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.


Daryl Surat said...

Were it only that Monkey Punch learned his lesson. Cinderella Boy was completely forgettable, and Gundoh Musashi is so colossally terrible that even Japan can't stop making fun of it years after the fact.

If only I'd known about Scoopers a few years ago when Monkey Punch came to Florida. I'd have asked him about THAT instead of asking him about his supposed involvement in the J9 trilogy (of which there was none; I only asked it since it was a goofy mistake present in the user-edited Anime News Network database). Still, he did dig that I was probably the only person at the con reading Barefoot Gen, and I got a Jigen sketch on my Mamo DVD, so I can't really complain.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Damn! Didn't realize there was an entry for this! I still wouldn't mind seeing what this one was about (sounds like anime's answer to "Goldie Gold & Action Jack")!

J LeGault said...

I too wouldn't mind checking this title out just for the fun of it. Since I do have the pleasure of watching an anime that's either bad or good.