And now we are getting to shows that I’ve written deliberately bland descriptive synopses for in my old job!
A CLAMP show with clear echoes of Plawres Sanshiro, the impression I got from writing those synopses (and never watching the show) was it was “CLAMP does Pokemon”. However, by making it miniature robots fighting they are taking the genre back to its roots (Plawres Sanshiro seems like a key historical series from this point of view).
Director Hiroshi Nishikiori (Ayakashi Ayashi, Gad Guard) is always as good as his material, and sometimes better than the material deserves. I can never see him being anyone’s favourite director, but can give polish to the most average material and bring out the best in good material (as we shall see later).
Director Tsuneo Kobayashi doesn’t have many credits up on ANN, but what he directed in the 00s make an interesting handful of shows. The first is this adaptation of Mihona Fuji’s manga of about three girls in the kogal subculture. Not having seen it, or having kept up with the Japanese youth subculture de jour, I’m curious if this now acts as some kind of historical time capsule or whether it still seems relevant?
Again no embedding available for a Digimon Opening.
Chiaki J. Konaka (Lain) takes the reins of the Digimon franchise and following the lead started in Yuasa’s films brings the series firmly into the real world. I missed seeing any of this at the time and am definitely curious as to what it was like. May check it out and return to this post later.
Given that the character design look as much like Ojamaro Doremi’s as Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s art, this revival of his character (it had already had live action shows in 60s & 70s) may have been in reaction to Doremi’s success. Though one eye was clearly on the nostalgia market as apparently stars of the dramas guested on the anime.
Kiyoko Arai’s Feng Shui-themed shojo manga had a 51 episode run starting in 2001. This is one of those shows whose fansubbing came at the dawn of the bit torrent explosion, but remains incomplete (but also never abandoned).
Now available for £4.99 at your local clearance book shop!
Hiroshi Motomiya’s long running manga about single dad biker Kintaro’s journey through the world of the salaryman, had this short perfunctory anime released in 2001. Almost feels like a long service award for the manga than a worthwhile enterprise as an animation. It also had four series of a live action TV show and a film from Takashi Miike
Masahiko Nakahira’s Kamen Rider “homage” came to anime courtesy of Koichi Ohata (Most Dangerous Geist). I’m going to hazard a guess that the title is the best thing about this show. Or possibly the dirt cheap price of the Media Blasters box set they released of it.
And talking of SERIOUS Shoji Kawamori, starting a little over a week later than Earth Defence Family, was Arjuna. Arjuna is pure, unfiltered Kawamori, so expect environmentalism and spiritualism. While it’s good that a creator has such a strong voice, in Kawamori’s case, when it’s unfiltered it actually seems to swamp his creative abilities and people end up only seeing the preachiness.
This seems like a show I should probably check out on the basis of the OP. Cartoony, highly kinetic, it’s the sort of thing that pushes my buttons. And it’s Shoji Kawamori letting his hair down, which is always better than SERIOUS Shoji Kawamori.