Movie Night - Future Boy Conan, Ep. 5

(Update: This video has since been removed from Youtube.  Sorry.)

We're on a movie bender, kids. Here's episode 5 of Future Boy Conan, which I uploaded some weeks ago. Let's sit back and watch.

This is a great episode of Conan. Conan and Jimsy reach Industria, wreak havok, get into a couple cool chases, and Conan and Lana are finally reunited. Yay! This is the first real payoff of the series. That reminds me - I really must upload more episodes. My subscribers must be plotting against me for leaving them in the lurch for so long.

After spending a couple weeks plowing through the second half of Heidi, and finding riffs scattered throughout a number of Takahata movies, it's a great rush to sit down with one of Miyazaki's action-fueled serial adventures. The serious overtones of Future Boy Conan won't become dominant for a while yet, so I can still sit back and enjoy the thrill ride.

Why Conan has never been picked up in the States baffles me. I can see the challenges (and opportunities) of broadcasting or releasing Heidi, Marco, and Anne. But Conan sells itself. It's got "hit show" written all over it, and someone ought to move quickly while Miyazaki's name is still in the public consciousness. Heck, the whole anime fad could be over before you see this on DVD or Adult Swim. Again, whatever. I'd take out some loans myself, but, well, you know. I'm broke, and I don't think a stack of records counts as collateral.

4 comments:

szy said...

I discovered Conan a year ago thanks to a friend who used to watch it as a kid in the portuguese television.

I can't believe Conan isn't more recognized worldwide since for me it's one of the finest Miyazaki works and probably the most accesible to the general public.

I've seen the first episode like 5 times and I'm still amazed by the incredible amount of information Miyazaki is capable of fit in 50 minutes, and get you hooked to the screen. I mean, seriously, it should be teached in script writing schools.

Also, Conan is a great example of Miyazaki genious narrative timming. When things need to slow down, he isn't afraid of putting there some long, calm shots of, say, waves going by. When things need a fast pace, he's one of the best directors (not talking just animation) of action storytelling.

Definitively I'm watching this series again... soon :D

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yeah, that's definitely one of the great things about his years working with Takahata. He learned how important it is to slow the tempo down, and reflect and meditate for a moment. It provides an excellent contrast to all the fast action scenes.

Conan's one of the signature Miyazaki works. Perhaps, in a sense, it's his definitive work. It's the one production where all of his different facets are on display. Future Boy Conan ties together everything - the comic book adventure of the Toei Doga era, the heavy seriousness of Horus and Nausicaa, the reflections on human nature that dominate the Ghibli era. It's all here.

And, of course, Future Boy Conan has that same replayability that Heidi possesses. Once you've reached the end, you want to turn around and start the ride all over again. A heavy, groovy trip.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Being reminded of having listened to Chris Meadows' "Space Station Liberty" Talk Shoe thingy, and listening to Steve Kramer (of Robotech writing/directing fame) talk about one of his early writing deals was doing the pilot script to an English version of Future Boy Conan. I was impress to have learned that, since it meant someone or company did thought about bringing that one over here but it didn't quite make it. It's only rather a shame the show didn't make it ont he tube in the 80's or I could've watched it (even if it was stuck on a cable channel like Nickelodeon). I'm envious of those in places like Portugal, Italy and such that were fared better in seeing this than I had watching digisubs later on.

ReuS said...

Daniel Thomas MacInnes>> That was one of the things appreciated most about the series. It's pace. For the whole 26 episode span I never felt like things were going too fast or too slow. Although I was itching to see High Harbor after episode 9 but even that shows how the story leaves you with just enough motivation to keep going and want more. And for the record I saw the series twice within a month and I still want to watch it over again so you're definitely on point about it's replay factor.

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