View Full Version : Nostalgia : anime of the 80's

Nov 4, 2010, 20:37
If like me you grew up in the 1980's, you will surely remember with fondness the Japanese anime that entertained your childhood. The '80's were the golden years for the Japanese economy, a time when the passion for robots and future technologies was at its zenith. This is reflected in the enormous quantity of anime with robots.

The most famous in France was Goldorak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grendizer) (aka UFO Robot Grendizer in Japan and English-speaking countries), which ran from 1975 to the early 1990's.
Goldorak's opening theme was so good that it still bring strong emotions when I hear it after all these years. Compare the French opening song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMq48uxDMqw) with the original in Japanese (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW8JKCouIA4). They are almost identical, except for the language !

Some other great intro themes in Japanese (never translated) were Daimos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVHJ0Xs3Fcc), Gordian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7dm5Gx8xUo) and Rolling Star (aka Muteking in Japanese) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7syauAfRtRA).

There were also plenty of anime set in space, like Captain Future (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO-quCGNdYg) (Capitaine Flam (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4-89PqmsOU) in French; the opening song was so famous that it even played in night clubs !), or Ulysses 31 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjgrX2xtpFg) (here is the English version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ4c1X5ene8) ; the French version was basically the same as in English, but a new French intro (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C66wYbOWDjI) was made later which is even better), Captain Harlock (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aap2vwuFJs8) (Albator (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNyogSLAGMI&feature=related)in French), and of course Galaxy Express 999 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KIboDS4w8M).

It is funny to see that half of the Japanese anime that were popular in France, Belgium and Switzerland in the 80's are nearly unknown in Japan. That's the case of one of my early childhood favourite, The Mysterious Cities of Gold (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stiKu-Mbh8g&feature=related) (Les Mystérieuses Cités d'Or (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0X7B3ISnos&feature=fvst) in French, Taiyou no ko Esteban in Japanese). The French opening theme still resonates in my mind.

The anime that Japanese and French children both watched, and probably also other Western European and Americans, were Lupin III (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZJYxy2060c) (aka Edgar in French), Cat's Eye (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_qmAwaYF84), City Hunter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqqOSNYmqY8&feature=related) (aka Nicky Larson in French), and of course the great classics like Dragon Ball (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rICAYE-bztU), Fist of the North Star (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n371zCCYpts) (Ken le Survivant in French, Hokuto no Ken in Japanese) and Saint Seiya (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Px2zX-M2alQ) (Les Chevaliers du Zodiaque in French).

Dec 1, 2010, 16:18
American anime are obsessed about superheroes, muscular/manly characters and the eternal fight between good and evil. Americans also like cars, trucks and airplanes. Examples from the 1980's :

- He-man
- Mask
- Transformers
- GI Joe

The other kind of American anime are the comedies, although they tend to predate the 80's, with such classics as Popeye the Sailor (1930's through 50's) the Tex Avery productions like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck (1940's and '50's).

In the '80's American comedies for children had become mostly Franco-American productions :

- Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heathcliff_%28DiC_series%29)
- Inspector Gadget (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inspector_Gadget)

There were also numerous very successful French or Franco-Japanese anime, mostly about the space conquest and history :

- Ulysses 31
- The Mysterious Cities of Gold
- all the Once Upon a Time... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time...) anime series.

True Japanese anime were always more obsessed about robots, cute characters (Doraemon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doraemon), Pokemon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pokemon)), heroes with magical or supernatural powers (in the line of Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya or Naruto) or Japanese school life and romance (High School! Kimengumi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highschool!_Kimen-gumi), Maison Ikkoku (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maison_Ikkoku)).