My Favorite Anime Doctors

I know it’s been a while since I last posted a list, but the topic of this list is very appropriate for what’s happening in my life right now. On the day this list is posted, my youngest child is scheduled to have spinal surgery for scoliosis, and I’ll be spending a few days in the hospital with her as part of her care team. So, it felt appropriate to celebrate anime doctors.

This is not a ranked list, however. It’s just a listing of the doctors that have stood out to me from anime that I have watched.

Dr. Marcoh

Dr. Marcoh is from Fullmetal Alchemist, and he used to be known as the Crystal Alchemist. He was the leading researcher in the military’s Philosopher’s Stone creation project. He is a kind man but suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and extreme guilt for the actions he took during the Ishvalan war that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Ishvalans. Marcoh deeply cares for others and is patient and forgiving of others… even if he is unable to forgive himself. While Dr. Marcoh may not be able to use his alchemy for combat, he is able to use it for healing. He is also very skilled in medicine.

Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane)

In the original Space Battleship Yamato series, Dr. Sado (aka Dr. Sane in Star Blazers) was more of a comedic character that was known for his alcohol consumption, although he had his moments of seriousness, especially when it came to Captain Okita (aka Captain Avatar). In the Space Battleship Yamato reboot, he still drinks his sake, but Dr. Sado is portrayed as a respected surgeon. As the Yamato‘s medical officer, Dr. Sado does a great job of keeping the crew healthy and caring for Captain Okita as he fell ill during the voyage to Iscandar.

Hatori Soma

Hatori Soma is part of the cursed Soma clan in Fruits Basket, and he is one of the family members with the zodiac curse. While part of his job is to wipe the memories of people outside of the family who have seen or know anything related to the curse, he is also an actual doctor. We see Hatori taking care of both Somas and Tohru Honda. He has a good heart, as well as a good bedside manner. He may not be the most emotional of people, but I think this trait suits him well for his profession.

Dr. Tofu

Dr. Tofu is from Ranma 1/2, and he’s the doctor that the Tendo family and Ranma go to see if they get sick or receive an injury. Dr. Tofu is a good medical doctor, and he’s also got some impressive skills as a martial artist. However, he does have one weakness… Kasumi Tendo. Whenever she comes over the Dr. Tofu’s clinic, he becomes extremely nervous and klutzy. Dr. Tofu is a good doctor, but if you see Kasumi walk through the door of the clinic, it’s best to come back and see the good doctor another time.

Tony Tony Chopper

He’s the cute little blue-nosed reindeer from One Piece who serves as the doctor for the Straw Hats. After eating a Devil Fruit that allows him to transform into a human hybrid, Chopper first started learning about medicine from Doctor Hiriluk. After Hiriluk passed away, Dr. Kureha continued Chopper’s training. Chopper may be shy when he first meets people, but he’s a good doctor. Unlike Hatori Sohma, who doesn’t show a lot of emotion, Chopper gets very emotional after he becomes attached to someone. While he’s usually able to control his emotions while treating patients, he has a hard time during the Punk Hazard arc when Mocha eats all of the candy that has been used to poison the children. Chopper can’t contain his emotions even while treating her.

Tsunade

Tsunade is one of the three legendary Sannin in Naruto and is renowned for her skills in medical ninjutsu, as well as for her brute strength. Tsunade suffered the painful losses of her younger brother Nawaki and her lover Dan during the Secong Shinobi World War. With these losses, she developed haemophobia and left the village with Dan’s niece, Shizune, as her apprentice. After some serious convincing from Jiraiya and Naruto, Tsunade returns to the Hidden Leaf Village to not only serve as the Fifth Hokage, she also returns to practicing medical ninjutsu. She later takes on both Sakura and Ino as apprentices. The audience first gets a glimpse of Tsunade’s abilities when she performs an extensive operation on Rock Lee that allows him to continue as a shinobi.

The First of Two Space Battleship Yamato 2205 Films to Open in Japan on October 8, 2021

The official website for Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 has announced that the Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi (Space Battleship Yamato 2205: The New Voyage) sequel project will debut the first of two planned films in Japan on October 8, 2021 with the title Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi – Zenshō -TAKE OFF-.

Returning cast members include Daisuke Ono as Susumu Kodai, Houko Kuwashima as Yuki Mori, Houchu Ohtsuka as Shirō Sanada, Kōichi Yamadera as Abelt Dessler, and Kikuko Inoue as Starsha Iscandar. Nobuhiko Okamoto also returns as Tasuke Tokugawa.

The new characters include Tasuku Hatanaka as Ryūsuke Domon, Tomo Muranaka as Miyako Kyōzuka, Kento Itō as Shigeru Sakamoto, and Wataru Hatano as Heiji Bandō.

Drawing its motifs from the 1979 television special Space Battleship Yamato: The New Voyage, the new two-film project’s story begins three years after the war with the White Comet Empire. Kodai now commands the battleship Yamato with a new crew as they face another battle.

Source: ANN

My Favorite Anime Opening Themes From the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s

It’s been quite a while since I last did a Top 5 list, but I came up with an idea for one and decided that I wanted to write this up and share it. This time around, this is a listing of my six favorite anime opening themes that came out between the 1970’s and 1990’s. Yes, I couldn’t limit it to just five.

Instead of publishing the list as a Top 5 (or Top 6) list, I will be sharing my favorites by organizing them in alphabetical order. I will be using the song titles to alphabetize the list.

For whatever reason, WordPress is not allowing me to embed YouTube videos into my post. Instead, I have made the title of each song a link to a YouTube video.

Hironobu Kageyama – “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” (Dragon Ball Z)

Most readers should recognize this song as the first opening theme for the Dragon Ball Z anime. It’s hard to believe, but this theme song first came out in 1989, when the first episode of Dragon Ball Z premiered in Japan.

One thing I can say about this song is that it doesn’t sound dated at all. You can’t hear it and immediately go, “That sounds like something that was written and recorded in the late 1980’s.” It sounds just as fresh now as it did 31(!) years ago. And I can’t neglect to mention that this song is extremely catchy.

Yoko Takahashi – “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

When I watched the first episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, this song grabbed me the first time I heard it. I love how catchy and upbeat this song is, but it doesn’t prepare you for the content of the series or how the story evolves over the course of the series. LOL!

In all seriousness, though, I like how the song starts out kind of slow and minimal, and then it explodes into such an upbeat and catchy tune. Unlike “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” though, “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis” does sound a bit dated when you listen to it now. While this sound worked for an anime theme song in the mid-1990’s, you wouldn’t hear something like this as a theme song in today’s anime. Sounding dated doesn’t make it a bad song, though.

Etsuko Nishio – “Don’t Make Me Wild Like You” (Ranma 1/2)

This was the first opening theme song for the Ranma 1/2 anime when it premiered in Japan in 1989. Sonically, this song works so well with the images that accompany it. Also, the sound of this song perfectly captures just how crazy and chaotic the Ranma 1/2 anime can get.

Of all the opening themes for the Ranma 1/2 anime, this one is by far my favorite. Sure, it sounds dated, but it’s still incredibly catchy and fun. You can’t help but move in time with it when you hear it.

Sasaki Isao & The Royal Knights – “Space Battleship Yamato [Opening Theme]” (Space Battleship Yamato)

This is the opening theme for the first Space Battleship Yamato anime in Japan, and this is the oldest song to appear on this list. Of course, I first heard this in the American version back in the early 1980’s when I watched Star Blazers as a kid. Years later, when I got to hear the original Japanese version, I loved the song even more.

Both versions utilize the same music, which has a sound reminiscent of a military march fused with a 1970’s disco feel. Between the English and Japanese versions, I prefer Sasaki Isao’s vocal performance over the English singer. Isao has a great voice, and you can hear why he continues to be a voice associated with the Space Battleship Yamato franchise all these years later.

Seatbelts – “Tank!” (Cowboy Bebop)

This anime theme song, composed by Yoko Kanno, is a standout for so many reasons. For one, it’s a jazz sound instead of the usual rock or pop sound associated with anime opening themes. And second, it’s an instrumental, which is on the unusual side for an anime opening theme song.

But it’s not just those differences that make this stand out. It’s also a great and catchy song in its own right. It’s really not surprising that “Tank!” is considered to be a standout anime opening theme song.

Hiroshi Kitadani – “We Are!” (One Piece)

“We Are!” is a song strongly associated with the One Piece franchise and has had several different versions used as an opening theme during its run, but the original version by Hiroshi Kitadani remains my favorite. It’s hard to believe that this song, along with the first episode of One Piece, premiered in Japan in 1999(!).

This song gets the viewer pumped and excited for what’s to come in the series. It’s just so catchy and so memorable, and it easily gets stuck in your head. Not that I’m complaining about this being an earworm, though. If I have to get a song stuck in my head, “We Are!” is one I wouldn’t mind hearing over and over.

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Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Star Blazers 2202 Part Two

Star Blazers 2202 Part Two is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes two Blu-ray Discs and two DVDs, and each format contains the final 13 episodes of the series. The language options available on this release are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Star Blazers 2202 Part Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: November 26, 2019

The second half of Space Battleship Yamato 2202 reveals important backstory for Lieutenant Keyman. Desler also plays a more important role in this half after his return near the end of the first half of the series. Desler’s redemption in this telling of the story felt more realistic than the one he had in the original telling.

Kato also has an important role to play in this half, and the psychological torture he goes through after a decision he makes is almost heart-wrenching.

Probably my one real complaint about this version of the story, though, is that Yuki deals with amnesia yet again. Yuki with amnesia or Yuki in peril seems to be a consistent theme between both Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 and Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202. But even with that, I still appreciate the fact that this new version of the franchise incorporates more women and gives several of them prominent roles.

But when you watch the last episode, be prepared with a hanky. I’m not going to say exactly why you should in order to avoid providing major spoilers. I’m just going to say that you should, because that final episode gets emotional.

When all is said and done, I think that Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 did a fantastic job of adding depth to the original version of the story, and also incorporated the new elements and characters introduced in Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 to help add more “meat” and depth to the story.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes DolbyTrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The audio on the DVDs include English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.

The big bonus feature is a roundtable with Christopher Wehkamp (English voice of Susumu), Daman Mills (English voice of Keyman), and Mike McFarland (English voice of Kato), where they talk about the important developments in this portion of the story. Both Christopher and Mike grew up watching the original Star Blazers, so they had insights from their memories from the original. While this bonus feature was interesting, I didn’t think it was quite as impressive as the major bonus feature on the first set (the interview with Christopher Wehkamp and Ken Meseroll, the voice of Derek Wildstar in Star Blazers). This set also includes episode commentary, a Japanese promotional video, and textless versions of the theme songs.

If you watched Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 as well as Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 as simulcasts and enjoyed them, then I would highly recommend this release to add to your home video library.

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Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Star Blazers 2202 Part One

Star Blazers 2202 Part One is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes two Blu-ray Discs and two DVDs, and each format contains the first 13 episodes of the series. The language options available on this release are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Star Blazers 2202 Part One
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: March 26, 2019

This portion of Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers is a reboot of the portion of the saga that’s known in the West as the Comet Empire story. In this first half of the reboot, I enjoyed the political intrigue that was presented early on with the Earth’s government and military. Their interactions with the Gamilans were also quite telling. While the upper brass of the military were jerks in the original version of this story, I felt that Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 helped to better define these characters and help to explain why they were acting like jerks. I also thought Lieutenant Keyman was a nice addition to the story and the cast.

Another thing I appreciated about this reboot was the fact that Teresa and her powers were defined here. I also liked the fact that Zworder and his people were given a race name and what kind of a race they were. Zworder’s motivations were also solidly defined and made a lot of sense.

Another good change was the depiction of the Space Cavalry members. In the original version, they were a bunch of sexist jerks, but here, they aren’t depicted that way. It was also great to see a woman among the members of the Space Cavalry in this reboot.

The first half of the reboot ends on an exciting and dramatic note. When this series was being simulcast originally, the simulcast caught up to the movies in Japan at this point, so there was a six month gap before we got to see what happened next. At least at this point, both halves of the series are available on home video, as well as for streaming on FUNimation’s website, so you don’t have to wait like I had to during the simulcast.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes DolbyTrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The audio on the DVDs include English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.

When it comes to the bonus features on the set, my favorite was the interview with Christopher Wehkamp (the English voice of Susumu Kodai in the reboot series) and Ken Meseroll (the voice of Derek Wildstar in the English version of the original Star Blazers/Space Battleship Yamato). It was a nice “old meets new” feature, with them comparing how things were done in the recording booth between the two eras. It was also kind of cool to hear Christopher talk about watching Star Blazers when he was a kid and how Ken’s work in that show ultimately influenced him when he became an actor. The two of them seemed to have a good rapport. There is also a commentary on Episode 2, as well as textless versions of the theme songs and trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases.

If you watched Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 as well as Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 as simulcasts and enjoyed them, then I would highly recommend this release to add to your home video library. I would recommend it both for the actual episodes and for the interview with Christopher Wehkamp and Ken Meseroll.

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Space Battleship Yamato 2205 Anime to Debut in Winter 2021

Harutoshi Fukui, who handled the scripts and series composition for Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, revealed at a concert event that the Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi (Space Battleship Yamato 2205: A New Journey) sequel project will open in Japan in Winter 2021. He also teased that the project will feature a “short, decisive battle.”

Additionally, Fukui announced that the title of the compilation project for the Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 (Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi or Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love) anime films is Uchū Senkan Yamato to Iu Jidai Seireki 2202-nen no Sentaku (The Era of Space Battleship Yamato: Choice of 2202). Regarding the project, Fukui said, “It’s a title like a documentary, but it is a documentary. New video content will also appear.”

Source: ANN

Kenji Yasuda to Direct the Space Battleship Yamato 2205 Anime

The official website for the Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 (Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi or Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love) anime film has announced more staff members for the Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi (Space Battleship Yamato 2205: A New Journey) sequel project.

Kenji Yasuda is directing Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi. Newly announced returning staff members include Hideki Oka for scripts, Nobuteru Yuki for original character designs, Junichirō Tamamori and Yasuchi Ishizu for mechanical designs, and Akira Miyagawa for music. Mika Akitaka will also contribute mechanical designs.

The sequel anime is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2020.

The website also revealed that Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 will receive a compilation anime film in 2020. The Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi Sōshū-hen (Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love Compilation; tentative title) will compile the 26-episode Space Battleship Yamato 2202 television anime into a film, and studio MOTHER is producing the project. Fukui is credited with composition and supervision for the film. Yuka Minakawa is writing the scripts, and Oka is credited with script cooperation. Tamamori is serving as setting advisor. Atsuki Sato is credited as “director,” but he is listed separately from Nobuyoshi Habara, who is returning from the series to direct the project.

Other staff members returning to the compilation project from the television series include executive producer and production general supervisor Yoshinobu Nishizaki, scriptwriter Fukui, and character designer Yuki. The previous anime’s studio Xebec is also contributing to the project.

Source: ANN

Information Revealed for the Next Space Battleship Yamato Anime

The official website for the Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202 (Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi or Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Warriors of Love) anime film has announced the title, two staff members, and Fall 2020 debut date for the anime’s sequel project.

The new anime’s title is Uchū Senkan Yamato 2205: Aratanaru Tabidachi (Space Battleship Yamato 2205: A New Journey). As the title indicates, the story is set three years after the previous anime. Harutoshi Fukui returns to oversee the scripts for the new project. Shoji Nishizaki, the son of Space Battleship Yamato co-creator Yoshinobu Nishizaki, returns as executive producer.

Source: ANN

Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Star Blazers 2199 Part Two

Star Blazers 2199 Part Two is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes two Blu-ray Discs and two DVDs, and each format contains the remaining 13 episodes of the series. The language options available on this release are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Star Blazers 2199 Part Two
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: November 6, 2018

The second half of the series sees an attempted coup aboard the Yamato, revelations being made, a major battle against Domel and his forces, the battle at Gamilas, arrival at Iscandar, and the return trip to Earth.

The second half continues with divergences from the original source material, but overall, these changes work and improve the story. There was some great character development in this series, although I felt that Shima had a shakier ride when it came to developing his character. We would see the occasional glimpse of it for him, but nowhere near the extent that many of the other characters got.

Even with that complaint, I believe that overall, the story of the reboot was a lot stronger and had more depth to it than the original. Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy the original version for what it was, but I think this reboot takes the original and elevates it to a completely different level. I liked it a lot when I watched it as a weekly simulcast, but I think I enjoyed it even more after getting this release and being able to watch more than one episode a week. And now that I’ve seen the entirety of Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, I can say that the first series did a great job of setting a foundation that the next series could be built from.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes DolbyTrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The audio on the DVDs include English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.

When it comes to bonus features, the first disc of both formats includes a commentary on Episode 16. The second disc of both formats include a bonus feature labeled, “The New Frontier Continued: Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199,” “Illustrating Space Battleship Yamato,” promo videos, textless opening songs, and trailers for other FUNimation releases. The first bonus feature is interviews with English cast members and social media crew. Like on the first set, they talk about the characters and events taking place in this portion of the story. But again, I heard some of the Japanese names mispronounced, even by cast members. “Illustrating Space Battleship Yamato” is a kind of slideshow that runs for about a minute and a half and shows how the design of the Yamato progressed before the final one was selected for the reboot. The promo videos are for the Japanese home video releases of the series, and the textless openings are for the two versions of the opening that appeared over the course of the series.

If you watched Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 online and enjoyed it, then I would highly recommend adding both this release and the first set to your anime home video library.

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Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: Star Blazers 2199 Part One

Star Blazers 2199 Part One is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that includes two Blu-ray Discs and two DVDs, and each format contains the first 13 episodes of the series. The language options available on this release are the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub.

Star Blazers 2199 Part One
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: July 31, 2018

When I heard the news that Crunchyroll would be streaming Space Battleship Yamato 2199, I was thrilled to see this reboot of a franchise I grew up watching. I had heard a lot of good things about it, so I looked forward to seeing it for myself and to make my own opinion on it.

I admit that while I was very hopeful about the reboot, I was also a little concerned. There’s been good reboots of my childhood favorites but they have typically been outweighed by the not good reboots. After watching the first episode, though, I could already tell that even though changes had been made to the original, it was still very recognizable to viewers who have nostalgia for the original franchise.

The basic storyline is still the same between the two series. The Gamilans (aka Gamilons) are attacking Earth with radioactive planet bombs, sending the human race to live underground. But the radiation is heading underground, and it’s predicted that Earth only has about one more year before it becomes unlivable. Thanks to Queen Stasha (aka Starsha), plans and information are sent to Earth in order for them to travel to Iscandar and bring back the Cosmo Reverser in order to rid the Earth of the pollution. A group of Earthlings take off in a retrofitted Japanese battleship (the Yamato) to make the journey.

However, this reboot introduces changes that, in my opinion, help to make the story more realistic and add more dimension to the characters. One of the things I appreciated about this reboot is the fact that there are more prominent female characters in the cast compared to the original. I also think new characters introduced in the series, such as Yamamoto, Misaki, Niimi, Shinohara, Hoshina, and Itou all added something to the series by being included.

Near the end of the episodes included in this set, we start seeing some major divergences between the reboot and the original source material. However, I believe that these changes worked well for the story that they were setting out to tell for Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes DolbyTrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. The audio on the DVDs include English 5.1 Surround and Japanese Stereo.

When it comes to bonus features, the second disc of both formats include a bonus feature labeled, “he Newest Frontier: Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199,” an audio commentary on Episode nine, promo videos, and trailers for other FUNimation releases. “The Newest Frontier” runs for about 19 minutes and has interviews with some of the voice actors and social media staff involved with Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199. While I appreciated hearing the voice actors who grew up watching the original Star Blazers making references to the original, I was a little frustrated that some of the voice actors can’t pronounce some of the Japanese names properly, even though they’re working on the show. The promo videos run for about nine minutes and are Japanese advertisements for their home video releases of the series.

If you watched Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 online and enjoyed it, then I would highly recommend adding this release to your anime home video library.

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