Japanimation. The former term for the quirky Japanese style of mature and sometimes erotic, animation. Obscure in Japan, and even more so in the United States.
Anime was mostly unheard of in the United States, and existed either as cheap foreign bootlegs or as licensed or dubbed titles like Battle of the Planets (a really fucking cool name) and Star Blazers, so on and so forth. It really wasn’t until the 90’s that anime became as popular and widespread as it is now, and I’m sure that has to do with propagation between communities on the internet back then. Truly the community has changed from shrine sites and web rings.
However, that doesn’t mean that the 80’s wasn’t as important to the 90’s when it came to anime, as some of the releases in the decade radically changed the game, in no small part to Robotech (1985) and Akira (1988), to name a few.
When I first got into the scene, I was a small child that had very little clue of what I was watching. All the bright and cheery colors caught me like a deer in the headlights and I enjoyed every last moment of it. As a teen, my father had a really huge obsession with animation of any kind, and in turn, collected as many VHS tapes, laserdiscs, and eventually DVDs that served as my first introduction into the big ol’ mess that is Japanese Animation.
Any who, lets start spout totally RADICAL opinions!
MAHOU SHOUJO LALABEL – Magical Girls Strike Back!
This isn’t your sister’s Magical Girl show, this isn’t even your mom’s Magical Girl show, this is the Magical Girl show to watch, period. It’s got everything you want, and then some more, and then to the point where you’re not even sure you’re watching an anime anymore, and not just some vivid narcotic hallucination while watching Magical Girl Lalabel in French.
Everything you need to know is all summed up with:
It’s magic, I don’t have to explain shit.
What’s that? All the other Mahou Shoujo don’t use a catalyst of some sort? Lalabel does it right with a magic wand. Cliche? How about: Totally cool. Double cool, because she uses a necklace and a magic box. Mitsuko Horie is all over this, the voice of Lalabel and does the themes songs! That’s triple cool. Ice age cool.
Final Verdict: Must watch/100
On a more serious note though, even though I didn’t get a chance to properly watch Lalabel, in no way does that detract from the quality nor the nostalgia blow back. Seriously, the nostalgia goggles are imploding on my face. All of my screenshots are from the movie, I was unable to find a French VHS or even really care that much to find it in English. What a shame.
SPACE RUNAWAY IDEON – The Happiest Anime Ever Made!
Feeling a bit down? Feel like nobody understands you or your superb taste in anime? Well Space Runaway Ideon is the ideal pick me up for the depressed anime connoisseur, as it features bright and happy colors, silly hairstyle choices, and absolutely no civilian casualties! At all!
An added bonus for the math major is the especially formulaic plots, but the fact that this was the anime that Yoshiyuki Tomino worked on directly after Mobile Suit Gundam is the real selling point here, people. In a startling coincidence, Space Runaway Ideon had it’s air time cut short, reducing the air length of the show by 4 episodes, which then prompted a movie or something. I’m told it’s great.
It’s also often cited as a source of inspiration for Hideki Anno, and for some, a sign that Tomino needed some therapy. Space Runaway Ideon is a suprisingly dark series that has probably one of the most ambiguous and bleak endings a narrative about giant robots and cool interstellar battleships, that managed to work it’s way into a few video games. Slap scenes, kids getting zapped in the face, and a bizarre god robot that gets more powerful as it takes damage until the point of no return. Family friendly at it’s best.
Final Verdict: Classic/1000
All jokes aside though, if you consider yourself a mecha fan, Ideon is an undisputed classic that deserves the respect and adulation it’s gotten over the years. Sure it may not hold up against newer anime, or the anime that were inspired by Ideon, but that didn’t stop people from liking Legend of Galactic Heroes did it? I didn’t write much about Ideon mostly because it’s spoiler city with this show, and on top of that, I really didn’t feel like being depressed while taking screenshots for this post.
SPACE WARRIOR BALDIOS – 1980 Had A Lot of Shit with “Space” in the Title
Another title with Space, and it also happens to be a huge fucking downer while still being about giant robots in space. Thanks Japan!
The more I think about it, the more I realize nobody was happy in 1980. It’s all there. Tomino, Anno, the list goes on, probably has something to do with Reagan or lead in the air, or even the ERA getting the smackdown. Take that women’s rights! (Note: Staff of Moe-Alternative, including myself, do not hold or share the same opinions and views as the Republican Party about women’s rights and equal representation.)
Pollution, which plays a part in Baldios, was reflecting a concern in the 1980’s, what with all the lame sports cars and steady increase in vehicles on the road. What that meant was that people began to actually worry about why at night the sky is purple, had no stars, and looked like a horrible plague cloud of death that appeared to descend upon them and cause strange illnesses that no one knew about like asthma. Rather than wait for the pollution problem to be fixed by scientists, or rather just kill the guy in charge and take all his stuff, General Gattler decides it’d be best to just leave Planet S-1 and let nature take over the rest. Or something. Gattler wasn’t really known for his brilliant ideas.
Though as downer as the the original series is, the movie (the “happier” ending) was made because of the fanbases outcry as the ending from the horrifically bleak still shot of a tsunami and minor characters getting killed left and right to a more “fixed” ending that is remarkably lighter in tone, and even has a slow walk on the beach as Marin holding Aphrodia in his arms walking into a sunset. If it had been not very popular, the ending would be unchanged. Terrifying.
Final Verdict: Radical/10000
10bit: This wraps up the year 1980 for me, but as it’s a series, I will be coming backing an editing the posts to add new content and opinions. In case you were wondering, I’m playing the part of my younger self and my interpretations on anime I’ve seen on bootleg VHS tapes. It’s all for fun, so kick back and enjoy!
On the next episode of Moe-Alternative Z: 1981 has arrived and is introducing new and exciting anime! What will the Alternative Moe Rangers do?! Find out next time on, Moe-Alternative Z!