The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: That Which Created the Transported to Another World Genre

Discotek is trying a little streaming experiment. They’ve subtitled the first episode of a 1986 anime version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and put it up for free on YouTube. If enough interest is shown, they will subtitle and release more episodes streaming. The previously dubbed international version will be released on BD/DVD in August.

My knowledge, and many of you may be the same, of The Wizard of Oz story begins and ends with the classic 1939 film. Which got me pondering how many kids haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz MGM movie and how much or little familiarity anyone going into this series would be.

hisui_icon_4040_round World Masterpiece Theater is an interesting case where you can clearly see the difference between American and Japanese anime fandom. In Japan these are classic anime remembered fondly as entertainment for the whole family along the lines of the most beloved Disney and Pixar films. They were worked on by titans of the anime industry, have influenced many animators in Japan, and continue to have a lasting impact on the industry. In America, there are several fans who have taken an interest in individuals shows or sometimes even the whole series but they are hardly the norm. I would wager that more people know of Rocky Chuck the Mountain Rat as that show “Andes Hedgehog Mountain Chucky from Shirobako is based on” than as a show of the classic World Masterpiece Theater series. I admit both groups are fairly small but the first is larger than the second.

Now The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is not a part of the World Masterpiece Theater series but it is very clearly a show that was made to capture that same feeling. In fact, the producers of the anime had Junichi Seki, who was a veteran of the World Masterpiece Theater, do the character designs on this show. That means if you were unaware there was a Wizard of Oz anime you would hardly be alone. Since Discotek does have a penchant for selecting titles that have some sort of fan following the series did get an English release back in the day from HBO. I never knew this existed but I’m sure it made some amount of a fanbase that would like to see the original thanks to a bit of nostalgia.

So we have a series that has flown under the radar for quite a while but has a fairly impressive pedigree. Wizard of Oz is a beloved children’s series of books and it was adapted during a golden age of children’s anime. I was very curious to see how this dream team worked together. Continue reading

S.W.A.T. Reviews: Spring 2017

The premise of these reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down to record a review mini-podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. As always we only review new shows (so no sequels or continuations) and try to avoid anything that just looks outright awful.

Sentence: Free to Go

First impressions of Sakura Quest from P.A.Works. It is streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Tsuki ga Kirei from feel. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Kenka Banchou Otome: Girl Beats Boys from Studio A-Real and Project No. 9. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

Sentence: On Parole

First impressions of Kabukibu! from Studio Deen. It is streaming on Anime Strike. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Kado: The Right Answer from Toei Animation. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Re:Creators from TROYCA. It is streaming on Anime Strike. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Anonymous Noise from Brains Base. It is streaming on Anime Strike. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Atom the Beginning from OLM, Inc., Production I.G, Signal.MD. It is streaming on Anime Strike. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Love Rice from Encourage Film. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

Sentence: Lock ‘Em Up and Throw Away the Key

First impressions of The Laughing Salesman a la Mode! from Shin-Ei. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Sagrada Reset from David Productions. It is streaming on Anime Strike. DOWNLOAD

First impressions of Clockwork Planet from Xebec. It is streaming on Crunchyroll. DOWNLOAD

The April 2017 Line-Up

The Line-Up is a monthly rundown of new anime, manga, novel, and artbook licenses for the U.S. It also lists new streaming/broadcasting announcements and posted crowdfunding projects available to U.S. residents. And finally, it includes anime/manga projects and live-action anime/manga adaptation announcements from Japan.

Continue reading