#218 : Magical Angel Creamy Mami: Curtain Call

Magical Angel Creamy Mami and music video styled OVAs, haven’t we seen this before? 1985 would see the release of the Lovely Serenade OVA and it must have done fairly decently because the following year we would get yet another packaged collection. 1986’s Curtain Call is in some ways more of the same, but there are some differences for sure this time around.

CMCC_1Beginning with new animation, which incorporates occasional collage techniques for backgrounds, we join Yuu/Mami in the usual light styled pop music that when no one notices I am sure you get up to dance along to… I do sometimes. After that we continue with loads of random clips from previous incarnations of Creamy Mami interspersed over music again, very cliche. Except this time the emphasis is on instrumentals. This could work well for karaoke, if only the lyrics were available for the singing. … Honestly though, I miss hearing the character’s singing voices.

CMCC_2This changes midway through where we find not Mami in the studio laying down a track, but her rival Megumi instead. Now that’s a nice touch of gratitude. True she may be a little selfish and hot headed at times, but Megumi is also a talented chanteuse. We return back again to the instrumental route including a funny montage of Megumi slapping scenes towards Shingo, her love interest and the record producer for both her and Mami. That poor boy has had a hand in the face way too many times… one of the best running gags from Creamy Mami.

CMCC_3Pen-ultimately we lead to a live concert featuring both Mami and Megumi doing a duet with many of the other main characters playing the instruments… since when did Toshio learn guitar and Midori the drums? Does not matter in the slightest, this is a great showing both in terms of spectacle and solidarity between both of the pop princesses. Mami even sheds the magic to allow her true self, Yuu, enjoy some love from the fans and show the talent is within her no matter her guise.

If you are looking for a plot here, forget it. Remember, this is all about the music, not a story, so you will have to find another Creamy Mami OVA that has that in focus (Long Goodbye is a good choice and I still need to see that one!). Honestly I preferred Lovely Serenade more for that fact that it included singing, but in truth both that OVA and Curtain Call can function more as display material at a store, or even a convention then say general home viewing. But what Curtain Call has that makes it a recommended title in the end is that awesome final concert scene. That was a welcome surprise!

#217 : Bavi Stock

Time for Action! And now yet another OVA oddity from that little studio I love so much from way back when. Kaname Production had their name identified with several productions during the 1980s including: Birth, Windaria, The Humanoid, Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko and Dream Dimension Hunter Fandora to name a few. Now it is time to check out the two part action packed adventure known as Bavi Stock. Released in 1985 along with the brilliant Yohko, I had no expectation in regards to Bavi Stock, except a few screenshots to set a general idea of the setting. Overall I liked it, but found it a little confusing.

Bavi_1This first episode left me scratching my head. What did I just watch? We first see a member of the GPP (Kate), this is some kind of galactic police force, rescue a mute girl (Mooma) who has been captured by a renegade esper, Lady Lus Mila and her android companion, Eyesman. Then after getting birthday wishes Kate is asked to bust a guy out of prison who happened to be charged with murder. This fellow is named Bavi Stock (hence the title) and along with him we also add his boxing trainer, Sammy, who has plans to enter a hovercraft style race, even though he also is serving a life sentence (did he have his own method to getting out?). Upon returning to GPP headquarters we find it has been blown up, sadness. And then rejoicing again as Sammy prepares to enter the race while celebrating Kate’s birthday. Talk about a dichotomy. Then we meet up with Lady Lus Mila and Eyesman again… are they planning to enter this race as well?

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 100Holy cow, talk about all over the place, I hope this second episode irons out some of these character’s pasts, or reason for being in this show? But first, the hovercraft race, which reminds me of the Star Wars pod race. Now onto episode two where Bavi, Kate, Sammy and Mooma are living together as a surrogate family. This one begins more comically and the visuals look a tad downgraded, or perhaps different from the the first episode. Thankfully some back story starts to emerge for Bavi and Mooma throughout this second go around. FINALLY! Add to that a treasure hunt on another planet that, as we add back in a little Star Wars, reminds me of meeting the Ewoks from Return of the Jedi. Now we have cuddly teddy bears to add as well that can communicate with us! This is one crazy OVA overall, but when looked at from another point of view, it was kind of fun. This is a B-Grade release for sure… maybe C, D… I leave that up to you.

Bavi_3This is by no means exactly like Kaname’s 1986 OVA release, The Humanoid, but if I could pair this with another Kaname release I would go with this combination. Both have over the top plots too big for their respective releases, not enough information to really understand the full picture, occasional comedic banter and characters that you enjoy and come to love. ‘Bad’ anime literally, but entertaining enough to enjoy despite the flaws. I actually welcome titles like this in my search through the OVA bins of lost titles as these have as much value to me as the bigger masterpieces. I had odd tastes I guess? Plus it’s a Kaname anime and no matter what I stick up for their catalog of work. And if I havd to choose between Bavi Stock and The Humanoid, I would go with the later. Why? COFFEE!

A big thank you to my friends at Kingmenu Subs for helping with this release, it was help on my journey here! (I never thought I would ever see this title subtitled… never say never)

Anime Wisdom from Remy Shimada… Even at my darkest hour, I am never alone

I will from today until my last breath love and treasure the sequel OVA to the GoShogun TV series, GoShogun: The Time Étranger. I have spoken not once, but twice (and who knows maybe more in the future?) about this special film and my admiration towards the leading lady of the Good Thunder team, the pilot of the Queen Rose, the woman who is at the apple of many a man’s eye… the ever talented, witty and beautiful Remy Shimada. The Time Étranger was her swan song, her tribute, as well as a portrait of her ultimate character. She is someone who even at the brink of death, never gives up… and in The Time Étranger there were many times when this occurred. When she is alone, trapped and on her last option, something, or someone comes into her life to say, “Remy, don’t give up hope. We want you here with us.”

Miss Shimada had a rough life. Her childhood in France was marked with the death of her mother as well as bouts of trouble with the local boys who never suspected that she would not only fight back, but in all honesty… kick their asses. 😉 She was very much alone in the world from the beginning. Or was she? The climatic moment of her youth was in a cemetery where she would fall into an open grave, or perhaps it was some other type of deep hole, or trench where she would become isolated, trapped. She resounded to her fate, yes I shall die here, I except this. And then five spirits would visit her to reassure her that she was not alone and that maybe someday all six of them may team up together. Those five represented the five men so important in her adult life that she would spend so much of the plot of Goshogun with: Shingo Hojo, Killy Gagley, Leonardo Medici Bundle, Yatta-la Kernagle and Suegni Cuttnal. Together till death do us part.

Before joining Good Thunder and the GoShogun team, and well before The Time Étranger, Remy was a spy who failed during one of her missions. All she could do was run to her boyfriend’s arms. He would tragically die soon afterward (or did he?!) leading to her capture and a prison sentence. As a last ditch effort she would bust her beloved locket to use the glass to slit her wrists. Thanks to Captain Sabarath and his convincing By the way if you want to know these segments were from the GoShogun TV series and the recap movie. I had to include this as a bonus as it fits well with the theme of this entry!

Now back to The Time Étranger… What about the time when she was in that car chase that led to an accident that left her in a coma? Or, being diagnosed with an extremely rare illness? Or, receiving a death announcement in the form of an anonymous letter stating she has only two days to live? Or confronting a giant monster in a desert where she only has one more bullet to feed her beloved Magnum pistol? All moments where life was in short supply, but the will to live was still there! Remy had someone still behind her back like guardian angels each and every time. What about the opening sequence of The Time Étranger, which ALWAYS make me cry. It’s beautiful. Alone in the desert she cries out, “Where am I? Where is everyone?” And then her five boys show up out of the mist to reassure her… so dramatic… I love it.

So the moral of this story, even when everything has hit rock bottom and you feel you have nowhere to go, or a friend to rely on, someone will show up like magic to tell you that you are still wanted and loved. It’s only when life is hard that we realize the beauty underneath the surface of the experience.

Remy Shimada… “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You made me happy when skies were gray.”