Sunday, June 29, 2008

13 YEARS OF AWA PROGRAM BOOKS

ANIME WEEKEND ATLANTA kind of, let's say, congealed out of a longrunning anime club and several intersecting groups of friends and fans all of whom swore a solemn oath that if anybody was gonna start an anime convention in Atlanta, it was gonna be THEM. Back in the mid 1990s anime cons were popping up everywhere like magic; A-Kon in Dallas, Anime America in the Bay Area, Anime East in Jersey; and in Atlanta we knew that if we didn't get our act together - and fast - some total loser would rent a hotel ballroom, sell some dealers tables, and we'd find ourselves on the wrong side of the staff badge. Which is not a good place to be.

In Atlanta fourteen or fifteen years ago THE place to have your first-year convention was the Castlegate Hotel , and that's where we went for our first show. With a few hundred dollars for deposit, the place was ours. Dank hallways, a slothful and possibly larcenous staff, and mysterious double-booked rooms didn't stop us from launching our anime con with a successful first year. But convention reminisces are a dime a dozen, what we're talking about here is reminiscing about anime con program books. Specifically, AWA's program books!

Our first program book was printed off the clock in an undisclosed location and assembled by myself and a crew of bindery novices using a balky folder and a giant foot-operated stitcher. From the start, we figured an anime-themed convention would only attract a few hundred goofballs such as ourselves, and so we could pretty much be as creative as we liked with the program book. Hence, our first year theme of "activity book" - the book included a crossword puzzle and a coloring page.



AWA 2 was held in a newer, yet more ineptly staffed facility down by the airport. Our program book continued the legal-size-folded-booklet format and the cover illustration was a photograph of AWA staffers and guests posing imposingly in front of Marietta Georgia landmark The Big Chicken, which came to be a de facto mascot for the convention, if only for its kitsch value. The visual motif was fakey ragtime-era gingerbread, with the now-usual additions of David Letterman-inspired Top Ten lists. From the start AWA's program books have always featured useful things like maps of the local area's restaurants and shops, listings for clubs and sites for post-convention contact, and a full schedule of the entire convention. A lot of other conventions don't include schedules in their program books, leaving that vital information to be dissimenated via "pocket programs" and other doubtful methods. Well, we say, if you don't put the con schedule in the program book, why have a program book in the first place?




AWA 3 moved to the Marriott North Central and the program book, still in the legal booklet size, took Communist Propaganda as its design guideline and writing style manual. The cover imagery came from the dust jacket of the Red Chinese opera "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy", with of course a giant Big Chicken looming in the background, and the text was full of righteous indignation of the worker's proletariat towards the grasping paper-tiger claws of capitalist exploitation.



AWA 4 took the convention's success (over 1200 attendees that year) and a higher printing budget and produced what many feel is the best looking convention program book ever. Printed as a comic book, it featured a glossy cover and newsprint interior, professionally bound to resemble your typical issue of X-Men or Superman. Highlights included a fake Jack Kirby cover and fake mail-order ads in the interior. I've seen this book bagged and boarded for sale in comic shops. Go figure.





AWA 5's book was our first magazine-sized program guide, with a glossy color cover that totally destroyed the color copier where I happened to be working at the time, and black and white insides courtesy the Xerox Docutech! Theme this time was a fake Japanese cartoon based on the Big Chicken starring thinly disguised caricatures of AWA staff and guests. The con itself was held way way out in the suburbs in a hotel that was painfully too small for us. Growing pains!


AWA 6 took place at a classy hotel near a classy mall in a classy suburb a lot closer to downtown Atlanta. Hell, you could actually get to this one on public transportation! So naturally our progam book theme was punk rock. We put the cover on upside down, pasted all the text down with gluestick, made corrections with Sharpies, used found photos and drug-reference cartoons, and generally tried to imitate the D.I.Y. samizdat punk zines of our youth. As an artistic statement the program book was a tremendous success, but as a convention program book it confused and horrified its intended audience. Which was what we intended all along! Size was an 8.5 x 11 booklet, favored by small press comics creators the world over.



AWA 7 saw the convention move to a giant convention center down by the airport, and visually the convention took its cue from airline logos of the 1960s, the golden age of air travel. A modified TWA logo was the centerpiece and as nobody's sued us over it yet, I guess we got away with it. Since AWA 7 was held two weeks after the attacks of 9/11/01, I figure everybody had other things on their minds.



AWA 8 - again at the convention center down by the airport - taxed the skill of its contributing artists to the max as we asked them to work in themes as divergent as auto racing and Art Nouveau. The resulting cover is a classic, and the book - a magazine-sized book with a severe vertical trim - is one of my favorites. Guest bios were accompanied by 19th century woodcuts of bearded men or crinolined women, resulting in delicious confusion.





AWA 9 saw a dramatic move to AWA's current digs at the Waverly/Cobb Galleria Convention Center. And what design motif could say "Cobb County" better than that of a children's encyclopedia from the 1950s? Don't answer that. At any rate, some swell photo-manipulation and deadpan new descriptions for old screentoned photos turned the book into a learning experience for the entire convention.



AWA 10's visual theme was "traditional Japanese art", which meant lots of woodblock prints of geishas and a giant ideogram for "10" on the cover. Also the last of the Top Ten lists! It's fascinating to see the difference in the content as the years go by - ads for local comic shops and the upcoming gaming cons are replaced with professional full color ads for new DVD releases, on-demand anime channels, and shared-user online computer games. Some of which are even still in business!




When AWA 11 rolled around the staff got together and decided the theme they wanted was "giant monsters". CB Smith outdid himself with a fantastic manipulated cover based on the poster for "Godzilla VS The Thing" . Unfortunately, when the book went to press, the shop decided that OBVIOUSLY the photo of the Japanese woman was the REAL cover, and the fake Godzilla poster was not. So they put all the covers on inside-out. This printing company is no longer in business. Coincidence? I think not.



AWA 12's book reflected the new respectability of Japanese animation in the United States as well as the sophistication and maturity of a community that had moved from Pokemon to Card Captors to Gundam Wing to Full Metal Alchemist. The book was our first all-color, all-glossy magazine, inerringly designed to mimic a modern woman's fashion magazine. Fake horoscopes abutted fake ads for makeup and womens wear as fake advice columns dispensed fake advice. Maybe a little too contrived, but what other convention was willing to go this far for a gag? None of them, that's who.



The program book for AWA 13 was kind of a last minute rush job, and yet you would never know it, because it looks great. Gothic Lolita was the theme and from the swell cover (yes, I'm describing an illustration of some clown-makeup-smeared Gloom Cookie as "swell") to the elegant layout it was a book that gets the job done in the finest AWA tradition. Well, maybe not quite as goofy as previous. But there's always next year!

Staffing a convention is hard work, but one of the things I always enjoy is sitting down and writing copy for the program book. We always took a less-than-serious attitude towards, well, everything, and I think our cheeky and subversive style made the program guides fun to read as well as useful. Will this trend continue towards the future? There's only one way to find out - visit Anime Weekend Atlanta!

AWA 14 is happening September 19-21 at the Cobb Galleria Center / Waverly Hotel in Atlanta GA! Find out more here!!

(artwork and layout for various AWA program books by Joe Vecchio, CB Smith, Bryan Thompson, Robert DeJesus, Bruce Lewis, Sho Murase, Lewis Cox III, Steve Harrison, myself.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

fake interview time!

(this fake interview appeared in Let's Anime #3 and is totally fake and is presented merely for comedy purposes. Because it's fake.)

WE (DON'T) INTERVIEW TUMIKO RAKAHASHI


The JAL 747's tires squeal as it lands on the runway at Narita International Airport. In Japan. Through immigration the line did crawl, but I wasn't perturbed; I was here to see none other than Tumiko Rakahoshi, creator of some of the most popular manga (Japanese for "manga") in all of Japan. Soon, a sleek limo deposited me at the gates of Rakahushi-san's estate, a modest affair of only 589 square acres somewhere south of Makurazaki Prefecture. Entering through the ornately carved main doorway, I suddenly felt a stinging pain as a large aizuwakamatsu (Japanese for "bowling ball") crashed into my unprotected skull. Through a red haze of pain, I made out a mischievously grinning figure, whose mirth changed suddenly to concern.

This was my first meeting with Tumiko Rakahashi.

"Holy cow, I thought you were one of the servants!" she exclaimed in perfect English. "Are you OK?"

I assured her that a mere brain concussion was a minor injury, and with that, the interview got under way.



Born in 1950 to a humble, unassuming electronics genius, and her husband, Tumorko's first memories are of using indelible crayon to deface General MacArthur's portrait on the Occupation Currency then in use in Japan. "Moustaches, mostly. I really jam on moustaches!" she recalls with glee. After an uneventful school career and a short stint as an onomichi, or department store escalator hand-rail buffer ("A very unrewarding job. I mean, how dirty can those damn things get, anyway?") she realized that her only chance at fame and fortune lay in the lucrative field of manga, or as we Americans would say, "comic books printed backwards in foreign languages starring people with big eyes and speed lines." And after three weeks training at the special chichibutama (manga training school) in Nakaoaka Prefecture, she was at last ready.



"I felt that the world of manga needed more comics with a woman's touch... manga that women could read and relate to... manga that would make me filthy rich..." her first story, Minami Tori Kanazawa, or "Life Of Pathetic Bastard", was serialized beginning in 1969 in the popular manga weekly, Shonen Drip. It wasn't a hit, to say the least, but it garnered a cult following, and to this day a "Pathetic Bastard" fan club operates in Japan, to the obvious dismay of the authorities.



Next from her prolific pen was the stirring saga of two brave agricultural extension service officials and their dramatic struggle against the forces of plant lice and those darn monkeys who steal corn and stuff, or as millions of devoted Japanese readers knew it, Daisetsuzan Towada Hachimantai, or in English, "Eat Club, You Stupid Monkey!" During a promotional tour for the Daisetsuzan TV cartoon show, she had the first glimmerings of an idea for a new series; a series that would break new ground, firmly establish her name as one of the greatest in the world of manga, one that would have so many characters that nobody, not in a million years, would ever be able to keep track of them all.




And thus was born Urusei Matsuda, or as it is fondly known in the West, "Those Obnoxious Noisy Characters Whom We Can't Keep Track Of Even With A Scorecard, From The Stars." This lovable high-school comedy features approximately 35,000 characters, all of whom are sexually harassed by the lovable, friendly Atari Mitsubishi. The story became an instant hit, mainly because Tamaruiko bribed all the distributors into buying millions of copies, in a move that later spurred public outcry and led to some of the most comprehensive antitrust legislation ever enacted in Japan. This was probably unnecessary, because the series would have been a hit anyway, appealing as it does to wimpy Japanese high school freshmen who must wait until they are salarymen to begin sexually harassing their female Japanese coworkers. Appearing in the weekly "Shonen Saturday Night Fever", Urusei Matsuda was soon turned into a popular animated TV show (by Gritty Films).



Tumikor-san was now very wealthy and could do things undreamt of by most Japanese - install central heating, outfit her bathroom with special Western-style toilets with special talking attachments, and even begin to think about taking a vacation.

I asked Tumikaa-san if her own high school experiences had contributed to the story of Urusei Matsuda. "Hell, I dunno," she replied. "I smoked so much weed in high school, I don't remember anything!"



It was during the height of Urusei Matsuda's popularity that she began work on what has become known as her second great success. The tender and emotional love story of an apartment house full of sadistic, mentally depraved psychopaths and the despotic landlady who forces them into degrading and humiliating experiences, and who is also an alien plant woman from the Crab Nebula, Mazone Ikkoku was a hit before it even appeared, thanks to skillful advance publicity work on the part of Shonen I Don't Like Mondays. Mobs of Tumuko devotees slaughtered each other in the millions outside manga specialty shops in a desperate struggle to gain even a ripped corner of the latest masterwork from the pen of Rakeehashi. Once again she was a multimillionairess several times over, and in fact was forced to purchase the nation of Thailand as a tax dodge. That's why Lum is on all their money.



Anyway, it was a character from Urusei Matsuda that provided the inspiration for her next hit. Matsuda featured a character who was actually a girl but whom dressed as a lumberjack. Tumikor took this switcheroo philosophy to heart and created a story about a closet case who manages to convince everyone around him that because of a curse, he turns into a girl, which allows him to explore the more feminine side of his personality without threatening his masculinity. This series, Ramen Nibonouchi, or "Ramen Bi-Half", was yet another instant hit, thanks to skillful advance publicity in the way of mass hypnotism and subliminal messages inserted into episodes of Sazae-San and Kamen Rider Super-One.




Anyway, now that Tuniko is sitting on top of the anime and manga world, what's next?

"Well, right now I'm concentrating on keeping my assistants in line. Those goofballs slack off every chance they get, and I'm sick of it!" She pulled a wicked-looking glove over her left hand. "This is a toy that never passed the safety requirements - I call it a "Lum Glove" - and it really whips those lazy bums into shape!" Turning suddenly, there was a crackle of electricity from her fingertips, and a hapless butler was reduced to a charred ruin. Tumico laughed gaily. "What a gas!" she said.

Reeling from the stench of burning flesh, I asked her which piece of merchandising from one of her creations was her favorite.

"Well, I must admit I always loved the Urusei Matsuda Flaming Trash Postcard Book (postcards featuring lovely photos of dumpsters and landfills which burst into flames upon delivery). And the Mazone Ikkoku Household Plaster Repair Kit certainly has its uses. But my absolute favorite is the Fat Roger Ebert Barbecue Sauce. It has real pieces of Roger Ebert in it!"



Yes, it certainly seems as if the entire universe is just waiting for the chance to put a few hundred thousand million more yen into Tamuko Rokuhnshi's bulging bank account. So here's to you Tumik! Keep those manga masterworks coming, and how!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

GIANT GORG

The giant blue robot never got a US release, never had any sequels or films, and only inspired a smattering of merchandise from its release 25 years ago. But the 1984 Nippon Sunrise television series GIANT GORG became a fan favorite, partly because it was in the right place at the right time, and partly because of good old fashioned quality.

A 26-episode show created by Yoshikazu "Gundam" Yasuhiko, ostensibly it's that most generic of anime cliches, the 80s giant robot show. And yet it avoids the 'monster of the week' scenarios, the outlandish outer-space settings, the armies of super robots waiting to be sold as 6-inch diecast toys, and all the other trappings of the genre. Instead it's a thoughtful science fiction adventure that cheerfully wanders between wonder, comedy, action, horror, and occasional moments of shock, all wrapped up in great Yas artwork and surprisingly high-quality Nippon Sunrise television animation. It's the anime equivalent of all those Newberry-award winning juvenile SF books you spent library time reading in middle school.
Yu, Doris, Sarah, Algos, and Gorg
The series takes place in the future year of... 1998. There's a big secret on Austral Island, a small island in the South Pacific, that was deliberately exised from maps after an undersea volcano explosion. On the trail of this secret are several groups - the giant multinational corporation GAIL, a band of international spies led by the alluring Lady Lynx, and our heroes Yu Tagami, Dr. Wave and his sister Doris, their Great Dane Algos, and their compatriot the giant, hairy, beer-guzzling, handgun-equipped Sencho. Wishing everybody would get off Austral Island and leave them the hell alone are the Austral Islanders, and lurking mysteriously behind it all is the figure of Giant Gorg.

The adventure starts in a graffiti-splattered New York, where GAIL attempts to silence Dr. Wave by the simple expedient of knocking their entire apartment building down with a wrecking ball. There's a rollicking three-way chase across America involving Greyhound buses and a profitable Vegas side trip. GAIL and Lady Lynx shoot it out in the desert as our heroes escape in a stolen RV. Once across the Pacific, they find Austral Island is divided between GAIL's scientific/military expedition - led by GAIL heir apparant, the flashy young billionaire Rod Balboa - and the islanders, who shoot at everybody and worship their ancient god, Gorg. Between the two groups, the center of Austral Island is home to giant monsters. Separated from Dr. Wave and Doris, Yu and Algos are saved by a indigo-hued metal giant.
Dr. Wave, Sencho, Alois & Sarah shootin' it out
GORG hearkens back to an earlier show, a Yoshiyuki Tomino/Yas collaboration - BRAVE RAIDEEN - in which our hero telepathically merges with a super robot left here by an ancient advanced civilization. Yu doesn't "fade in" to Gorg, but he quickly bonds with the semi-sentient mecha. Not to spoil the show, but Gorg is a castaway mecha from a race of space aliens who visited the Earth thousands of years ago, an intelligent machine with a desire to protect humans. The series is an appealing mix of Indiana Jones style jungle adventure crossed with TETSUJIIN-28/GIANT ROBO boy-robot action, grounded with solid, real-world mechanical design and a story that isn't afraid to throw some consequences around when the lead starts flying. Sencho is particular is a tremendous contrast to Yu; he's a brusque mercenary who does whatever it takes to get the job done, whether it's stealing cars from total strangers, abusing women, or shooting guys right in the head, and there's a real conflict between the two characters.
the evil Lady Lynx of the "Cougar Connection"
Together with Islander rebels Alois, Sarah, and Dominic, our heroes brave the interior of Austral, attack GAIL's underground base, are separated, betrayed, reunited, captured, escape, and battle both GAIL-built construction mecha and giant alien tentacle robot-monsters - again, reminiscent of RAIDEEN's Dorohme - and in the end learn the secret of the aliens presence on Earth, while facing nuclear annhiliation from both the United States and Russia. Will armies of alien Gorg-type robots emerge from the caverns of Austral to wreak havoc on humanity - as shown in a great "robots invade New York" sequence - or can Yu and Gorg prevent disaster?
Doris and Tomeniku

Watching the show, you're struck by how it makes modern anime shows look cheap in comparison. There aren't any recycled "transformation" scenes. Every episode features new backgrounds and new characters, and there's none of this business where characters talk in silhouette or with their faces turned away so mouth movements don't have to be animated. There aren't any shoddy digital zooms or pans. There's none of the painfully transparent appeals to fetishes - no maids, no harems, no DD+ cups, no Nazi uniforms or elaborate goth outfits - that make up so much of the modern anime market, at least the anime market we see here. Nope, just good old fashioned adventure anime made the old-fashioned way, by hand.

Compared to other shows, GORG didn't inspire a whole lot of merchandise. The show features just two robots, an armored personnel carrier, and some helicopters and tentacle monsters, so there isn't a lot of mecha to work with, toy-wise. A 1/100 scale Gorg toy was produced, as well as a sweet 1/20 scale Jumbo Machinder version. A "Kyapi Kyapi" super-deformed model kit was also released starring cutesey versions of Gorg, Yu, and Rod Balboa. A one-volume, tremendously abridged manga adaption -without Yas artwork -was also published. In Japan the show has been released on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD.
Gorg Kyapi Kyapi Kit and manga
For American audiences the show is a treat; New York is lovingly rendered with every decaying brownstone and graffiti-tagged subway train fully evident, in complete defiance of how Rudy Giuliani's NYC of the 90s would actually look. The later half of the series is punctuated with high-level video conferences between GAIL's Chairman Balboa and a thinly-disguised Ronald Reagan. And every episode ends with Batman-inspired text exhorting us to tune in to the next episode, same GORG time, same GORG channel.
New York's all right, if you like saxophones
As a mid 1980s robot anime show, GIANT GORG came at just the right time to catch the attention of American anime fans; the Yas pedigree was enough to leap the language barrier, and GORG's obvious class - as well as the fun of the early New York setting - helped to make the show palatable to 80s Ameriotaku. When Toren Smith put together the program guide for the anime room at the 1986 Baycon in San Francisco, he helpfully included a synopsis for the first two episodes, and as the "Baycon Book," as it would come to be known, became the Bible for anime fans, GIANT GORG became part of the pantheon of Anime That We Happen To Have Information About In English. But the fickle finger of anime fan fate moves rapidly, and the late 80s saw American anime fandom seduced by more current fare like the high-tech rock video world of BUBBLEGUM CRISIS or the cosmos-feeling rock'em-sock'em action of SAINT SEIYA. As the 90s rolled around, GIANT GORG was remembered as just one more 80s show, and if it wasn't GUNDAM nobody had time for it.

But what comes around goes around, and as the American anime DVD market bubble swelled, so did the fortunes of all anime, even overlooked 80s shows about giant blue robots on Pacific islands. GORG was slated for an American DVD release by Bandai along with another cult classic anime series, the stylish SF robot drama SPT LAYZNER. However, production issues - the lack of suitable masters - put the project on the back burner. It's not likely to be fast-tracked in today's post-anime-bubble market as companies scramble to stay afloat and boutique projects - even those of obvious quality and wide appeal, like Giant Gorg - are once again denied legit American release. One may posit that had the industry released more shows like Gorg, instead of fad-packed fetish dominated shows du jour that in future will only be remembered as bargain-bin filling evidence of a culture in decline, the industry wouldn't be in quite so much trouble now.

Today things come full circle as the winds of change blow the sand of time past the rock of ages, and anime fans once again take matters into their own hands and fansub their favorite series. Diligent investigation by interested parties will no doubt reveal fan-subtitled GIANT GORG available through a variety of sources. In the meantime, the ancient gods slumber dreamlessly in their dark caverns. Will they awake again? None can say.


2016 UPDATE: Discotek Media, one of North America's premier anime localizers, has released Giant Gorg on DVD with English subtitles!  Yes, the ancient gods heard our heathen prayers and have answered. We here at Let's Anime encourage all our readers to purchase this DVD set immediately, either through your favorite anime con dealer, your favorite brick and mortar retailer, or for a limited time via a nice discount at Amazon dot com.
same GORG time, same GORG channel

Sunday, June 1, 2008

FUN WITH KEYWORDS

Like every other blogger, I obsessively check my stats and see what keyword searches are leading people to my blog. I find raw data of this nature to be immensely fascinating; it's like a powerful X-ray machine reading the innermost thoughts and desires of a random cross-section of humanity. What can we learn from these keyword searches? How can the bored, slightly distracted musings of an anonymous horde teach us new things? Let's find out.

Following is a list of keyword searches that have led people to Let's Anime, with my commentary.

how long has japanese anime been around

Since 1963, when Tetsuwan Atomu / Astro Boy first premiered on Japanese television- it was the first animated series made for Japanese TV. Only before that, films like ALAKAZAM THE GREAT (1960) had featured colorful, big-eye Tezuka design work, so I guess you could call that the genesis of the anime style.





What we regard as the "anime style" was started by Tezuka in his popular postwar manga, a cinematic, cartoony style developed from his love of Disney films. Animated films in Japan have been around for about a hundred years, so you can keep dating back as far as you like, even though a lot of those films don't resemble "anime" in the least. On the other hand, plenty of Japanese animation from the post Astro Boy period doesn't resemble the big-eye stereotype of "anime" either, so use casual buzzwords with caution.


fantastic adventures of unico dvds
unico island of magic torrent
unico in the island of magic torrent
unico the last unicorn torrent
unico unicorn japanese cartoon
unico and the fantastic island
unico the unicorn cel
new galaxy anime unico dvd
unico island magic torrent
unico the island of magic
unico, anime




Attention New Galaxy Anime. PEOPLE WANT UNICO! This early 80s Sanrio film and its sequel, Unico In The Island Of Magic, were popular staples of America's home video market in the mid to late Reagan years, and warped the minds of many a child who would grow up with misunderstood and deeply confusing desires to turn into a giant unicorn and impale monsters in a frightening thematic change that darkened the entire tone of the video. But that's Sanrio, there's a dark side to that cute face.

I don't know when Unico will be released, I don't know what their schedule is like, I don't know anything except that there is a fierce desire for DVDs of Unico among the anime-blog-reading public. So let's get it together here, guys. (edited to add: "New Galaxy Anime" never released anything, but Discotek Media heard us and has released Unico on DVD and Blu-Ray, so go buy it now! 






unicorn final countdown song
Okay, that one I can't help you with.


prince planet tv show
prince planet merchandise
prince planet earth rubbish
tv animation series prince planet
where to buy prince planet children's cartoon
television show prince planet
prince planet pictures


Prince Planet continues to generate a lot of traffic. There's a lot of nostalgia out there for this clunky, weirdly dubbed 60s show. Somebody in the entertainment industry should make things happen, there's money to be made here.





No, I do not know where you can purchase Prince Planet, other than Something Weird's Starman DVDs, which you should all buy. Seriously, I don't know where to buy any Prince Planet stuff, not here or in Japan or on DVD or VHS or any other format. I wish I did. If I ever do find someplace selling legit DVDs I will immediately mention it here. I swear.


cardboard squares to make adventure toys
Can't help you with this one.

anime foot shots
Uh, good luck with that. And no, I don't want to know what you want them for.

what was the hair style of the late 70's - 80's that was said to be business in the front and party in the back?
That would be THE MULLET! The powerful "hockey hair" fashion statement still popular in the blue-collar hinterlands of North America, often seen rocking to Dokken or rollin' with the Doobie Brothers. The Mullet continues to be a great way to tell the world you simply don't care what they think, and you might just kick their ass. Seen sported by anime heroes in series as disparate as DAIKENGO and TEKKAMAN BLADE.






koji can swim in the sky
koji can swim in the sky in his robot man mazinger z

These would be the lyrics to the theme song of the English dub of Mazinger Z, heard as part of Mazinger Z's run on the Japanese current affairs program "Beyond The Horizon". Sung phoenetically by Isao Sasaki, this amusing rendition is a delight to the ears. It includes the lyrics "Koji can / shatter the ground / he can make all evil flee / in his robot man / Mazinger Z."
We always heard that third line as "he can make a little tree."



anime three travellers in space toei animation
That obviously is a reference to Spaceketeers, known in Japan as "SF Journey To The West Starzinger" , which is about a princess and her three protectors who journey to the center of the galaxy to stop the source a mysterious radiation that is turning all the cute animals of the galaxy into evil mutants. It was dubbed into English by Jim Terry and shown on American TV as part of the "Force Five" package, and later partially released onto home video by Family Home Entertainment.




who is the cartoon nadia
You mean the star of SECRET OF BLUE WATER? That's the cartoon Nadia. By the way, "Nadia's Song" was not written about the cartoon Nadia.


watch mazinger online for free
mazinger free on line cartoon

"Koji can / download the bittorrents / he can watch anime for free / in his robot man / Mazinger Z"

jack and the beanstalk/giant side of the story
After I wrote the column about the anime Jack & The Beanstalk, I got a lot of keyword searches for some kind of total adult X-rated animated fairy tale movie, an American thing by American animators, that featured a Jack & The Beanstalk segment. Well, this ain't it.



hot anime female blueprints
In this issue of POPULAR MECHANICS - How To Build Your Own Hot Anime Female!!?


shogun warriors anime
giant shogun warriors
shogun warriors cartoon series
shogun warriors
shogun warrior toys
shogun warriors cartoons
shogun warriors color book

Judging from my keywords there is still a groundswell of interest in the 70s toy line Shogun Warriors. As well there should be, those were great toys. Does Mattel still own the trademark? Why aren't they doing anything with it?





(Shogun Warriors coloring book image courtesy Devlin Thompson)

Look at all the merchandise for stuff like Transformers and GI Joe - think of the cash their older siblings have to throw away reliving their childhood! Get with the program, Mattel! Let's reissue Shogun Warriors, or publish a glossy book of photos of all the toys, or license the name out to DVDs of 70s robot anime, or something!


mazinger z vs. devilman parody sub
devilman vs mazinger z parody


Yeah, I wrote that. I think it's funnier than the Grandizer VS Great Mazinger parody subtitle script, which I also wrote. You can get both of those films for your very own by visiting Corn Pone Flicks!




By the way, my great big article on the history of the Texas Star Blazers anime club "Earth Defense Command" is now up at ourstarblazers.com! Poke around the site, there's a great article on the history of the English-dub Yamato film as well as tons of other cool Yamato stories & facts.