1985 – A Year of Anime in Review

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Mecha has been taking a nap. It seems about fitting, that after improving the tech and genre, it would once again hijack the anime scene in the middle of the 80’s. Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re halfway there and it’s only getting better as we go on.

FOREWARD

The communists were still around, and movies were getting better. The only manifest people were afraid and confused by was the GNU Manifesto, calling for a change and equality for software. Wrestlemania began and the world was changed forever at Madison Square Garden. The Amiga came out, giving us the personal computer, and without it’s success, you probably wouldn’t be reading this post. These are all important hallmarks of 1985, but standing out more, was the release of the first Nintendo home console, the bringer of joy, the Nintendo Entertainment System.

1232035Yurinakamurachan says: Hai hai y ar u doing only 3 writing thinsg???! All I see is dumb gundam stuff and a stupid car comercial wht was tat about??!  please add more girl stuff like dirty pair or magical girls pls i dont like robots and jets ESPECIALY WRESTLIENG so dumb!!1!! :(((  so please take this in condsration and add more good shows thank you very much baibai!!!!

Apparently ’85 doesn’t stack up with the past years so far, haha. Thanks for the input Yuri-chan, it’s always welcome and needed here at Moe-Alternative. Anyway:

Was this good enough for Gundam fans? No. In their eyes only one release, only one event, was worthy of remembering the year for:

MOBILE SUIT ZETA GUNDAM – Why is Gundam Gold?

"I don't get the whole char/quattro thing." - Insight from a casual viewer

“I don’t get the whole Char/Quattro thing.” – Insight from a casual viewer

It’s pretty much a given that at some point in a Gundam fan’s life, they will watch Zeta, or at least know of it from a numerous cameos in other related media. Like aniblog tourneys, some people love it, some people hate it, but everyone loses at the end. I bet nobody told you Zeta Gundam was such a vicious cycle of QUALITY!

As much as I can whine about the quality or the plot, or how fucking dumb “Psyco” Gundam is, I won’t. My main issue with the show is how it’s become a degraded “classic”, the kind of classic anime show people are told is good, but soon find it’s not up to their standards. They expect some magnum opus from Tomino, a ripping tale of robot swashbuckling and political intrigue featuring a sexually tense male crew with some women thrown in for posterity, forgetting quickly that it’s a cartoon about giant space robots shooting GI-Joe colored lasers at each other. The plot is the bonus.

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Zeta holds up, at least for what it is, but trying to glean the “depth” or “stuff I don’t get” is like trying to get the proverbial water from the proverbial stone. I’d think if it had more throwbacks to the original Gundam and sidelined Kamille, they could call it “Meta Gundam” and a certain someone would like it more. To be fair though, I can understand the power of peer impressions, it’s why I started watching Sakura Trick.

DIRTY PAIR – Let’s All Go See the Actual Beauty Pair

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If there’s any reason to watch some 80’s anime, it’s Dirty Pair. Talk about a hallmark series, it’s also a case when you you can pick up on the happy vibes from experiencing the creator truly loving his work and what he does. Male or Female, there’s a lot to like here, and a ton to complain about if your critically minded.

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The Dirty Pair are as prolific as they are sexy, having tons of movies, OVA’s, adaptions, you name it. An added bonus for the Dolphy clan, is that like all things great, Dirty Pair has it’s roots in wrasslin’. Women’s wrasslin’, but wrasslin’ all the same. What I really love about Dirty Pair is that it’s one of the few good Cyberpunk anime, let alone good Cyberpunk material (AKIRA didn’t come out till about 3 years after), and it really stands on it’s own. An added bonus for the fan of the impending Japanese Domination.

AREA 88 – The Real UN Squadron

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Even though the Area 88 that came out was the OVA’s, it doesn’t stop me from making this spotlight a direct love letter to all the Ace Combat/Jet enthusiasts out there. This a rare series, the kind where it can be an all around base hit managing to balance the levels of comedy and some of the finest aviation drama around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Area 88 inspired AC at all in some way, I’ve played SNES version of the game (UN Squadron) and it’s pretty ballbustingly hard, but the concept of map sorties and stuff really reminds me of Ace Combat Zero.

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The actual Area 88 is not a place you take lightly at all. It’s a harsh enviroment of constant warfare, and there’s only 3 ways to get out: Pay off your 1.5 million bounty in cash you get from enemy kills, crash and burn, or try to run away. Notice the “try”.  Who else but to send there but an up and coming airliner pilot kid with no combat experience?

It’s really a reflection on the anxiety of the first year or so in the military, even more so if you’re deployed in a warzone. Shin realizes that it’s a capital punishment if he tries to escape, and the only way to get out is to face his fears and get over his distaste for killing. Just because Shin might not want to kill, it doesn’t mean that the enemy feels the same way. Like the Vietnam War, it made it hard for people to adjust back into the real world, some people (in this case Mickey) just went back to the killing, some just turned to the easy ways out. Like real war, you can’t just leave Area 88. You’re in for the long run.

ANGEL’S EGG – It’s Never Not Time to Talk about Angel’s Egg

"H. R. Giger-esque in nature." - Resident Writer Don Don Kun

“H. R. Giger-esque in nature.” – Resident Writer Don Don Kun

Just as the title says, it’s always time to talk about Angel’s Egg, so lets recap. Panned by shortsighted critics, Angel’s Egg almost tanked Oshii’s career as he often cites that Angel’s Egg “kept him from getting work for years.” It’s got about as much plot as K-on episode, and same amount of good worthwhile dialogue. Keep in mind I’m not putting the smackdown on Angel’s Egg, it’s good stuff, it’s an “animated painting”, and if you plan on even attempting to review an anime, this is your first homework assignment.

FINAL THOUGHTS

riho10bit: Angel’s Egg is my favorite, but I think I’m gonna let resident writer Donny take this one for me, haha. Not too many spotlights this year, so I chose to pick an authors bias system. Really though, I’ll just add all the more obscure stuff later on, most people are here for Zeta. Will I ever seriously write about anime or perhaps review it? Never. Gahahaha.

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8 responses to “1985 – A Year of Anime in Review

  1. “ESPECIALY WRESTLIENG so dumb!!1!! :(((”

    It’s like Yurinakamurachandonosama is reading my mind.

    I’ve only seen a few episodes of Dirty Pair, but it seemed like a fun show. I ought to get back to it soon.

    “It’s Never Not Time to Talk about Angel’s Egg”

    I HEAR IT’S PRETTY HARD TO TALK ABOUT.

    anime is my favorite verb.

    • Yuri is an unsubtle expat of you, so I think it’s fitting that you’d agree.

      Dirty Pair is awesome, so get at it.

      What’s there not to talk about in Angel’s Egg? Donny is about to drop some truth later on if you care to read it, haha.

      Anime, it’s what you do.

  2. The lack of description for Angel’s Egg makes me sad.

    • Don’t blame me, blame the shop boss, Donny. He was all like “If you don’t do Angel’s Egg, then I’ll add it in your post.”, then I was like yeah, sure, whatever you want man, I’ll watch it, but I’m only gonna do a small bit on it because I don’t want to write like 550+ (minimum word count for arthouse stuff here on moe-alt) but that was like 3 days ago. So here we are waiting for Angel’s Egg, and I’m like man I don’t have time for this right now, but then still nothing. Welcome to the aniblogging scene I guess.

    • I was planning on inserting some thoughts into Prinny’s post on Angel’s Egg at one point, though my timing was off and Sonic here posted before I got the chance. I’d love to do an analysis on the film at some point, since it’s a personal favourite of mine. That said, it’s a pretty difficult one to dissect, as I’m sure Dolphy knows. 🙂

      • It’s not like I have a choice, you’re the one that says “a post every 5 days, get to work!” Sometimes I just wanna play video games or get my stuff done on time. I don’t want to take up Hss’ posting speed, that’s not even glacial, that’s “continental drift” speeds. I guess I’m gonna have to do the summary myself then.

  3. Zeta Gundam is great, but I’ll admit is heavy sometimes (IMHO ZG isn’t the best show to binge-watching, but that’s me). In the end, I go for the first MSG.

    I recently watched Area 88 OVA and I liked it. The themes are still relevant and as a aircraft aficionado, watching all those old models of planes was a plus.

    And what I can add about Dirty Pair. It’s still awesome, mindless fun.

    • Zeta has a history of turning people off of Gundam, especially if you try to marathon it, like a lot of people like to do. Zeta holds up, just not as much as Mobile Suit Gundam, which is why MSG is getting all the remakes, haha.

      Area 88/UN Squadron really makes me wish for more jet themed anime. Aside from mecha and Macross, there isn’t much of scene for ace pilot cast shows I guess.

      Dirty Pair is a lot better than people expect it to be for some reason. I’ve always said that it’s awesome, even in the usenet days.