Future Boy Conan

Alt title: Mirai Shounen Conan

TV (26 eps)
3.943 out of 5 from 1,541 votes
Rank #1,295

In AD 2008, mankind developed deadly weapons and eradicated most of the Earth and its people. 20 years later, a young boy named Conan and his 'grandpa', one of the last survivors of the devastation, live a peaceful life on Remnant Island. One day Conan rescues a girl on the beach named Lana and learns the true nature of the rest of the world. After Lana is kidnapped, Conan's good nature propels him into the biggest adventure of his life: to find Lana, High Harbor, Dr. Lao, and a way to crush the evil and oppressive city of Industria.

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Watching this show is like learning where other later and more famous shows took good ideas from. Future Boy Conan (FBC) has lots of elements and themes most would think they were first in later shows. While watching, I came to see the prototype story for anime such as:- Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (also done by Miyazaki so it makes sense)- The initial Dragonball (Goku’s early adventures are very similar, only without the superpowers)- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (especially the deserted island and the megalomaniacs with the technology)Being the first is enough to give it historical value but it doesn’t necessary mean it’s a good show on its own. Most would simply think it’s a simpler version with worse artwork and move along. Well no, that is not entirely true because even after the hundreds of children’s adventures I have seen so far, Conan belongs in the top ten. For example:- Although the characters and the animation are very reminiscent of World Masterpiece Theater series, such as Heidi of the Mountains or Nobody’s Boy Remi, the actual storyline is far more complicating and exciting than any WMT, show without ever belonging to a different target audience. It’s still a family oriented anime. - Although there are lots of retro children’s adventures with interesting settings and action, such as Peter Pan or The Mysterious Cities of Gold, FBC still feels more epic in proportions because it concerns the future of mankind and its possible extinction. All the rest were mostly about kids having silly treasure hunts.- Even if I broaden the field of comparison to include any adventure, modern or retro in general, FBC is still getting on the very top of the list. For a 26 episode show, it packs an interesting story, a solid ending, zero fillers or summaries, and no parts that feel like they were made by different teams. How many adventures can you think of which are filler-free, with complete stories, and with consistent on-going storytelling? I could think of none. That makes Conan the ultimate form of adventure.But even the above do not prove anything other than this show being a well made adventure. That does not mean it is entertaining because many shows full of fillers and stalling are still very entertaining for most. What if the action of this show is boring or the scenario uninteresting? Once again fear not for it is perfect for the audience it was made for. It is not overly complicating and doesn’t exactly pack any unexpected plot twists but it is otherwise a story anyone can follow without a problem.It is true that by today’s standards it will feel too simple and with crude visuals but for me good directing and likable characters beat that. FBC is done right; almost perfect. Skip that; for the era it was made, it IS perfect.- The themes of the story are very familiar to those who know of Miyazaki’s works, especially Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke. It has to do with ecology, mankind foolishly bringing upon itself its own doom with technology, children as protagonists, and as always, it has to do with flying machines. All that are interesting to see in any show and being a season long show, they are given proper time to be looked upon better.- The action scenes are full of motion and even strategy, without ever raw power, magic, superpowers or other improbable technologies being overused as panacea to any problem. That makes them far more interesting to watch than most other shows which are full of random energy beams and special attacks. - No fan catering. Rather obvious remark but considering how most modern shows desperately throw in all sorts of crap in a futile attempt to keep us interested EVEN in shows for kids, FBC never tries to do that. Shows respect from the part of the animators. Anyone saying it doesn’t look good because it doesn’t neon glow magic swords or cool inner demons is an idiot. The show aims at simplicity and does a fine job for its time. Nothing is drawn too detailed but that does not mean it’s bad if it works properly in the context of the series. And it does in this case. The BGM is somewhat similar in fashion; no screaming and hate and drums and shitz. It is all done in midi and ballads for lyrics. Nothing amazing but fitting for the mood of the show. The entire cast is practically likable stereotypes. They feel simple as personalities in overall but within the context of the series they are acting as they should. - The lead boy Conan is the shonen archetype, very close to Goku from Dragonball minus the battle-crazy attitude. He is otherwise always ready to support his beliefs and fight if necessary. In fact, he is a very nimble fighter if he needs to be and uses mostly trickery to win. I can’t say he has anything that sets him apart from his mold and he doesn’t develop in any way but his determination and attitude are enough to become almost immediately likable.- The lead girl is Lana, whom the villains in the show want to capture so her grandfather will be blackmailed into sharing his technology with them. She remains the archetypical damsel in distress and Conan is forced to save and carry her around at least a dozen times. She also doesn’t develop in any way but her determination to sacrifice herself if needed for the good of her people is noteworthy. - The main duo was perfect from the beginning so they never needed further development. The same cannot be said for the secondary villains, who begin as selfish criminals and obedient soldiers but along the way they realize their way of life is only bringing the world closer to destruction and slowly change to more compassionate and friendly types. They are to say affected by the determination of the main duo. The only weakness the anime has is that it is simple in its execution. It doesn’t have amazing production values, multi-layered story or complicating cast, but does make great use of what it has at its disposure. It is enjoyable if what you seek is a well done but not overly exaggerated adventure, with a good pacing and without pointless explosions. In fact, the worst parts end up being the action scenes. I mostly cared to see the interactions amongst the characters. So I do recommend it to all the retro fans and the curious who want to see how well made a children’s adventure can be, even if it was made in the late 70’s.


Should you watch: yes if you don’t mind something old. Future Boy Conan really surprised me with how well everything was done. I was shocked that I liked something so old (almost 40 years). Comparing it to anything else in that decade or even the next wouldn't even be fair. (Granted I liked urusei yatsura a lot) Future Boy Conan is based of the book The Incredible Tide and has been translated to almost every language you can think of. It is directed to young adults with the overall theme similar of other anime in the time about how war and fighting is atrocious and there are no winners.  Interestingly the show when aired was not very popular. STORY: Set in 2008 (I already laughed here) mankind has been devastated by war and only a few people remain. The main character Conan (detective?) an 11 year old boy lives on an island with his grandfather. A young girl, Lana, washes up shore and is on the run from Industria. The story focuses on the relationship between Conan and Lana and there interactions with the different islands in the world. There is a semi-satisfactory ending, but I would have liked a little more. ANIMATION: Different, but not bad. For something about 40 years old, it was probably the best thing anyone saw. It’s very simple but I expected much worse. SOUND: Nothing special. Shin’ichirō Ikebe was the sound director and is famous for contemporary classical music, of which I am not a huge fan of. CHARACTERS: The extra strong resilient main character who for some reason can even dodge bullets, Conan. The extremely intelligent, moral, and diligent female who the main character keeps rescuing, Lana. Both of which inspired Sheeta and Pazu from Castle in the sky. Third wheel who helps and actually adds to the story, Jimsy. Also typical evil guy who wants to rule the world in the same way the caused it to almost end. Can’t really say the character ideas where stolen anywhere, but I can see how these character designs inspired future anime. OVERALL: I give it a 7 (top 50%). This anime was funny and unique. I love seeing how anime has evolved over time and watching the adventure of Conan and Lana. The animation can be off putting to some due to age, but if you don’t mind you’ll really enjoy this anime. P.S. Thank you LadyPsychic for the recommendation.


Weapons more deadly than atomic bombs have terminated half the world. From the ashes a new world is created. Not the same as it was before and not the future people envisioned but life will always find a way. Based on a novel, The Incredible Tide, this reviewer will be looking for in the near future.  On an island a boy named Conan and his grandfather live peacefully until something out of the ordinary happens. 26 episodes of smiles, tears, ingenuity, ruthlessness, telepathy, hunting, rescuing, fighting, and friendship. Set in a 2008 AD this anime features some quality entertainment. The main character is a likable goof with super strength. He loves his  grandfather, his home, good food, and anything that brings him joy. <div>From his first encounter with a girl, his dexterity with hands and feet, disregard for adults, inability to navigate moving floors, and zest for life, he is lovable.</div> The story might be about a search for solar power and the beings who can make it possible in this half destroyed Earth but there's no shortage of cartoony goodness that's sure to bring a smile to the faces of children of all ages. There's an aesthetic beauty to the character designs (Conan in particular) that leaves viewers wanting more. When Conan grins the viewer's impression of a Cheshire is instantaneous. Lana heavily resembles Sheeta from Laputa: Castle in the Sky, and viewers who've seen that Studio Ghibli film may wonder what she's doing in this series. Suffice it to say Lana is not Sheeta and vice-versa but the physical appearance isn't the only connection between the two. Watch for yourself to see just how similar the two are. Timsy is a non-chibi chibi character who doesn't exactly have an over-sized head or disproportionate body, but does have short legs. His shortness is brought up more than once and is often comical. The klackety-clack of the intermissions between part A and part B of each episode are comical. The tiles flip over and over changing what was there, creating mismatched images with three body parts from various characters. A moment to giggle between heavy material is a moment to let the breath out.  It's also a great way to keep people motivated as well as a way to provide hints as to when the commercial break is starting and ending. Something that most shows, anime and other, don't do anymore. The dependence some adults have as the anime progresses upon children {Conan, Lana, Timsy} speaks to those who may feel they don't get enough attention or that adults always seem to be the ones who deal with problems. While the adults often settle their differences with violence (guns, bombs, threats and promises) the children only use violence when their words fail. Additionally the justification they provide each time operates as a reminder to both their opponent(s) and the viewer. they do not use explosive weaponry. Rather they rely upon their body and the occasional club. The way in which they disarm, immobilize, and otherwise deal with their opponent is not graphic or too offensive and should be appropriate for viewers with soft hearts.  The lyrics are jazzy and the melody accompaniment is a treat for the ears. Skipping the first 2 minutes and 40 seconds would be a shame as would the last minute and 12 seconds. "Life is blooming on the land." <div style="text-align: center;">"Because the Earth is spinning 'round!"</div> This anime could have been longer or a second season continuing with a new story about these characters or even picking up where the 26th episode ended would have kept the viewer coming back for more. Because it deals with post-apocalyptic events that are not only possible but also plausible. And the main characters are likeable, entertaining, and teach valuable lessons. The current children have two generational ancestral lines as part of their upbringing, their parents and their grandparents - with the later relationship being a major component of the story. Being born into such a familial setting provides great opportunity for a plethora of stories from basic survival needs to religious, spiritual, and personal concerns.  From the time-sensitive need and drive to procreate {who's available?} to considerations for familial in-breeding {how close is too close?}. Exploring why politics, slavery, weapons, and were reintroduced so quickly/kept. Conan, Lana, and Jimsy may continue to wonder why some people survived. Why they felt the need or wanted to stay alive, perpetuate the species and why they didn't just give-up after the smoke cleared. Curiosity about why some people survived more or were more successful in repopulating in some parts on the planet than others could have been further explored. The trio could have continued to laugh together and fans would have stayed with them in a world built from ashes.  These are also topics that make this an exceptionally good anime for the family to watch and discuss in addition to the entertainment provided by Conan, Lana & and Jimsy. --- That being said there are some not so enjoyable things potential viewers might want to know. The Earth's sole human inhabitants might be Conan and his grandfather. Until what should happen? A girl washes up on their island. While taking the year this anime was released into account, {1978} having watched it after many other titles following such a similar set-up, this may come off as bland - as it did for this reviewer. Mustached gunman, high-and-mighty preaching from a hotsy-totsy woman, gorilla henchman, and a square head-honcho. Who doesn't want to shoot these characters? While they work as villains on one level they are so cartoon evil that every time they're on screen viewers can't wait for their termination. Their entire objective is to be an obstacle for the protagonists but all they really do is whine, fling their guns around, play politics, bully children for ridiculous reasons, and basically take up space. Grandfathers are a large part of the current youths' upbringing, Conan and Lana specifically, and the respect and love they hold for their G-pas leaves viewers wondering why grandmothers are hardly mentioned. Lana constantly gets captured, attempts escape, is recaptured and the cycle seems never ending. The "damsel in distress" plot-line has a similar effect as the cookie-cutter villains and the girl-boy meeting: viewers want her to get away and episode after episode she's back in the nefarious clutches of Monsley, Dyce, or Lepka.

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