|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Mirai Shounen Konan
It's amazing what you can dig up in the anime fansub scene at times and I managed to come across this gem from Hayao Miyazaki's past as this children's series marked his directorial debut. This is also the second oldest anime title I've seen to date.|
This TV series lays out the foundation of what Hayao Miyazaki's future animated works would be based upon. Here we have a post-apocalyptic future which lays out environmental undertones of what our world could face with our heavy dependency on destructive technology. With the destruction of modern society, humanity is returned to the times where they didn't have the modern conveniences of electricity. These environmental themes are later featured in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
The characters of Conan and Lana also lay out the kind of characters we would see in later Miyazaki work. Conan is the simple, brash, and heroic boy who makes it his obligation to protect the heroine of the series (Lana) from the evil group conspiring to use her in their evil plans. Lana is a strong-willed, mature girl for her age with an admiration for nature and eventually becomes attached to the hero of the series as he protects her. Both the two reminded me of Pazu and Sheeta from Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
In terms of story, this is an anime that features a clash between technology and living with nature, despite how simple the plot would seem for a 1970s anime title. In the old world, technology gave plenty of conveniences yet also created destructive weapons which would destroy our way of living from those times. The scientists of Industria represent those clinging to their original ways of life through peaceful means with technology yet the man who leads them (Lepka) desires to use the destructive weapons of the past era to dominate the leftover remnants of the world. Conan and Lana represent the new way of living in the world that the villagers outside of Industria have grown to embrace.
Even with the serious themes explored in this series, there is also fun to get out of it. You can get some excitement out of Conan's curiosity of the new world he explores and the ridiculous strength he utilizes to overcome his enemies. It's also a joy seeing Conan and Lana's bond develop during peaceful times where Industria isn't butting in on the lives of others.
Future Boy Conan is a fun, simple series that lays out the themes one could expect from future Hayao Miyazaki works. I doubt this series will ever be licensed thanks to its age so if you manage to come across a fansub of it and are a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's works, then definitely download this hidden gem of Miyazaki's past.
Last updated Saturday, January 24 2009. Created Sunday, May 11 2008.
Mirai Shounen Konan
Wow, GUESS WHAT I FOUND!!! (…as if I could actually make this type a claim!) But what a treasured-find it is!!! A series that I had no knowledge of... 'Future Boy Conan' is an anime series from that master of anime, Hayao Miyazaki, that dates back to 1978. Even with the simple older anime style of heavy lines and solid colors that were the standard back during this time, there is a creativity and sense of wonder commonly associated with Miyazaki's efforts, that shines through. With hints and signs of various story elements that appear in his other later creative works, (the airships of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind and the playful sense of adventure that appears in the story of Porco Rosso,) this is very fun story of adventure and romance set against a very futuristic back drop. |
Conan is boy who has grown up on an island knowing only the company of his older grandfather, the last survivor of a spaceship that crashed back to earth some twenty years ago, whose crew ended up stranded on an isolated idyllic island. The world was beset with a madness of war in which monstrous flying airships used magnetic weapons to destroy and devastate the continents. Of the thirty people that attempted to escape the planet, only one member of the original crew survives, along with Conan, a child born during their early days of struggling to survive. The arrival of Lana, a young girl about Conan’s age, who is washed up on the beach changes Conan’s understanding of life and his world forever. Not only does he becomes away of aware of world larger than just his island paradise, but he learns that there are different types of people, such as girls.
Lana has been kidnapped from an agricultural island called High Harbor by an agent of a militaristic high tech city-state called Industria, who hope to use her to compel Dr Lao, her grandfather who is one of the few remaining prewar scientists, to reveal the secrets that he holds about reactivating an orbiting solar power source. While the elder scientists of Industria say that they intend to use the power to replace their dying nuclear plant, the ambitious chief of the administrative bureau, Lepka is hiding some of the fearsome weapons of the last war that require a solar power source to be repowered, and which he intends to use to conquer and dominate the remains of the tattered world.
Conan, while being a very simple boy, is incredible in his athletic abilities and almost hyper in his energy level. Even when he attacks a seaplane with a spear, whacking and wailing away at a wing, the story line makes it very believable and within his character. His special friend (and romance-interest) Lana is gifted with an empathic ability to communicate with birds and others at a distance. The adventure that entangles the two is one of how they come to trust each other and become the best of friends.
While using a simple story line with deceptively simple characters, this is more of a futuristic morality play, which pits the old world against the new; a group of old technologists (clinging desperately to their old ways) against a group of villagers who have embraced a new way of life. The story line involves three ages of change; the elder scientists who are still trying to survive through technology and rationalize their efforts through intellectual abstracts, but they depend on those that have barely survived the holocaust and are still damaged by the experience. In confrontation against them are the kids who know only the new world, and are brave enough to hold a hope and promise for a simple way of life that they know and hold so dear.
This is definitely a great rent, and I think that it worth a buy, even if it is only available via a fansub download.
01 - Remnant Island
02 - The Journey
03 - The First Companion
04 - The Barracuda
05 - Industria
06 - Dyce`s Rebellion
07 - Chase
08 - Escape
09 - The Salvage Ship
10 - Dr. Lao
11 - Escaping
12 - Core Block
13 - High Harbor
14 - A Day on the Island
15 - Barren Land
16 - The Hut for Two
17 - Battle
18 - Gun Boat
19 - A Big Tidal Wave
20 - Going to Industria Again
21 - Residents Under the Ground
22 - Rescue
23 – The Solar Tower
24 - Giganto
25 - The End of Industria
26 - Denouement
Last updated Friday, October 15 2010. Created Monday, May 02 2005.
|Series Web Site||http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/conan/|
|Torrent download Links||http://www.prutser.com/anime/future_boy_conan.shtml|
|Bittorrent download links for series not YET licensed for the USA (R1) market|
|Studio Ghibli - video release web site||http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/video/conan/|
|Fan-site - hosting online display of 1st ep||http://www.crunchyroll.com/showmedia?id=19596|
|Wikipedia entry for this series||http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Boy_Conan|