General anime thoughts/discussion thread.

ayase

State Alchemist
Much as I love NDTP with its glossier production values and wailing guitars, I kind of prefer the original Dominion too. The original has a much more post-apocalyptic flavour (it’s always night, you could die from going out without a mask) that I think throws the silly humour into sharper relief. It’s a bit like the early part of Red Dwarf; no matter how bad the future is, people will still make knob jokes.
You’ve probably hit it on the head there Prof, I was thinking as I was writing my post “Was it just darker?” and while I was thinking colour palette rather than content, it's probably a bit of both. Then there's how alien the whole setting looks with all those organic buildings - I watched the first two episodes again today and was reminded how much I appreciated Buaku as an antagonist too, I think New Dominion suffers from his absence.

While we're talking Oshii and Shirow, it's interesting to note that both the Dominion and Patlabor OVAs debuted in 1988. While they're a bit different in tone and setting, they have a very similar premise of a group of oddballs in mechanised law enforcement with a bad reputation, and a cast led by a new female recruit with a slightly unhealthy attatchment to her vehicle. I have to wonder, was this a Dennis the Menace style unlikely coincidence or did the Dominion manga (which had been out for two years at that point) have some influence on the development of Patlabor? Though I guess even if Oshii did in some way rip off Shirow, he certainly made it up to him later by helping to make GitS the juggernaut of a franchise it became so he could sit back on his royalties and draw porn for the rest of his life... Or maybe that wasn't such a good thing, Conflict 2 when, Shirow?

While doing that, I also stumbled across a trailer for Manga's dub of Space Adventure Cobra. This was from the days when dubbing actually meant reversioning, and Manga had decided that the original musical score was not up to snuff, so they'd replaced it wholesale with music by a band of the time called Yello. I haven't seen the film at all, but it would be interesting to see and hear the two different versions.
I have a genuine nostalgia for Manga's mangling in their old dubs. In a time where you can have multiple audio tracks on a disc (or even a stream) it no longer feels like quite the travesty to the source material it once did, more like added entertainment value. There's also something quite nice about hearing British VAs, even if most of the time they are putting on unsuccessful attempts at US accents.
 
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Neil.T

Mad Scientist
did the Dominion manga (which had been out for two years at that point) have some influence on the development of Patlabor?
That's all an interesting line of thought. For my own part, my anime collection isn't arranged alphabetically on my shelves: it's organised partly thematically, partly by creator. Because of all that, I have my Ghost in the Shell and Mamoru Oshii stuff next to the Masamune Shirow-derived titles, so sitting right next to New Dominion Tank Police is the pair of Patlabor movies. I guess that's because I had those two down as "maverick mecha", if you will, so I think the connection is undeniably there.

I have a genuine nostalgia for Manga's mangling in their old dubs. In a time where you can have multiple audio tracks on a disc (or even a stream) it no longer feels like quite the travesty to the source material it once did
This is another interesting thing. Although I could never say I'm really a fan of the old Streamline dub of Akira, it's certainly nice to have it as one of the three audio tracks on the most recent UK BD edition of the film. I've never really seen the point of watching anime dubbed, but I'll admit that my view has softened in recent years. Part of that is probably from giving the dub of GitS Arise a try, which I reckon does give it a bit of a better script with some sharper dialogue, but also because of Miyazaki's The Wind Rises. That is honestly the best piece of dubbing work you will ever hear, I reckon; it's the closest you could ever get to just switching out the language while keeping the tone of everything intact, and the very few alterations there are to the script actually even make it a bit richer than the original, I would argue. But I still love Hideaki Anno's voice performance in the lead role in the original soundtrack too!

Cheekily though, Manga did use ‘Oh Yeah’ to promote the Yello soundtrack in the trailer, despite it not appearing in the film...
That was the very trailer I recently saw on that VHS tape I mentioned before, and just automatically assumed that track was included in the film!

Space Adventure Cobra is one of the earlier DVD Manga titles that I just never got around to buying before it went OOP. I still keep an eye out for it second-hand, and the fact that there's also a Manga Force packaging of it out there too helps bump up the number of extant copies. The last time I saw it on a shop shelf, I read the back of the box and just kind of assumed the dub included on it was the one from that trailer. Another bad assumption. That's a shame, because I would like to have heard it.

I can still hear the voiceover on the teaser for it as I type this, promising "It's gonna be one hell of a film!" Even the trailers for those old dubs are something from a bygone era. :)
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
Pour one out for Manga Video trailer man, I miss his gravely tones.

I do recommend the film if you get the chance though; I think a lot of people don't like it, as it skews closer to something like Heavy Metal than what we typically see in anime, but it's actually one of my favourites. Discotek put it out on DVD and I think BD as well, but sadly the only way to see the Yello version is to either find the old VHS or the fan-made re-encode that's floating about online.

Funnily enough, there's a similar situation with the Patlabor movies - I believe the Manga Video dub is thought to be superior than the later one on the Bandai (?) releases, but it seems to have been lost to time.

Then there's how alien the whole setting looks with all those organic buildings
Yeah, I was forgetting about the buildings - again, it really plays into the eco-disaster in the background, they're like skyscrapers made from raw clay. I sometimes wonder if Shirow originally trained to be an architect, his cityscapes are always so well realised.

While we're talking Oshii and Shirow, it's interesting to note that both the Dominion and Patlabor OVAs debuted in 1988. While they're a bit different in tone and setting, they have a very similar premise of a group of oddballs in mechanised law enforcement with a bad reputation, and a cast led by a new female recruit with a slightly unhealthy attatchment to her vehicle.
Heck, when you take Leona's red hair in the original OVAs into account, she and Noa even look alike...
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I've never really seen the point of watching anime dubbed, but I'll admit that my view has softened in recent years.
It’s interesting you mention Arise, I find SAC to be one of the very few instances where I actually prefer the dub, almost entirely on the strength of Mary Elizabeth McGlynn’s Motoko, whose (frankly gorgeous) voice for me absolutely embodies the calm strength of the character. It’s certainly not perfect, as with a lot of dubs the English VAs sometimes have to rush through their lines at a somewhat unnatural pace (usually poor Richard Epcar, who I do also like a lot as Batou, but who often seems to have to cram about four words into the space of two because of the differences between English and Japanese) but I find it difficult to imagine those characters with other voices now, which is why I don’t think I could get into the Arise dub. It’s possibly a factor in why I’ve never really gotten into Arise full stop, the third and fourth OVAs have sat unwatched on my shelves for a while now and I don’t even own the movie.

What I would have liked to see, but is unlikely ever to come to pass, is the original Oshii film re-dubbed with McGlynn as Motoko - I don’t mean to be harsh but her English VA in that film was really not great. 2.0 would have been a good opportunity and maybe that would have given me reason to watch that a second time.

The only other dub I feel similarly about is Black Lagoon, for Maryke Hendrikse’s perfect Revy.
 

Neil.T

Mad Scientist
It’s interesting you mention Arise, I find SAC to be one of the very few instances where I actually prefer the dub
In the Arise dub, Aramaki is voiced by Funimation VA John Swasey, and I think his voice just fits so well. The delivery of his lines is fantastic. You know a dub is hitting the right notes when the Logicomas are just as kawaii as they are in the original Japanese!

As someone who is undeniably not as fussy about GitS as a fan would be, I do enjoy Arise up to a point, and that point would be the movie. The ongoing just becomes so bloody complicated by then that I'm forced to passively sit there through each new development thinking "Okay. I'll take your word for it."

I admit I've only seen the film twice, but then there's a reason for that, isn't there? Even streaming episodes 9 and 10 of Alternative Architecture, which act as a bridge between the OVAs and the movie, didn't help me follow things much better. Approach with caution!

I do recommend the film if you get the chance though
I'll take that recommendation, Prof. :)
At the very least, I'd be interested in seeing it; I do like the clever analogue-era visual trickery that director Osamu Dezaki always seemed to conjure up. Hell, they even make Golgo 13: The Professional just about watchable! :p
The things he did by incorporating unusual lighting techniques into shooting the cels is really something worth seeing.

Are the visuals in Cobra anything along those lines? Any freeze-frame Dezaki sakuga in there?
 

SadBunny

Completely Average High School Student
Never actually seen any episode of Boruto and only read bits of the Naruto manga, but I always get a kick of seeing clips of where all the characters from Naruto ended up. Same with Dragon Ball Super, haven’t bothered watching beyond a few clips here and there mostly of what happened to everyone after Z.
 

Professor Irony

Railgun
AUKN Staff
I'll take that recommendation, Prof. :)
At the very least, I'd be interested in seeing it; I do like the clever analogue-era visual trickery that director Osamu Dezaki always seemed to conjure up. Hell, they even make Golgo 13: The Professional just about watchable! :p
The things he did by incorporating unusual lighting techniques into shooting the cels is really something worth seeing.

Are the visuals in Cobra anything along those lines? Any freeze-frame Dezaki sakuga in there?
At last, someone else shares my enthusiasm for Dezaki!

But yeah, absolutely. Dezaki worked on the Cobra film and series just before Golgo (they might even have been in production at the same time), and it really shows. Despite the more fantastical setting, I don't think they pushed the boat out quite as far with Cobra (nae stop-motion skeletons), but there's still plenty of Dezaki's best plays on show - freeze frames, split screening, weird angles, it's all there. Interestingly, Hayao Miyazaki of all people is credited as a key animator on the film, but I've never heard anyone pin down what parts were his.

This is from the series rather than the film, but I would recommend Cobra to anyone interested in traditional animation techniques; they spent some serious cash on it and it's absolutely loaded with sakuga.

artist unknown koji morimoto space adventure cobra animated beams character acting effects running | #25172 | sakugabooru
 

Neil.T

Mad Scientist
At last, someone else shares my enthusiasm for Dezaki!
Oh, totally. I mean, you'll have seen more Dezaki than I have, Prof., because I've only seen a pair of Golgo outings (The Professional and Queen Bee) and the Black Jack movie. I must watch Black Jack again.

But yeah, The Professional really plays like a showcase of analogue visual effects. Whether it be hand-animated lighting with an attention-grabbing quirk, or a selection of in-camera lighting tricks, it's clear that Dezaki really wanted to push the envelope. Within The Professional's first few scenes, you've got: a red-hued tracking shot looking through the sight of a rifle; the hand-drawn mirage-like reflection of a sports car on baking-hot asphalt; a sparkly, shimmering view of brilliant sunlight on the surface of the ocean; and also your aforementioned animated skeletons in the opening title sequence. It's certainly ambitious, and the results are visually impressive.

Interestingly, Hayao Miyazaki of all people is credited as a key animator on the film, but I've never heard anyone pin down what parts were his.
I did actually notice Miyazaki's involvement when I was looking it up on MAL. I honestly had no idea of that before. I wonder what he made of the content! 😅
 
Hopefully this new Crunchyroll ps4 update has fixed the constant resolution dropping problem, was starting to get on my nerves.
Oh I thought that was on my end, it was doing my head in last week when I watched Mob Psycho, watched last nights episode without drops though so hopefully that's the case and it's was on their end.
 

Neil.T

Mad Scientist
I also wrote a review of it for my blog. There are no big spoilers. If you do enjoy the article though, perhaps you might like to check out my entire Casshern retrospective on the original 1973 show, the 1993 OVA and the movie as well! (If you've got the time that is!)

Casshern Retrospective Part 4: CASSHERN SINS (2008)
Casshern Retrospective Part 3: CASSHERN (2004)
Casshern Retrospective Part 2: CASSHERN ROBOT HUNTER (1993) Anime Review
NEO HUMAN CASSHERN (1973) Anime Review
And finally I find the opportunity to read all of @Scrambled Valkyrie's Casshern articles. They're very interesting. I've only seen Casshern Sins, so I really didn't know very much about the franchise as a whole. Reading these articles has given me a much better understanding of how Sins has played around with the long-standing elements of the Casshern story.

The articles are well worth a read for any retroheads out there. I love the care and effort that's clearly gone into writing them, and they cover all the key details that're useful to know. Hats off for them. :)
 
Thanks Neil. I love the franchise and since a lot of people are only familiar with Sins I thought it was worth writing. Not only to encourage people to see all of the different iterations but also to try and fill in a few gaps so that if you don't watch all of them (I realise the 1973 original isn't going to be for everyone) that you can still appreciate (as you say) how they updated elements of the classic show or created new twists on it. I'm really pleased that you enjoyed them. I don't get much feedback on my articles so nice comments like this are very encouraging. Thanks. It REALLY means a lot to this old school fan.

Things have been a bit busy for me lately so I haven't written as much as I'd like but I'm hoping to get another article written this weekend.
 
Seriously though, this literalism in titles is getting me down. Whatever happened to just combining English words with zero relevance to the show in question, Japan? Bubblegum Crisis, Cowboy Bebop, that was a naming convention I could get behind.
I like those anime titles that're one Japanese word and one English word — you know, like Kokoro CONNECT or Kiniro MOSAIC. In fact, I already have some prepared to pitch to Japanese animation studios. How about...

Furikake TANGO
(Furikake: a seasoning sprinkled on top of rice.)
An anime about an aspiring chef who is also an amateur ballroom dancer. He has opportunities to pursue cooking as a career, but his dancing partner is someone he'd like to get to know better outside of their developing dance partnership... 😉

Bangohan MELODY
(Bangohan: evening meal.)
Cute girls doing cute things. Sitting around eating, chatting, singing... and friendship!

Shizurai HAT-TRICK
(Shizurai: "difficult to do".)
A football (or "soccer") anime set within the J-League, following the young protagonist who aspires to emulate his multiple hat-trick-scoring hero.

Tokidoki ALWAYS
(Tokidoki: sometimes, from time to time.)
A romance/comedy/drama about the ongoing and amusingly volatile on/off relationship of the featured couple. Her: "It's not like I'm doing this for you or anything." Him: "Hmph. Whatever."

Dekoboko DOMINATOR
(Dekoboko: bumpy, uneven.)
An S&M sci-fi space opera set on board the titular ship. Yes. You heard.

Pecopeco POMPOM
(Pecopeco: starving, famished.)
I have no idea what this one is about yet. Anyone? 😅
 
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