Thursday, September 19, 2013

GUIDE TO JAPANESE ANIMATION

Two hundred years ago(in 1985)nobody knewnothin' aboutJapanese animation.

Sure,there was Speed Racerand Star Blazers and stuff.But there was also this MASSIVEhidden world of movies and TV seriesfrom Japanthat had no way of getting to the US.




And then one day I was at

a teeny tiny comic book convention in

Valley Forge, PA

and I stumbled across a table

where a bootleg VHS copy of this

was playing:



Macross: Love -Do You Remember?

I immediately bought a copy and watched it over and over and over againeven thoughI HAD NO IDEA WHAT THE HELLWAS GOING ON!!!

It was completely in Japanese withNO SUBTITLES!And there wasno such thing asinternetsto help me find outWHAT THE HELLWAS GOING ON!!!

But there were giant robots shooting lasers and missiles.

I can understand thatandI soon bought other movies:

Black Magic M-66Vampire Hunter DAngel's EggArea 88

All of them were incredibly cool andincredibly different from American cartoons

AND I HAD INCREDIBLY NO IDEA WHAT THE HELLWAS GOING ON!!!



My growing fascination with animeeventually led me to a Japanese book storein Philadelphia calledBooks Nippan.That's where I found this:



It was originally the program guide for a Japanese animation festival atBaycon '86.But this edition was distributedby Books Nippanas a primer for peoplelike me that needed to know what the hell was going onin their bootleg anime VHS tapes.



If you like anime,you should really findand thank him since he's one of the original pushers of anime on theAmerican public.

The book is filled withbasic synopsesof over 50 old-school anime titles.

Like Urusei Yatsura:



Lupin:



Lensman:



Crusher Joe:



Nausicaa:



Area 88:



Vampire Hunter D:



And my first love,Macross: Love - Do You Remember?



Since Japanese storytelling is often a bit wonky compared to what we're used to,the synopses were often only marginally helpful.

In the case ofAngel's Egg,which is just a moody,stream of consciousness story,there wasn't much to explain:



But in the pre-interwebdays this bookwas a life saver!



If you're into old-school anime,

see if you can find a copy of this book!
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