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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:22 pm Reply with quote
AREA 88 is a genuine anime classic as far as I'm concerned, but I think you did a fair job assessing it in terms of how it will appeal to some audiences more than others. I discovered part of it on VHS in a video store in the early 2000s and then saw the rest through the ADV DVD release several years afterward. I wasn't sure what to expect, but what I got was A.) amazing animation with creative action sequences, and B.) an unexpectedly compelling story featuring a set of colorful characters dealing with moral dilemmas and powerful motivations that really make the viewer care about their fates. spoiler[(The scene where Shin survives in the desert only to find his way back to AREA 88 is so powerful and brilliantly done.)] I did not expect such heart, and that's what makes the action and story all the more interesting and memorable, despite any weaknesses therein. (It has a strong, catchy soundtrack that drives its action as well, and the English dub is very good.)

I wish I had a better idea of what was changed between the OVA and theatrical versions, and what versions were previously released compared to this new release, but that information seems hard to find clarity on.

Also, as I understand it, neither this original adaptation or the TV remake ever adapted the full story of the manga, which is a little disappointing. But maybe it's for the best, as it does seem to leave things on an intriguing note that's open to more interpretation and is therefore perhaps thematically stronger.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3094
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:44 pm Reply with quote
His hair makes him look like Trowa Barton from Gundam Wing.
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Hellfish



Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Posts: 376
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Well I was not expecting the older anime of area 88 to be licensed. That is good Very Happy
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Dumas1



Joined: 20 Dec 2012
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:01 pm Reply with quote
Glad to see some other friends of an old favourite. I think Area 88 was the first subbed anime I ever watched when a friend of mine rented it from Blockbuster. I don't know if he knew it was related to the UN Squadron shoot-em-up game we'd played on SNES, but that was a big reason I remember watching it.
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Galap
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Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 2228
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:16 pm Reply with quote
I really liked area 88. Awesome animation and great themes. Except the ending. That was pointless and stupid.
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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Location: London, UK
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:40 pm Reply with quote

The ending was sensible, I would contend. The show's theme of spoiler[someone's distressing circumstances warping and alienating them] was punctuated quite nicely by the closing scene. Consider, for instance, how the alternating cuts between the sky and the cockpit highlighted the sense of distance between the subject and their wider world.

Not an optimistic outlook, but not a confused one either.
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Saphiro01



Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 69
Location: California
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:51 pm Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:
I wish I had a better idea of what was changed between the OVA and theatrical versions, and what versions were previously released compared to this new release, but that information seems hard to find clarity on.

Also, as I understand it, neither this original adaptation or the TV remake ever adapted the full story of the manga, which is a little disappointing. But maybe it's for the best, as it does seem to leave things on an intriguing note that's open to more interpretation and is therefore perhaps thematically stronger.


To be fair, the original English release of the manga also left me with my first case of story blue balls as it was never finished by Viz due to low sales and a shake up of their business model in the early 90's.

The OVA we get in all of the modern post DVD releases IS the theatrical version of Blue Skies, Wolves and Burning (I II and III respectively). There wasn't a difference to my knowledge (Having been a fan of the franchise since 1995 when I accidentally bought a comic book box with chapters 7 through 42 in it, I thought I was honestly the only fan who cared this much.)

Great write up and review of the OVA version. I hope if you like the OVA anime that people tell Viz they would like to see more of Kouru Shintani's works published. I would give up a body part to see an official release of Area 88 in perfect manga form or to a lesser degree Tsuna no Bara. (Dessert Rose). Heck even Botobi CPU (I Dream of Mimi) has it's moments and kinda progenitors a LOT of harem/ romantic comedy tropes we see today.
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Wrangler



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 1148
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:27 pm Reply with quote
Favorite mine, its not for everyone since people aren't into mechanical stuff and conflict.

It's cool never the less how old it is now!
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1527
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:18 pm Reply with quote
I seem to remember a (rebooted?) version of this that aired on the Anime Network with a blond version of its protagonist. I'll never forget how shocked my dad was when he walked in one day and said "That's a [insert plane name here]!" while my teen sister and I rolled our eyes because clearly nothing our *parents* were involved in could be as cool as anime. Laughing Now I have a little more appreciation for the mechanical detail that went into it that my Air Force dad could recognize it on sight. Embarassed
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Space_Number_1



Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Also, as I understand it, neither this original adaptation or the TV remake ever adapted the full story of the manga, which is a little disappointing. But maybe it's for the best, as it does seem to leave things on an intriguing note that's open to more interpretation and is therefore perhaps thematically stronger.


I don't really understand what you mean by "open to interpretation," as the ending to the OVA is pretty clear, spoiler[ what with Area 88 being destroyed. ]
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 476
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:31 am Reply with quote
Zin5ki wrote:

The ending was sensible, I would contend. The show's theme of spoiler[someone's distressing circumstances warping and alienating them] was punctuated quite nicely by the closing scene. Consider, for instance, how the alternating cuts between the sky and the cockpit highlighted the sense of distance between the subject and their wider world.

Not an optimistic outlook, but not a confused one either.


Yup. You can't always just judge aspects of storytelling with one's own logic, you gotta look at what it does for the bigger picture and the ending was a good fit.

Just gonna leave this here
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 579
Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:02 pm Reply with quote
Area 88 is one of the first animes I ever watched. I was surprised by its "mature" and "gritty realism" story.

The story goes back to the late 70's and 80s with Colonial Wars, mercenaries fighter were everywhere in the news.

I see 1st ED and go up to this
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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:35 pm Reply with quote
Space_Number_1 wrote:
(LightningCount), I don't really understand what you mean by "open to interpretation," as the ending to the OVA is pretty clear, spoiler[ what with Area 88 being destroyed. ]


What I mean is that, at the end...spoiler[Shin seemingly appears to decide to go back to help his Area 88 allies against terrible odds rather than go straight back to Japan. Does he survive the battle? And if so, has he proven that he can't go back? Or, conversely, does his monologue not mean he's going back to help his old allies and is instead honoring them by leaving it all behind. One way or another, I found it to be an open-ended ending. (Apparently, in the original manga, the ending has Shin return to Japan and lose his memory of his time at Area 88, which feels a bit thematically off to me, though I don't know the circumstances of this.)]

Saphiro01 wrote:
The OVA we get in all of the modern post DVD releases IS the theatrical version of Blue Skies, Wolves and Burning (I II and III respectively). There wasn't a difference to my knowledge...


I've heard that this newest release includes the separate three OVAs, and that some of the material was cut when fusing them into the two-disc "theatrical versions" found on the ADV set I own from 2006. Not sure to what extent that is true of not. If you say there's no difference, then that's great news. The Wikipedia article says: "After Central Park Media's films license lapsed, ADV Films published Act I and Act III of the trilogy for DVD on 25 July 2006. Although Act II is missing from the ADV collection..." Meanwhile, the Amazon description for this new set says: "All 3 original video animations have been combined into two feature length films, full of dizzying dogfights and heart wrenching drama! This includes the original Japanese language with English subtitles, and the English dub! Extra Features: Area 88 Combat Report by Mike Toole Original OVA cuts for Act I and Act II CPM English dub for Act I". It's slightly confusing language, but I'm starting to think maybe there is no difference; it's just that they were all fused into movies, which is fine by me, then. I think the Wikipedia article is what threw me off the most.
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Suxinn



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:51 pm Reply with quote
Wait, does the new Gatchaman Crowds BD contain the director's cut for episode 12 of season 1? I actually put off buying the anime because of the lack of director's cut in the original S1 BD, so it'd be nice to know if it's included here.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3539
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:19 am Reply with quote
Dumas1 wrote:
I don't know if he knew it was related to the UN Squadron shoot-em-up game we'd played on SNES, but that was a big reason I remember watching it.

Oh yeah I remember that game. I think I played some of the game first and then came across the show a while later so at the time I remember wondering if they were connected even though I couldn't remember the game clearly anymore.
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