They are by far the best anime! We counts down the best anime to come out all the time, including the likes of Mugen Shinshi: Bouken Katsugeki-hen, Kenritsu Chikyuu Boueigun, TO-Y, and more!
5: Mugen Shinshi: Bouken Katsugeki-hen
English: Dream Dimension Gentleman
Japanese: 夢幻紳士 冒険活劇編
MAL Score: 5.45
When a strange group of men attempt to kidnap Atsuko Fukune, a dancer at a club, she seeks the help of Mamiya Mugen, a famous detective – who also happens to be a child. When it turns out that other girls have gone missing, Mamiya, with the help of his butler Alucard, springs into action to solve the mystery.
4: Kenritsu Chikyuu Boueigun
English: Prefectural Earth Defense Force
MAL Score: 6.13
Telegraph Pole Society, a mysterious group, is planning to conquer the world. The principal of the local high school forms a Defense Force by recruiting students from school: Shogi Morita, Kuho Tasuke, and Akiko Ifukube. Meanwhile the high school crazy scientist, Dr. Inogami, has turned a local boy, Kami Sanchin, into a cyborg. They might just defeat the Telegraph Pole Society with the help of the cyborg, or maybe not…
The whole thing is very silly indeed. It reminds me of the old Yatterman/Time Bokan series with its ineffectual super villains and silly heroes where they break the fourth wall and generally completely fail at being threatening. The only reason you know they’re evil is because they have a load of minions at their disposal, and only villains have minions. We know they’re minions because they all have ‘minion’ written across their face. The minions are probably my favourite part because they like to jump around in the background when the villains are talking going “hi mum look at me I’m on TV” and being very unprofessional. There are a few other really clever gags too, like the boss of the villains spending most of his time giving interviews to journalists about his plan for world domination and how he loves to drink milk in the morning. But these yet again can often fall back to the usual unfunny routines of perv faces, shouting loudly and hitting people for humour.
The animation is shockingly good for an 80s OVA. Like really excellent with great swooping action scenes with a lot of things going on. Shame the sound design doesn’t always keep up. I don’t think this was a problem with my file either. Character’s reactions and explosions wouldn’t necessarily mesh with what’s going on screen, so I think it was a real design choice. I’m going to put that down to age though, since I have seen that before in other older anime and it might just be something I gotta get used to. It’s fun but forgettable. Got some great moments during its 40 minute run, like the politician receiving a list of banned lewd dojinshi, but then lots of people yelling and hitting things for humour. It’s a shame that the best jokes in this highly kinetic and well animated OVA were all from the writing rather than physical.
Yeah, this is one of those kind of shows.
Prefectural Earth Defense Force is pretty much 1980’s anime distilled in a single, 50-minute OVA. It represents everything that made anime in the eighties what it was. And I mean that as a compliment. If you’re the type of person that ALSO considers it a good thing, then this is for you.
It’s definitely a ridiculous premise, but that’s sort of the point. It’s not supposed to make logical sense, you just have to roll with it. Just like you roll with, say, Project A-ko. Or Urusei Yatsura.
Love the character designs. Love the characters. Sometimes the slapstick does get a little too slappy. Unfortunately, this is all of PEDF that was made. So, I guess if you want to watch more, you’ll just have to watch it one more time.
If you want more afterwards, I recommend the live-action movie “Repo Man (1984)”.
MAL Score: 6.18
Two weeks before a concert at Yaon Hibiya auditorium (1987.8.26), while playing at the club Shinjuku Loft, lead vocalist To-Y (pron: to-o-i) of the band GASP is jumped by a rival, Aikawa Yoji. GASP is a upcoming band known for its violence, struggling to be noticed against the popularity of hotshot Aikawa, who’s #1 on the charts and beloved by his fans. The Yaon Hibiya concert represents GASP’s mainstream debut to break out of the small-time club scene, which is threatened by the schemes of Aikawa’s manager, Ms. Kato of Koyama Productions. Kato wants To-Y to leave that “bunch of hoodlums,” and sing independently for a major label.
Adding to the confusion is an unexplained character who manifests feline traits, named Niya. Niya presents herself as “To-Y’s aijin” (“Niya, To-Y no aijin da yo!”) to the consternation of Koishikawa Hiderou, who has interest in To-Y. Koishikawa, also known as “Sonoko-chan,” is typed as a “okama” by Niya. A running motif is GASP, it’s fans, and associates regarded as unusual by the mainstream public, as exemplified by their musical taste, dress, and Classic Coke-drinking, which only contributes to more difficulty in their struggle to be accepted.
The story’s a simple one, the lead singer in an up-and-coming punk band being courted to become a pop idol, and the band fighting back against corporate culture. But more than that it’s a zig-zagging slice of life in the summer of late 80s Tokyo, and this movie thrives off its aesthetic value and musical sense. Tons of great tunes, tons of lovely visuals.
The movie is honestly really weirdly directed, the plot unfolding in an odd roundabout way that’s hard to describe, and a whole lot of dialogueless scenes where the visuals tell the plot– a very welcome development, of course. Near the end of the movie the mix of odd visuals and odd storytelling get downright experimental and the finale is just plain cool.
Check TO-Y out if you have a chance; it’s on Youtube and probably will stay that way for good considering how little-known the movie is.
This whole thing just screams EIGHTIES from beginning to end, as you have some internecine struggles between bands, little petty jealousies, a few pounds of eyeliner, pretty boys singing on stage, a snake-like manager ripped from a Nagel painting, and long musical video montages. And, surprisingly, it actually comes together (unlike, say, the much less coherent Cipher). The artwork is decent, the music is also decent, and you really do get a sense of the band scene of the time.
Probably the most ineffable element to all this is the girl-toy character, that clings to To-y and mews and purrs…no really, she’s basically acting just like a cat. For contemporary anime fans, they might get a better idea of the character type as Ed from Cowboy Bebop (to the point that I strongly suspect this unforgettable catlike character could have been a strong inspiration for Ed). Incorrigibly free-spirited, perpetually hyper, childlike and naive. It’s a strange character to have in the mix, and you can’t forget her after the OVA is done.
“To-Y is a product of it’s time, or should I say, a time where animators did whatever they felt like doing to an OVA in the Japanese economy boom of 1987. I saw To-Y as a visually fun looking 55 minute music video that told a story of a band and the people around it. Where as Jonn saw it as a giant waste of time 5 minutes into our AIM conversation.”
How many words do I need in this review, all im trying to do is put up a podcast link that already has our review on it since its way easier to just listen than type werdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdz to get the point across. It’s there in the link, go and listen.
2: One Pound Gospel
English: One Pound Gospel
MAL Score: 6.45
Hatanaka Kosaku, a hopeful boxer, has a mean KO punch. Unfortunately, his dietary willpower is weak, and he eats even greasy hamburgers right before a bout. As a result, he has to compete in higher weight classes, and as soon as he takes an abdominal punch, he vomits, which causes him to lose the match in shame. As he tries to grapple with his weak will, he meets Sister Angela, a novitiate at a local convent. While Sister Angela strives to help Hatanaka in his endeavor, he seems to make her training to be a nun more difficult.
Anyway, in comparison to the drama and manga, it is more boxing centric than romance and comedy centric which I find is good for those who like Hajime no Ippo and Ashita no Joe which transitions to what I want to say next about the fights.
If you have watched Ashita no Joe, then I guarantee you’re going to enjoy the fights. A majority of the angles and a fraction of the execution pays major homage to it. Kousaku like Joe is a hard punching brawler but in his fight with Jiro, he shows he does have basic technique against an Olympic gold medallist with his dodging and footwork. And the way he loses sometimes is similar to Joe’s losing streak except under different circumstances of why they’d puke in a middle of a fight. Joe not feeling comfortable fighting after killing Rikiishi, and with Kousaku, he pigs out. And of course we’ll see the use of fouls to win fights. So either the staff of this anime, or Takahashi herself is a fan of Ashita no Joe. But the ending fight ends in an anti-climatic nature which has happened in some other action oriented Takahashi mangas such as Inuyasha vs Bankotsu in the manga version. And the fights in the live action One Pound Gospel have this problem as well.
But for the character design, it’s your typical Rumiko Takahashi art style and if you like Ranma and Inuyasha, you’re going to instantly recognize it. But what’s also fun is that there are no bizarre hair styles and hair colors.
Moving on, I would like to make the notion that this anime never had a dub release. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing, I’m leaving that up to you. But the Japanese cast does have some of the biggest name. Furuya Tooru, the voice of Tuxedo Mask and Amuro Rei and Saint Seiya plays Kousaku. He portrays the character as serious and has a fun side to him. He brings out the confession of his love in a very sincere way in comparison to the sugar rushed portrayal of KAT-TUN’s Kamenashi Kazuya in the live action, which is another review for another time. And Tsuru Hiromi, the voice of Bulma in DBZ and Ukyo from Ranma and Reiko from Ghost Sweeper plays a very different role from this one where she is more calm and doesn’t really have a fighting intensity, but has a certain anger for Kousaku’s indiscipline and his advances.
And I’m guessing Nagai Ichiro’s portrayal of Mukoda paved way for his role of Nekota Ginpachi in Hajime no Ippo, another boxing anime. If just doesn’t feel the same if he doesn’t end his sentences with “da ni.” OK, enough of the voice acting, time to talk about the music. It’s very uplifting and intense. It goes very well to the mood, and brings a balance to the romantic tensions between Kousaku and Angela.
If you’re looking for your typical Rumiko Takahashi romance anime, this isn’t for you. Then again, in most anime versions of Takahashi’s anime, the main female and male characters that have romantic tensions never officially hook up as a couple except for Maison Ikkoku so expect no different. Surprisingly, after reading the manga and watching a majority of the live action version, I like how this is more boxing oriented than romance as I previously mentioned. So, I think it would be a disappointment if it was romance emphasized instead because you know in the end, Angela and Kousaku won’t hook up in the oav like they do in the manga which ended not too long ago. Hopefully we may get a new anime version which can give a faithful manga adaptation which later introduced other interesting characters.
Rumiko Takahashi is one of my favorite mangaka ever, I love her style, so that’s points right there for me. I also love the retro quality, and the silliness of the setup, with this young boxer and nun-in-training. A lot more could have been done with the story and characters though. So I guess I love it’s style and potential more than the story itself.
From my own scoring system:
2/3 for characters and relationships
2/3 for plot/storyline
3/3 for formal elements
0/1 for my special award
The story begins with a guy named Kosaku, which is a regular boxer. He’s a really great boxer with a KO punch that could end the match in one round. His only problem is that he thinks about food too much. Whether he’s running, practicing in the gym, or just resting, all he thinks about is one thing…FOOD. Even his trainer gets too irritated that he wants to fire him on the spot, or just plain quit as his trainer. Kosaku gets a preaching from his coach every now and then, but the guy just lets those words flow through one ear and out the other. One day, he saw a nun by the church while doing his daily run, then started to talk to her to get to know her. When they went inside her place at the monastery, he saw FOOD! He ate as much as he can not knowing that his next fight is about to happen sooner than he thought. By the time the fight came, it was total failure…well obviously. The remaining matches that were shown in this OVA was up to his decision to quit and sacrifice eating too much, with the help of the nun and his trainer.
Aired in the late ’80’s, the art style is good knowing that it’s an old anime. It’s grainy and all, but that’s what any typical old anime would deliver anyways. The story takes place most likely in Japan, with the neon lights and the side stores and all, along with the church area. The art is really simple and reminds me of Inuyasha and Ranma, which is made by the same creator that made this OVA. There’s nothing really special with the place this anime took place, even the boxing ring. It’s there, that’s all you have to know.
The sound is not as I wanted it to be. I guess the voice actors did a fair job, but it just doesn’t add up to be a ‘great’ anime with great sound effects. As I recall, the ending music was of a popular American song that I don’t know the name, but hear alot, or was it the opening? Either way, I just didn’t think that the music fits it, so I’m not a big fan of the music and sounds involved on this one that much. I’ve heard better music, and this is just not one of them.
The characters are also really straight-forward concerning their personalities. There are no characters that are really that ominous (except maybe for that one guy Kosaku accidentally punched in the ally way, which you would know the identity if you’ve watched it or going to watch it). The trainer had the personality of the typical one, all aggrevated and mad all the time. The nun was the usual none (except for the fact that she drinks alcohol o_O). Kosaku is just strange, on the other hand. For a pro-boxer, why would he not worry about being at top of his shape before each match? Might as well become some world-record hot dog eater or something (maybe surpass that dude that wins those kinds of contests like crazy haha), ya know what I’m sayin’?
The fun level of watching this show wasn’t all that great. It was more of like "Hey…I watch Hajime no Ippo, why not this?" kind of a feeling. I’d have to admit I watched this show since I was currently watching Hajime no Ippo at the time and accidentally stumbled on this page seeing a picture of a guy holding his boxing gloves. I was really pumped to watch One Pound Gospel, but unfortunately, it wasn’t as great as I expected. But don’t get me wrong, it was a good watch. I wouldn’t say I wasted my time watching it. I learned a lesson that learning your lesson is a fantastic moral lesson (wa? three ‘lesson’ in one sentence? maybe a new tongue twister?).
One Pound Gospel have something to say. It’s that staying focused on something will make you finish the job easier and efficiently. Swerving for a detour that leads to a cliff isn’t worth the short cut. That’s basically the lesson of this anime. I say check it out if you want to pass some time when you’re bored.
1: Akazukin Chacha OVA
Japanese: 赤ずきんチャチャ (1995)
MAL Score: 7.03
Following the original TV series, the story tells the efforts of Momiji Gakuen, Chacha’s rival school principal, to discover what is so special about Urara Gakuen students and what she could do to “produce” the best students.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Akazukin Chacha OVA
2. One Pound Gospel
4. Kenritsu Chikyuu Boueigun
5. Mugen Shinshi: Bouken Katsugeki-hen