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.

Anime Film

Aim for the Ace!


You may remember that a few weeks ago I shared a really great primer on 80s anime. Since I’ve been enjoying dipping back into some of those old series, I decided to go one step further and try following that complete primer, going through everything that is recommended. Since it sticks to movies and OVAs, it’s not as time consuming as you’d think.

First up on the list is Aim for the Ace! (Ace wo Nerae!), a 70s series that follows a high-school girl as she competes in tennis tournaments. It’s one of my wife’s favorite series (she played tennis as well), and so I definitely knew about it but had never watched any of the TV series. The movie I watched, which came out in 1979, is a condensed version of that series, and you can tell, as it just zooms past so many things, feeling a bit manic at times. I quite enjoyed it though, in part for the fun 70s fashions and style, but especially for the very interesting ways they animate the tennis action. Sure, it’s over-the-top and pretty emo, but I liked watching it.

Anime Film

80s Anime Primer


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.

Books Design Typography Web

A Primer on Japanese Typography


AQ‘s Eiko Nagase has written a fantastic article on using Japanese typography, that you should read now. It’s also going to lead to an upcoming book on the topic, A Primer on Japanese Typography, that you can pre-order here.