Posts tagged ‘anime’

Retro Anime Theatre: Swan Lake

First of all, I’m sorry that April passed by without any updates, but there have been a lot of stressful things going on, and I haven’t been inspired to write. Such is life. I do want to try to post more in the coming months, but I’m not making any promises yet!

So, as you may or may not know, I like anime. I watch new series all the time, and poke around on a few forums and whatnot, looking for obscure old shows.

Well, a few days ago, I made some big discoveries. Not just one, but TWO movies I’ve been wanting to see for years. They’re both made by Toei, which animated a lot of American shows in the 80s (including Muppet Babies, I think). They’re both adaptations of fairy tales. And, last but not least, they’re both old.

In the last couple of years, every time I went somewhere that had huge stacks of VHS tapes, I looked for both of these movies, to no avail. I found people selling them on Amazon, but they wanted too much money, plus I heard that the English dubs were less than spectacular. I’m not a fan of dubs in the first place, so that was a big turnoff too.

Then, finally, I said “screw it” and started Googling to see if someone, by some remote chance, had uploaded one of them somewhere. And the other day, I found both of them. With the original Japanese audio. On the same blog, no less!

The first is Sekai Meisaku Douwa: Hakuchou no Mizuumi, aka World Masterpiece Fairy Tale: Swan Lake, from 1981. This film and I go way back, and it’s been shrouded in mystery for years. I saw part of it once on cable sometime in the early 90s (I swear it was on AMC, but I could be wrong) and I thought it was fascinating. I wanted to see the whole thing SO badly, but they never aired it again. But that problem has, at last, been solved!

As an aside, all screencaps in this post were captured by yours truly. If I hadn’t gotten that wild hair up my bum, this post would have been up last night! But I digress.

Now, on to Swan Lake! Luckily, the person who uploaded it also saw fit to subtitle it in English, which is fantastic because my Japanese isn’t THAT good.

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I Got Mad Retro Lootz

So I went to my dad’s place the weekend before Christmas to visit my other sister that I hadn’t seen in several years. Since Dad’s a big junk hunter just like me, and there was nothing better to do, we all went and checked out some of the junk shops/antique stores in the small town where he lives. And boy, am I glad I did!

The first place we went didn’t have much that I was interested in, honestly. However, at the place across the street, I scored:

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It’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms II for the NES! Actually, I didn’t buy this for myself. It’s for my husband, who is a huge fan of video games in general, and he likes old games, AND he’s a very loyal follower of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. So when I saw this for two dollars, I couldn’t resist. I’ve just done a quick eBay search, and this game typically goes for at least twenty bucks!

This place also had a couple of Barbies from the 80s, complete with triangular neon earrings and crimped hair, but I couldn’t decide which ones I wanted, and if something doesn’t make me say “HOLY SHIT” aloud and snatch it off the shelf, I typically don’t go for it. So Barbie will just have to wait.

Next, we went to the downtown area, which has certainly seen better days. There was an antique shop there, and the place was a damn goldmine. I could’ve easily spent a hundred dollars in there if I’d had it to spare. They had toys, they had pretty things, they had mugs and jewelry and art and lots of other great stuff. But, of course, I stuck to the 80s memorabilia, which they had plenty of.

I ran around like a kid in a candy store for a while before I finally decided to go with a Gloworm (which still works!), a vintage My Little Pony, and a Garfield mug. 😀

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Among the things I wanted to get but couldn’t afford were various old character glasses. You know, the ones that places like McDonald’s and Burger King used to sell. They had Return of the Jedi, Great Muppet Caper, Care Bears, and a few other ones. They were marked at about three dollars a piece, which is pretty reasonable compared to what most eBayers are charging. I would have bought every single one of these if my funds weren’t so limited. So with a heavy heart, I left them all behind. If they’re still there the next time I’m in Sulphur, Oklahoma, I’m gonna go snag a couple.

A Vintage Stock store recently opened near me, so I went to check it out. They sell lots of cool junk, like old video games, action figures, DVDs, comic books, and VHS tapes. There were actually quite a few NES games that I wanted to pick up just for the hell of it, but again, none of them jumped out and said “HEY HEY BUY ME”, so I left them for now.

What I was really interested in was the huge collection of VHS tapes. I went over it with a fine-toothed comb, with a few specific titles in mind. I didn’t find any of the ones I was looking for, but I did find something that I was definitely not expecting to find!

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It’s a VHS of the first two episodes of the Rainbow Brite cartoon! With the original clamshell case, even! Admittedly, the case is in poor shape, and it’s an ex-rental, which is usually risky, but I popped the tape in the VCR today and it plays like a charm. The picture’s not even particularly deteriorated like you’d expect from a 20-year-old tape.

The cartoon itself, of course, is pure unrealized potential. By that, I mean to say that it wasn’t all that great, but I had a good time with it and I’m ecstatic that I was able to add it to my collection.

I also picked up another tape: the first volume of a short early 90s anime called Detonator Orgun. My husband is really into mecha series, new and old alike, and even though he’s already seen this rather obscure offering, I thought it might amuse him to actually own this tape. If only they’d had the second volume, too!

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A few months back, when we were getting ready to move, we took some stuff we didn’t need anymore down to the Goodwill. When we got there, I saw these guys in the window:

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I don’t know why Garfield would dress in a football jersey or a fisherman’s outfit, but do you really think I, of all people, would pass these things up? Like hell I would! They’re now on my shelf with the rest of the plushies.

As much as I love this old stuff, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more for a while. Two reasons: number one being that I need to stop spending money, and number two being that I’m running out of places to put it!

Sayonara, Toonami

Well, it’s official. A vital piece of my adolescence is now dead and gone. It was canceled with very little warning and its final airing was last night. I figured this would be a good opportunity to come back from hiatus (even if only briefly) to pay tribute to the good ol’ days of Toonami.

The former weekday afternoon programming block was truly exceptional. Beginning in 1997, it appealed to nostalgic 80s kids with Voltron and Robotech, and with the addition of Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z to the lineup, it was propelled to lofty heights– for a while. All the “cool” kids were watching it. Little kids. Not-so-little kids. Hell, even college kids. The success of Toonami, I believe, was one in a million. It will probably never be duplicated. I personally consider it to be the last hurrah of weekday afternoon cartoons.

Honestly, though, I shouldn’t be surprised that Toonami is gone. After enjoying a few years in the spotlight on weekday afternoons, it was shoved onto Saturday nights and there it languished until now. Frankly, Toonami has been dead to me since at least 2003. However, it’s still kind of depressing. We always hold onto the hope that these things will be revamped and get a new lease on life, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

In general, things are looking pretty bleak for both Cartoon Network and anime on TV. Toonami was the gateway, and it’s been boarded up. [adult swim] has been content to pluck all the anime off its lineup one by one and often relegates them to godforsaken hours of the night. It’s a sad thing.

I’ll close this too-brief post by linking to TOM’s farewell, which was kindly uploaded onto Youtube. See if you catch the reference at the very end.

ETA: God this post sucks. This is why I’ve been on hiatus.

Magic of the Moon: Special Edition

I’ll admit it upfront: this post is something of a copout. But it’s a topic that definitely evokes lots of nostalgia in me, so I figured, what the hell? I’ll fix it up a bit, put a more personal spin on it and re-post it here. Think of it as a “director’s cut” of sorts.

This was originally written for RetroJunk early last year, and garnered some pretty positive comments. It wasn’t a smash hit or anything, but I felt pretty good about it. It’s one of my first attempts at writing “article-style”, and was one of the pieces that led up to me starting this nostalgia blog.

Hopefully, at least one of you will enjoy it.

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