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Thirty Years Ago: The Best Anime of 1987


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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:32 am Reply with quote
My first thought on seeing the title of the essay was: "So what does he think of Robotech?" Alas, Macross was 1982.....
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:39 am Reply with quote
All these anime are as old as I am.

...Urg.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2665
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:48 am Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
All these anime are as old as I am.

...Urg.


Yeah, I thought the timing was interesting since I'll be 30 very soon.


Also, the opening of the article is pretty accurate. It's hard for me to spend much time thinking about shows I've already watched when there is so much content coming out all the time. If there is one good thing about the pre-simulcast days for me, it's that I could go back and revisit shows mostly because there wasn't much else to watch legally without spending way too much on blind purchases.
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7jaws7



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
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Location: New York State
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:58 am Reply with quote
I was also born in '87...and besides City Hunter, I'm not sure I'd be interested in anything on that list Confused
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:02 am Reply with quote
Robotech was 1985... It started airing in the spring (March maybe?) and ran for two years straight all across the US. A lot of places DIDN'T see all episodes aired until 1986. Where I grew up, they didn't air the whole series until 1986 BUT they did start running from Episode 1 on up on Saturdays before they restarted broadcast (at Episode 1) when it was switched to daily stripping. It arrived just over two years after Macross finished its original run in Japan.


1987 -- WOW...! What a great year for classic anime.

I've actually seen most of these movies and TV shows.

I will say this for Overfiend. It defined my limits for entertainment. I'm just not into overly sadistic violence and rape anime. Not my thing... This series makes me cringe.

It's a shame over half these shows are out-of-print. Nice to see Robot Carnival FINALLY got a DVD release in the States... I'll have to pick it up. It's been on my backburner for far too long. It's still one of the best compilation anime features released. That film and Memories I would recommend. I still have the old Lumivision/Streamline Laserdisc of Robot Carnival.

The best sci-fi series by far on that list is Bubblegum Crisis. Very underrated today. Excellent soundtrack. It was far superior to the mid-1990s Bubblegum Crisis TV series in about every measurable way. The TV series reimagining was a hollow piece of junk that lacked the heart of the OVAs and reimagined the characters into plastic dolls. The OVAs were an example of that video release format at its best. I don't think a TV series produced at that time (late 1980s) -- even when they were doing a lot of GREAT animation (drawing) for TV would have been as good as the OVAs were. It was huge in the 1990s but the fact there has been a reimagining (BLECH!) of it on top of many, many imitators hasn't helped collective memory. It's virtually unknown to many people who've come into anime in the past 10 years but then again I've noticed most new fans don't seem to be interested in anything that's over 5 minutes old, or they're strictly fans of one show -- lots of Bleach, Dragonball, or Naruto-only crowd. Nothing wrong with that but it's kind of a narrow focus, IMHO... That and AnimEigo does absolutely NO PROMOTION for the licenses they still hold. What a shame... I can't imagine they sold that many BD copies (I bought it!) despite the Kickstarter. The company just seems half-dead now.

As far as Lupin III: Fuma Conspiracy goes -- I like it better than Castle of Cagliostro. I'm sorry... The main pedigree the other film has is that it's a Miyazaki film. Although it's still a good film, it just looks too much like Nausicaa to be honest (but I still like Nausicaa). Fuma Conspiracy has a lot of good things going for it despite the lack of the classic voice cast (who I adore). It has some great action sequences... There's a very well-animated car chase scenes that's one of the best in Lupin history and I daresay it was better-choreographed than most live-action car chases I've seen. It's a shame this film is out-of-print AGAIN and that there's no sign of a BD release yet. It's one of the better Lupin III movies, IMHO.

KOR -- another good series. Wish some licensing company could pick this up and re-release it on BD but there's a snowball's chance in hell of that happening for the West. Glad I got the AnimEigo DVDs while they were hot!
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MaxSouth



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:18 am Reply with quote
I do not find the the style of 1980s anime good at all, it takes a lot to make me watch an old anime; it has to be borderline historical for whole anime phenomenon.

3/4 angle view of faces are weirdly distorted as if one of the cheeks of characters is swollen, eyes' iris are sunken in side view and yet those characters are supposed to be attractive (is it a horrible mutation?), bubbly heads on short squarish bodies, truly weird colour palettes, supposedly mature male characters are voiced by actresses, super outdated, distinctly 1980s electronic sounds/music.

If, however, I would be able to discard all those superficial stylistic concerns (and I am not, but it is just me), then, there is no doubt that in general the anime of the era in the essence was not any worse than in 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, and even maybe better. I personally do not have an opinion on that since I did not watch enough of series from the time to make any rational judgement.


Last edited by MaxSouth on Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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Location: Windsor Ontario
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:20 am Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
Yeah, I thought the timing was interesting since I'll be 30 very soon.


I turned 30 last month. Wizard status: Achievement Unlocked.
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Ambimunch



Joined: 30 Aug 2012
Posts: 1958
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:59 am Reply with quote
I'm a very early 90s kid, so I grew up with 90s anime. Reading this list, though, made me interested to check out 80s shows. Not everything seems to be my cup of tea, but a few notable names popped up throughout my time on the internet - so I feel the urge to check them out.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:05 pm Reply with quote
Honorable mention goes to the Jojo's Bizarre adventuree manga that started in 1987 and David Productions will no doubt continue to make into a successful TV series next year.
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Ouran High School Dropout



Joined: 28 Jun 2015
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Location: Somewhere in MA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:40 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
It's a shame over half these shows are out-of-print. Nice to see Robot Carnival FINALLY got a DVD release in the States... I'll have to pick it up. It's been on my backburner for far too long. It's still one of the best compilation anime features released. That film and Memories I would recommend. I still have the old Lumivision/Streamline Laserdisc of Robot Carnival.

The best sci-fi series by far on that list is Bubblegum Crisis. Very underrated today. Excellent soundtrack. ... That and AnimEigo does absolutely NO PROMOTION for the licenses they still hold. What a shame... I can't imagine they sold that many BD copies (I bought it!) despite the Kickstarter. The company just seems half-dead now.

IIRC, the segments on the Robot Carnival laserdisc version were rearranged for some reason. The Discotek DVD restores the film to its original form.

As for AnimEigo's commercial presence, I have to agree. Didn't stop me from backing all three of their Kickstarters, though, and there's a vibe that after they're done with Riding Bean, they have something else in mind. I could easily be wrong, though...

Ambimunch wrote:
I'm a very early 90s kid, so I grew up with 90s anime. Reading this list, though, made me interested to check out 80s shows. Not everything seems to be my cup of tea, but a few notable names popped up throughout my time on the internet - so I feel the urge to check them out.

I'd start with the Bubblegum Crisis OVA! I agree that it's a great show that memory--not time--has not been kind to. The Blu-ray set is very impressive, but appears to be available only on AnimEigo's own site at the moment.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:41 pm Reply with quote
Starlight Angel is my favorite of Robot Carnival's offerings. That giant monster robot is still awesome to behold to this day.

Vaisaga wrote:
All these anime are as old as I am.

...Urg.


I'm older than these anime by four years. Haha, wow. XD
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Bunch of young whipper-snappers here.Wink
I was already 40 when these shows came out. I probably would not be aware of the existence of anime for another 15 years, but I did see some of them later.
I really liked Bubblegum Crisis and the Dirty Pair OVAs. I need to watch all of them again soon.
The only thing on my anime list that is not mentioned here is The Laughing Target, a short OVA from a story by Rumiko Takahashi.

I like these kinds of articles and threads because they give me good ideas about things to watch, or watch again, which is something that I have needed recently.
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catbot158



Joined: 04 Mar 2017
Posts: 39
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:05 pm Reply with quote
I wasn't even born when these shows came out (I was around for the boom of the moe era), but I still like a lot of 80s anime (and 80s stuff in general) because how grimy but imaginative a lot of shows were. There's just something so different about that I can't put my finger on, but whenever I see artwork or hear 80s music, I get a weird nostalgic swell inside. Maybe that's the power of the 80s!

KOR's probably the one I'm most attached to (since I funded the manga Kickstarter) because of the music and artwork. I haven't seen the original Bubblegum Crisis OVAs. That seems like it would be fun to watch too...
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EricJ2



Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(I already know I most likely jumped the gun by listing Dirty Pair: Project E.D.E.N. in last year's 1986 piece instead of here, so you can omit that one.)


But we can still mention Dirty Pair OAV/Season 2, can't we? Or was that '88?

Quote:
Whoever would have thought (BGC's) most enduring contribution to anime thirty years later would be the scenes early on in which the milquetoast guy lusts after his sister?


No, the most enduring image that Bubblegum created was the early 90's Western "B-ko" idea that ALL 80's anime had girls in curvy armored mecha suits, when it was really only a few series, plus the fact that AnimEigo didn't have too many other series subbed out there yet to get hooked on. (And Big Hero 6's Gogo Tomago was better in the Marvel comic than in the Disney movie.)
It was the one title most non-clubbers knew back then or saw on shelves, so we went with that as the cool be-all image of anime, if we weren't watching the afternoon Robotech shows, or making yellow-peril jokes about Overfiend.

Quote:
(And before you start in the comments, I'll have you know that Lum as originally conceived was all “tsun” and no “dere”!)


Yes, but the AnimEigo Effect didn't work quite so well for convincing us that KOR Was All Anime Romcom, though, as no one really got hooked on it by the time the company was experimenting with Urusei Yatsura-by-mail, and KOR's mildly droll and overly subplotted fantasy-harem didn't raise much of a blip in comparison outside of fans classic-analyzing the Movie.
Back then, any fan mention of KOR was imagining ways you hoped to kill Hikaru, and the obsessive "Darling" thing didn't help the comparisons either.

Quote:
Manie Manie: Labyrinth Tales was renamed Neo-Tokyo upon its later US release in an attempt to cash in on the success of Akira; a motive that was behind a great many decisions in international anime publishing.


Meaning, it was a motive behind 51% of Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures thinking, ie. to grab anything that Otomo had ever worked on in his career and slap the A-word on it. (Qv. the Roujin Z mention in the "Technology" column.)
Robot Carnival still survives time, despite it being odd and 80% dialogue-free, but I was in a theater of then non-anime fans watching "Neo Tokyo" and trying to parse the opening Rintaro segment....Owie.
If it's only remembered for "the MTV bit", so be it. That's pretty much half of what we remember from MTV's 90's-animation glory days, either.

Quote:
I designate this “most likely for Samuel L. Jackson to have seen.”


I like this comment. It's sort of the polar equivalent of "The Ebert List". Razz
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varmintx



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 1045
Location: Covington, KY
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:12 pm Reply with quote
Well, if the realization that Robot Carnival and Neo Tokyo are now 30 years old hadn't already done it, this thread has made sure that I feel proper old today.
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