Captain Tylor

Anime fans coming to The Reckless Captain Tylor video episodes after watching Tylor TV show may be wondering what to expect. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, it was common for anime franchises to be adapted between formats: television episodes, video episodes, and films. But they could change a lot in the process.

Often the story would be reset, even if the situation and characters remained essentially the same. For example,
happened to Patlabor and Tenchi Muyo!

franchise as they transitioned from video to television. Or the “sequel” could have an entirely new set of characters, a tradition dating back to early Gundam TV shows but picked up by video sequels to series like Macross and Orguss. Alternatively, sequels could be far more serious than their light-hearted predecessors, as with Patlabor’s theatrical films or the film sequel to the space opera Nadesico, subtitled The Prince of Darkness.

Captain Tylor video episodes play their own game. They’re clearly a continuation of the TV series and keep the characters we’ve come to love.

Tonally they are more of a mixture. There are wacky moments outside of the TV series, but also some much more “straightforward” stories that feel like non-hilarious sci-fi anime. The approach didn’t satisfy all of the TV show’s lovers, but it’s fascinating to see how the videos mix tones so playfully. It could even be said that such unpredictability is in the spirit of Tylor himself.

The episodes are supported by two high-stakes, full-length stories.

The first is called “An Extraordinary Episode” and the last story is “From Here to Eternity”. Because these are feature films that look as good as many movies, they are sometimes referred to as movies by fans. Then there are the six interlude video episodes, each focusing on one or two characters from the series, with Tylor sometimes deviating entirely from the stage.

These interludes mirror how the original prose stories were written by Hitoshi Yoshioka , snowballed into a plethora of sequels, side stories and spin-offs. The original television series had focused squarely on Tylor, his weaknesses and the comic dismay of the other characters, who were hysterical that such an idiot could overpower them.

By the end of the TV series, that hysteria has died down a bit. The characters have accepted Tylor as their captain, and he may not be their death, though their faith still falters. In Exceptional Episode, Tylor pulls off actions that seem so insane that his crew’s faint faith is shaken once more.

 

But even Exceptional Episode isn’t just about Tylor. For example, there is a beautiful character scene at the beginning where Yuriko and Yamamoto are walking down the corridor of a ship. Yuriko thinks about the soldiers who only think about the battle. She tells Yamamoto something she has never confided in anyone; how he drank with soldiers when he was younger and was appalled at his obsession with guns and strategy. Then Yuriko admits, how ironic it now seems,
, being a dedicated soldier herself.

Throughout the scene, Yamamoto strives to be cool and supportive. After they say goodbye, we see him hilariously pleased at how Yuriko told him something she didn’t tell Tylor. about the wonder pilot Kojiro. In the episode, he takes a break from the Soyokaze and tests a new fighter plane, with the action split between outer space and an airfield in the scorching sun.
Kojiro is also packed with a high-spirited rival pilot who calls himself the Big Shot.

From today’s perspective, the setting and story are very reminiscent of another elaborate anime video, Macross Plus, which premiered the year before. But whether coincidence or homage, it’s a beautiful episode.

Other stories focus on Raalgon’s Princess Azalyn and a boy who touched her heart before she met Tylor. There’s a story about the always rebellious Marines and their Lieutenant Andressen who ends up fighting a rogue robot; It’s the kind of story you’d expect to see in
Patlabor or Ghost in the Shell. Of course there is also more information about Yuriko and Yamamoto.

But like all successful space operas, you always feel like you’re seeing just a fraction of a much larger universe.

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