I’m currently in the middle of an operation which consists largely of moving all my stuff from one room in the house to another. My room isn’t actually all that large, but its kind of deceptive – I have a hell of a lot of crap. The good thing about this is that I’m finding a few things of neatness lying around – like that copy of Phoenix Wright I thought I’d lost (thankfully I’d already finished it by that point), and the subject of this post.
For those who are too young to remember these things, this is a VHS cassette. Its kind of like a DVD, except they take up loads of space, the video looks fugly, you don’t have language selection and the extra features are kind of non-existent. Also, you have to WAIT for it to rewind if you want to watch something again.
VHS tapes aren’t really that rare – we had videos for years before we moved onto the shiny disks, and it was pretty much the only way to watch things other than broadcast TV. This one, however, is a genuine old UK anime release – and I mean old. Any UK citizens may have noticed the lack of BBFC certificates on here. This is because this particular tape pre-dates all UK video releases having to go through the BBFC! Oldtabulous!
Anyway, this is the 1982 movie Techno Police 21c. The movie itself isn’t all that interesting or great (alas, I don’t actually have a VHS player any more, so the only picture you are getting is the one on the box) – it centers around a country bumpkin highway cop who gets a promotion to work in Sentinel City, where the police get robot partners! Along with the token female and the guy built like a tank (whose robots are suitable girly and tankesque respectively) they end up chasing a hijacked supertank in an attempt to stop it getting into the wrong hands! Then, halfway through the movie, Token Girl gets trapped in the tank whilst it goes off in Zany Autopilot Mode! OH NOES!
This is one of those things I saw when I was really, really young as a rental – this tape copy is something I picked up many, many years later from a junk sale for pure nostalgia reasons. I suppose its true that you really, really shouldn’t revisit things you remember fondly from your youth, as they really do tend to suck. Still, I guess this vague amused me last time I watched it.
Speaking of amusement, I rather like the quote on the back of the box.
The animation, coincidently, is pretty crappy. The “superb synthesizer based score”, however, was actually by none other than Ghibli-music legend Joe Hisaishi!Wow, such humble and crappy beginnings. On a similar note, I think Shoji Kawamori was actually involved in this as well, though he probably wants to forget about that.
I suspect this movie isn’t available anywhere in the world any more. This is probably a good thing, as I really need to reiterate that it isn’t actually very good. Still, having seen old shit like this does at least give me the well-earned right to point and laugh at people who think anime is getting worse, secure with the knowledge that they are stupid.