Saturday, January 09, 2010

The first Anime I was Aware Of

"I will spawn a master race of cartoon characters who look exactly like me for the next 50 years and beyond, then we will take over the heathen American barbarians and their entire decadent entertainment empire!"
They didn't call this Anime then, they just referred to it as Japanese cartoons.I remember all this giant robot stuff. I guess that never went away.

Wendell Washer - who I worked with at Filmation used to sing (bellow, really) the "Raideen" anthem all the time - in Japanese

and I didn't know what it was, so he took me, Tom Minton, Eddie, Kent Butterworth and Bob Jaques to a meeting of the CFO where there were all these super nerdy fans of this stuff. They also drew "furries" and all had their own fanzines. Little did I know it was all a well-conceived plot to take over America during its time of weakness.

I remember thinking how weird these cartoons were, but then a couple years later the Americans starting stealing from them and came out with cartoons about cars that were also giant robots.

There must be a million of these giant robot characters. I wonder how many we need? What makes one any better than another? At least the older ones had some design to them and you could tell what you were looking at.

They gradually became more and more busy looking, cluttered with nutty awkward details. A decade after I worked on shows like the Transformers and being ashamed of it, young Spumco artists in the late 90s would come up to me in awe and recite whole storylines about how Gangamons beat up Rotundabeast with his triple tread whitewall tires while his half-human, half-koala girlfriend chewed eucalyptus paste in delight and bore him 17 new Astroboys and girls - all with spiky hair as a reward.
I never would have imagined we would be watching big budget live action movies of such a goofy concept 30 years later, but there you go.Can anyone tell me what's what in this modern Americanized version? What am I looking at? I won't blame this clutter style on the hippies. I blame Star Wars.


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