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The Mike Toole Show - Yokoyama Watching Diary


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theoriginalbilis



Joined: 04 Aug 2005
Posts: 237
Location: Georgia
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Giant Robo was a lot of fun to watch, and very much what I'm looking for in an anime. Bombastic music, a diverse and memorable cast of characters, an absolutely epic dramatic storyline, and consistently polished animation throughout the OVA.

It's a shame many people can't get into the "retro" nature of it. Though I found it refreshing in its old-school aesthetics, everyone I've shown it to seems completely uninterested/indifferent towards it. Or they just look at the title and cover art and dismiss it entirely. Oh well...

A fascinating article as always, Mike!
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GracieLizzy



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 448
Location: Sunderland, England, UK
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:38 pm Reply with quote
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Mitsuteru Yokoyama also pretty much invented the magical girl genre, at least as it relates to TV anime. Inspired by the cartoon opener of American sitcom Bewitched, Yokoyama created Sally the Witch, the tale of a magical princess who comes to the human realm, in search of pals and adventures.


I'm guessing the "at least as it relates to TV anime" line is to do with the fact that Fujio Akatsuka's Himitsu no Akko-chan came first, but was animated second. That being said the anime of Akko-chan is a powerhouse in it's own right being remade three times as series and having several animated films based on it (though as far as I can tell from a quick googling these "movies" are like many magical girl "movies" actually only episode length specials by the looks of things). It got a live action film last year as well.

However I always thought it was cool as magical girl and mecha fan that both genres ow so much to Yokoyama he definitely cemented the magical princess witch trope, as well as you said the "tomboy and girly girl" friends.
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 704
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:50 pm Reply with quote
If you thought the 2001 Babel II TV series was boring (and it was), I must say the 2002 Shinseikiden Mars was even worse. Still, it made me want to check out the original manga just to see if Yokoyama really came up with stupid stuff like spoiler[that reporter spending the whole series trapped inside a lab and being forced to eat his belt and shoes to survive, until he dies of malnutrition].
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EmperorBrandon
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 04 Oct 2002
Posts: 1920
Location: Springfield, MO
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:58 pm Reply with quote
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Just like God Mars, Yokoyama handled the redesign himself, and then handed the show over to director Mamoru Kanda, who'd just proven his majokko worth by directing episodes of Mad House 's fantastic Card Captor Sakura.

That should be Mamoru Kanbe, though a few of his credits (including Comet-san) are currently listed in ANN Encyclopedia as "Mamoru Kobe" (I'll get to fixing that in the encyclopedia now).
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 971
Location: Puerto Rico
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:05 pm Reply with quote
I just finished watching the Giant Robo OVAs a few weeks ago. I had the music stuck in my head for days: I'd walk around, and find myself stomping like Giant Robo with that dang Polish orchestra in the (imagined) background. I'd stretch, and I'd imagine an army of Dan Greens shouting "Hail Big Fire! Allegiance or death!".

It came to a head a few days ago where I just had to pop the first DVD into my XBox and watch the intro: "In a future yet to be..."

Giant Robo is so much fun. It's a crime that it'll never get a decent sequel.
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4097
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:07 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Hey gang, have you got one of those tablet things yet? You know the deal-- not exactly computers, but not simple, dumb e-readers either. They're pretty ubiquitous these days-- they got touchscreens, they light up and play music and movies and games, and about 50% of ‘em are iPads.


I'll only get an iPad when Apple makes one with an optical media drive, so I can enjoy watching anime the same way I always have, on physical media.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 3498
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:13 pm Reply with quote
I really want to get into Giant Robo. It's still not too late to get into it, right?

I also want to say Sally the Witch was good when I saw it in South Korea back in 2009 (they sure know how to make the cutesy opening theme rock out hard). They must like that show a great deal since it re-aired constantly along with a lot of older classic anime on one channel. It's a shame Sally was never localized. I would have loved to see the entire thing.
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DavidShallcross



Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 1008
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:55 pm Reply with quote
I was very young when Gigantor ran on US television, but I still remember the theme song. Or at least "Gigantor, Gigantor, Gigan-tor!"
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3065
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:57 pm Reply with quote
I watched a few episodes of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms anime back when I was really into it because of the Dynasty Warriors series. Right now I am back into it because Dynasty Warriors 8 just came out last month and I have been playing that a lot. Really interesting looking, and the opening is pretty cool.

Giant Robo has been my favorite anime since I watched it on Manga streaming website. The action is amazingly inventive as Imagawa really knows how to use the abilities of each character.

Sadly those are really the only things I have watched of Yokoyama.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 271
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:01 pm Reply with quote
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If you won the lottery, would you finance a true sequel to the Giant Robo OVAs, or has their time come and gone?

At this point, I'm just hoping against hope that by some magic we can get the entire Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Burned manga. It's written by Imagawa, with art by Yasunari Toda, whose work has been seen over here in the Scryed and Gundam Seed Astray R comics.

Both of those have great (if at times hectic) artwork, but okay-to-forgettable writing, so to see him paired with a great writer - IMAGAWA, no less! - was awesome. A bit of it was scanlated a while back, and it's predictably unpredictable. Explosive, amazing, fun to read...and there's so much more of it out there... ;_;
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Mr Adventure



Joined: 14 Jul 2008
Posts: 1545
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:51 pm Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
Quote:
Hey gang, have you got one of those tablet things yet? You know the deal-- not exactly computers, but not simple, dumb e-readers either. They're pretty ubiquitous these days-- they got touchscreens, they light up and play music and movies and games, and about 50% of ‘em are iPads.


I'll only get an iPad when Apple makes one with an optical media drive, so I can enjoy watching anime the same way I always have, on physical media.

You do understand that what's on your DVD is identical to what's on your hard drive, yes? DVD is a digital storage medium.

Anyway. This was an awesome article! Yokoyama was so prolific. I'm disappointed that I'm only tenuously familiar with his work, mostly through derivative works (like Giant Robo).

Speaking of which, I think it's about time to pop Giant Robo in again.

And maybe track down that Tetsujin-28 remake. Though its probably obscurely had to find now (FYE probably has 3/4s of the series laying around for MSRP)
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Zump



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:20 am Reply with quote
My exposure to Yokoyama is limited to Giant Robo OVA (one of my top 3 anime of all time), Imagawa's Tetsujin 28 TV adaptation, and the original 60's Tetsujin 28 (under the title Gigantor). I'm about two volumes into Mars, and it's shaping up to be an interesting read. I've read a few chapters of Babel II, and I do want to read his Romance of the Three Kingdoms adaptation (also known as Sangokushi).

Quote:
That's actually true to Imagawa's form; he was notoriously behind schedule on Giant Robo, and his lack of attention to scheduling also contributed to him being relieved from duty as the director of Getter Robo: Armageddon after three episodes.


Damn. Is this why he doesn't get much work as a director, aside from the fact that his directorial works rarely turn a profit?
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1368
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:26 am Reply with quote
Tenchi wrote:
I'll only get an iPad when Apple makes one with an optical media drive, so I can enjoy watching anime the same way I always have, on physical media.


No one will make tablets with optical drives. It'd take up too much space and use too much power.
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classicalzawa
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Joined: 19 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:04 am Reply with quote
I really liked the 2004 Tetsujin-28 series. I was expecting it to be more kiddy in terms of themes, but it was more adult. Now, this was partially offset by the only kid other than Gary Oak to drive a full sized convertible being entirely noticeable, but I think it's a shame it didn't at least sell better. Once I figured out it was going for distinct arcs, then I think the pacing improved, but yeah, it did come off as slow for the first 5 episodes. I also really liked the opening and closing (they had the same scenes in different order, but completely different songs). I compared it to the original, and am very glad the bad guys no longer look like the KKK driving a car while being chased by the good guys. But I actually like the idea of sound effects in the opening. Though it's quite misleading as there are way less giant robot fights than you'd think in the actual show, just saying.

The first time I watched Giant Robo, I had no idea that all the characters were pulled from all over the place. I simply didn't question feudal warriors and a french guy in a pink suit at all, it somehow came off as being entirely normal to me. Or maybe I was too distracted by that train fight in the first episode. It really makes me wish they'd do something like that with Osamu Tezuka stuff (closest we have is the Omega Factor GBA game I think)
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3065
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:58 am Reply with quote
Zump wrote:
My exposure to Yokoyama is limited to Giant Robo OVA (one of my top 3 anime of all time), Imagawa's Tetsujin 28 TV adaptation, and the original 60's Tetsujin 28 (under the title Gigantor). I'm about two volumes into Mars, and it's shaping up to be an interesting read. I've read a few chapters of Babel II, and I do want to read his Romance of the Three Kingdoms adaptation (also known as Sangokushi).

Quote:
That's actually true to Imagawa's form; he was notoriously behind schedule on Giant Robo, and his lack of attention to scheduling also contributed to him being relieved from duty as the director of Getter Robo: Armageddon after three episodes.


Damn. Is this why he doesn't get much work as a director, aside from the fact that his directorial works rarely turn a profit?


I am pretty sure its more the latter since he has no problem doing tv work. Its simply that outside of Mister Ajikko and Mobile Fighter G Gundam most of Imagawa's work sold poorly in Japan.
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