46 CommentsOVA Splurge / By Scamp /

My 80’s and early 90’s OVA splurge part 5

My message to the Irish Blog Awards judges for not making me win. Heck, I didn’t even make the shortlist! I thought all that sucking up I did would have resulted in at least a finalist spot. Screw you judges, you get the Fukijo Middle Finger.

Moving on, this is the final batch of OVA’s. Just OVA’s I have to remind you. I have been watching plenty of other older stuff, from the various Lupin III movies to Irresponsible Captain Tylor to The Adventures of Unico (don’t ask). But for the sake of these posts, I’m keeping it to just the OVA’s.

Here is Greenwood

1991-3 – 6 episodes

Calling something ‘forgettable’ is a bit of a cheap way to review something. It’s my fall back way of describing an anime I can remember nothing about. Mind you, that’s the very definition of forgettable, so argue with that logic bitches! So what do I remember about Here is Greenwood? It had a trap that was never expanded on beyond being a trap. It had bishies who spent an awful lot of time staring at each other in the eyes with their faces worryingly close to each other. It randomly decided in the last one or two episodes that it wanted to crowbar in a heartfelt romance, which never works. I also remember all the characters wearing jeans that went really high up their waists so the belt would be around nipple level. But most of all, I remember the ending song having the line “We are the no-brand heroes” and everytime thinking they were actually saying “We are the low-slung heroes”, which would have fit the tone of the show better anyway.

Dominion Tank Police

1988-9 – 4 episodes

Take Ghost in the Shell. Now make it more light hearted and comedy focused. Now you have Patlabor. Now take it again and make it even sillier and more juvenile. Now you have Dominion Tank Police. By the same mangaka of GITS, Dominion Tank Police is about a police force in the future who use tanks with curiously spherical wheels. Tank Police is cheesy and camp, in a juvenile sort of way, and I love that quality it has. The police are working on a case about missing urine samples, which they systematically refer to as ‘The Piss Case’. Their investigation methods consist of tying a guy to a wheel and spinning him round while the force throw knives at him. Blindfolded. I’ve written about Tank Police before, such as the greatness of the catgirl striptease or how the hammy voice acting just adds to the cheese factor of the whole experience. Even the way the show has aged just adds to this cheesy appeal. But the most shocking thing of all is how it even manages to be deep, man. It probably shouldn’t have been as much a shock, considering this is Mr.Ghost in the Shell we’re talking about here, but the last episode really hit me and got me thinking. Fantastic little OVA this, highly recommended.

I did also watch the sequel, New Dominion Tank Police. It’s fun, I guess. It’s still watching the Tank Police gang go about the town, generally destroying everything that gets in their way, whether it be buildings or cars or whatever. The thing is, it lacks the same spark. Where as the original had all these great scenes you could pick out and say “this is awesome”, New DTP had none of that. It lacked the juvenile spark and its attempts at depth fell flat on its face. Again, it’s still quite a bit of fun, but it lacks the soul of the original. Without that, it becomes indistinguishable from the hundreds of other OVA’s about a police force in a smoggy town set almost permanently in night time.

Bubblegum Crisis

1987-1991 – 8 episodes

This is often listed alongside the likes of Dirty Pair as what older anime fans were watching when they first got into anime, so I was kinda looking forward to it. Problem is, Bubblegum Crisis came towards the end of my journey into the realm of these 80’s and early 90’s OVA’s and fatigue was finally creeping up. It’s just so damn generic. Set in a smoggy mega city called MegaTokyo (obviously) where all the battles take place at night against cyborg robots with lots of mechanical tentacles. Yada yada yada you know the drill by now. The main characters are a bunch of girls with really big hair and no personalities who fight these robots in super duper flying machines. It’s not actively bad, per say. It’s just I felt like I’d watched this same damn show several times already. It’s was getting as repetitive as that anime about a generic high school male lead who has a flat chested tsundere with magical powers fall into his lap that JC Staff have been making on repeat for the past 6 years.

Goku Midnight Eye

1989 – 1 episode

By the same guy who created Cobra, for that uber small handful of you who watched Cobra. Cobra is dumb but it has two points in its favour that make it fun to watch. Well, sorta 3 points, if you decide to count curvy girls walking around in thongs the whole way through the series as a plus point. Goku Midnight Eye had that too but, while Cobra used CGI shading on the girls backsides to make the curves stand out more, the women in Goku Midnight Eye look like they were cobbled together by a blind paraplegic having an epileptic fit. The first real plus point of Cobra is the titular character himself. Sure Cobra’s annoyingly infallible, but he comes out with these great little lines in that goofy voice of his. Cobra survives getting shot in the face? Oh, that’s because I eat my cornflakes everyday etc. The main character of Goku Midnight Eye, called (surprise surprise) Goku, has no personality whatsoever. He’s a generic buff guy who leans on doorframes a lot. The other point in Cobra’s favour was the imagination behind the places he visited. They made no sense from a sci-fi point of view, but they were fun. Where is Goku Midnight Eye set? In a smoggy mega city set permanently in night time with a police force and ARRGGH NO MORE I’M SICK OF THIS NOW AARRGGGHHHH! Yeah, Goku Midnight Eye was where I finally gave up.

Final Words

First, for the older crowd for whom these anime are the ones they got into anime with. Quality of anime hasn’t really dipped nor risen since then. There’s simply more of it. There has been a shift in genre focus and I myself am quite partial to the cyberpunk genre, but even I grew sick of the same damn show over and over again. Neither has there been an increase in fanservice from what I could see. The retort might be that fanservice now exists in regular TV shows and that’s what’s deplorable, but these sorts of OVA’s don’t really exist anymore. The late night 12 episode anime is where fanservice exists now. I’m sure you’re all rational people, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find that your love for Bubblegum Crisis is as blind as the newer fans love for A Certain Magical Index. I’m not telling you to stop loving these shows, but don’t give newer and younger fans such a hard time. You’re doing more to turn them off your favourite older anime than anything.

For the newer crowd though, the message is much simpler: Watch older anime! There is some genuinely fantastic stuff back here. The animation is dated, but rather than look ‘bad’ it simply looks different. Roujin Z looks a hell of a lot better than Rainbow Gate. Dominion Tank Police looks better than Togainu no Chi (although my arse looks better than Togainu no Chi). If you are truly struggling with the change in animation styles, then my recommendation would be to go back through time with your viewing order. Watch some anime from 1998-ish like FLCL, Trigun and Revolutionary Girl Utena. Then go back to 1994-ish with Escaflowne, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Roujin Z. You will automatically adapt to the older style of animation. Because you owe it to yourself to check out some of these anime. There’s a hell of a lot of crap back here, but no more so than your typical new anime season, and there’s about the same ratio of gems to crap. Watch Roujin Z. Watch Memories. Watch Dominion Tank Police. They’re as good as anything made today.

No really, watch Roujin Z.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh come on. Goku Midnight Eye is hilarious. Go watch the second episode. I got pointed in the direction of Goku Midnight Eye through the Fast Karate podcast, which makes everything much more hilarious.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      I don’t remember it even making a single joke. Maybe ironically funny, if you’re into that sort of thing. But if you thought Goku Midnight Eye was funny, then you really need to watch Cobra because that’s the same except a bizillion times better

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Oh, there are no jokes in Goku Midnight Eye 1 or 2. It’s just srs bsns WITH PTERODACTYL ROBOTS AND MIDGETS RIDING MOTORCYCLE-WOMEN. It’s hilarious in how ridiculous it is. Far, faaar removed from ‘ironically’ funny. I eat people who ‘ironically’ enjoy things for dinner when I can.

  2. Mr.Durrr
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Nostalgiafags just can’t wrap their heads around the logic behind the last two paragraphs, unfortunately.

  3. deaky
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    “Nostalgiafags” are what most of the newfags will inevitably become, Mr.Durrr. Give them a break, they’re just tired of seeing the same shit over and over, and are sticking to the ones they grew up with.

    I think this article’s message of “trying out anime you otherwise wouldn’t try” is worth repeating over and over. Oldfags, watch some new anime and suck up the moe and crappy CG. Newfags, watch some old anime and suck up the camp and the fact that it isn’t 720p or higher.

    There is something satisfying about having sampled a wide variety of crap from all eras, rather than sticking your nose in one pile forever.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      The other thing worth remembering is “the same shit” from the early 90’s isn’t the same shit from nowadays. Maybe this is just selective memory on my part, but I can’t think of a single classic steampunk title since Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. There’s Kaiba, but that’s hardly ‘classic’ steampunk

      • deaky
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        The apparent decline of one sub-genre (ie, cyberpunk) is definitely a factor, and one that hits me personally.

        Still, I’ve noticed that cyberpunk has simply been mainstreamed, so the number of “pure” cyberpunk shows has waned since the mid-2000’s.

        Even shows as mainstream as Sora no Woto and Index have elements of cyberpunk these days. And sci-fi in general certainly hasn’t suffered, especially if you can stomach mecha.

        It all comes down to how willing you are to be flexible. Nostalgia is one thing, but being stubborn about it isn’t going to win you any awards. You do it to yourself.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        The same way moe is slowly becoming more and more incorporated into everything that in turn waters it down so it eventually doesn’t become obvious anymore.

        Swings and roundabouts

      • deaky
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I can’t wait for the moe lovers to be marginalized in ten years. Hopefully I’ll still be around to call them “nostalgiafags” or whatever the meme will be by that time. Call me sadistic, but I like to bide my time.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        GitS and Kaiba are steampunk then Cowboy Bebop at his computer is moe.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        durr, I meant cyberpunk

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Unrelated, you know what I think might be hilarious? if you blogged Papa to Kiss in the Dark.

    I think that’s actually the worst thing I’ve ever watched..

    • Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      You have clearly not seen Boku no Pico.
      Thank god.
      But Papa to Kiss in the Dark is just… uargh.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I HAVE seen Boku no Pico. It amused me.

        Papa to Kiss in the Dark was just so badly written, it felt almost insulting.

      • Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        the…BANANA…. O______O

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Stop trying to get me to watch yaoi

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        But it’s not yaoi.

        Putting it in the same category of yaoi is an insult.

      • Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        That’s right, Papa to Kiss is SHIT.
        Not Yaoi.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        I think you guys hold yaoi in too high regard

      • Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Says the one who never watched/read any real Yaoi.
        (Hetalia does not count.)

  5. Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Wow, you certainly took that defeat gracefully.

    I had a good LOL at that Dominion screenshot. Good one :D !!!

    I can’t believe an anime called Bubblegum Crisis exists. *gives a WTF expression*

      Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      A bubblegum crisis is a situation like blowing a bubblegum bubble (hence the name). You have to keep blowing on it to keep it from collapsing, but blowing is also going to cause it to eventually pop. The bubblegum crisis in the show is society’s reliance on robot labor.

  6. ojisan
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Grudgingly, I say you was robbed by the Irish Blog Awards. Grudgingly, because you dissed Here Is Greenwood – not the brightest bulb in the box, but fresh, funny, and deserves some credit for it.

    Last 2 paragraphs are dead on.

  7. Posted March 7, 2011 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    What, no terribad edition? 80s/90s OVAs are a goldmine for that stuff!

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      There will be plenty of terribad posts in the near future

  8. Posted March 7, 2011 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Ah, I still need to watch some of the older OVAs, Dominion Tank Police especially. Onto the list it goes!

    I don’t know if it’s the same for anyone else who watches movies like me, but I didn’t find the transition from newer anime to older that tough, because I had the same kind of thing watching newer movies and older movies. The differences from even the 1980s to now are humongous, never mind, say, the 1940s. But I also like to take in a bunch of different styles and not limit myself to a few particular genres or eras or whatever, so in that way I also found it easy to take in the overall style of the ’80s and early ’90s.

    And, yes, your final two paragraphs are important for people to remember. You find similar mindsets in just about every fandom: It’s definitely prevalent in the movies. Living in your own era and cherry picking the best from the past warps your perspective on things and makes it seem like the past is better than it is and the present is worse than it is. Will anyone remember Rio 10 years from now? Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka? Ookami Kakushi? Of course not, unless you love shitty anime. The good stuff will endure, just like always, and people will look back and see we lived through a decent time, even with all the crap.

    • alexvoda
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Actually I think that is exactly(or at least one of the reasons) what makes shows of the past seem better.
      Since the good stuff will endure, in comparison to the present, it will make it seam that the ratio of good shows was greater.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ll remember Ookami Kakushi. That. fucking. opening.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I know I’ll remember Rio for a long, long time. People still remember Garzey’s Wing, don’t they? ;)

      • Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Rio, while wonderful, is not quite as hilariously bad as the first episode of Garzey’s Wing.

  9. alexvoda
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Hmm, I was hoping I would get the answer by part 5 without asking.
    Oh well, no choice.
    What anime are the screen caps used as first images in part 1 and 3?
    The ones where they talk about anime?

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Did I not say that? Oops, they were from the Time Bokan OVA. The one with sexy Doronjo

  10. Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    There were definitely some good older shows, and, yeah, some weak shows that are conveniently forgotten by those who claim things were better back in the “golden age”.

    Regarding Bubblegum Crisis: I think the late 90s remake (subtitle “Tokyo 2040”) was MUCH better. It had much more depth to the characters, and a more intricate plot. Worth checking out, IMHO.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Can you watch Tokyo 2040 without knowing what happens in the original? I can’t remember the characters names, let alone what happened

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted March 8, 2011 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      I watched Tokyo 2040 in the early noughties, from what I remember it was billed as a modern (at the time) reimagining of the original series, over 26 episodes.

      To be honest, I personally didn’t think much of the series, it seemed pretty mediocre all round, although to be fair it was during my post Eva viewing phase, when I compared every series unfavorably next to that show. At any rate, it certainly didn’t compel me to check out the original ova. Looks like I wasn’t missing out on much.

  11. Posted March 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Wait, no talking about Irresponsible Captain Tylor?
    I love that series!

    • Tamagoyaki
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I definitely want to see Scamp’s take on Tylor. My memory told me that it was a great series, though it could be just nostalgia fogging things up.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      I *liked* Captain Tylor, but no more than that. It wasn’t well written but it was endearing so it was easy to sink into. I don’t really have a posts worth of material to write about it though

  12. Yup
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Far different from all the cyberpunk stuff, but I’m also wondering if you plan to watch Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki in the future. Originally by one of, if not the most famous guro mangaka (nope), often degraded as hentai, but I wouldn’t call it a sickfuck fap-fest, no way. It is also a geniue mindfuck.
    I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t heard of it. It does, however, sound like it has plenty of people being mean to each other, so onto the PTW list it goes

      • Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        It’s gross. Really.

      • Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t watch it, don’t misunderstand, but a friend of mine watched it, and send me screencaps.
        Talking about mindfuck, did you ever watch Cat Soup?

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted March 8, 2011 at 1:47 am | Permalink

        I watched Cat Soup near the end of a mentally exhausting, 24 hour anime all-nighter with a uni group. That film was the straw that broke the camel’s back for my sanity.

  13. fathomlessblue
    Posted March 8, 2011 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    It’s a shame Dirty Pair, or the original Guyver ova didn’t make your marathon. I remember loving them as a kid, although I rewatched the latter a few years back… nostalga can be a real bitch! From now on I’ll leave my early series’ back where they belong.

    Saying that, these posts have encouraged me to check out some of the stuff I missed back in the mid-nineties, like Project A-ko or Venus Wars, so hopefully I’ll discover a few gems along the way.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I have Project A-ko downloaded, but put it aside for a later date. As you can probably tell, I got sick of late 80’s OVA’s before I got a chance to get around to it. Same with Riding Bean

  14. Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    nostalgia is the reason i never recommend a lot of the anime i watched when i was younger to anybody unless i knew they were into that genre and might genuinely like the series.

    i rewatch and lol at the flat dialogue in my favorite anime ever all the time. never gets old. still my favorite and love it to death. thank you nostalgia.

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