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Ever had someone read your mind? It happens on occasion. In my attempt to fill the void in this first issue for the RetroAnime section, I thought hard about what could be put here for our first time out. Then the programming crew at the Cartoon Network handed me the perfect opportunity to fill the space. Late night television is a staple here and for some strange reason we happened upon the first episode of Sailor Moon as we flipped through the endless choices coming off the DSS dish. For the first time in almost four years, I stopped and watched an episode. Watching that episode caused some reflection to an earlier time. I thought back to the days when anime had just hit it big in the States. We had the SDF-1 in Robotech, the high flying action of Battle of the Planets, the Robeast battles of Voltron... Times were good back then, a great contrast to the animation of the 90s. You could sit back and watch those shows thinking to yourself, "Now THIS is some cool stuff!" The kind of stuff that would get your imagination going. We'd play games based off those classic shows of yesteryear. I'd be Lance, the red lion pilot from Voltron. My friends and I would come up with all sorts of stuff to do because of those shows that caused us to *gasp!* use some ingenuity and be creative.

Now we warp to the late 1990s and the anime world has seen many changes since the days of Rick Hunter. Going into a local video store and seeing shelves of anime-related videotapes and DVDs is a trend that will hopefully carry into the next millennium. Seeing anime soundtracks grace the racks in music stores, it's a great time to be an anime fan. More anime is coming out now here in the US than any other time. But why do we have this wonderful situation? Here. Let's take a quick look at two of the shows from the Toonami Midnight Run that helped get us to where we are today.

 


Robotech...  

What happens when a US producer takes three very popular Japanese series, and creates a phenomenon that surprises the country? You get the likes of Robotech. Created from the television series of Mospeda, Southern Cross and Macross, Robotech showed the US what a real mecha show was all about. You had action, suspense, romance, transforming robots... and Minmei. What more could we ask for? Throw in a little bit of Protoculture and you have what most anime fans regard as their beginning in anime.


Voltron...  

The first generation of anime fanatics will recognize Voltron as the updated 80s version of the 5-member hero group trend like its predecessor of the 70s, the Japanese series Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets here in the States). Voltron was the story of a legendary robot made up of five lions which were piloted by a group of five pilots from Earth. The Voltron Force would do battle with the forces of King Lotor as he repeatedly attempted to overthrow the people of the planet Arus. Oh yeah. And I'll form the head.


 

That's just a quick look at two of the shows in the current Toonami Midnight Run as well as some of the classic anime that brought a new artform to the US. In the months to come, RetroAnime will feature thoughts, commentaries and reviews on the shows that helped us get to where we are in the anime world. It will also feature reviews on some of the hottest shows and series that may have passed you by, but you need to see.

So until next time, ja!


 

 

  Infobox

TOONAMI Midnight Run
Every Sunday, beginning July 10 @ Midnight (Eastern/Pacific) on Cartoon Network

12:00   Dragon Ball Z
12:30   Powerpuff Girls
12:45   Sailor Moon
1:15   Reboot
1:45   Dragon Ball Z
2:15   Sailor Moon (repeat)
2:45   Thundercats
3:15   Robotech
3:45   Voltron
4:15   Real Adventures of Jonny Quest
4:45   Super Adventures
 
     
 
 

 

 
   
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