Monday, July 16, 2007


SCOOPERS is an original anime video from 1987 with character designs by Monkey "Lupin III" Punch. It's the story of a reporter and her android cameraman as they investigate Technoland, a futuristic amusement park run by the mysterious Mister X. So basically we're dealing with "Westworld", with a dash of "Terminator" thrown in, as executed by Generic Japanese Animation Studio Of The 1980s.

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Extra cheese is provided by a completely inept sequence involving "cyberspace" as our heroes go "inside the computer" which where everything is rendered as "wireframes" and animated by "cheap video effects". Think cheap video effects as seen on MTV videos and "Captain Power", those kind of cheap video effects. Though the spectacle of the floating rotating head of Mister X is admittedly entertaining in a ZARDOZ kind of way.

Mister X is the kind of evil genius who wears a giant puffy half-face mask that reveals his giant moustache. He sports an enormous overcoat with a collar the size of a manhole cover. This ensemble is accentuated with gigantic medals and epaulets. Since all his henchmen are robots, one wonders why he bothers to wear anything more than a T-shirt, but who cares? It's the 80s!

A forgettable Casio keyboard soundtrack and off-the-shelf character designs featuring a remarkable array of middle-aged men with moustaches make SCOOPERS a perfect example of what Japanese cartoons looked like in the late 1980s - all shiny cities, high-tech robot weapons, and videophone booths. Nothing dates a SF cartoon like phone booths. There are a few fairly bloody killings and some bare-breasted killer robot monster women to remind viewers that this isn't some kiddy cartoon, this is serious entertainment for mature adults who want to sit down and relax with this mature adult tale of android cameramen battling android beast women on super rollercoasters of the future.

Apparently this was released in some kind of 3D. Stick with Lupin III, Monkey Punch.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

prince planet chewing gum

This is an ad for Usei Shonen Papi (Prince Planet to me!) chewing gum from a 1965 issue of SHONEN MAGAZINE.

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This gum came with all sorts of great Papi merchandise and some of the sticks of gum had Papi art printed actually on the gum, with non-toxic ink I hope.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

robin menko

Menko card of Robin from RAINBOW SOLDIER ROBIN, from my small collection of Menko cards.

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Menko cards are a Japanese phenomenon, a baseball card type of thing that are used in a flip card game popular among Japanese schoolchildren from the 40s until the 80s.

Rainbow Soldier Robin is of course the 1966 Toei black and white television cartoon created by Shotaro Ishinomori.

Fun fact: I bought my Menko cards from Bob "Flaming Carrot" Burden at an Atlanta convention sometime in the 1980s.


Just what the world needs, another blog. This one's a place for me to put artifacts and articles about Japanese cartoons from the years 1960 to around 1985-1990 - "classic anime". Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Prince Planet, Amazing Three, Cyborg 009, Gatchaman, Mazinger Z, Getta Robo, Aim For The Ace!, Asteroid Mask, Gigantor, Hurricane Polimar, Captain Harlock, Captain Future, Flying Phantom Ship, Lupin III, Space Cruiser Yamato, Galaxy Express, Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Runaway Ideon, Super Space Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Century Orguss, Starzan S Okawari Boy, Crusher Joe, Dirty Pair, Patarillo, Urusei Yatsura, Giant Gorg, Dougram, Grandizer, Heidi, Animal Treasure Island, Unico, Ringing Bell, Future War 198X, Galatt The Great, Round Vernian Vifam, Rose Of Versailles, Blue Noah, et cetera, ad infinitum. I'll also be featuring reminisces and unearthed data about American anime fandom of the 70s and 80s.

Owing to other commitments ( I will probably only be updating this blog once a week.

I published the print fanzine LET'S ANIME from 1990 until around 2000-2001 and many articles from the print zine will be appearing here. If you have links or news about new releases of old anime, feel free to let me know.

-Dave Merrill