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roriconfan

  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 33 / M

Superbook

My God! I can’t believe they allow such bad Bible-themed stories to exist! They are an insult to both religion and the anime industry.

Anime Oyako Gekijou is a very old children’s adventure that aims to educate kids on the basic events of the Bible (or the Old Testament, if you prefer). It is not a bad thing to have educational anime out there, especially about a neglected theme such as the Judeo-Christian teachings. But it is a VERY bad thing to have anime that misleads and misinforms children by simplifying religious texts to the point of becoming lame fairy tales.

ANIMATION & SOUND SECTION: 2
Only by becoming black and white could the graphics be any simpler. At least there is some detail at the representation of the way of the Hebrew life. But after watching dozens of well-made movies and documentaries about the Jewish history, I can’t even bare to look upon this series again.

STORY & CHARACTER SECTION: 2
Get emotionally ready… Some kids from modern Japan find a magic book that transports them back in time to witness major events of the Bible. ZONK! It would be ok if the events weren’t watered-down to resemble fairy tales. The scriptwriters took out all the violence, the sex and the depravity, which the Bible is so well filled with. It’s like eating mushroom soup without any mushrooms. Plus, all characters behave like too-goody 5 year-olds with no air of realism around them. How can you possibly NOT hate them?

VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1
As if the Bible isn’t distorting history enough by itself, we have this annoying crap to make things even worse.

VERDICT: 1.5 / 10
The accused is found … GUILTY! … For distorting truth and religion. He is sentenced to public execution … IMMEDIATELY!

SUGGESTION LIST
EVERYTHING ELSE! This is amongst the worst anime ever.

2/10 story
2/10 animation
2/10 sound
2/10 characters
1/10 overall

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ChrisInMI says...

Although I found the above review amusing, I couldn't possibly disagree more.  Obviously the reviewer saw only one episode and judged the entire series based on that, hates children's anime, or both.  Superbook was the first anime I ever saw and because of that it's very special to me, regardless of the fact that it was commissioned by that homophobic psycho zealot Pat Robertson who has blamed everything from the 9/11 attacks to the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami on LGBT people.  But I digress...

If you were expecting stunning, state-of-the-art, breathtaking animation from this series, you're deluding yourself.  This is a TV series, a TV series made in 1981 at that.  Yes, the animation is clunky sometimes and the character designs on the Biblical characters are on occasion simplistic or downright ugly.  But I think the animators made good use of the budget they had.  The animation isn't great but it isn't terrible either; it's pretty much standard TV quality for 1981.  It looks no better or worse than Urusei Yatsura, which was on TV at the same time.

As for the characters being "goody-goody"... Joy is really the only one who fits that description, and even she isn't perfect.  Chris is quite likeable and seems to ring quite true for a boy of his age.  Gizmo is great for comic relief (i.e. trying to use his squirt gun to put out a raging fire).  Again I stress, this is A CHILDREN'S SERIES.  If you want riveting character development and multi-faceted personalities, look elsewhere.

And re: "taking out the sex, depravity, violence, etc." ... at the risk of sounding like a broken record, THIS IS A CHILDREN'S SERIES!!!!!  It does not pretend to be the be-all and end-all of Biblical adaptations.  It was made for the sensibilities of Japanese children in 1981 and ostensibly to get them interested in reading the REAL Bible.  And yet it didn't make it to the United States without editing out of some stuff which didn't conform to U.S. broadcast standards, or so I've heard.  Also, it's hardly the first animated adaptation of a classic literary work to be "watered down" or "condensed" for children.  Disney's been doing it for over 75 years.  In fact, some religious conservatives have criticized this series for that very reason, obviously not being aware of its origins or the aim for which it was originally intended.

Yes, it's simplistic and occasionally cloying; yes, an adult would probably have little patience with it unless viewing it out of nostalgia (like me).  Probably the kids of today would also be bored with it.  But it was the series that began my love affair with anime, and it's nowhere near as lame as much Western-made Bible-based animation. 

Dec 14, 2014