It’s 80s Anime Week!

…well, apparently it is.

After watching “Angel’s Egg”, I got to thinking.

Back in the early 90s, I used to trade anime with a gentleman in Arizona who had an amazing list of anime – both subtitled and raw – and who didn’t mind copying it onto videotape for anyone who sent him a couple of blanks and return mailer.

I still have a few of his lists around, I should scan them for nostalgia value one of these days.

Anyway, one of the titles on the list was something called “Good Morning Althea”, which was a title that, well, caught the eye out of sheer silliness.  A friend and I used to try to imagine what kind of anime it could possibly be, but since it wasn’t subtitled and since there were limits to how many tapes anyone could reasonably expect someone to copy for them, we never got a copy.

In the intervening couple of decades, someone’s gone and subtitled it, and now I’ve finally watched it and many questions have been answered.

The title, for one – I used to wonder if that was really what it was called or if that was just a weird translation of the original Japanese title.

Now I know, and it feels good to know.

It turns out that “Good Morning Althea” is a pretty by-the-numbers OVA.  You’ve got some humans, you’ve got some aliens, they don’t trust each other, there’s a Big Bad Thing That Threatens Them Both, they band together to fight the Big Bad, at the end they’re all like “Well, there’s more Big Bads out there, but if we can just work together we’ll be fine!”

There’s also a Song That Saves The Day.  This did come out three years after Macross: Do You Remember Love, after all.

That said, it has value far beyond a silly title and a reasonably familiar plot.  Good Morning Althea is, possibly, the single best way to demonstrate what anime in the 80s was all about.

You’ve got your AMAZING hair:

You have your gratuitous nudity, because this is an OVA, for the love of god, and you’ve got to have some gratuitous nudity thrown in when you’re charging 60 or 70 bucks for a single laserdisc.

Althea here, by the way, not only wakes up from suspended animation (explaining the name of the OVA) buck naked, she then gets into a naked fist fight followed by a detailed conversation and plot exposition while standing around in the altogether, and doesn’t seem bothered by this at all.  I guess it’s an alien thing?

Anyway, eventually Althea does put some clothes on and the main characters need to fly out in mecha to kick some Big Bad Guy Tuckus, which means that OF COURSE you need an awesome split screen action shot like this:

It brings a tear to my eye.

The only thing that could have been more cool is if the person on the bottom of the frame had been upside down because they were flying their mech inverted.  That would have been WICKED cool.

Oh, and of course you can’t have mech battles without SPEED LINE BACKGROUNDS!!1!1!!one!

It may seem that I’m mocking Good Morning Althea, and by extension all of the 1980s, heartlessly, and I would like to repudiate that claim.  I am mocking Good Morning Althea, and by extension all of the 1980s, with a great deal of fondness.  If it weren’t for an early exposure to 1980s shows like Macross,  Urusei Yatsura, Bubblegum Crisis, and Dirty Pair, I would be a very different person today.

I’d have a lot more money, for one thing.

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