In this video, I take a look at Hayao Miyazaki's second theatrical directorial foray, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, based on his own manga that ran in Animage magazine. Having read some of the manga (I really need to get back to it), I can tell you that there are some definite differences between the two (the movie was made when the manga was unfinished), but the movie is good enough to stand on its own... for the most part. It's not my favorite Miyazaki film, and certainly doesn't have my favorite Hisaishi music, but it's a damn good adventure worth watching.
I don't know a lot about Urusei Yatsura, to be honest. To prepare for this review, I watched the first couple of episodes, and I scanned the Wikipedia page on the series. It's not a franchise I've waded in before. But knowing how important it is to anime, and seeing that it has an English-dubbed version (which I had to retrieve in an interesting way), I thought I'd give it a shot. Besides, it's Mamoru Oshii, and Mamoru Oshii is a damn good director. Most of the time. Well, Urusei Yatsura: Only You isn't very Oshii-esque, but it was still early in his career.
Well, it's 80s Month again, which means I get to hype myself up by watching old 80s commercials and music videos to vibe with while I'm deciding which selections to make. Hey, did you know Domino's brought back the Noid? That's as 80s as Crocodile Mile, shoulder pads for women, and pretending NutraSweet was good for you. I keep waiting for Hi-C to bring back Ecto Cooler... again. But Space Adventure Cobra is more of a 70s throwback with its bizarre, even trippy imagery.
But is it worth watching? Well, I suppose. But it has its issues.
COMPLETE ANIME TV SERIES AND OVAs I HAVE:
I have to admit, I did not watch the two live-action Zeiram movies. I saw a clip or two (I used one of them) and read a summary on Wikipedia. Because of this, I approached Iria: Zeiram the Animation not as a prequel to the movies, but as a distillation of elements from the movies, an anime that stands on its own. But it's not a great anime on its own, or at all, really. It's not truly awful, but there are so many other anime out there worth your time more than this one. Some of the plot beats are head scratching, to say the least.
I love the Lupin III franchise, but there is a lot of crap in it. And the crappy parts range from dull and lifeless to actively painful, and all shades in between. Legend of the Gold of Babylon was interestingly bad, which may or may not fall on the spectrum of crap (it may just be an exception). Farewell to Nostradamus, on the other hand, is the kind of terrible that you can't really say that much about. It's just a very dull, inert movie that feels like Lupin III in automatic mode. There's nothing special about it whatsoever, aside from being a theatrical feature.
Excel Saga is the anime that I immediately think of when somebody says "anime comedy". It could've been FLCL, which I think is better, but FLCL isn't as gut-bustingly hilarious, so much as it is contemplative with a little zaniness baked in. Excel Saga is pure comedy, through and through, and I recall the hype around it on the original Otaku Revolution message board. I didn't see it until ADV licensed it, and I still have the DVD singles that I collected over time. Excel Saga may not be up there among my top 20 anime, but it's always a treat to revisit.
Black Jack is glorious bullshit. It's like watching the medical version of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure sometimes. You think you have a good grasp of the real life medical information being relayed, everything seems pretty grounded, if not always believable (just look at Pinoko), but then some wild nonsense like a talking thousands year old tree and a leaf boy are thrown at you and you're left wondering what Osamu Tezuka, or Osamu Dezaki, were smoking that lead them to these plot beats. This is why I watch two episodes at a time, to get a decent sampling of both the realistic and fanciful, and still have episodes left for later.
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