Welcome to Planet Technobabble, everyone. I hope you all have been enjoying your trip around the cosmos so far. Today, I’m going to give you all a little bit of a rest. Yes, a little chance to refuel yourself. Technobabble’s largest commodity is spaceship fuel. There are so many natural gas deposits and other natural resources here that half of it’s purpose is a refueling station for ships that travel into the far reaches of space. Kind of like our journey. Need to make buck or too somehow I suppose.
Maybe it’s a little convenient that this stop is also near the middle of our tour in some ways. Please enjoy your stay before going off somewhere again. Today, Planet Technobabble theater is opening here to relax and ease the weariness from your souls. That’s right, today we are showing and discussing the space anime comedy classic, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor.
Let’s play the Imagination game for a little bit. Just humor me for a little bit. You are a crew member on a spaceship traveling into the vast and wide unknowns of space meant to fight in a war against an evil space empire. So the pressures of the unknowns of outer space and war are upon you already, but your captain is a complete lunatic. I don’t mean lunatic in the conventional sense of the word, because you aren’t sure whether the captain is insanely intelligent and doesn’t show it through his non caring attitude or he’s completely lucky. Now you know what it’s like to be a crew member on the titular Captain Tylor’s ship. It’s crazy times forever. The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is a parody series that takes references and elements from many influential science fiction anime and western television and bends them in whatever direction it wants to. Some people have called it The Space Balls of anime and that is and isn’t correct. Probably because it’s a television series that can do more then what a two hour movie can do.
The frame work of this show is centered on a two sided space war. Far in the future, humanities territory is controlled by space organization called The United Planets Space Force controlled by two angry, inflexible generals. Their logo is also a tomato. The opposing empire is the Raalgon Empire who are space elves and whose leader is a sixteen year old girl named Azalyn who has no idea what she is doing and is in danger of a coup. In the middle of this conflict is Captain Justi Ueki Tylor. A formerly homeless twenty year old that wanted to join the military to live an easy life, but found his way into becoming a crew captain somehow. Of course, he doesn’t get a new ship because the admirals in charge of the U.P.S.F. don’t like him. Instead, he’s given the command of a broken down space cruiser named the Soyokaze with some losers because its former crew has a reputation of killing captains. Of course, that never happens. It would be a short and pointless series if it did.
What makes Irresponsible Captain Tylor work even more for me is that it feels like it’s taking a lot of what is in my head when referencing anime before 1993, when it came out, and jamming them together with love. Except, Irresponsible Captain Tylor goes beyond just yelling about a reference then moving to another reference for geek flavor. You know, like how modern sitcoms and movie do reference humor? Instead, all those reference are casual winks and nudges that go alongside Tylor’s own sense of jokes, humor, lore, and etc. What I’m saying is that someone who just wants to watch a space comedy anime and has never seen anything science fiction related can love this show while fans of science fiction and space anime will get even more laughs and heart out of it. If you ever wanted to what my mind set is like, watch this anime. It’s just amazing that this anime exists.
That simple story results in the show having as many episode types as possible. It’s an episodic space series, so The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is able to fully use everything it’s capacity to deliver you something meaningful, heart warming, fun, dramatic, or possible all four at the same time. There is the space politics that the crew are involved in, the ghost ship episode, the last in the middle of nowhere space episodes that allow character development, journey to the center of a character’s mind episode, and so on. All sorts of classic Science Fiction movie premises and story lines that would have been normal if it wasn’t for this strange and wonderful cast of goofy nincompoops and idiots that has a small amount of actually competent people. Somehow, that is the combination that leads to success in these sorts of anime.
The story line of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is basic, but the main cast is exceptional. Every one of them is not just a great set up for some kind of joke, but the Soyokaze has a crew of failures, weirdos, and delinquents, so they all have some issues to solve. That means that each of them also has an arc of some sort to solve. There is also the fact that these estranged individuals also become more like a family then just a crew. All because of this strange man called named Captain Tylor, the driving force for the show. From all the TV series I’ve seen that have a main character existing to drive the show forward more, Tylor is the most interesting one? Why? Because as my first paragraph told you, he always keeps the cast and the viewer always guessing. Plus, the guy love giving everyone their own freedom of choice and Tylor has lot of heart and that’s only shown toward the end. You know, when it’s on display for everyone to see in the finale. I’m not sure if he has an arc because of how he’s written, but I’m glad that he exists. Tylor is just so fascinating to watch.
Then the main cast needs to be talked at least a little bit. This show is sort of a harem anime in some ways which means a lot of female characters, but there are plenty of male characters as well. Yuriko Star is the straight laced Lt. Commander who learns to relax a little bit as time goes on. Makoto Yamamoto, the first officer of the ship who tries to present himself like Yuriko Star, but is easily swayed by other people’s opinions. Together Star, Tylor, and Yamamoto are the trinity, like Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, that allow the Soyokaze to fuction, except they are a lot goofier in the 90’s anime sort of way. Gaining control of the classic drunk doctor, a nurse who is secretly an assassin android, a pilot that loses confidence in battle, a detachment of misunderstood delinquent space marines, sometimes Azayln herself, and probably the kitchen sink? How they even survive being around each other alone without bring in the space war stuff in general is anyone’s guest. Except for Captain Tylor I suppose.
From reading most of this post, I think you all understand why I decided to write about this series for this little tour. For me, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor embodies every reason why this tour exists. I know that I borrowed the idea from an anituber anthology that you should check out because it was pretty cool and I was a little jealous of it. With that sort of love and attitude, making like that in blog form had to happen. I realize that I can still be a child sometimes, so what? It’s the passion that matters here. That’s what I think Irresponsible Captain Tylor embodies. Passion. It’s obvious that this adaptation is a labor of love too. Well, at least the TV series is. If the people behind this anime didn’t love the material as much as they did, then the show’s feel, energy, and excitement wouldn’t be the same and The Irresponsible Captain Tylor would have been better left alone never being unveiled again.
The only lack luster bit attached to this show is what happens after the TV Series ends, the OVA. It’s obvious that the creators behind this series either tapped out or their was a new team that didn’t care as much about the show and it’s material. At the very least, it didn’t have the same sort of flow or energy to it. So the result is that the OVA is incomplete. Apparently, the audience in question felt like there was something wrong with the series to because it stopped at a cliff hanger. Another thing I love left unfinished because the studio wanted to produce more for some reason. Then again, this series is probably the first time that happened in my own little anime journey. Still, I can’t help but love almost everything about this little franchise anyway. It’s probably attachment and too much “OMG”, but the very fact that this anime exists is something special. Almost like this anime is my son. Can I adopt an anime? Is that possible?
I sincerely hope that you like this little spout of my own insanity. Oh and also this post. Maybe that’s what I meant by the first sentence, but whatever. If this is the first time you’ve read anything from this space tour, here are some places to look for more posts. AJ posted about Studio Trigger yesterday and you can find that post here. At the same time, Lyn is posting tomorrow about Shelter and I’m sure that will be great as well. You can find everybody involved with this tour and when they shared their own post here, so please check it out. Everyone is doing great, so I don’t think you will be disappointed at all.
And to all the people who decided to join me, thank you so much for taking part in this tour. I’m so happy that you all wanted to be involved. I mean seriously, this tour is lasting for a couple weeks and that’s amazing. I love all of you.