Taking time out from swanking about Anime Encyclopedia reviews to flick through some TV listings, I wish I had a Tardis. There’s nothing much on TV here in London tonight, but I know a place – and a date – with more to offer.
Tokyo, 6 March 1978: if you’re an anime fan you have a difficult choice to make this evening. Three shows based on your favourite manga are fighting to occupy the same airtime.
There’s a brand new Go Nagai show premiering on TV Asahi at seven. Majokko Tickle promises Nagai’s trademark saucy humour and teen shenanigans, and Toei Animation has a solid reputation for animation.
But over on Fuji TV at the same time there’s Ore Wa Teppei, based on a Tetsuya Chiba manga with all his trademark boyish integrity and that fine studio Nippon Animation providing the pictures.
As if that weren’t a tough enough choice, flick channels to NTV at seven and you’re right in the middle of the action with Lupin III. Dressed in a snazzy red jacket, Monkey Punch’s master-thief delivers thrills, spills and laughs with that je ne sais quoi that comes from being the Japanese descendant of French gentleman-burglar Arsene Lupin. TMS would make 155 episodes of this second series, which ran all the way into 1980.
So which would you choose?
For me, the clincher is the Lupin III score. The first few bars of that unmistakeably cool-as-cucumber-martini theme tune take me back to the 70s and make me never want to leave.
Throw away the TV listings, click open a DVD case or tune in to your favourite online service and let the miracle of moving pictures take you back to a place and time of your choice. 6 March 1978 would suit me fine tonight.