Friday, March 27, 2009

Thoughts on: Irresponsible Captain Tylor

To sum up this whole review, I will say this: GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW!

What? You're still here? You wish to know why I say this? Okay then, I will tell you....

My first encounter with this series was sometime late October. I went up to NAU (Northern Arizona University) in Flagstaff because my friend's anime club was having a Halloween party that night and she said I could come. Later that evening, I went and spent the night in the dorm room where my friend and her friend where staying at. We watched a few different anime series, and one series my friend's friend suggested we try watching a particular series. It was series that both my friend and I had never heard of before, it was Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Although it was only the first episode, I was very amused by it, and decided I would try watching the rest of the series when I got back home. When I got back home, I found a torrent for the whole series. Yet when the torrent finally finished, I did not watch it just yet. Mostly because for the next few months I didn't feel like watching anime. Plus, I didn't want to get deeply involved with watching a series either, and I had a hunch I would get hooked if I tried watching this series again. Then when my spring break was during its final days, I wanted to try watching a series that I could marathon, so I tried this series again. Turns out my hunch was right, I was indeed immediately hooked.

Based on a series of light novels by Hitoshi Yoshioka. In a distant, highly technological future, Tylor, the title character, is a mysterious young man without a real purpose in life, a state of mind that is very hard to determine, and a knack for accidentally getting out of near-death situations with a childishly cavalier attitude. He sometimes does not even seem to realize when he is in danger, which is actually an asset to him on many occasions. Tylor stumbles his way into the space navy, and soon gains command of a destroyer, to the astonishment of his lieutenant, Yamamoto. It turns out, much to Yamamoto's dismay, that this ship is considered the dumping grounds of the military, and contains all the sorts of characters that should probably not even be let near a paintball gun, let alone a spaceship (Yamamoto and Yuriko Star seem to be the only recruits aboard who are both serious and sane). However, thanks to Tylor's eccentric leadership, these misfits eventually become the collective saviors of humanity. (I stole this summery from Wikipedia, and I added a minor edit, hope you don't mind...)

I love Tylor, he's definitely the highlight of the whole series (and one of my new favorite characters). As the title says, this guy is totally irresponsible. He is definitely not your average captain, and its impossible to tell if the guy is an idiot or a genius. While much of the time he acts like he's not right in the head, every now and then he does something that makes you wonder if the guy is more intelligent than he lets on. Personally, I think the guy just happens to view the world from a different perspective from everybody else. A kind of perspective where others would think the guy is a total fool. If you would like to know a modern day anime equivalent to this guy, it would be Luffy from One Piece. They are both not your average captains of their ships, and their personalities are somewhat similar too. Although, I think Tylor's way of thinking a much bigger mystery than Luffy's. As for Tylor, whether he is a genius or not, his luck is absolutely incredible! Without really having to do anything at all, he miraculously escapes death numerous times, not to mention that he became a captain as a result of sheer dumb luck as well.

I was surprised to see the music for this series was done by Kawai Kenji. I liked the soundtrack he put together for the Fate/Stay Night anime and the soundtrack for the live-action Death Note movies wasn't half-bad either. As for the music he put together for Captain Tylor, I didn't find the soundtrack outstanding or anything, but I felt it complemented the series very well. Oddly, I found it a bit more memorable than the opening and ending themes used in the series. Perhaps its because I have only viewed the openings and endings only a few times and skipped the rest? What was an even bigger shocker was the director for this series was Koichi Mashimo. Which happens to be the same guy who bastardized CLAMP's epic, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Just how is it that this guy did such a fantastic job with Captain Tylor, yet totally screw over Tsubasa?!!? Just how is it possible?! *sigh* Nobody's perfect I guess. While i'm at it i'll point out that this guy also directed .hack//SIGN and many of its spin-offs, Noir, as well as a few others.

I find it a shame at how little-known this series is. I know it was made back it 1993, and as a result older series like these are bound to be overlooked in favor of newer ones. But its disappointing knowing how people rave on about series like Naruto, Bleach, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, etc., while this series gets ignored. Even older series like Evangelion, Slayers, Ranma 1/2, Escaflowne and Magic Knight Rayearth get more attention than this series does. Heck, even Record of Lodoss War seams to get more attention, and many modern-day anime fans don't know that series either. It's quite sad indeed. I really hate to see this series become lost in the sands of time, it deserves to stand along side these other great series. Without a doubt, this is definitely one of the most underrated series I have never seen.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being highest), Irresponsible Captain Tylor at the moment wins my heart with a 10. It will probably drop down to a 9 later, after when my hype for the series goes away, but for now it deserves a 10 because that's how much I enjoyed this series. Its a great Sci-fi series that is absolutely hilarious most of the time, and later the series gets a bit more serious. Overall, its a fantastic, well-crafted series that you can't help but love.

I also found out Rightstuf is going to be rereleasing this series remastered on a discount DVD set this June. Perhaps i'll try saving my pennies, and if I can find it within my price range ($35 or less) perhaps I will grab a copy (and I am tempted to try tracking down the original novels as well...)


Joe Doe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.