Further Ruminations on Old School Anime

My thanks to all who have commented and participated in the poll below.   Your comments have forced me to think a little more about just what counts as old school anime.  In particular, I needed to think about how to separate it from both ancient anime and modern anime.  An old school anime has the following qualities:

  1. Not black and white
  2. Uses cel animation
  3. Character animation is less influenced by Disney’s style, usually with a sharper look
  4. Has a story which appeals to teenage and older anime fans, which appeal is proved by current fans of anime still seeking out these stories
  5. First aired between 1970 and 1999

D and Doris

The fifth point likely surprises some of my readers.  My old parameters for old school anime stretched from 1960 – 1989.  This was based on the misconception that Ashita no Joe, an old school anime par excellence, aired in 1967, and I expected to find many others like this show in style.  Ashita no Joe actually only officially aired in 1970 (a pilot episode did appear in 1969), and only two anime exist in the in 60’s to which do not strike me as ancient: Tiger Mask (1969) and Star of the Giants (1968).  Not enough to classify the 60’s as an old school decade!

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What Medieval Otaku’s Been Doing, Part II

Below are various shows I’ve been watching but have yet to finish.  Many of them are quite old with the oldest produced in 1978 and the latest in 2014.  Tomorrow or the day after, I propose to finally get around to writing about how I feel about the new season.  Let’s get started!

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1) Space Pirate Captain Harlock

Many of my dear readers may not understand the appeal of a thirty-seven year old anime.  After all, the animation is rougher, the action less fluid, and the characters often downright cartoony–a trait undesirable for many anime fans.  Also, the opening song is much more military sounding than in those found in contemporary shows.  Perhaps, it is the differences which make it my recent favorite.  Captain Harlock is a singular figure.  At first, I thought of him as the prototype for Alexander Row of Last Exile, but Captain Harlock is not a Byronic hero.  After watching over twenty episodes, Harlock’s personality strikes one as rather similar to Robert E. Lee’s.  (An article on that forthcoming.  And yes, my reference to General Lee in a prior article was not random.)  You’re not going to find a character comparable to one of the South’s greatest heroes in contemporary anime!

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Urusei Yatsura: The Folly of Romance

Here’s a post I originally intended for my column on Beneath the Tangles.  However, I forgot that the site is concentrating on Key visual novels for Holy Week.  But, the article came out decently well and it have a perfect screencap for April Fools’ Day, so I’m posting it here.  Next week, I’ll go back to writing about Ashita no Joe for the column Examining Old School Anime.  Hope that you enjoy it!

This April Fools’ Day, let’s take a break from Ashita no Joe and delve into Urusei Yatsura instead.  I wished to write about something more humorous than usual and figured that romantic love made for the perfect topic.  But, just how is romantic love a religious topic?  Why, moral theology concerns itself with romance, especially the sins of lust, more than any other topic!  Consider that two out of the ten commandments prohibit lust, one of the Six Precepts of the Roman Catholic Church bids us to follow Church laws on marriage, St. Paul singles out fornication as the sin to avoid most (1 Cor. 6:18), fornication was a prominent issue at the very first Church Council in the Acts of the Apostles, romance stands as the chief difference between the ordinary vocation (marriage) and the other three vocations (single, priestly, and religious), and Christ’s very relationship with the Church is described as a kind of romance with the Church as the bride of Christ.

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But, the Church deals with romance as a grave matter; however, that’s the least helpful way to deal with romance in one’s personal life.  Imagine proposing to someone by saying that they wish to marry them in order to build up the Body of Christ and cool the flames of lust.  How quickly would anyone run away from such a proposal!  St. Francis de Sales puts the matter much better: “If a man and woman love each other, they should marry.”  Love itself has been described in Plato as “divine madness.”  When one considers all the absurdities and misunderstandings concomitant with romantic love, the idea of divine madness applies to this form of love more perfectly than the others.  Traditionally, these misunderstandings are said to have been caused by the Fall.  Yet, since Adam and Eve did not realize the simple concept that they should talk over major decisions before making them, the relationship between the sexes could not have been too much better in the state of Original Justice.

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Anime Report for Winter 2015

 

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As you know, my dear readers, I’ve dedicated this season to watching the classics, with Ashita no JoeAngel Cop, and Urusei Yatsura featuring prominently among the following anime.  But some new shows managed to sneak onto my list due to the good things I have heard about them: Death ParadeAssassination ClassroomRolling Girls, and–most recently–KanColle.  Usually, this kind of post appears in the middle of the season and seems extraneous with the season’s end around the corner.  Yet, I wish to collect my thoughts on various shows and place them before you before writing my final ratings.  The shows are listed in order of enjoyment from least to greatest.

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Medieval Otaku’s First (and Possibly Last) Quick Takes

Nami of the Budding Philosopher’s Quick Takes have given me the inspiration for this kind of post.  As I understand it, the object is to quickly apprise one’s readers of the things uppermost on the blogger’s mind, which works for me.  You see, I won’t be writing another post until February because of a certain project I have underway.  But, I hope that these tidbits will tide you over until I am able to write a more polished article.  I’m even departing from my usual modus operandi by typing this out without relying on a prior handwritten draft.  At any rate, here are my seven quick takes for the week.

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Only five days separate me from the deadline for revisions in Athanatos Christian Ministries’ Novel Contest!  The other finalists promise to give me some stiff competition in my quest to take first prize, but I shall give it my all.  Since the Christmas season began, I’ve procrastinated because work has gotten busier, but I finally feel that I have the urgency necessary to dedicate enough time to the novel.  Pray for me and wish me luck!

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Winter Season 2015: A Season for the Classics

Of late, my interest in anime has grown less as I’ve turned more to history and literature–especially fantasy fiction.  Anime used to be the last thing I did before hitting the hay.  Now, I find myself devouring Frank Herbert’s Dune, Douglass Hulick’s Among Thieves, or The Lord of the Rings.  It’s the fourth time I’m reading the Lord of the Rings, but Tolkien never gets old.  In the near future, I’ll probably pick up E. R. Eddings The Worm Ouroboros and Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin, which one of my friends tells me has inspired him to finally start writing fiction.

Book before Bed

 

And so, Caraniel’s Winter 2015 Preview delighted me by revealing that the upcoming season is as bland as steel cut oatmeal.  You ask why I’m delighted?  Because only two new shows, Rolling Girls and Aldnoah.Zero 2, have sparked any interest in me, which encourages me to catch up on my backlog.  In particular, I find myself excited for the following three shows:

I have never heard of Colorado-style shooting.  Anyone else?

I have never heard of Colorado-style shooting. Anyone else?

1) Angel Cop

This very violent and anti-Communist show was recommended to me by my brother.  I usually don’t care as much for the style of animation seen here, but episode one was exciting and pleasantly diverged from the tone, characters and plot lines we see in contemporary shows.  Essentially, our heroes belong to an anti-terrorist force which tries to foil the leftist Red May terrorists.

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2) Urusei Yatsura

A friend of mine in college frequently recommended this show to me.  He would always say that recent stories from the pen of Rumiko Takahashi paled in comparison to shows like Ranma 1/2 and earlier.  I have been enjoying manga from the Rumic Theater, so it seems like the time is ripe to try Urusei Yatsura (literally, “Noisy Guys”).

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3) Ashita no Joe

Man!  What a great opening set of episodes!  The male protagonists actually have character!  The animators actually know how street fights work!  It’s amazing!  Concerning the fighting, I was shocked to see out main hero, Joe Yabuki, actually run away in order to gain a more favorable position in order to deal with large groups of opponents!  How often do we see our hero standing in the middle of a mob and somehow managing to deal with all of them coming from all sides rather than positioning himself so that he only has to deal with one or two at a time?  And the fights are hard-hitting to boot!

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You can tell that I’m all in on watching the transformation of Joe from a roguish thug to a world class boxer.  If Ashita no Joe continues to be so entertaining, the show shall surely enter my top ten.

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In the meantime, I need to finish Denno CoilEl Cazador de la BrujaHyouka, and Nadia: Secret of the Blue Water.  Once that happens and I finish all the shows which I think will end this season, my watch list for the first quarter of the new year should look like this:

  1. Akatsuki no Yona
  2. Aldnoah.Zero 2
  3. Angel Cop
  4. Ashita no Joe
  5. I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying
  6. Psycho-Pass 2
  7. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
  8. Urusei Yatsura

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Of course, I could not find accurate information for the projected length of certain of those shows.  So, if any of my dear readers notices that certain shows of the present season which will not run into the next, please tell me.  If I find more time or if any of the above shows have a shorter broadcast period than I thought, I’ll add The Flying Ghost Ship and Captain Harlock to this list.  What winter 2015 shows grabbed your attention?  Anyone else so disappointed with the upcoming season that they will end up watching shows on their backlog in preference to new shows?