21 October 2011 | Blueghost
One of the great Anime features of all time.
Man, I could've been the first to have commented on this very energized and epic piece of animated sci-fi space opera.
I can't add too much to the previous review. It's a huge scale feature film with lots of action. For the time it was ground breaking. Riding the coat tails of Star Wars, the director, Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, states on the original VHS liner notes that he had to prove that Space Opera could be done. It was an untested genre for Japan's thriving anime market, and Yasuhiko showed the major anime studios in Japan that sci-fi was a marketable commodity waiting to be exploited.
Of course this did not go unnoticed, and suddenly there's a huge influx of not just regular traditional sci fi of regular Japanese characters doing extraordinary things, but real heady stuff. Remember Macross and the feature film spun off from the TV series? Thank Crusher Joe. Oh sure, there was Space Battleship Yamato, but strictly speaking Yamato played to a nationalistic pride enshrouded in a sci-fi veil. With Crusher Joe we truly get pure adventure with no jingoistic overtones. We have pure space opera adventure from start to finish.
The characters are from central casting, but they're fun and, although stock in nature, are three-dimensional all at once. The plot and story they must navigate is truly something to behold. You'd think a sci-fi animated film would have a basic plot line, but none such the case here. To find out you have to watch the film to see for yourself.
If I had one real critique it's that the film is just a bit too long. It's almost like a baseball game in the sense that you can start to watch it, take a nap, and wake up towards the later half of act two and still get the whole film and its finale. And what a finale it is. Yet even here it's a bit long, but appropriate.
This is truly one of my favorite anime epics from many years ago. I used to watch it with friends while playing cards. It helped kill time and keep us entertained all at the same time (although admittedly we watched a bootleg copy smuggled out of Japan that was only a year old from the release of the film). Fortunately today the film is readily available on DVD along with its two one hour spinoffs that are likewise packed with sci-fi adventure goodness.
Joe, Princess Alfin, Ricky the preteen with raging hormones, Talos the middle aged muscle man and Dongo, the horny robot, fight to save a little slice of law and order. From the road-rage opening sequence to the incredible visuals at the end, it's a nonstop story from point A to Z and all letters in-between.
A great film if you're into Anime.
Give it a whirl and enjoy!