I hope everyone had a fun, & filling, Thanksgiving as well as a fruitful Black Friday, because I sure as hell did. At the end of the day I somehow was able to simply go into a store and buy a Deluxe/Black Wii U, as well as some games, and I sure had some fun with it with some friends last night. But enough holiday talk, back to Mecha Month. Part 1 of this "Twelve Anime" list featured mostly titles that were either real robots or at least were super robots that handled themselves more like real robots. Well, Part 2 is kind of the opposite, since most of what's here are super robots, so what other mechs would I try to bring over to North America?
Sengoku Majin GoShogun & Time Stranger
Starting off the supers is a neat reverse example of what Dancougar was, i.e. North America got one portion of the franchise, but this time we got the latter part, at least in an uncut form. The original GoShogun aired in Japan back in 1981 and was essentially a parody of mech anime of the time, with a crew of heroes who seemed to be more interested in simply talking to each other than taking their enemy seriously, a group of villains whose goals were sometimes outright ridiculous (Kernagurl's goal was to open a fast-food restaurant chain, supposedly), and scenes that were meant to poke fun at other mech anime. One scene apparently involved the GoShogun crew finding a robot that looked like the RX-78 Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam. Apparently GoShogun itself then gives the robot sentience, followed by the robot killing itself after remembering the horrors of war. Even though it was mixed together with Srungle to make Macron-1 here in North America I'm sure the joking nature of the original show was lost.
And then there's the 1985 movie sequel, GoShogun: The Time Étranger, which takes place 50 or so years later and is absolutely serious & dark-natured, plus the GoShogun is nowhere to be found, outside of flashbacks. Manga Entertainment originally released it on sub-only VHS in the 90s, and then CPM gave it a DVD release in 2003, complete with a brand-new New York-produced English dub, simply calling it Time Stranger. If Justin Sevakis is any indication there are people who are really curious about watching the original 26-episode TV series after watching the movie, and I'd release the entire show, with the dual-audio movie, in one boxset.
[2/2018 ADDENDUM: Yet another belated update, as Discotek Media not only re-release GoShogun: The Time Étranger, this time on both DVD & HD-remastered Blu-Ray (complete with both CPM & Manga UK's dubs!), but then also later gave the original GoShogun TV series its first-ever uncut Japanese release in North America. Gasshin Go buy them now!]
GR -Giant Robo-
This title first appeared in my list of anime I'd love to review but can't at the moment, and it's kind of sad to see that a relatively recent remake (it debuted in 2007) has been ignored, partially because it's not related to a well-loved title of the same name. The Giant Robo OVA is a fun ride of an anime to watch, and I'm sure that the recent Blu-Ray release looks amazing, but at the same time I am really interested in seeing something more in line with what Mitsuteru Yokoyama created. That's what GR -Giant Robo- was meant to do, especially since it was created to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Giant Robo's creation. It's annoying to see, honestly, any sort of recent anime go by unnoticed and uncared about, and that's honestly a big part of the idea behind what I'd license in general: The stuff that deserves a fair shot, or at least a fair second try. Even though the Giant Robo OVA is a popular title, I'd likely just stick with a sub-only boxset when it comes to GR.
Really, there's no way I could go after SPT Layzner and not give it's fellow Sunrise Classic Action never-was a chance. Much like Layzner, Giant Gorg was (allegedly) fully subtitled as well during it's time with Bandai, this time by Dave Flemming, and there's a chance that Flemming himself still has the translation with him. With a fun, grand adventure style to it, plus a little bit of Tetsujin 28th & 60s Batman mixed in, Giant Gorg would be a title I'd be willing to risk losing slightly less money on. Much like with Layzner I'd pay Flemming what he was owed if he wasn't paid by Bandai and then release the show sub-only, probably in one, 26-episode set.
[4/2015 UPDATE: Leave it to Discotek to surprise people with the impossible, because they will be doing what I mentioned here by giving it a complete sub-only collection release later this year!]
The J9 Series (Ginga Reppuu Braiger, Ginga Senpuu Baxinger, & Ginga Shippuu Sasuraiger)
Now here's where I outright break my usual "twelve" anime idea, since while I had multiple entries before in this list (B't X, Dancougar, & GoShogun), those cases at least featured the whole idea of "sequel/continuation", but the J9 Series, though technically taking place after each other, have only tenuous ties between them story-wise. But who cares, because all three shows really have to be treated together... It's either all of them or none of them, in my mind. Whether it's Braiger's merciless, though entertaining, J9, Baxinger's intergalactic ronin of J9-II, or Sasuraiger's galaxy-traveling quartet called JJ9 this series is only recently starting to get more recognition & appreciation, since Braiger is fully fansubbed now. But to only have one-third of the series subbed isn't enough, and I'd do the ambitious idea of having all 121 episodes (Braiger's 39, Baxinger's 39, & Sasuraiger's 43) brought over to North America on sub-only DVD. Each show would likely be released across two or three sets, and maybe I'd even offer an artbox to hold all 6-9 sets, much like that awesome artbox release Japan received in 2009 (pictured above).
Next Senki Ehrgeiz
Yeah, it's yet another case of a license rescue entry appearing on this type of list, but Ehrgeiz is just a title I can't help but enjoy & want to support. Even though it hasn't had a DVD release in Japan I'd still go for it, though I will admit that I'd try to get this as part of a package deal with d-rights; I'd likely package it with the Eat-Man animes, since I already would want to license those, too. I can understand how some people don't enjoy this show, but I will always put my support towards Ehrgeiz. I'd make this a semi-dual-audio release (i.e. include the dub for the first two episodes that was made), and I'd even try to get as many of the extras that the laserdisc release had in Japan, namely the six "My Favorite Battle of MV" video shorts, which compile director Toshifumi Kawase's favorite battle scenes in the series, as well as an image gallery featuring the posters each LD came with as well as the info sheets that are on the other side of each poster. These info sheets feature production sketches as well as short Q&As with the production crew, and it's really cool to see that, even though it is such an obscure title nowadays even in its home country, Ehrgeiz was still at one point a new anime and had all of these neat extras that came with it. Some might call it putting too much focus on a minimal release, and I would try to do this release as cheap as I could realistically do, but if there's extras like that then they deserve to be on the DVD release.
Armored Trooper VOTOMS
All right, now I called doing the J9 Series ambitious... But I honestly would consider this ambitious. In fact, I consider releasing VOTOMS so ambitious that right now I'd just try to do the TV series, much like what CPM did. VOTOMS is not just the story of Chirico Cuvie and his adventure from planet to planet as he's being hunted down by the army he once fought for, but rather it's essentially the life story of the man, from his early days in the army to his later years, with the TV series being only a large portion of the overall thing. Out of all of Ryosuke Takahashi's creations, VOTOMS is, by far, his magnum opus, with new productions even being made as recently as 2010. But, to start, I'd give the TV series the license rescue it desperately needs (if you want the last story arc at a fair price & with a good release... Good luck), probably trying to add in whatever little extras I could include, like maybe the one episode CPM had dubbed simply for the fun of it. If the sales for the TV series were good enough then I'd start to dig myself deeper into releasing more VOTOMS, because there's plenty to still do, like Roots of Ambition/Treachery, The Last Red Shoulder, Big Battle, The Heretic Saint, Phantom Arc, Pailsen Files, & even spin-off Armor Hunter Mellowlink, which is about a man who destroys small mechs with only a giant gun... No mech of his own.
[8/2018 UPDATE: Currently, HiDive is adding the HD-remastered version of VOTOMS for streaming on a weekly basis, but a physical release for not just the original TV series, but also "most of" the OVAs is in the pipeline, too! Unfortunately, there's no confirmation regarding Mellowlink, but there's always hope...]
Shin Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter
Might as well, as the saying goes, "save the best for last" and go into outright craziness with Shin Mazinger. Yasuhiro Imagawa's 2009 reboot of Go Nagai's legendary Mazinger is an absolute fan favorite of mecha fans, but unfortunately wasn't that much of a seller in Japan. In fact, even with a BD release the show sold apparently so poorly that the studio that animated it, Bee Media, went out of business after the show finished, making the chances of a much hoped for sequel, which would have likely been called "Great Chapter", very unlikely. Still, with such a well-loved title in existence it would simply be disrespectful to not give this title a try in the licensing field, and maybe a company might. A few months ago, someone asked NIS America at one of their con panels if they would do Shin Mazinger, since they have relations with Dynamic Pro via Demon Prince Enma Burning Up!; NISA's response was that they weren't even sure if they could license Shin Mazinger, followed by a quick quip that someone else might have licensed it. Now, this isn't anything absolutely positive in terms of a response, but one can only hope that Shin Mazinger is truly being given a chance over here one day. If not, then I'd give it that chance, across one or two sets... And maybe a dub if I was feeling crazy enough.
[4/2015 UPDATE: I'm so late on this update that I just have to spit it out. Discotek will be releasing Shin Mazinger on sub-only DVD next month!]
And that's the end of this "Twelve Anime" list. There is a "ton" of mech anime out there, though that saying doesn't work out well here, since one giant mech alone is likely weighing in at over one ton. Anyway, with such a niche-laden focus I've given this license list I'm sure that my company likely wouldn't survive this onslaught of titles, though I'm sure the fans would appreciate the thought & line-up. But, who knows, with a genre that can survive on things like courage & hot-blooded yelling maybe if I believe enough I can keep on going... Maybe.