Tuesday, September 29, 2015

THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS ARE FROM JAPAN...


You may be aware that many iconic animated American TV shows have often been animated in South Korea, especially during the last few decades.  Some of those shows have included The Simpsons, Futurama, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Back in the 1980's, several popular animated American TV programs were still being animated in America, such as Masters of the Universe. However the ones that weren't being animated at home didn't outsource their animation work to Korea like they do today, they outsourced to Japan.

Japanese animation studios worked quickly, efficiently and produced high quality, slick animation at a very low cost. You can actually see a lot of Japanese handiwork in the opening sequences to many, if not most, 1980's animated TV shows.

One of my favorite animated television shows from that era not only had an opening sequence animated in Japan, the entire show itself was animated in Japan...  

That show was The Real Ghostbusters.



Fans of the animated series and even the films should definitely check out this fun documentary made in 1990 about the history and production of The Real Ghostbusters.  It follows the process of script writing, storyboarding and voice acting with the American production staff, then takes us to Japan where the animation itself is produced.  There are even interviews with the Ghosbusters' creators and actors, Dan Aykroyd (Ray) and Harold Ramis (Egon), discussing how the whole proposition of an animated Ghostbusters series came into fruition.

The only downside to this documentary is that it's hosted by a convicted pedophile...

...who ya gonna call?



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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

WHICH X-MEN INTRO KICKS THE MOST ASS?

"Look, it's the wicked Japanese version of our show's intro!"
One of the best animated TV series of the 90's was Marvel's X-Men. It was just too damned awesome.  Today it is still one of the few animated TV shows that I watched growing up that is still enjoyable to watch as an adult.


Now the X-Men are a worldwide phenomenon with a new movie being released every other year, however 30 years ago your average kid didn't know who the X-Men were unless they had an older brother that had read the comics and happened to let them borrow some. But that was all about to change. 

In 1989, Marvel aired a TV pilot based on the X-Men for the very first time, it was called 'Pryde of the X-Men'. It was produced by the Japanese animation studio Toei, who at the time was working on the extremely popular Dragonball animated series. It aired rather infrequently before making it's way to VHS.  My first introduction to the X-Men was a copy of that VHS, and it was glorious. Unfortunately Marvel's budget for animation had dried up around that time so fans had to wait three years before they could gaze upon new animated adventures of the X-Men. Check out the VHS version of the pilot below.


The 1989 VHS version of 'Pryde of the X-Men' introduced a whole new audience to the X-Men, just as it had to me.  But if it weren't for the 1992 debut of the X-Men animated series, many kids would have never been properly introduced to those marvelous mutants, at least not as a staple of modern popular culture like they are today.

When the X-Men animated series was released internationally, naturally there were dubs of the dialogue, but for some reason the 1994 Japanese version not only dubbed the show's dialogue, it also presented two different opening animations as well as brand new theme songs. Although I've always loved the original 1992 US opening theme and animation, the first Japanese opening is an explosion of badassary with insane animation and a wicked power metal track to back it up.  It will truly blow you away if you've never experienced it before... however the second version is a bit of a boner-killer, especially after seeing the first one, but at least it does feature all new animation again. Check out both versions below.


Which intro was your favorite?
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