- May 24, 2021
Yes I think at the time there was a bit of a furore with violence on kid's tv , and I also think that nunchucks and their depiction on all tv had been banned, so they even had to edit it to remove the weapons. Think they even banned showing nunchucks in the Bruce Lee movies of the time.
Remember it very well. I stumbled on some production art on ebay earlier this year. I use to love the funky background music to the Centurions, generally reminded me of Filmation's Flash Gordon, too. I don't think it holds up today though.
I'll try and avoid the obvious Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, Cybercity Oedo 808, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Jack or I'd be here all day - but favourite cartoons?
The Simpsons and early Futurama. South Park. Bugs Bunny. Daffy Duck. Tom & Jerry. natch.
Bakshi's Lord of the Rings > Peter Jackson's, flawed though it is. In my ideal world Bakshi would have secured the budget to produce three fully animated movies without rotoscoping. Love the voice acting performances from Gielgud, Hurt and Holm. The music is also far better than Howard Shore's, imho.
I have a soft spot for fire and ice as it's the nearest we'll get to a Frazetta animation. I'm not as keen on Wizards, but I adore Ian Miller's production art (and his work on Fighting Fantasy).
The Rescuers - check out Milt Kahl's incredible line work - an absolute masterclass in animation. This was in that strange late 70's early 80's when Disney produced some strange and dark films - The Black Hole (incredible Barry score and ship design), The Watcher in the Woods, Tron, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Escape to Witch Mountain.
The Secret Of Nimh
Another Dark, Disneyesque tale from Don Bluth.
A Scanner Darkly
Pretty much every Ghibli film.
Aku no hana (Flowers of evil)
Amongst Anime fans this was widely hated for not being the generic big eyed, cute "moe" style, but I absolutely loved it. A story that exposes the hypocrisies of female representation, teenage angst, idealised love and strict Japanese social codes, all in a dirty, go-nowhere rust belt Japanese town.
Long, stretches of meditative moments - including ten minutes of just walking in silence in one notorious episode (taking up 1/2 the run time) accompanied by droning, hypnotic music, peppered with sudden frenetic outbursts. I adored the animation, the beautifully painted backgrounds, the direction. A brave direction for the director and mangaka to take the series. In parts it's almost like some weird art cinema. It's grubby, sexually charged, transgressive and sly in its humour. Far superior to the awful live action movie they made a few years later.
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc
Following the 90's tv series, they remade a small section of the late, great Kentaro Miura's epic Berserk as three movies following the fates of giant sword wielding tough guy Guts and his frenemy Griffith. If you've never heard or read any Berserk its a bit like the game Dark Souls (influenced by Berserk), Hellraiser, Robin Hood, Baba Yaga and the Baghavad Gita, Game of Thrones and Bible all rolled into one. The scope of the (sadly, unfinished now) epic manga really is breath-taking. Guts is the trope-maker for pretty much every giant sword wielding character in Japanese media.
Bloody, horrific, disturbing, beautiful - Probably the most powerful manga I've read. Even more fascinating is seeing Miura develop as a writer and artist as the story progressed.
In animated form the 90's series is better than the movies, but they're still pretty darn good!
I always thought that the Star Wars prequels should have been the golden age arc of Berserk with Anakin as Griffith.
Have A Nice Day (好极了)
Award winning Chinese animation, kind of reminds me of 90's indie cinema but dealing with Chinese social issues.
From the director of Train to Busan, a very cynical and brutal animation set in the seedier parts of Korea.