If there is nothing else on.....

GIF image There are very few places on television in the U.S. where Japanese animation is shown on a regular basis. One of these few places is the Sci-fi channel.

The Sci-fi channel typically shows a piece of Anime every Saturday at 9am Eastern. They also seem to be in the habit of showing a entire week of Anime in the summer sometime. Whatever show is being shown usually runs about 2 hours, and is usually a movie or a block of episodes from a series. Further, the shows always seemed to be dubbed versions and it is obvious that some sort of editing is being done. Typically, the Sci-fi channel does not show any nudity and limits the amount of adult language and situations. Recently the Sci-fi channel has adopted the new television rating system. I also believe they have started to clip more from the various anime then before they adopted this rating system.

Even with this editing and effort to make everything have a PG rating, it is probably better then no Anime at all. Of course, because of this they will probably never show a really good series like Neon Genesis Evangelion, El-Hazard, Kimagure Orange Road or Macross Plus or a good movie like The Wings of Honneamise or The Dagger of Kamui.

Starting September 30, 1996 until December 27, 1996 they began to show the Anime series Ronin Warriors at 7:30am Eastern on weekdays. This is a long series, with something like 39 episodes in all and I believe was originally shown in the late '80. My take on this series can be found here. This series ran is now gone again.

What follows are brief reviews or comparisons of the Anime that I have managed to acquire from the Sci-fi channel.


This is the same dubbed version which is available in the video story. It had been edited to remove all nudity and some of the extreme violence was toned down. GIF image

Armitage III

Poly Matrix

This is the Armitage III movie. It is basically a dub created from the original series which is available in the video stores. The makers of the movie and/or the Sci-Fi channel removed a couple of sub-plots and added some footage. Most of the main plot lines were left alone. In general, however, I think the original series was better. This first appeared in the Sci-Fi channels Anime '97 theme week. GIF image

Casshan: Robot Hunter

This appears to be a dubbed version of Casshan: Robot Hunter Perfect Collection. I've seen it in the video store, but do not own a copy of the series or the perfect collection.

The story line is very similar to 8Man After, Vampire Hunter D and Babel II. In short, the robots have taken over the earth, and the son of the creator of the robot leader, Black King, has become a hybrid robot/human [i.e. a cyborg] in order to defeat the Black King. GIF image

Demon City Shinjuku

Edited to remove large chunks of adult language and mature themes, this is more or less the same dubbed version that is available in the video stores. GIF image

Dominion Tank Police

This appears to be the dubbed version with editing to remove most of the scenes concerning the "secret weapon" used by the puma sisters against the Tank Police.

Basically, the dubbed version is in two parts [in the video store, these are sold on two tapes] , with two acts per part. It is clear, in any case, that the original subtitled version was much better. This must be considered more of an adaptation then a direct port, as it were. GIF image

8Man After

Basically this is the same dubbed version of 8Man After - Perfect Collection with all the nudity and some of the most violent gore removed. GIF image

E.Y.E.S. of Mars

No obvious editing. Basically, mankind started out on a 5th planet which no longer exists, and when he had destroyed that world moved on to the 4th planet, Mars, which he also begins to destroy.

Ultra-thick environmental message which goes way way overboard. GIF image

Gall Force: Eternal Story

This appears to be the first episode in the first Gall Force story.

In short, there are two very different races fighting in the galaxy. One appears to be made up entirely of females, the other are very alien looking aliens. In order to try and make peace the leader of the two sides hatch a plot to create a new neutral race, one which was a combination of the current two. Things get more complicated from there. GIF image

Green Legend Ran

Originally shown as part of the Sci-Fi channels Anime '97 theme week.

In short, because mankind has messed the Earth up, a bunch of aliens land. This particular alien dries up the oceans and leaves very little green things anyplace, except in the "groves" around the aliens "ship". The aliens also have a secret plan, hidden even to those humans who worship them. In particular, they want to turn the Earth green again, including turning all the remaining humans into plants. This is, in general, considered to be an evil thing by the remaining humans. GIF image


Zeiram the animation

This appears to be the same dubbed version that I bought in the video store. They removed some violence, nudity and letcherness. They also recombined the 6 episodes such that 3 episodes were shown at a time instead of the 2 at a time as the tape. In doing this, they removed the starting and endings of those episodes in the "middle". IRIA first appeared in the Sci-Fi channels Anime '97 theme week. GIF image

Lily C.A.T.

This appears to be the same dubbed version that I bought at the video store with little or no editing. GIF image

Odin: Photon Space Salior Starlight

Seen it in the video store, but do not own a copy. There did not seem to be a lot of editing, if any.

Basically, this is a typical kid hero story, similar, in style, to They were 11 or Toward the Terra.

The crew of the space ship [very literally] have stumbled upon what is perhaps the greatest secret in the entire solar system. To be specific, Odin was a real place on a far off star which went nova around 20,000 years ago. Some of the persons who survived ended up on earth, in our far past, and told their story to the beings they met, that is they told their story to humans. GIF image

Project "A"ko

Major insanity.........

A chunk of space stuff falls on a city on earth.... 16 years pass....

Enter ----> Ako, hyper person and friend to the very very strange Cko. Consider also, Bko, a rival for Cko's friendship. Bko will spare nothing to "steal" Cko away from Ako, including mecha, power armor and her gang [with one member who looks a whole lot like one of the characters from the Anime movie Fist of the Northstar].

Also... a race of females who look a lot like men, just to make things interesting.

Project Ako v.s. Battles 1 & 2

Gray Side ; Blue Side

I believe that these are the OAVs Project Ako v.s. Battles 1 and 2.

In an alternative universe, Ako and Bko are friends or partners on a rather dismal planet. Ako beats up huge beasties [we are talking about Ako beating up something which is about 100 times her size] and Bko would appear to arrange sale of said beastie.

Cko is the daughter of a rich businessman, and is kidnaped by some evil persons who wish to try and bring about the end of the universe. She literally drops in on Ako......

Later, Ako and Bko attempt to rescue Cko from the kidnapers. GIF image

Record of Lodoss War

This appears to be the dubbed version of the first three episodes [i.e. the first tape] of the Record of Lodoss War series.

This version seemed to be a pretty good translation of the original subtitled version with minor editing to remove some of the violence. GIF image

Robot Carnival

Robot Carnival is a collection of seven short films about robots. The basic plots are as follows:

  1. Starlight Angel - this no dialog short is set is a futuristic amusement park called Robot Wonderland. One of the rides at this park creates robots representing what is in the heart and mind of the rider. A young girl gets on this ride and things go well until she is reminded of a lost love. Things go bad and she is rescued from her self created nightmare by a kindly robot. This short was designed, written and directed by Hiroyuki Kitazume.

  2. Cloud - this no dialog short is a visual story of a robots journey which seemed to start at the dawn of time. I do not know exactly what this poetic piece is completely about, except that I was left with the question: How long does it take to become human? This short was designed, written and directed by Moo Lamdo.

  3. Deprive - this no dialog short takes place is the aftermath of an alien robot invasion. A young girl gives her robot caretaker a necklace and locket. Later, she is rescued by a young man/cyborg also wearing the same locket. It is, of course, her friend and protector of old, but now remade. This short was designed, written and developed by Hidetoshi Ohmori.

  4. Franken's Gears - this no dialog short is basically a retake on the classic Frankenstein story line. Except that this time the "monster" imitates its bumbling creator and falls on top of him when his creator trips. This short is a film by Kouji Morimoto.

  5. Presence - a very talented "toy" maker, who is longing for something he can not really define, manages to create something odd, a robot with feeling. His creation has the form of a young girl, but has no name. The robot longs very much for a name so that someone can love her, and wants very much to experience all of life. The "toy" maker is frightened by these turn of events and destroys his own creation.

    The "toy" maker is now old, and the ghostly shape of his pretty young creation visits him. He regrets not being strong enough to be her knight in white.

    The last day of the "toy" maker arrives, his last "toy" sits on the table next to him, a clock work angel. The ghostly shape of a young girl comes to greet the very old "toy" maker. They walk off together, hand in hand, and then disappear.

    This is a film by Yasuomi Umetsu.

  6. A Tale of Two Robots
    Chapter 3: "Foreign Invasion" - this story is an odd little tale that takes place in the late 19th century. Two clock work mechas really mess up a small Japanese town. This short was written and directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo.

  7. Nightmare - this no dialog short is set is a city that is invaded by robots. While these robots are busy creating mechanized nasties, a lone drunk and his motor scooter manage to muck the works up and bring the entire thing crashing down on the heads of the robots, and nearly the drunk. This short was designed, written and directed by Takashi Nakamura.

  8. Opening and Ending - The opening and ending sequences are themselves a short film. They are basically about what happens when the Robot Carnival comes to town. The massive carnival machine is pretty and interesting to see from afar, but when it gets closer the fireworks and explosions, which are so much a part of the carnival, destroy most of the things around it. And even long after the carnival has ceased to move, various exploding devices are still around and just waiting for the unsuspecting to pick them up. The opening and ending sequences were designed, written and directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and Atsuko Fukushina.

Some of these short films are simply excellent.... GIF image

Roujin Z

Perhaps with slight editing, this appears to be an adaptation of the subtitled version also available in the video stores.

It is very obvious that this is not a literal translation, if you have seen the subtitled version. This is a slightly lighter version with more parody. GIF image

Tenchi Muyo in Love

A.K.A. Tenchi Muyo: The movie

This is the dubbed version of the subtitled version also available in the video stores. By an large it is a fairly decent dub. The Sci-fi channel's version has some editing in it. GIF image

Vampire Hunter D

With only minor editing to remove some nudity, this is basically the same dubbed version that is available in the video store. GIF image

The Venus Wars

This appears to be a pretty good dubbed version of the subtitled original that I got at the video store. There was no obvious editing, except for the standard Sci-fi channel edits.

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Brad Spencer - brad@anduin.eldar.org