Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Anime Hell 80s Night II: The Return

It's summertime and that means just one thing: I take over the screening room at one of North America's last remaining video stores and drop a few hours of ANIME HELL upon an audience of scenesters and cineastes. This Saturday night I'll be in the back of Eyesore Cinema here in Toronto showing three 80s anime classics, some of which were anime-fan must-haves, others virtually-unseen cult classics, and still others modern-day icons of outrageousness. 

Fight! Iczer One, the thrilling saga of lushly-illustrated space lesbians battling for the fate of Earth itself, was released in October 1985. Written, directed and character designed by 80s anime MVP Toshiki Hirano, Iczer One tells the story of an Earth under attack by alien invaders called "Cthulhu" who infiltrate and replace humans with parasites known as "Vedims". Mysterious fighter Iczer One must find a human with whom she can "synchronize" and control the Izcer Robo to defeat the aliens! Iczer One is based on the original manga that appeared in the magazine "Lemon People," portions of which are probably illegal in Canada. 

Flying Warped Boy Ranpou aired for 21 episodes in 1984, produced by the animation division of an ad agency and broadcast opposite major league baseball, not a great programming decision on somebody's part. Ranpou was a normal high school kid who was kidnapped by a flying saucer and returned to earth shorter and goofier and with a talking mouse companion who is also a genius inventor. When he's not harassing Coach Hiroshi or Miss Iwasaki, his teachers, he's harassing his girlfriend Mutsumi. This zany gag comedy series is based on a manga that ran for nearly ten years in Shonen Champion, and has never been released on any kind of home video anywhere. Without 80s anime nerds swapping VHS tapes through the mail we'd never be able to see this show. You're welcome!

Mad Bull 34 the anime was released in December 1990, which completely defeats my 1980s theme, but hey, it's based on the 1980s manga drawn by Noriyoshi Inoue and written by Kazuo Koike, who also gave us Lone Wolf And Cub and who passed away recently. So relax. This is the story of Daizaburo Ban, a New York City cop assigned to the tough 34th Precinct, where his partner is John "Sleepy" Estes, a giant monster of a policeman who is WAY OUTTA LINE, YOU'RE THROUGH, TURN IN YOUR BADGE! This ridiculously hardboiled piece of attempted grindhouse mixes cartoony slapstick with ultra-violence and is one of those "not for kids" Japanimations you're always hearing about. 

If you're in town, come on over Saturday! Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8! That's Eyesore Cinema, 1176 Bloor West, Toronto Ontario Canada!