It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and what could be more in the spirit of friendly athletic competition than a muddled Sunrise mecha anime with a weak narrative focus and disturbingly xenophobic undertones? CLICK HERE or on the banner above to download our review of Gasaraki, a 1998 science fiction TV anime with direction by mecha master Ryosuke Takahashi. In it, we talk about the price of wheat, clunky robots with sand in their joints, and HOLY CRAP! ALIENS!.
I remember looking forward to Gasaraki’s release back in the day and then gradually losing interest as the episodes kept accumulating until I finally gave up. I wasn’t disgusted by the experience, just bored.
Since then, I haven’t gone back to watch the whole thing and probably never will, but at least I can still remember the OP and ED themes. Indeed, those were quite good and I’m glad that Tom agrees.
Some interesting trivia: according to the Japanese Wikipedia page, which provides a citation or two to support this, it seems Toru Nozaki was the person who came up with the main concept and overall direction for the show, rather than Ryosuke Takahashi.
Most of Nozaki’s anime career has been about providing the special settings or special concepts for different series, starting with everyone’s favorite GaoGaiGar of all things, and that essentially consists of just coming up with the worldview or technical terms involved and then letting the creative teams do the heavy lifting.
Gasaraki was the first show that Nozaki himself directly wrote, which was later followed by Divergence Eve (a.k.a. sci-fi horror meets Eiken-esque giant tits) and, curiously enough, Takahashi’s own FLAG. Needless to say, FLAG is easily his best work. Then he simply fell off the map and only came back to do some side work on Cross Ange (…no comment) and help Takahashi by writing the Vietnam episodes of Young Black Jack.
Back to Gasaraki itself…Japanese Wikipedia apparently cites Nozaki claiming that he wanted to make it an “ensemble drama” like ER. He also allegedly structured the story in an intentionally layered manner, but I am sure most of us would agree that things got too out of hand.
Curiously, Nozaki even wrote a four volume novelization which supposedly explains stuff that wasn’t addressed in the show, such as the difference between the two characters named Yushiro. Not that anyone should ever go out of their way to track those down, mind you, but I wonder if that adaptation is easier (or harder) to digest.
Overall, the good news is that the staff involved in this unfortunate production all moved on to better things after Gasaraki (Takahashi and Blue Gender, Nozaki and FLAG, Taniguchi and Infinite Ryvius, Izubuchi and RahXephon, etc).
I can name a show that would waste Paul’s time sufficiently to get you even, and would drive him slowly mad.
Marmalade boy (which isn’t THAT bad, but it goes on FOREVER, and keeps repeating beats). It’s like Ranma without the fights.