Captain Tylor showing you all how it’s done. Because the 80’s and 90’s were still chock full of fanservice and general precursors to the mountains of harem TV shows that were the symbol of the 00’s. That’s the theme for this newest batch of OVA’s.
Time Bokan OVA
1993 – 2 episodes
Probably the strangest OVA I watched over this period. The animation studio Tatsunoko did a whole bunch of similar series in the 70’s, including Yatterman and Time Bokan. They all had similar styles but Yatterman was the most popular of the lot. It was silly, full of cultural references and featured the classic villain trio of two stooges following after one insanely hot women, Doronjo, wearing a corset and a mask, as they do Team Rocket type stuff and get beaten by the good guys. There was even a remake in 2008 of Yatterman with updated cultural references, including, amongst many other things, Obama-kun and Hilary-chan.Unfortunately only 3-4 episodes were ever subbed from what I could find, so there’s very little new age Doronjo hotness available for the digital age.
This OVA was made for people who were already fans so pretty much all the references flew straight over my head, although I did get a kick out of seeing Doronjo getting into an argument with Casshern. It’s very…Japanese, shall we say. I laughed, but I was less laughing with it than laughing at the strangeness of it all. This is what kids in Japan grew up to? It’s totally mad. Very self-referential about anime fandom as well. Also, being an 90’s OVA and all, there were boobs shots, and plenty of other sexual scenes, which made the whole contrast between kids show and self-referential pop culture nature of the show even stranger. But hey, they were Doronjo’s boobs, so I was perfectly OK with that.
Cat Girl Nuku Nuku
1992-4 – 6 episodes
Cat Girl Nuku Nuku is about a cat turned into a robot who lives with some scientist and his son while running away from his neurotic ex-wife. The only thing really remarkable about Cat Girl Nuku Nuku is its lack of remarkableness. Well, actually there’s a few things strange about this series. Asides from the fact that it has a cat girl with no cat ears whatsoever, the other surprising thing is the total lack of cynicism to it. As corny and lame as it is, it feels like the creators genuinely wanted to created a heartfelt scenario. Despite the show mainly being an excuse to put a cute pink haired girl on screen, it really seemed to think it had created some genuine heart warming relationships. It hadn’t, but I can’t bring myself to dislike something so innocent and genuine. Plus, my 8 and 12 year old cousins were watching over my shoulder at the time and they seemed to like it a lot. Imagine that. Your gateway drug being Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.
1992-3 – 6 episodes
If Love Hina is the daddy of all harem anime, then Tenchi Muyo is the grandaddy. It was the precursor to that blasted genre packed to the brim of dreadful attempts at seinen romance. But when it comes to trend-setters, often the trend setter themselves are quite good. There’s a reason so many wanted to copy them after all. And hey, I like Love Hina a lot. Blame nostalgia, it was my own gateway drug. Which isn’t a whole lot better than having your gateway drug being Cat Girl Nuku Nuku but I digress. As for Tenchi Muyo, I simply had no reaction to it. Many people bitch about Keitaro and the loser male harem lead, but at least that sort of harem lead has a personality. I would take a Keitaro over the blank slate that is Tenchi anyday. Plus, there’s the fact I will always associate Tenchi Muyo with that crazed stalker from the Aniblog Tourney…yeah, the less said about him the better. Worse again, the blasted DVD I had with Tenchi Muyo on crashed in the middle of episode 3 and broke my laptop. Took the thing a full 24 hours before it worked again. Curse you Tenchi Muyo. First you send a troll after my tournament and then you break my laptop. Are you done tormenting me!?!
1993 – 2 episodes
It was during Dragon Half that I formed my theory regarding 80’s and 90’s OVA’s with boob shots. Dragon Half was pretty sexualised from the off, but it was a bizarre form of sexualisation. This was mainly down to the character designs apparently consisting entirely of isosceles triangles. I’m not sure who was meant to find the massive calf muscles and teeny tiny pointy feet on the characters sexy, especially when combined with the metal battle thongs and traditional early 90’s massive hair. Generally this all went with the feel of the show, because Dragon Half is completely nuts. It’s meant as a piss take of fantasy anime, but mainly it’s just really bizarre, with very few of the jokes actually being funny. But back to the boobs. The show went almost the entire 2 episodes without any boobs whatsoever until the very last scene. The final battle had been won, the main girl had her hands covered over her boobs because the villain had cut off her metal bra. Then, without warning, she lifted her arms in celebration, revealing two rather boringly drawn nipples. It didn’t even feel like fanservice. It had simply felt like someone was standing over the production, realised there were no boobs and demanded the creators put in at least one or this wouldn’t be made. This was the case for practically every single 80’s and 90’s OVA. There must have been a law. It’s the only explanation.
1983-4 – 4 episodes
When I say 80’s and early 90’s OVA’s, I’m not telling you guys the whole truth. In fact, almost all of the OVA’s listed here from the 80’s came from the latter half of that decade. Dallos is the only one from the early half of the 80’s. And oh boy does it ever show. I’m not entirely sure what happened in 1985 but suddenly animation became watchable. That line will probably insult a few of the oldie fans out there, but I just can’t take animation older than 1985 seriously. I’ve tried, but the likes of Macross, Zambot 3 and Urusei Yatsura had me reeling in discomfort. That said, I can still watch something with this level of animation quality if the the story still works. As dated as the animation for the original Mobile Suit Gundam is, I quite enjoyed the 14-odd episodes I’ve watched so far. Dallos, on the other hand, is absolutely awful. Leaving aside the animation quality, which I could mock all day long, there’s plenty of other issues. One little example from the episode: The main character made a pneumatic arm of some sort, which the rebel forces were incredibly impressed by. So much so that they used that incredibly simply pneumatic arm to rescue someone from prison, despite the fact there were bombs and explosions and guns and all sorts of far more powerful and efficient ways of tearing down a wall than that bloody arm.