If we’re all very good, we might get a new DANCOUGAR release out of this, so respect the pink-haired girl cartoon.

Over on ye olde ROBOTECH tumblr of all things, I’ve taken a moment to highlight William Winckler Productions’s new digital download release of the first four episodes FAIRY PRINCESS MINKY MOMO on Amazon’s Instant Video service.

“Why in heaven’s name would you do that THERE of all places?”

Well, as I explain there (visit the link for more details), it’s apparently based on a 1984-copyrighted Harmony Gold English dubbed version of the show that HGUSA was trying to get off the ground around the same time as they were doing ROBOTECH; in fact, it features a number of voice actors who you’d recognize from ROBOTECH. (It also strikes me as something that should have been on Nickelodeon in 1989 right between NOOZLES and MAYA THE BEE. Very similar vibe in look, story, and English adaptation.) Despite the Winckler release using the original Japanese series name, the dub renames the main character “Gigi,” which it not only has in common with Harmony Gold’s later dub of one of the MINKY MOMO original video releases in ’87 (released as GIGI AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, a mainstay of rental stores and the Kay Bee Toys video section all through the 1990s), but also other dubbed versions across Europe, which all apparently used the Harmony Gold version as a jumping-off point despite the fact that it never aired in its home territory.

I love seeing older anime released in the States, especially when there’s a bit of a story behind it and a vintage dub that had been lost to the ages involved, so this whole situation has me tickled in the same way that Discotek’s LUPIN III: MYSTERY OF MAMO having four different English versions on it does. If you can get past the sickly-sweetness of it — hey, it’s an old cartoon for tiny girls, that comes with the territory — and some rough acting in the first episode, it’s a very well made show that I can’t stop describing as rather charming. The only thing you might find to be a stumbling block is that it is priced at about what you probably would have paid for a VHS of the thing shelved right next to that GIGI AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH tape, a cool $14.99. If you’re a nut for this kind of stuff like me and want to take the plunge, you can find it here on Amazon.

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What I’ve Been Watching, Winter 2015 Edition

Those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter wouldn’t know this, but I’ve actually been watching a number of anime series, both old and new, this season. I actually kind of picked the habit back up last year, when Space Dandy was making its first run on Cartoon Network’s Saturday late-night Toonami block, but thanks to some old favorite creators getting back on the horse, some shows I remember liking OK returning after absences (some of a few months, others of several years), and a decision to finally burn through some of those backlogged DVD & Blu Ray box sets I’ve bought from so many Right Stuf holiday sales, I’ve actually got quite a list going right now. Today I’ll be sharing five of those shows with you and letting you know whether or not you should be joining me in inviting these shows into my eyeballs. Continue reading

Robotech/Voltron #4 & 5 (Dynamite Comics)

“I was sent north to find this Kimba, which I was told could help us back to Earth. I wish I could say more, but I don’t think you’d believe a ghost story.”

Robotech/Voltron #4 is positively tragic. Like the mish-mashed worlds it showcases, it provides a window into a universe where this mini-series as a whole carried the spirit of its predecessors, the lively, pulpy Robotech comics co-writer Bill Spangler scripted back in the early-to-mid 1990s for publishers Malibu/Eternity and Academy. Reading it, I was both elated that the series was picking up steam and worried that there was no way it could be resolved satisfactorily in its concluding issue.

Sadly, I was so right. Robotech/Voltron is easily the worst issue of the run, and is a serious contender for the worst Robotech comic book of all time. Continue reading

Robotech/Voltron #3 (Dynamite Comics)

“I don’t understand. Do you think we’re connected to this SDF-1 somehow?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. All we know is that you’re part of this perfect storm of craziness.”

rt:v_a

Robotech/Voltron #3 brings us through the halfway point of Dynamite’s crossover between the two premiere Japanese robot anime imports of the 1980s, and while there is still a certain amount of setup going on, some pieces of this machine finally feel like they’re in motion. The crossover finally feels like it’s underway. Unfortunately, that means that we only have two more issues for the whole thing to resolve itself; pacing remains a problem, despite this issue feeling like the series finally coming into its own.

Continue reading