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Messages - InsaneDavid

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Good evening old schoolers!

Closing out April today and I will admit it still feels more strange rather than normal to not be preparing for an in-person FanimeCon during this time of the year.  I suppose that's a good thing, means my interest in cosplay and conventions hasn't lessened in this time away from them.  Really glad to see things starting to turn around in regards to the ongoing pandemic, at least in my area.

This week's OP, from Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, is one I enjoy although I absolutely do not care for the series it leads off.  Southern Cross just never clicked with me - nor did it with Japanese viewers in 1984, as it was canceled before its originally planned ending due to low ratings.  Not exactly the best way to follow up the other two unrelated "Super Dimension" series - Macross and Orguss - which were both quite successful, especially Macross (although Orguss is way better and you all know it.....)  Still has a cool opening song though!

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross (1984)

Good evening old schoolers!

As I'm sure many of you have seen, virtual FanimeCon 2021 has awoken a bit.  While we won't be gathering this year (and our vintage anime panel is being rolled forward to 2022 as it has so much audience participation / discussion), I am really happy to see Fanime attempt to provide some content and added value for those who registered back in 2019 / 2020.

For this week I've chosen an ending that totally brings back that old school anime vibe, especially if you were into anime during the 1990's western boom.  I love Dominion Tank Police and have since I first saw it.  I also amazingly still find it just as hilarious today as I did 25 or so years ago.  Of course it also ran during Sci-Fi Channel's "Festival of Anime" albeit in a slight edited form, so it's an obscure one a lot of people may have seen.  It's also one of the series that I will endlessly advocate that the English dub is the best way to watch it.  It blows my mind it is currently out of print and has been for so many years - kind of crazy considering it's such a short OVA.  There have been a lot of reworks and interpretations of this property (in fact this OVA is a rough prequel to the manga) but this is still what I like best.  Simple as the dub music is, it just fits so much better with everything - but that could be nostalgia talking.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Dominion / Dominion Tank Police (1988) (ENDING - Dub)

Good very late evening old schoolers!

Another random pick this week but one that is a series I very much enjoy.  Galaxy Express 999 is a long series, which can make it seem like it drags a bit here or there for some.  I've always thought that was kind of the point however, as the journey shows what a genuinely screwed up and dark place the galaxy is - and it only gets worse the further Tetsuro and Maetel travel.  Seriously, after awhile I just want to see them catch a break and spend one layover on one calm planet.  The entire series has been released in wonderful quality, subtitled in English, in three box sets and can be purchased currently.  If the runtime is too daunting, an alternate telling of the series is featured as the first Galaxy Express 999 movie - which ran on the Sci-Fi Channel at one point, exposing GE999 to the mainstream during the 90's anime boom.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Galaxy Express 999 (1978)

Panels and Workshops / Re: Virtual Panels?
« on: April 11, 2021, 03:46:41 PM »
so info on panels is now up (the submission form is yet to go up).
So looks like it will be via zoom although you can submit a pre-recorded video.

Yup... I'm postponing until 2022, just doesn't work for me with a virtual configuration.  Props to Fanime for offering something this year though!

Good late evening old schoolers!

A bit of a random pick for this week, a series that began as a strategy RPG / dating sim / visual novel and pretty much exploded into all Japanese media.  The Sakura Taisen TV series is an adaptation of the first video game and is reasonably entertaining - also an accessible place to start if the property looks interesting to you.  Should also be noted that the original 1996 Saturn game has been fan translated fairly recently.

Celebrating An Era - 2000!  Sakura Taisen TV (2000)

Good evening old schoolers!

Starting this month off with a series that premiered 24 years ago today.  Revolutionary Girl Utena borrows a little here and there from shojo of the past and builds upon it with a more modern focus and unique approach - both serious and unapologetically over the top all at once.  This was obviously a very important series during the 90's anime boom in the West - both for anime and manga.  It truly was a revolutionary series, following a lineage first first began in 1953 with Osamu Tezuka's Princess Knight but expanding upon what came before to smash through into a genre of its own.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)

Good evening old schoolers!

Closing out March with a classic space opera and a cornerstone of the Leiji Matsumoto universe - Space Pirate Captain Harlock.  While I always recommend Galaxy Express 999 as an outstanding 1970's anime, admittedly it does run really long and it's easy to lose interest.  Harlock on the other hand gives you that same type of downtrodden adventure with a third less of the episodes.  I actually watched the whole series again a couple years ago, two episodes a night, on a free streaming channel and truly enjoyed it beginning to end.  I think spreading it out like that - how it was intended and broadcast - did a lot to really enhance that.  Give this one a shot, it's really enjoyable and filled with iconic characters.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1978)

Good evening old schoolers!

This week I have an OP that I am very excited to share.  Grimm Masterpiece Theater is a collection of classic fairy tales adapted from the collected works of the Brothers Grimm.  The stories generally follow the folk tales as they are known, with a few alterations and twists as the Grimm stories have been subject to from the beginning.

While this may seem like an obscure series to be excited about, it's also one that a lot of us have probably had exposure to.  Grimm Masterpiece Theater and its companion series (New Grimm Masterpiece Theater) were adapted for American audiences under the title "Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics" and rather famously aired on Nickelodeon for many, many, many years throughout the 1990's.  The English adaptation has so many classic anime English voice actors throughout, it really is kind of a wonderful snapshot of quality syndication dubbing of the time.  This includes a few appearances of my personal favorite voice actor, Mike Reynolds.

I'm presenting this one today as Discotek Media is going to release the first series on SD Blu-ray at the end of May!  In addition to finally having the original Japanese version with English subtitles, it will also have the entire dub version of each episode that had an English release.  While I'll have to wait until the second volume is released for Bearskin, my favorite Grimm story, this is one of those "it'll never be released" series that we're going to be getting in just a few months.  I am overly excited about this one.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Grimm Masterpiece Theater (1987)

I picked up the manga not long ago and was quite surprised by some of the content lol.

Yeah, it is kind of a trip compared to the anime series.  In retrospect while it seems like they got away with a lot in the anime, compared to the manga it's super tame.  The action and comedy used to make up the difference basically reset the template for action shojo anime from then on, so I suppose it all worked out in the end.

Good evening old schoolers,

Going with a Go Nagai classic today, perhaps not his most influential work but that's only because so much of his work was incredibly influential.  The original Cutey Honey (and yes, I'll always spell Cutey that way) anime series is a lot of fun and far more approachable for the masses as it's toned down quite a bit from the original manga - which is also available in English!  There are a bunch of sequels and re-imaginings of the lovely warrior but I still totally recommend the original anime - even if New Cutey Honey is my personal favorite.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Cutey Honey (1973)

Good evening old schoolers,

How about a relatively unknown one with a cool style, awesome opening theme, and a very small animation budget?  Violinist of Hameln had a very long running manga series which spawned this loose anime adaptation.  Unfortunately the budget was so tight that the animators were forced to use still images for massive parts of it all.  Perhaps a further condensed rewrite could have gone better?  Who knows.  There is also a very charming Super Famicom (Super Nintendo) game that has a wonderful English fan translation.  It's an action platform puzzler unlike anything else, definitely worth checking out.  The entire anime series has also been fansubbed but this can be a hard one to find these days.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Violinist of Hameln (1996)

Good evening old schoolers,

As I am sure you are aware, FanimeCon 2021 cannot be held in-person and will instead be a virtual event.  As the notion of a gathering is to bring people together in person, we will be rolling the gathering ahead to 2022, when hopefully FanimeCon will be able to be held physically once again.  We are fully committed to hosting this gathering (as well as our Vintage Anime panel) in 2022.

Until then, not much changes here.  I'm still going to continue to share an old school anime opening or ending right up until Fanime, as usual.  Yeah, I'm going to keep it rolling until 2022.  The Facebook event page has been updated to reflect this, and the forum thread will be updated as well shortly.

With the expected delay and postponement to 2022, I decided to go with my favorite of all the Sailor Moon endings this week, that of Sailor Moon R.  Otome no Policy "A Maiden's Policy" is also my favorite song in the entire franchise.  The ending itself is perfectly matched to the music and showcases Usagi's double life in a very subtle way - along with some interesting animation motion.  I've also always felt it to be the most "Usagi" of all the Sailor Moon music, not entirely confident but tenacious in positivity.  Perfect song for the announcement of further Fanime deferment and presentation of virtual events for this year.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R (1993) (ENDING)

As per a comment on Facebook from FanimeCon to a comment on their announcement post about 2021 virtual / 2022 rollover -

"Please send your refund request to and include your registration information (full name, e-mail, and confirmation number)."

Personally I'm fine with advance funding a convention that has given so much to me over the years.  However I know that's absolutely not everyone and at this point you should have a choice.

Hello old schoolers!

A bit late with the post for this week but here it is - we're still going with these!  This week is a modern take on a classic tokusatsu show, Android Kikaider: The Animation.  Of all the anime that ran on Cartoon Network at one time or another, to me this was the one that was the most subtly adult.  Also a series that one doesn't see talked about much but if you bring it up, so many people seem to have really enjoyed it or at least watched an episode at one point.

Celebrating An Era - 2000!  Android Kikaider: The Animation (2000)

Good evening old schoolers!

With Valentine's Day this weekend, I thought the OP from my favorite shojo series was in order.  I simply love Marmalade Boy.  The premise sounds really out there - two couples run into one another on holiday and fall in love with the other's spouses, so they divorce and swap partners.  Rather than break apart their families they decide to buy a big house and all live in it together - including their teenage daughter Miki and teenage son Yuu.  Miki and Yuu don't get along much at first but over the massive run time of the series (76 episodes) their relationship grows as they fall for one another.  That's just one part of a very complex drama with a very diverse and developed cast.  As odd as that all may seem, it really is just the sweetest shojo anime and my love for it has never diminished since first watching it.  It has also been re-released by Discotek Media after being out of print and very expensive for many years!

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Marmalade Boy (1994)

Good evening old schoolers!

For this week I have picked Macross II, simply because it doesn't get nearly enough love for what it is.  Sure, Macross II: Lovers Again has become the black sheep of the Macross franchise but if it wasn't for this series keeping some level of the fire burning, Macross probably wouldn't be as long-lasting as it is today.  Macross II is what stirred the pot that eventually gave us awesome things like Macross Plus and Macross 7.  For that it deserves some respect, also "Riding in Your Valkyrie" is my favorite Macross song, and Wendy Ryder is the best Macross pop idol - you know it's true.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  The Super Dimension Fortress Macross II: Lovers Again (1992)

Good evening old schoolers!

While the immediate future of FanimeCon remains to be uncertain, I will continue to post a classic anime OP or ED every week until the convention - and this gathering - resumes.

To close out January, here's an opening from the first series in a franchise I truly love.  The first Cyber Formula series is a lot like Mach GoGoGo / Speed Racer except in the near-future where a combination of super powerful cars equipped with AI navigators have advanced motorsport to its highest echelon - Cyber Formula.  While the first series takes an "anything goes" format, the sequels fall more in line with what would be expected of a motorsports formulae that would surpass F-1.  Teams come and go, new characters are introduced, old characters leave, business relationships are formed and broken, romantic relationships grow and fall apart - it really is a spectacular franchise across five very distinct series.  The original Cyber Formula actually had an English subtitled box set release on DVD but has long since went out of print.  Double-One (series 2) and Zero (series 3 - also my favorite) have pretty excellent fan translations, while Saga (series 4) and Sin (series 5) have passable "HK subs" that can be slogged through.  The whole thing really needs a proper subtitled re-release / release.

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Future GPX Cyber Formula (1991)

Good evening old schoolers!

This week's OP is one chosen at random.  While reasonably obscure, Esteban Child of the Sun may be better known to some as The Mysterious Cities of Gold.  This is French-Japanese co-production, with the English version airing during Nickelodeon's early days.  Yeah, this is one of those strange cartoons that would run early on weekdays (the French series Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea being another one) that I would often catch just a glimpse of if I was up early enough.

Celebrating An Era - 1980's!  Esteban Child of the Sun (1982)

Good evening old schoolers!

Today's OP was chosen as I was working on a Mazinger Z model kit today.  Go Nagai created so many influential works but in my opinion none had as big an impact as Mazinger Z - more or less creating the super robot genre as it has been known since.  Even if you're not familiar with the series, all it takes is one viewing of the opening sequence and you're sure to be reminded of something you've seen another later series.  Heck, my all time favorite tokusatsu hero - Jet Jaguar - is essentially a combination of Mazinger Z and Ultraman.  Apologies in advance if you're walking around later with "supa roboto - Mazinger Zetto!" stuck in your head.

Celebrating An Era - 1970's!  Mazinger Z (1972)

Good ...well I guess it would be night... old schoolers!

A little late today but I haven't forgotten.  How about a mecha series that is part of an anime institution, has what many consider one of the best hero mecha designs of the franchise, an incredibly well designed and animated opening, a spectacular theme song, buuut... a hero character most don't like and a story that people seem to love or hate?  Yeah, it's Stardust Memory.  Can't say I disagree about a lot of the flack this series gets - I really need to watch it again soon and see if my opinion has changed.  Amazing OP though - and it is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!

Celebrating An Era - 1990's!  Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (1991)
*** 30th Anime Anniversary ***

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