Sorry about yesterday's silence...mondo busy day at work and afterward. It rained torrentially as I was leaving for and returning from work. Between putting the girls in the car and having to geto ut to pump gas, I got soaking wet, a fact Cecilia commented on the whole time I was making dinner. Omi fell asleep in the car after drinking her bottle, and despite the downpour I managed to get her inside withoutwaking her, so Cecilia and I spent time in the kitchen together as I fixed dinner. I told her that since it was raining, I'd play "The Rain Song," and put on Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy, which she really likes (go Cecilia!). After I read the sursery rhyme "Tom Tom the Piper's Son" ("and all the songs that he could play/was over the hills and far away") I'd been having a hankering to listen to that album. So when "Over the Hills and Far Away" came on, I reminded Cecilia about the nursery rhyme (although I don't think Mother Goose meant that Tom played Zeppelin...).
Yesterday I made my usual pilgrimage to Video Update for its two-for-99-cent Tuesday nights. I rented Kiki's Delivery Service again, and noted that the store also stocks the Miyazaki anime My Neighbor Totoro, which I'll probably grab next week. I got a little more than usual this week:
- Local Hero
- The Name of the Rose
- Genocyber Vol. 1
- Gatchaman (1994) Vol. 1
- Kiki's Delivery Service (redux)
I've begun recording the flicks I rent on a new page, where I plan to add commentary on these and other movies I see, terse and otherwise.
I watched Gatchaman last night. It's a mid-'90s update of a series that was chopped up and re-dubbed for broadcast on American TV (including my childhood friend WDRB-TV41 in Louisville) as Battle of the Planets. It follows the efforts of the Science Ninja Team, made up of five young people, as they battle mecha unleashed by the evil Galactor. Gatchaman is credited with influencing team-based anime programs by establishing basic roles...the Hero, the darker-and-cooler-but-more-impulsive Second Banana, the Chick, the Big Slow Guy and the Kid/Odious Comic Relief. The original Gatchaman anime series began in 1972 and arrived in America as BotP in 1978 or so. Unfortunately, BotP suffered from a couple of glaring flaws:
- Changes--including the title "Battle of the Planets"--obviously intended to appeal to the popularity of Star Wars. Not that "Science Ninja Team" would have been any better a title, but then you had the annoying 7-Zark-7, a badly animated R2D2-esque robot who served as the show's narrator.
- Obvious edits to tone down the level of violence. I used to say that any time someone got boinked or killed in the show, 7-Zark-7 would show up instead to provide some non sequitir exposition.
- The kid, Kiyop, had some incredibly annoying speech mannerisms, which fortunately were dropped by the '90s update. What on Earth were they thinking?
On the other hand, the robots the bad guys kept making to be blown up each week were cool...
I was thinking just the other day that although my exposure to anime by the early '80s had barely gone beyond Speed Racer, I was able to spot these warts even then (I may not have thought BotP was kinda L4m3, but I still watched it). I hope that, growing up with better stuff like Kiki's Delivery Service (Sailor Moon doesn't count), Cecilia and Naomi will develop a taste for good anime as well.