Recently, two franchises with a combined history of 89 years released trailers for their respective upcoming series and watching them back-to-back left me with a pair of broken cheeks as a grin the size of the moon spread from ear to ear.
If you can guess which two franchises I’m referring too before looking below then give yourself a gold star because you’re a winner in my books.
The first franchise is an anime series that will be airing this spring season (in less then a week’s time now) and is currently celebrating it’s 40th anniversary.
That’s right, Lupin the Third finally returns as a series. The last time Lupin had a series Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, the Cold War seemed like it would go on forever, and CDs were on the cutting edge of technology. Since then fans of the franchise have had to make do with a yearly TV special/movie; and, quite frankly, these specials did not have the space to develop Lupin and the whole franchise has slowly stagnated over time as a result.
Which is a shame but it looks like Lupin may, finally, be getting the rebirth that it deserves. We’ve already had the chance to hear the newly refreshed seiyuu cast last year for the most recent Lupin special and I particularly liked Miyuki Sawashiro’s Fujiko. There’s a new director – Sayo Yamamoto – who is best known for directing Michiko to Hatchin and a new script writer – Dai Sato – who has written for series such as Cowboy Bebop, GiTS:SAC, and Eureka 7. They’ve also brought in Takeshi Koike to be the animation director. Yes, that Takeshi Koike; the guy that made Redline. And I almost forgot, series composition will be handled by Mari Okada, whose previous writing credits include Anohana, Toradora, The Book of Bantorra, Hanasaku Iroha, Aquarion Evol, and Hourou Musuko.
This Lupin series apparently is going to use younger versions of the characters then the standard ages used up to now. I don’t know if that means a true reboot will occur or what, but, as a minimum, even people unfamiliar with the Lupin franchise should be able to dive right in.
The second franchise is a year shy of celebrating it’s 50th anniversary and scheduled to return for a new season this fall.
Doctor Who, for those that don’t know, is a British science fiction TV series that follows a space and time-traveling alien (who looks 100% human) as he and a sidekick go looking for adventures and normally only find trouble.
It’s almost mind-boggling how long this show has been around; the very first episode aired the day after President Kennedy was assassinated. Unlike Lupin, though, it’s spent most of those 50 years running full series. The key in having the show run this long with the same main character is that every so often the current “Doctor Who” finds himself in a situation that would kill him and has to use his ability to “regenerate” and when he does he takes on a new appearance and slightly different personality.
I wish I could say that like Lupin, it will be possible for new viewers to jump right in with this new season but there’s never been a reboot in Doctor Who – so even those shows from the 1960’s are part of the canon and continuity of the show. There is, however, little need to watch the really old seasons to understand what’s currently happening. The best place to start is the first season that Doctor Who returned to TV after an absence – a total of six seasons to catch up on – or the bare minimum would be to start when the Doctor regenerates into his latest incarnation – a total of two seasons to watch. For myself, I’ve seen every episode of the last two seasons and most of the previous four seasons so it’s completely possible to like the show without seeing the older seasons.
One of the scenes in this trailer for Doctor Who reminded me of a scene that bothered me in Guilty Crown. In the trailer Amy keeps accidentally firing her gun because she has her finger on the trigger when it should be resting on the guard around the trigger or completely off the gun until she intends to shoot. This is probably the most important thing to remember when handling a gun safely and was thoroughly drilled into me before I was even allowed to hold a gun. This reminded me of Guilty Crown because there was a scene were the loser male main character is taken to a firing range to learn how to shoot and his trainer never once points out this very basic safety rule to him. By this point my opinion of Guilty Crown had imploded and I kept hoping he’d shoot his foot off but that wasn’t to be. Either Production I.G. didn’t realize their mistake – which is hard to believe – or for some reason they couldn’t be bothered with animating his finger being off the trigger until he was ready to fire – which makes Production I.G. look really lazy. See the screenshot below.
I apologize for bringing up Guilty Crown. I should now rename the title of this post to “This Post Contains Nearly 90 Years of Awesomeness and A Mention to One of the Worst Anime Series of All-Time”. Speaking of Production I.G., is there anyone else out there that is unhappy that they will adapt the latest visual novel, Robotic;Notes, from the people who created the Steins;Gate visual novel? Didn’t White Fox do a good enough job with the Steins;Gate anime that they earned the right to handle Robotic;Notes?