• Important characters from Z Gundam.

    Important characters from Z Gundam.

    Every mecha fan eventually reaches a point where he (or she) contemplates Tomino’s classic sci-fi anime shows. The potent concoctions of drama and tragedy mixed with epic casts of characters and intricate political maneuvers draw so many of us. After the roller coaster ride is finished we’re left wondering what to make of it all. Why did Camille Bidan, after so heroically defending his friends, have to end up as a vegetable at the end of Zeta Gundam? Why did everyone – I mean everyone – have to die in Dunbine and Ideon? This article is one mecha fan’s attempt to explain what Tomino may have been trying to get across to his viewers. Although what follows is the speculation of a fan from the wrong side of the Pacific Ocean I don’t believe that themes in anime are impossible for non-Japanese to understand. I’ll need to discuss some ideas from Japanese culture but what anime fan isn’t also a student of Japanese culture? Read more…

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  • the aura battler Sirbine

    Knights follow Shio as he pilots the Sirbine on his way to attack the Black Knight's fortress

    The Tale of Neo Byston Well (1988) is a 3 episode OAV that takes place 700 years after the events of Aura Battler Dunbine (1983). This time the story takes place entirely in Byston Well as no one has access to the Aura Road that was used so much in the first Dunbine story. I first heard about the Dunbine OAV when I was a teenager and have been waiting many years to see it. My enthusiasm was dampened somewhat when I saw that the subtitles, prepared by a group called Freebird, were truly awful. English wasn’t even their second language. My limited understanding of Japanese helped me make sense of the awkward subtitles well enough to feel like I wasn’t missing much of what was being said. Read more…


  • Captain Harlock

    Now that I’ve finally completed all 113 episodes of Galaxy Express 999 (1978) I can understand creator Leiji Matsumoto’s ideal of heroism. Matsumoto anime has been entertaining audiences for thirty years now and I can understand the appeal. Matsumoto’s stories are full of strong heroes fighting against impossible odds but that’s not the whole of the stories’ appeal. Matsumoto is a person who tries to get to the bottom of the concept of heroism. What motivates a hero? What does a hero give up when he faces evil? Read more…

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  • Galaxy Express 999

    The main characters of Galaxy Express 999

    Galaxy Express 999 ran from September 1978 to April 1981 and comprises 113 episodes. It is based on Leiji Matsumoto’s manga of the same name that ran in Shonen King from January 1977 to November 1981. Many consider Galaxy Express 999 to be Matsumoto’s greatest work (though I prefer Captain Harlock). Read more…

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    In what will be the last of my Godzilla posts for a while I wanted to give a review of William Tsutsui’s book Godzilla on My Mind. However, the book is too painfully bad to give a detailed review. Discussing the contents in any detail would be too cruel a thing to do to this blog’s readers. The author has nothing worthwhile to add to any conversation of Godzilla. To borrow a line from Monty Python, this is not a book for reading. This is a book for laying down and avoiding.


  • Advertising poster from Godzilla's 28th and (so far) final movie. It bids Godzilla farewell and shows him walking away from the big screen.

    Now that I’ve finally had the chance to watch all 28 Godzilla movies (and a few other classic Toho films) I can reflect on how the King of the Monsters and his career have effected me. Ever since childhood I watched Godzilla’s 70’s movies on television. I liked the movies but for years I didn’t really understand what Godzilla meant or anything about the context in which the monster’s stories were told. Read more…


  • The Japanese DVD art for Godzilla: Final Wars

    Video Daikaiju came to my rescue again and supplied a great subtitled copy of Godzilla: Final Wars (2004). This is the 28th and (so far) final Godzilla movie directed by Kitamura Ryuhei. Godzilla’s Millennium Series ended with a bang with this over-the-top, thrill-packed movie. Read more…


  • fandom 13.02.2010 3 Comments

    Many anime fans have been looking at the photos of lavishly decorated rooms that are part of the Otacool book at Danny Choo’s blog. This week I’ve finally set up my ultimate home office for Gears Online. Packed with mecha posters, computers, books and a large scanner this is definitely the right kind of room to work on Gears Online projects. Below I’ve shared some photos of my personal space. Have you had the chance to set up your ultimate room? If so, please tell us about it in the comments. Read more…

  • Godzilla 2000

    After much waiting I finally received my copy of Godzilla 2000 (1999) subtitled this week. I’ve been waiting to see this movie for a long time. Although I enjoyed it, it was one of the weaker entries of the six movies in the Millenium Series. Read more…


  • I just had a blast watching the Buck Rogers serial from 1939. Divided up into twelve twenty minute segments, the serial originally played before the feature film that the audience had payed for. Full of guts, fists and action Buck Rogers didn’t disappoint. Read more…