Hey there! My name’s Don “Kangol” Jones. I run a blog called the Check-in Station where I talk about anime, manga, animation and pervy stuff. Feel free to stop by anytime. I’m here helping out my buddy Prede (that’s right, I just gave you a nickname) talk about the wonders of old school anime. Or at least anime that isn’t of this century.
As I am sure you all know by now, I am a huge fan of “a bit of the ol’ ultraviolence“. Genocyber stands out as one of the more violent ones, but also as one of the more hateful ones. This is an anime that makes you a little afraid that the minds behind it roam the streets freely. There is so much hate, disgust at the world, and violence bubbling up in this OVA series that it merits mention. But more then that buried down a little deeper is a good story, if a confusing one at that. Genocyber is a five part OVA series from 1993 directed by Koichi Ohata (the director of the dreadful MD Geist, another anime filled with hate towards everything) . It has three main story arcs, the first story arc takes up the 50 minute first OVA, the second story arc is made up of the second and third episodes, and the final story arc is the last two episodes. The first story arc is the strongest, although the second arc has it’s moments. Sadly the third story arc is painfully uninteresting and not really worth a watch. But the lengths of depravity the first three episodes go to makes this entirely worth watching. Sure there’s anime that goes further, but few anime that seem to hate the world and everyone in it in a way a moody 16 year old does (Legend of the Overfiend seemed to enjoy life in a hedonistic sort of way, Gantz felt the world was too meaningless to feel one way or another, Vampire Wars was too dumb to have feelings…). And that has to count for something! Genocyber is one of those titles that gets tossed around a lot as being “terribad”, and its association with the horrible MD Geist makes that assertion understandable. But Genocyber is honestly good some of the time, and pretty stupid at other times. And although the name is thrown around often enough, I don’t think it’s something people actually watch. But perhaps they should. Read more »
Descendants of Darkness is another show that aired on Anime Selects that I took a liking too. It was a show that depicted the afterlife not as paradise or ever-lasting suffering, but a bureaucracy! Much like the brilliant Beetlejuice, what comes next for the dearly departed is lots of rules, guidelines, and more red tape then the DMV! I find this take on the afterlife both interesting and humorous. The anime follows a group of shinigamis or Gods of Death, who deal with problems related to recently deceased human beings. The problems range from vampires, to mysterious murders, to issues in the main characters past. There is a overarching story, with a great main villain, but it’s slowly developed, even though this is a relatively short anime. With only 13 episodes, it still takes its time with the main plot. An approach I liked, but could discourage many. Instead of delving too deeply into taking on the “main villain” instead each episode was more about a specific mystery or problem that the shinigamis had to deal with, and was sort of episodic. (One of my favorite episodes deals with a patient who needs heart transplant badly.) Of course the main villain usually is in the episode, sometimes being personally involved with the problems at hand. Additionally the back story and cause of death for the two main leads is slowly teased out over the 13 episodes. The series is a combination of police procedural and gothic horror, two of my favorite genres. Not surprisingly there are some dark issues dealt with, but the show manages to bring in humor and make you laugh once in awhile, although clearly not a comedy. The style of humor in dealing with death and the darkness is comparable to another show about grim reapers, Dead Like Me. Read more »
A question I often get is “Prede why do you watch all that old and weird stuff anyway?”* . Now I could easily answer this question by just saying “because it’s good”, but that doesn’t even come close doing the “old stuff” service. And it also ignores the personal factors that effected my viewing habits. And sure, sure that answer could be simplified to a statement about how my friends and acquaintances threw old ultraviolent anime VHS tapes at me as soon as they found out I liked anime (thanks Bobby!). But there’s more to it then that though, while I’m sure that played a factor in it. Sometime around 2003 my best friend, Johnny called me and told me “you have to check this out! There’s all this anime on demand!” He told me to go to the on demand menu and then under cutting edge I’d find it. Here was a video-on-demand channel with all the anime I could ever dream of. The channel next to it was Anime Network on Demand (which I won’t get into, but I enjoyed it very much as well). Read more »
My father is a total car guy. There is no getting around that fact, it is just a truth of natue. His first car was a 1972 Z28 Camaro. He’s managed to hold onto the car for all these years. He had the car restored in the early 90′s, it is now all original in every way including the odd color scheme. Less then 100 Camaros were made in 1972 with his color scheme of Golden Brown with white racing stripes and tan interior due to the GM strike that year. A vivid memory of my early childhood was going to the shop where they were restoring the car every month or so and looking at what they had done. People today regularly comment on how it looks like it was just restored a few months ago or something. Every summer my dad takes his Camaro to dozens of car shows, it is his pride and joy after all. And I accompany him to many of these events over the years. There are always car buffs at these shows, many of them my father’s old or new friends. And so I’d like to think I’ve picked up a little something about cars, just by being around them and people who like them all my life. Although if you ask me to change your tire or tune up your engine you’re out of luck because I haven’t the slightest clue of what to do. But I can wax your car something wicked! Now what’s all this got to do with anime you may ask? Well I think Kenichi Sonoda is just as big of a car buff as my dad and his friends.
I’ve been a longtime fan of the Patlabor TV Series. I caught a bunch of random episodes on Comcast’s Anime Selects on demand channel back in the day. Then I purchased a few random volumes of the DVD release. Eventually I purchased the entire TV series, and then the rest franchise (sans the original OVA series and the last part of the New File OVAs). But this this is something in an entirely different league then the TV series (which I loved). Now I know why old school fans speak so highly of this film. I do hope I don’t spoil too much, while trying to explain why this film is brilliant.