The 2nd Dimension

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Viewing Journal: Irresponsible Captain Tylor (complete)

Series Overview
DVD Info

Overall= C+
Story = C+
Video = C+
Audio = C


Justy Ueki Tylor thought a career in the United Planets Space Force (UPSF) would give him an easy life: enlist, get a desk job, spend the rest of his life in quiet, boring comfort. No sooner does he take the qualifying exam than war breaks out with the Raalgon Empire, and circumstances quickly conspire to land this volunteer off the street in command of the cruiser "Soyokaze." Now Tylor faces two uphill battles - against the Raalgon fleet that wants to kill him, and against his own crew, who expect him to conform to some standard of military discipline. But as the war rages, Tylor's easy-going ways might have a better chance of converting his crew than vice-versa. (Source: ANN)

This show takes some getting used to. In the beginning it is hard to accept how Captain Tylor gets to be captain of his ship. It's not that I expect hardcore realism from a sci-fi comedy anime, and I know that much of Tylor's success is supposed to be due to "luck"; but even given that, the reaction of the characters seem unnatural and contrived in order to land him into the captain's seat of the Soyokaze as quickly as possible. The reasons that the commanders of the UPSF use to give Tylor command of a ship don't make sense, and then even after he gets command, the way that the commanders from both the UPSF and the Raalgon Empire overreact to his antics are unconvincing and inconsistent with their personalities.

That all being said, once all the pieces are in place: Tylor is captain of the ship, the higher-ups are focused on getting rid of Tylor, and the Raalgon leaders are interested in kidnapping him -- and once you've gotten over the fact that everything up to that point made no logical sense -- then it's actually a pretty fun show to watch. It's not that it is any more realistic or believable at that point; it's just that the characters react more naturally and consistently to the situations.

The main draw of the show is how it tries to blur the line between how much of Tylor's success is due to luck and how much is due to his conscious strategy. As first everything seems to be due purely to luck, but as it progresses it becomes increasingly unclear, and Tylor starts to seem like a stronger character.

As for the visuals, this is an old-school anime, so it's from the days before digital animation. As a result the art is much more detailed and spontaneous. I've really started to get interested in these kind of old-school sci-fi anime because it seems like there is so much more creativity and fun in the designs. Of course, there's no re-mastering here so the quality of the video is not as crisp and clear as you'll get in modern anime, which I'm guessing is enough to turn a lot of viewers away.

The music is mostly typical 80's type of anime music: cheesy and campy but still fitting. There is also some music that is pulled from well-known movie soundtracks which is used in the last few episodes making for some funny moments.

So in the end, I'm glad that I watched this show. Even though the first few episodes were kind of ridiculous (and not in a good way), overall it was a fun show to watch.

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