Earlier this week, I got a response from a reader concerning the number of mecha series being featured in A Year of Anime in Review, and how there must be more than just that. I say: Welcome to the 80’s.
Correspondence is never easy, but it is fun. Every writer or author loves feedback in any form; especially the kind that relates to what you write about. As I mentioned before, I did in fact receive a communique from a reader, and it reads as follows:
Yurinakamurachan says: Haihai, I had a question in regards to your recent posts about the 80’s, do you only like robot anime or was the 80’s really all about giant robots???? I would like for you to write more about magical girls or something cute :3. Baibai!!!!!
Truly, being a mahou shoujo fan in the 80’s was suffering. All you had was Studio Pierrot…and Studio Pierrot. Actually, I covered a Studio Pierrot girl in the 1980’s post, Magical Girl Lalabel, and I enjoyed myself for the most part. As for the diversity of titles, lets just say it was a learning experience.
It wasn’t just straight magical girls either, as the anime from that studio actually set up a lot of the tropes and given cliches that we see in Mahou Shoujo today. During this time period, another type of magical girl came into play: which was the idol singer character, a girl that has little to no talent and gets magical powers that turn her into a singing goddess that fights evil. Classic.
As for the mecha bias, what can I say? I’m hooked. Now onto the main event!
THE FLYING HOUSE – More Christian Cartoon Nonsense
Now, I am not an atheist or anything like that at all, but it does tickle a funny bone when I was younger to see this on TV. I’ve mentioned it’s predecessor Superbook earlier, but The Flying House remains mentionable solely by the fact that it was indeed animated by a Japanese studio and brought the US by the nice folks at CBN for all the good Christian kids to watch. Otherwise, religious cartoons were a thing still.
ARMORED FLEET DAIRUGGER XV – More Giant Robots for Her Pleasure
Voltron is an interesting case in anime, as it was Frankenstein’d from footage of Beast King Golion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, and many counts of fraudulence and copycatting were slung for many, many years. People forget though.
They forget that Golion and Dairugger combined together to make a fucking beast of combination robot show. Resonances of hype still ring in the cosmos.
As you can probably tell from the picture, Dairugger formed the bulk of the “vehicle Voltron” episodes, although the most popular of the two forms is the “Lion Voltron”. The plot is a little interesting, as the Rugger teams were made to make a starchart, but eventually ran into the evil space empire.
Now unlike other confrontations with the evil space empire, Dairugger seeks peace and cohabitation, but the Galveston Empire is having none of that shit.
Now onto the really weird part. The Rugger teams are based off of 5 members each of 3 groups, so that makes 15 parts of the Dairugger robot. Interesting concept, as I’m sure it takes more than just 5 people and fucking mascot robot to power that bad boy. In the end, the evil space empire is defeated and it’s people liberated from despotism. Thanks giant robots!
ARCADIA OF MY YOUTH – Donny’s Idol is Captain Harlock
It is important to mention that Grumpy Jii-san gave Arcadia of My Youth a 5 star review. If you don’t care about that, then I will proceed to talk about the tragic tale of Captain Harlock.
As I, and probably you, know that Gundam was a wildly popular series in general, kicked off the real robot style of mecha, mecha in general, and became a cultural icon for Japan. However, caught up in the drift winds was Arcadia of My Youth Endless Orbit SSX. Arcadia of My Youth was popular and great, but SSX was crushed by the juggernaut that Gundam became in 1982. SSX had a run of 22 episodes and was cancelled early for being deemed too fantasy for viewers, in no small part to the shift away from fantasy drama to the more science fiction drama that Gundam made popular.
Drifting far away from memories of anime fan, Arcadia of My Youth and SSX might be forgotten, but I will never forget them.
THE SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS – All You Need is Love
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, aka Robotech, has a very special place in my heart as it inspired a dream of flying a jet that stuck with me for a very long time. There’s no plot synopsis here folks, only the raw emotion of me going nuts about VF’s and how FUCKING SICK AWESOME THIS SHOW IS.
When I first saw a scene from Macross, I literally had no idea what the fuck I was watching, because a giant green man got out of a bipedal robot and start destroying another mech. It was definitely weird, but it was awesome. In fact it was too cool, so cool that I’ve done a few marathons of the series + movies many, many times.
Macross can be dark, and a lot of the themes are about death and xenophobia, but it’s really hard hitting when you realize, like any real foreign invader, the Zentradi are people too. Not that you’ll know that right away, because they show up in weird looking robots and terrorize people, but the major thing about Macross is that love conquers all. Giant violent space men? They’re weak against the strange emotion that is love. Also, rock ballads.
I am a bit curious though why I haven’t seen too much on the concept of the Zentradi in more anime, though. Honestly, it seems like the concept of a moe Slice of Life Romantic Comedy featuring a giantesses alien girl sounds like it could literally print money. I, for one, know a pretty sizable demographic that would go nuts if this ever happened.
SPACE ADVENTURE COBRA – Never Enough Space Settings in Anime
Space Adventure Cobra is a series I don’t want to ruin for anyone. Go in blind, and let the sweet dulcet tones of the Legendary Bandit take you on a Space Adventure.
10bit: Another post, another fun time with anime. There were a lot of greats this year, and I wasn’t able to get them all in a timely fashion. As I’ve mentioned before, A Year of Anime in Review is series, so I’ll be revisiting every post after I complete the final post and add on all the stuff I missed. Space Adventure Cobra is the shortest of all the spotlights so far, but I definitely mean I wrote for it. Get hyped for 1983!