Elsewhere in Mechaland ...

One of my absolute favorite 1980's anime series besides Robotech is the 1983 Sunrise series Armored Trooper Votoms, a totally grim, gritty fifty-two episode war epic, and the first big hit by noted mecha anime director Ryosuke Takahashi. This is the mecha show that was doing well when Genesis Climber Mospeada was languishing in its early Sunday morning timeslot. Central Park Media, the company that owns the rights to Votoms, has just posted the entire first episode of the series up on their website here, ostensibly to run on your PSP, but it'll work fine on your computer. It's a 107 meg file, Japanese language with English subtitles, and it looks a little grainy and soft in fullscreen on my laptop, but given the size of the screen it's been optimized for, that only makes sense.

Besides its airdate, the biggest tie between Robotech and Votoms is an American comic book artist. Back in 1997, "Invid War" and "Return to Macross" artist Tim Eldred adapted a Japanese Votoms prequel novel into a graphic novel called "Supreme Survivor" as part of CPM's first big push of the property. Votoms is Eldred's favorite science fiction work ever -- he says as much in his afterward to the book, which is currently available at Amazon here -- and given the quality of the work, how closely the art strictly adheres to the animation designs and how clearly the whole thing flows, it really shows. I like "Invid War" more, but "Supreme Survivor" is truly a masterful effort, hence the Amazon link.

Hey, I'd point you to a link for a trade paperback of "Invid War," too, if such a thing existed ...

Sorry for the digression, but I hope those of you who've got decent 'net connections give the show a look. I mean, geez, it's legal free anime. How can you pass it up?


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