1984 so far isn’t turning out like the book 1984. Which I suppose is always something you can look to if you want to cheer yourself up. If that fails, or you haven’t read the book, you can always look at the latest anime coming out of Japan to see if there’s anything worthwhile on it’s way. Of course, you’ll get even more depressed when you remember how hard these will be to get hold of or how long they will take to get over here legally, and even then they might be edited down. Oh well, at least it’s not as bad as 1984~!
Air Date: 3 Mar
Synopsis: Memoru is one of 245 people who came to earth from the Riruru Star when their ship had an emergency crash-landing on earth. Memoru’s people have such tiny bodies that they could stand on a human’s palm. One day she hears lovely music, and she follows its source and comes upon a huge house she hasn’t seen before to find a girl taller than her playing on the piano. Memoru visited her again secretly with her friends Popitu, Rupangu, and Pi, but the human girl, Marielle, seemed sick and likely to die any moment. Feeling sad for the girl, Memoru’s tear drops on the girl’s lips. The girl gets better and a strong friendship starts between them.
An atypical kiddy show by Toei. Nothing to see here. Moving swiftly along~
Lupin III: Part III
Air Date: 3 Mar
Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
When the first season of Lupin III came out, I was all confused. Did I miss 2 seasons of Lupin already? Or is the guy called Lupin, and if so, who were the two Lupin before him? Ever since then I’ve been hoping for it to get a third season just so I could make a Lupin III III joke. And there it was. It was less fulfilling than I thought it would be. Anyway, it’s Lupin so you should all know what to expect by now. The director has changed from the last season, but often different directors come in for each episode so I doubt we’ll notice much of a difference.
Video Senshi Lezarion
Air Date: 4 Mar
Synopsis: Takashi Katori is a big fan of online games, and so is his American friend Sarah. However, one of their RPGs goes too far, as their virtual world and the Lezarion robot that Takashi created for the game somehow mix with reality. Takashi is caught, but later the Earth Governement discovers that an evil scientist from the Moon (now a sort of abandoned colony with restricted access) is hacking into virtual worlds and security, so they force Takashi to pilot the Lezarion and, with Sarah’s help, fight evil and protect the Earth.
Well this is an original premise. A kid gets transported into an online RPG? That sounds pretty cool to me. It would be like playing one of those RPG games except in anime form. Not sure if that’s even been done before, anyone want to enlighten me to whether it has? Toei on animation, which I’m getting kind of bored of seeing. Toei make an awful lot of anime but at least they haven’t moved entirely to kids shows yet. The guy who created this also was the creator of Voltron, which is going to be released in the west this Autumn. That should give us a good sign as to whether this will be any good.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Air Date: 11 Mar
Synopsis: In the post-apocalyptic future, large parts of the world have been swallowed up by forests of poisonous fungi. The remaining humans live near the fungus and its monstrous insectoid inhabitants, trying to prevent its spread. One of the human kingdoms, the peaceful Valley of Wind, loves its gentle Princess Nausicaä and her father the king, but their peace is about to be broken, as they are swallowed up in the machinations of their larger, warmongering neighbours. However, Nausicaä has hidden potential, and may yet change the fate of the world.
There’s a bit of hype behind this movie. It’s based off a manga by some guy called Hayao Miyazaki and he’s also directing this movie. I haven’t seen any of the manga myself but Miyazaki was worked on plenty anime before, but mainly on kiddy shows. That doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence, but he has also worked on some episodes of Lupin and so on. I must say the few promo material I have seen looks mightly impressive though. It could just be some other kids movie but it’s worth keeping an eye on just in case.
Air Date: 10 Mar
Synopsis: It is the year 1941. 11-year-old Murakami Wataru lives with his family, Japanese textile traders operating in British Kenya, when war breaks out between Japan and the Allies. Fleeing into the bush, young Wataru falls headlong into a series of fantastic adventures.
It’s a boy…wait for it…in Kenya! Still, wartime Japanese anime with a friggen dinosaur on the front cover. Hmm, isn’t there a bit of a disconnect there? Maybe this is like King Kong or something. It all sounds pretty normal until you see the dinosaur. Do Japanese people think that Kenya is so behind the rest of the world that they still have dinosaurs? I’m going to have to watch this just to find out whether that is the case or not.
Conan, The Boy in Future II
Air Date: 11 Mar
Studio: Nippon Animation
Synopsis: Based on The Incredible Tide by Alexander Key. Post nuclear future. Earth has been almost completely submerged by oceans. Indastria, an hyper-technological isle, is the new world capital. Conan is the only survived boy in the attempt of a bunch of austronauts to escape the earth when nuke bombs were falling. He will meet a girl named Lana (Italian name), and when she will be kidnapped by Indastria’s soldiers, he’ll go and try to rescue her.
Well the official name is Mirai Shounen Conan Tokubetsu Hen-Kyodaiki Gigant no Fukkatsu, which is probably the longest name for an anime I have ever seen and will ever see. Couple of pointers about this. It’s a sequel to Conan, The Boy in Future tv series, directed by that man Miyazaki. He’s also directing this, which goes to show he’s being kept rather busy this season. Strangely, there seems to be rather little hype behind this. I thought people liked Conan? Maybe they’re all far more excited for Nausicca or something.
Air Date: 11 Mar
Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Synopsis: Exactly like Sherlock Holmes, except with dogs
Miyazaki again, however this time it’s for very complicated reasons. I’m not sure whether I’ve got all the details right so bear with me. There was meant to be a Sherlock Hound TV series in a joint production with an Italian company, which Miyazaki directed a bunch of episodes for. However issues arised for whatever reason and Miyazaki buggered off to work on Nausicca and Conan and probably 5 other projects, judging by how much work this guy seems to put on himself. I’m guessing the issues were resolved because we’ve got a movie here, but I haven’t a clue what’s happened to the TV series or whether this is just those few episodes Miyazaki completed or what. Whatever, I’m more interested in Nausicca anyway.
Air Date: 17 Mar
Synopsis: Oshin comes from a family of poor rice farmers. Her father and brother must work in the fields and her grandmother and mother, who is expecting another child, barely have enough to eat. In order to make ends meet for her family, 7-year-old Oshin gives up school and decides to become a servant in the household of a wealthy family, where she faces trials and tribulation beyond her worst fears.
Oshin is a live action series currently airing in Japan and it’s a national phenomenon, averaging over 50% audience share. Oshin has become a byword in Japan for perseverance. You really can’t underrate the phenomenon this TV series is. So anyway, this movie is an adaptation of two of the earlier episodes. I’m guessing this would be a good gateway for any anime fans for the live action itself. I doubt we’ll get that much of the story from 2 episodes stuck into a movie but it looks well worth a shot.
Gu Gu Ganmo
Air Date: 18 Mar
Synopsis: The alien Ganmo (who resembles a sneaker wearing chicken) sets out to help his adopted human friend Hanpeita. The series follows the antics of the duo as they find themselves in the middle of much comedic mischief.
Based off a shounen manga of the same name. Looks like a massive rip off of Doraemon. Because the world really needs another Doreamon ripoff -_-
Air Date: 3 Apr
Studio: Shinei Animation
Synopsis: Alien pet thing helps human etc
Now even Shinei are getting in on the whole Doreamon ripoff act. Don’t they animate the actual Doreamon? I was tempted not to put these crap in but I know Doreamon has its fans who will probably want the latest ripoff.
Air Date: 5 Apr
Synopsis: Austral Island is located 2,000 km south from Samoa islands. The existence of the island was removed from the official records, and Tagami Yu made a journey to search for the reason. Suddenly a mysterious monster began to attack them. When they became ready for death, a blue giant robot appeared. It destroyed the monster and saved them. Although it was an existence far beyond human knowledge, it reminded Yu of something warm and familiar. It was Giant Gorg which is called “Messenger of the God” by the inhabitants of the island.
The creators of Gundam making more mecha? Fuck yeah I’m there! The director was part of the Gundam team, as well as directing a bunch of other stuff like Crusher Joe and…well, actually that appears to be it. But whatever, that’s not important. Sunrise. Mecha. I am ready Sunrise. Best show of the season right here. Mark my words.
Air Date: 7 Apr
Synopsis: The “Waruchin Ceremony” has been stolen from All Star, a planet that exists in the outskirts of space. The computer that is built into it is programmed to make anything possible. The thief is actually the villain, Doctor Bell. Doctor Bell schemes to invade the other planets through the use of Waruchin. The prince of All Star, Prince Chikkun, together with his trusty advisor, the intellectual Takkun, decides to head towards Earth in pursuit of Doctor Bell.
[shrug] looks like another Doreamon ripoff to me. Not much to see here. Probably more interesting if I talk about Pierrot. They’re a relatively new studio who made the slightly raunchy Miss Machiko and the idol-creation machine disguised as a magical girl show known as Creamy Mami (hur hur hur). More importantly, because I know many people are fans of this show, they’re now in charge in animating the rest of Urusei Yatsura. Basically, they look to be a studio that are going places, mainly in the magical girl genre. Which isn’t really my thing. I wish they’d make some action anime instead =[
Air Date: 9 Apr
Synopsis: Kitajima Maya, a 13-year old girl with a talent for acting, was discovered by the reclusive actress Tsukikage. The story follows Maya’s growing up, intense training, overcoming challenges, and evolving into the foremost actress of her generation (she is about 20 so far). Maya’s greatest rival is Himekawa Ayumi, the beautiful daughter of a famous movie couple. They ultimately vied for the most sought-after role – the “Crimson Goddess”. An equally important subplot Maya’s relationship with the handsome and ruthless entertainment mogul Hayami Masumi, who secretly became her number one fan, but misunderstandings and bad-timing obstructed their romance…..
An extremely popular shojo manga, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before it got an anime. However the manga is nowhere near completion. Probably won’t be finished until sometime in the mid 90’s, or so I’m told by reliable sources. Still, I’m sure the fans will be happy it’s getting an adaptation. Well, there’s always that one shojo anime per season. Sometimes two, but never more than that and never none at all. Shojo seems to be such a stable genre.
Air Date: 13 Apr
Studio: Knack Productions
Synopsis: Attacker You! is the story of ambitious and energetic thirteen year-old junior high schoolgirl You (pronounced Yoh) Hazuki, who moves to Tokyo from the Japanese countryside to live with her father Toshihiko, a cameraman recently returned from Peru, and attend school. You’s mother is not in the picture, having left when You was very young. Also living with You and her father is her younger brother Sunny, who is very attached to his older sister and tends to follow her everywhere she goes, including to school and to her volleyball matches. However, You’s father is not supportive of her volleyball playing, and You is puzzled as to why he gets so angry about it.
The animation studio doing this has a real knack for getting things right, geddit? Eh~! Anyway, Attacker you is a sports anime, this time focusing on volleyball. Which means you get to see plenty of high school girls in extremely tight gym shorts leaping up and down and getting very sweaty. Possibly some shower scenes with exposed breasts. In fact, I can confirm from my inside sources that there will very definitely be exposed breasts in the shower scenes. Although they will almost certainly be edited from any overseas release. How dare they edit our glorious anime. We want cartoon boobies goddammit!
Air Date: 15 Apr
Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Synopsis: Hino Yamato, a normal Japanese school student, is transported to a magical world to defend it. Unbeknownst to him, he is the only person that can bring the lands stone god, Mazinger, to life. He does, and becomes the lands only hope against the evil ruler Dorado and his henchmen.
More Mazinger for you all. Go Nagai the creator again. It’s not directly related to any of the previous works so I assume you’ll be able to jump straight in without having seen the previous seasons or movies. The plot is basically the exact same but different. Or something. I dunno, recycle a successful formula and it will make money. Why blame the Japanese for sticking to what they know? Especially when what they know is mecha.
The Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross
Air Date: 15 Apr
Synopsis: By the year 2120, humans have successfully colonized other planets following the near devestation of Earth from the last great world war. However, on Gloire, one such colony are surprised and unprepared at the arrival of The Zor, a group of beings whom were the original inhabitants of the planet and left following similar near fatal events. Coming to reclaim their former home world, a relentless war erupts between both races that ultimately leads to a cataclysmic showdown and into a no-win scenario for either.
Speaking of returning to successful formulas, here’s more of that Macross franchise for you all. Franchises franchises and more franchises. We have more Lupin, more Conan, more Mazinger and now more Macross. I’m not complaining mind you. It’s just I get more of a thrill from new properties than more of a franchise. Unless it’s Gundam, because I’m a Gundamfag.
I’ve learned a lot of stuff making these retro season previews. For one, sequels don’t really exist. Oh sure, there’s franchises, but creating an anime with the intention of making a sequel if it’s popular enough doesn’t really exist. This is because most anime run for however many episodes they feel like, often between 50-100 episodes long. If it’s not popular, it gets cancelled (Chikken Takkun got cancelled after 23 episodes, for example). If it becomes insanely popular it becomes a franchise, like Lupin or Macross. While it may not be the best from a storytelling perspective, the new model certainly makes far more sense from a financial standpoint.