed for even the government…unless you’re….OMGSUPERSPY. *calls the red scare hotline*

    i’ve only heard of galaxy express 999 and my sister has one chapter of it in an anime magazine she bought agggessssss ago. it looked interesting but we never saw it again.

  11. Posted October 17, 2010 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    King Fang could be Giant Bear vs. Mega Wolf, and then it could get a sequel Bealf.

    Hmm. Guess it doesn’t have quite the same ring as Sharktopus.

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