On Boxing Day I finished watching Dougram, a longish old anime about a small band of rebels and a prototype war machine. A fairly standard recipe for its time, distinguished in this case by understated mecha and heightened attention to politics. This is the first thing Takahashi directed (Anglophone fan-rumour has it that Takeyuki Kanda rode shotgun), and it began airing in 1981. It feels a little like an attempt to do a toned-down Mobile Suit Gundam — with which it shares a scriptwriter — though, being an anime history dilettante, I don’t know whether in 1981 Gundam was regarded as something influential, interesting or successful enough to be worth imitating.
I liked it rather a lot. I’ll say why I liked it in a bit, but first I think it’s worth pausing to note the significance of my being able to finish watching it at all. Continue reading