Episode 124: Obscure 80s Anime


Welcome  to the 80s

from Megazone 23. Yes, this is what passed for aerobics wear in the 80s. It was indeed a magical time.

Kittyhawk is back this week, and we’re talking about obscure 80s anime. This is the stuff that made us fall in love with anime back in the early 90s, when we used to call it “Japanimation.” We say “early 90s” because most of this stuff wasn’t even available in American in the decade that they were created. We had to wait around for Streamline Pictures and Central Park Media to bring this stuff to us.

The 80s was a special time. It was a time of leotards and legwarmers. Leather jackets and torn jeans. And everyone had a boombox with high-speed dubbing.

But there is nothing so aggressively 80s as the anime of the era. Come join us for this brief journey into some of our obscure favorites, and tell us some of yours.

Project A-Ko - Possibly the most iconic anime of the era.

Project A-Ko – Possibly the most iconic anime of the era.


Riding Bean is what came before Gunsmith Cats.  Gunsmith Cats is better, but if you want more guns and cars in an 80s car chase scenario, you might want to check out Riding Bean.

Riding Bean is what came before Gunsmith Cats. Gunsmith Cats is better, but if you want more guns and cars in an 80s car chase scenario, you might want to check out Riding Bean.

Doraemon

Doraemon

This is what you would get if you took the Force out of Star Wars.  You'd have Han Solo: The Movie. ...aka Crusher Joe.

This is what you would get if you took the Force out of Star Wars. You’d have Han Solo: The Movie. …aka Crusher Joe.

Listen to the show to hear about the rare localized Harlock cartoon.  Possibly the most obscure of them all!

Listen to the show to hear about the rare localized Harlock cartoon. Possibly the most obscure of them all!

Girl in school uniform versus girl in one-piece bathing suit/battle uniform.  Need I explain why I love Project A-Ko?

Girl in school uniform versus girl in one-piece bathing suit/battle uniform. Need I explain why I love Project A-Ko?

25 thoughts on “Episode 124: Obscure 80s Anime

  1. That was a lot of fun to listen to today. Not focusing too much on anything but staying mostly on topic and helping at least one old anime fan feel extremely old… especially at the end with Kittyhawk’s comment on the overpriced boxed sets that were pretty much ubiquitous at that time.

  2. Do you have any link for Riding Bean? I have been searching for good sub for years now. I am a big fan of Gunsmithcats and this is the only piece related to it that I have left to see.

    And you are right, project Ako is awesome

  3. Kittyhawk, Akira Toriyama have started making a new manga series (but you probably already know by now)
    http://shonenjump.viz.com/node/1656
    Anyway, I love 80’s Anime and the ladies. 80’s and 90’s is the reason I a big anime now. (but I sick of the moe stuff, hope it past soon). Project A-Ko and Dominion: Tank Police are one of the first anime I saw and fall in love with.

  4. Damn, I feel so old now. Things like Project A-ko and Dominion Tank Police used to be so well known when I first became an anime fan in 1996.

    Ben, I’m just guessing here, but could the anime you described (the one with the robot chick) be Phoenix 2772 aka Hi No Tori 2772 aka Space Firebird?

  5. … well, at least that Pixar “continuity” doesn’t take place in an autistic child’s mind…

    *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, regarding Doraemon, check this out:

    Jean Reno, ladies and gentlemen.

    Oh, yeah, I also agree about Attack on Titan’s intro. The most epic intro I’ve ever seen. I place it at the same pedestal as the Sakura Wars theme personally. I dunno if Kittyhawk or anyone else spammed you this, but I’ll leave the link here anyway:

    Oh yeah, there’s a another obscure anime I’d like to add: Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01. It was a pretty short OAV about a mechanic stumbling upon a military-owned mecha-like power armor.

    • The Pixar “continuity” is pretty funny. I believe the Cars were at war…with the Planes! I’m so glad the sequel contract will be over. I wouldn’t have minded Incredibles 2 though.

  6. Ah the 80s, as time goes by the better it seems to get. I’ve had constant 80s cravings over the past year fed by the likes of Double Dragon Neon, Bubblegum Crisis, and the Dirty Pair movies-Dirty Pair is so much better than I imagined! It’s not ditzy it’s good, lighthearted 80s fun. I’ve been catching up a bit. Now I have to see Project A-Ko!

    Ok, my pick was the first anime I’ve ever seen-Dragon Warrior. Yeah we all know about the Warrior/Quest games, but I can barely find anyone else who saw the US dub in the early 90s. It came on early in the morning of course, a few years before Ronin Warriors and Sailor Moon. Apparently it came out in Japan in 1989, and it’s on youtube now! I remember hearing the battle music on the show, and hearing the same music when my friend played the game on NES. Good times. Such a nice show, I can’t believe no one else I talk to knows about it.

    • I’ve wanted to see the Dragon Warrior anime for years. It looks cute. I like the female character with her dragon skull helmet.

      Yes, Dirty Pair is always a tough sell until you can get someone to actually watch it. It always exceeds expectations. It’s a really good buddy comedy without being too ditsy, though the camp factor dictates that they have airhead moments every now and then.

      I’m afraid that modern tastes have squeezed the Dirty Pair out of the mainstream and pushed them into the obscure camp. It seems like people are horrified by having any sexuality at all in our entertainment.

      We’re moving toward that Demolition Man future more and more.

      • The united states society in general of 2013 feels like the demolition man future. Artists dress weirder then ever, tv, and radio are mostly commercials now. And people who are no where near the scene of the crime get traumatized when police have to use force on a violent crook.

        • All we need now is the governments to place penalties on everything deemed ‘bad’, even minor curse words like “damn”, and a cryogenics prison, and we’re definitely living in a Demolition Man future.

          Hey, at least it’s not the Idiocracy future.

  7. Yes! Alright! There’s another female character who shows up and drinks a lot. I love these cute round face designs of the 80s, so refreshing. There’s even a flashback to the back-story of the games. I wish this show would get a release. I’m still waiting on that Samurai Pizza Cats release.

    Yeah Dirty Pair is yummy giddy fun. Thanks guys for breaking down Dirty Pair, a good action show that has actual jokes and not just panties and boobs being the joke over and over and over…
    Heehee Demolition Man, as long as I get to join the Great Sheetz Uprising over Taco Bell Inc.

  8. Me and my friend were just talking lately about those Dianetics book commercials back in the 80s/90s, eerie stuff in retrospect. I had a real soft spot for the Patlabor tv series which was at the tail end of the 90s, that had such a great intro song too. I miss stuff like that, do they even do police anime anymore?

    I will admit Im ignorant on modern anime and am probably overly generalizing but it seems like the trend for the majority of it these days is stuff based around teenager/slice of life stuff because japanese otaku are nostalgic for high school for some reason (and I find boring), or it seems like something that just goes on forever like One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach which I find exhausting to follow whether it is good or not. Or something moe-fied, which is just icky/cheap looking.

    • The reason why anime like Bleach and One Piece go on forever is because they are based on Manga. Whenever the japanese are creating anime based off manga comics they prefere to copy the manga storyline by storyline. Where as american cartoons, movies, based on comic books get their own universe to operate in.

      • I know, I mean those series wouldn’t go on as long as they are going if they weren’t super popular, right? I just don’t like it that way especially when the stuff is so arc driven and not episodic

  9. Hey, if Neil has a problem understanding the story of Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer, I’d recommend watching my favorite UY movie: #4: Lum the Forever. That one would blow your mind. 😉 I’ve never seen Angel’s Egg before. I may have to give it a try.

    And no love for AnimEigo? They may have been really slow when they were releasing Urusei Yatsura, but that company was one of the best when it came to translating anime shows.

    • I have a lot of AnimEigo DVDs, actually. I don’t know if I poked fun at them in the show. Sometimes I do. But truthfully, I liked a lot of their dubs, even if they got a little TOO literal sometimes with the translations.

      And oh my GOD! I forgot about fourth UY movie. That movie is totally WTF, balls-out insane. What is that movie even about? I don’t know! I’ve seen it like four times. I think I need a diagram for this movie.

      I actually have the Urusei Yatsura DVD movie box set from AnimEigo. That’s the one where you had to buy Beautiful Dreamer separately, because it was released by Central Park Media. However, AnimEigo was thoughtful enough to leave a space open in the box set for Beautiful Dreamer to fit. That was awful nice of them.

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