Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt

I loved the first season of this series — slickly animated mech action set in my favorite Gundam era, with a jazz soundtrack. They’re doing a second OVA season, with the first episode out, and I loved it. It’s basically more of what we got from the first season, but on a larger scale (the first season felt a bit more intimate in terms of setting). Looking forward to the rest of the season.

Dallos

Next up in my 80s anime stroll — I’m not necessarily following the exact order given in the primer, and instead watching stuff when I’m in the mood for it — is Dallos, which has the distinction of being the very first OVA (“original video animation,” or direct-to-video, if you will) ever released. It’s also worth noting that it was directed by a very young Mamoru Oshii, who was of course later known for his Patlabor and Ghost in the Shellfilms. There are 4 volumes, and I’ve watched the first one. It’s not blowing me away, but I’m still digging it. It follows a Mars colony that is in conflict with Earth (reminding me of Gundam), and the best part is when they start configuring work mech components for use as weapons. I look forward to watching the rest.

Dallos

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Next up in my 80s anime stroll — I’m not necessarily following the exact order given in the primer, and instead watching stuff when I’m in the mood for it — is Dallos, which has the distinction of being the very first OVA (“original video animation,” or direct-to-video, if you will) ever released. It’s also worth noting that it was directed by a very young Mamoru Oshii, who was of course later known for his Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell films. There are 4 volumes, and I’ve watched the first one. It’s not blowing me away, but I’m still digging it. It follows a Mars colony that is in conflict with Earth (reminding me of Gundam), and the best part is when they start configuring work mech components for use as weapons. I look forward to watching the rest.

80s Anime Primer

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Following on the 80s anime I’ve been watching and posted about (Zeta Gundam, Macross, Queen Millennia), I’ve come across this really great primer to 80s anime. The list — that goes from 1979 to 1990 — is watch-friendly as it’s completely made of movies and OVAs (direct-to-video), so it’s easy to sample a lot of these (compared to having to get through an entire series). For me, it’s definitely a nostalgic list, and features a lot of stuff that I’ve either watched or knew about, but haven’t thought about in years. Think I’ll need to revisit quite a few of these.

Voices of a Distant Star

The last of Makoto Shinkai’s works I’ve watched so far is this 25-minute OVA, which tells an interesting story of two young lovers separated by a war in the galaxy, and how the light years of distance between them affects the way they can communicate. You can tell it’s an earlier work, as it doesn’t feel as comfortably edited as the other works I watched, but already you can see the telltale signs of color and hyper-real world building. I did find the character designs to be weak, and the scenes with mechs have unfortunately not aged very well, as they were done in CG (in 2002). Still very much worth watching though.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

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My first steps leading to me getting into Gundam started earlier this year when I watched the episodes released so far of the OVA series Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin. This prequel series to the original 70s Mobile Suit Gundam anime really kicked off my interest and love of Gundam, and since then I’ve watched a few more series (always sticking to the “Universal Century” timeline stories), and I’m currently in the process of watching the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam series.

Back to The Origin, it’s actually an adaptation of an original manga series, and I came across this Forbes piece that shares the news that you can currently read the first 30 issues/chapters in English for free online through publisher Kodakawa’s ComicWalker site. I’m quite looking forward to reading this, as it seems to include even more background story than what we’ve seen in the anime adaptation.

Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture

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I was absolutely obsessed with this series today, and ended up binging all 10 episodes today. As for what this is, it takes the four Ghost in the Shell: Arise OVAs (original video animation) and re-edits them into a TV series, then adding another 2 new episodes to conclude the storyline (although, it’s really Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie that ties all loose ends). I had originally watched the first 3 OVAs (they were on Netflix), but hadn’t seen the fourth one. They did something strange with the order of the TV series, starting with the 4th OVA, which had me a bit confused, so if you’re new to it I would highly recommend you watch the series in this order: 3-8, 1-2, 9-10. The whole series is fantastic, as is the music by Cornelius – especially the opening theme song he composed for the Alternative Architecture series, which I love so much. As I mentioned, the movie that was released last year properly concludes the story arc, so I’m hoping to watch that very soon.