1989 – A Year of Anime in Review [FINAL]

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Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re at the last stop of the shiny neon colored decade.

FOREWARD

Before we start the rant about anime and 80’s nostalgia, I’d like to go a little more in-depth on the A Year of Anime in Review project, and the wonderful people behind this labor of love at the end of this article. If you’d like to read my sappy feelings right away, click here.

Now onto the main event!

KIMBA THE WHITE LION – The King Lion

Me and Simba Kimba have a checkered past. I’m very aware of the older animated series, and this spotlight is on the “New” adventures of SKimba, a fondly remembered cartoon for many of a white king lion from the life of circle.

All Lion King jokes aside, the only thing left that is a joke is the English dub. Talk about botching a dub, only the first and forth to the fifteenth episodes were dubbed, skipping over episodes 2 and 3, and to compound this problem, the dubbing stopped on a cliffhanger. All North American localization issues aside, if the old Kimba is too Old School Tezuka for you, you should give the New Adventures a try if you want something a little newer.

PATLABOR: THE TV SERIES – Robots in Uniform

Patlabor is an interesting case of an OVA being adapted into a TV series, and from what I’ve seen from the anime was that extending the series into 47 episodes was a benefit. The 80’s were saturated with mecha and stories with very dark themes like war or alien invasions, and other fun topics. Luckily for Patlabor, the story focused more on the domestic side of using mecha for civil service, in this case, a quasi-police force consisted of uniformed mecha going Gangbusters on criminals in mecha.

As odd as it sounds, and it is rightfully odd, it still retains its status as a classic and is definitely worth a watch. The only trouble is that, It’s a good story, but not a good mecha. If you’re looking for sweet robot on robot combat, you might want to shop around the previous hits in the decade. One thing I’ve found interesting about being recommended this series is that a lot of the fan really, really like it, so if you’re an anti-elitist hipster who shuns the mainstream, you might want to pass this up. The story is hit or miss too, but I generally enjoyed it for it was, and what it was is good.

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RANMA 1/2 – Fan Canon is a Real Thing

Oh Ranma ½, how many times did I stumble on pictures from your anime on some godforsaken web ring looking for Sailor Moon pictures? Dial up was crazy and the people on it were even crazier. Ranma ½ had its own side story, a “fan canon” if you will that was composed of what may or may not have (it’s all wrong for the most part) wrong from various samples of fanfiction wrote for the series. The subculture of anime and manga fans in the US and probably the rest of the world were responsible for one of the most bizarre yet hilariously fun fan base of any anime yet.

As for the anime itself, it’s a hit or miss classic, but if you want to experience the joy of hundreds of thousands of young impressionable anime fans and share in the moment, be my guest and have fun.

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RIDING BEAN – Gunsmith Cats Before it Was Cool

Have you ever just liked something a lot for no particular reason at all? That’s the relationship me and Riding Bean have. It’s a short one episode affair about cool 80’s sports cars and a guy who is bulletproof. It’s even got a plot twist!

The real plot twist though is this particular anime and it’s connection to Gunsmith Cats. It was made by the same guy, Kenichi Sonoda, and was more like a prototype Gunsmith Cats if he fell out with his producers, which he did. A lot of the material was integrated in GC, but it still remains a fun-filled 80’s hair adventure regardless. I wholeheartedly recommend Riding Bean to you, the reader, and should take a moment to just have some silly fun.

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KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE – Service Industry Witches

A great coming of age story that focuses on the self-reliance aspect of being a teenager, Kiki’s Delivery Service is an all ages, good, wholesome Christian family fun. Except for it being a Japanese anime, about witches, and capitalism. Let me rephrase that.

Kiki’s Delivery Service is an enchanting tale of a little witch girl trying to make ends meet in the big city. Since I have a family who very much enjoys these films, I cannot help but be biased, but on the flip side there many lonely individuals who may or may not enjoy this particular Studio Ghibli movie on a critical level. Ranting aside, if you are in the mood for a classic heartwarming story and don’t feel like watching Grave of the Fireflies again, then this is your go to for sure.

CONCLUSION

A Year of Anime in Review has an interesting history that dates back to after the last slew of my horrific Devil Survivor 2 The Animation episodic posts, the Moe-Alt crew (me included) were shooting the breeze about future posts and what show’s next and other stuff like that. Donny (DDK) decided that we should put an end to episodic posts, mostly because they require a deal of commitment to ensure they don’t suck. One of the major ideas was to switch from a saimoe/episodic blog format to an editorial filled blog, which was rather ambitious considering the team was only composed of 3 guys, and only one of which that had the credentials to be writing about anime in the first place.

Unfortunately, in that time period life and work caught up to me, which left me in a position with limited contact with the team and my friends at large, but after 7 long months and coming back to a rather dead blog (I’m gonna give huge props to Stellio-chan for continuing to write, too bad you took down the Boku no Pico post), I decided to brainstorm as hard as I could to make up for all the lost time.

Now I’m not the smartest guy and my existence isn’t very sublime. It took me a very long time to come up with something for Donny that wasn’t just some rehash or stolen from another blog.  I’ve never cared about the quality of my writing or becoming the number one aniblogger superstar, I’m too old to be acting like a child, and I figured that if I took on a project that was way over my head in terms of skill, it would make me a better writer. Even after all that posturing I still couldn’t come up with anything, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to write a review, but as fortune favors, I stumbled across some old VHS tapes of mine in a box and at that exact moment I knew I had to write about all the fun times I had with anime in highschool.

The amount of work that went into this was a bit extreme for me. I became a little disappointed when dating all the anime on my tapes and finding out that I wouldn’t be able to write about some of my favorites because they weren’t made/released in the 80’s. At first I started with stuff I actually owned english dubs of, but I found out the hard way that the english dubs for some the anime were released in the 90’s, so it wouldn’t make sense if I said I watched it back then.  I decided to cover those series anyway on the stipulation that the original was released in the 80’s, dub be damned.

I’d like to thank the following people and dear personal friends for inspiring me to continue and supporting me as a writer, and putting up with my “well what did you think” and forcing them to read my drafts. They are as follows:

HONORARY MOE

Yuri-Chan aka Yurinakamurachan – Thanks for all the kind words and cheering me on as I continued on the road of self harm that is writing about anime. I wrote most of the articles for you, mostly to keep the both of us entertained, and I hope you had as much fun reading them as I did writing them.

Nitroxide – You always get me laughing no matter how bad of a mood I’m in, your long and weird descriptions of things are always amusing, and your obsession with the web 2.0 never fails to get a chuckle out of me. I’ve given you a lot of snark comments and ridicule, but we all take it in stride.

Xlore – Thanks for all the laughs, the Japanese translations, and putting up with me for 3 long years about putting you on blast and insinuating that you’re more ghetto and black than you really are. I hope the Chinese Zodiac or some shit shines some fortune on your multilingual adventures.

Neil

Hss – Resident writer here at Moe-Alt, thanks for streaming Kamen Rider W and thoroughly distracting me from writing.

Cyrus – I really hope for the best on your choice to become an anti-life aniblogger like us, the Moe-Alt crew. Good luck buddy, I made it this far, and so can you.

Donny – You already know what you’ve done for me, that’s why we’re best buds.

And to all the commenters, Jura, Geha, Nil, all of you guys, you’re the best.

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5 responses to “1989 – A Year of Anime in Review [FINAL]

  1. Thank you for the effort. I really enjoyed your series of posts.

    You’re right on Patlabor. From the first time I saw it, I was hooked. Still am, as I usually watch episodes multiple times. It’s true that as a mecha show per se is not that exciting all the time, but it works out because when it does it (like the Griffin storyline) it works. I found Alphonse and the labors awesome, but my love of Patlabor is above all because of the characters: Noa, Asuma, Ota, Kanuka, Shige, Goto, Sasaki, Shinobu, Hiromi, Takeo, Miki.

    • There’s no doubting that Patlabor is good, but sometimes people go in with the wrong idea on what the show is about and end up hating it. Overall it’s a pretty solid anime and the TV series is fantastic.

  2. Thanks for all the posts!

    • No, thank you, Nil. For all the inspiration to make this and the Runback Recaps. You should issue more challenges on writing formats, haha.

  3. TheHerbalGerbil

    The thing about Patlabor – and the thing I actually liked most about it – is that the mechas were purposefully envisioned as these slow, lumbering things. The idea was to have a very “realist” feel, setting the series in the very near future of 1998-2000. Heck, when some of the clunkier-looking mechas move, you can hear the foley of a diesel engine.

    I mean, it gets tiresome when mechas can as fast as a Formula 1 car, fly, shed and rearrange broken body panels and shoot hundreds of rockets out of nowhere. Patlabor scaled the tech way back and made it seem interesting that the mechas could even walk straight sometimes.