Monday, September 30, 2013

Crunchy Roll

I might be really late to this party, but I'm not sure.  Crunchyroll is AWESOME.

I've always loved Anime.  When I was just 3 years old I was watching Robotech, Voltron, Starblazers and my favorite, Gatchaman on a Dallas, Texas station called KXTX.  It was way before the internet or even cordless telephones, much less cell phones.  There was no pay cable.  HBO had yet to be a thing.  No one paid for television.  I was lucky to have such awesome anime on a local TV station.  There were only a few places in the entire country that showed anime at all. KXTX had it all.  Anime, Kung Fu movies, Godzilla flicks and Universal Monsters.

Gatchaman was a huge influence on me.  It made me want to draw.  It was so full of color and drawn better than anything on at the same time on any other station.  The bird costumes just made my imagination fire in all sorts of ways.  The storylines got more and more serious as it went on.  Things incredibly complex for a kid.  I remember not getting some things, but eventually getting things through context.  Characters died.  That was an extreme departure from American animation and caused me many let downs with American Animation in the future.  I can honestly say I have never seen an American animated film or series that has come anywhere near the depth of Japanese animation. It still has the ability to blow me away and just make me think about so many things while inspiring artistic visions.

There is an online service that streams Japanes anime right after it airs in Japan.  It also has quite a vault of shows from the near past and even some from the 70's, like Galaxy Express 999 or the 80's Fist of the Northstar.

They have a new Gatchaman series streaming now.  Gatchaman CROWDS.  It is awesome.  It pays homage to the old series, but is nothing like it.  Berg Kaste is in it.

70's Berg Kaste

New Berg Kaste

That character hasn't changed much other than you know right up front that he's not exactly a he or she, but something inbetween.
Galactor has been updated to be called GALAX and is a program run on all hand-held online devices.
8 episodes in, I'm still waiting to see if the sweet voice of GALAX will turn more sinister.
The character running the GALAX program wants to update the world.  Get rid of the idea of relying on everyone else and to rely on ourselves together as a collective.  GALAX updates people when there are accidents, etc. and asks if anyone in the area can help or has the expertise necessary to save someone from certain issues or problems.  The users get points and the World is updated to the status of the situation.  It's a pretty fantastic premise.

The characters are very different from original Gatchaman except for Jou Hibiki who is obviously a nod to Joe.  

So, yeah, needless to say I love crunchyroll.  $6.95 a month and more Anime than anyone could possibly get through with new updates daily.  If you love anime, seriously, go sign up.

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