So, when I was growing up there was this animated television show that I fell in love with. I had not thought about it for many years, but when we collectively read Akira, all the memories came flooding back. It was called Star Blazers, and it told the tale of a heroic crew fighting to save the Earth from the evil Gamilon Empire. It had everything a nine-year-old boy could love. Epic space battles, lots of action, good versus evil, explosions, I could go on and on, but I won’t, but man, it was fun.
Star Blazers was an adaptation from a popular Japanese anime series, called Space Battleship Yamato, which ran intermittently there in 1974, 1978, and 1980. However, the Star Blazers television run lasted three seasons between 1979 and 1984, right at the height of the sci-fi craze that became Star Wars (A New Hope, 1977 and Empire, 1980). This series, and its comic books, paved the way for many of the popular anime series and movies, as well as many of manga books we enjoy today.
What made this show so unique, as an anime series, was it told and followed an arching storyline. Also, its more mature plot line and character development did not allow it to be “dumbed down,” as a lot of cartoons from the 70s and 80s were (for the record, I didn’t watch cartoons in the 1980s). In other words, the show did not “talk down” to its intended audience, it was entertaining for the sake of enjoyment, but it sucked you in with all the cliffhangers, and life and death situations.
And apparently, Star Blazers has stood the test of time. There was a reboot, in the form of a blu-ray and DVD release, of twenty-six new episodes in February 2014, which follows the events of the first season. I guess this brings truth to the adage, “What was old is new again.”