Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor Anime Review

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor
Musekinin Kancho Taira
The Right Stuf International
Complete Collection - 4 discs
650 mins. - 26 episodes
$39.99 (2013)
$49.99 (2009) Remastered
$99.99 (2005)
$34.95 (2001) Vol. 1-4/ea.
$129.95 (2000)
ISBN 742617200526
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Koichi Mashimo
Studio - Tatsunoko Productions

Synopsis: Justy Ueki Tylor is an aimless young man who decides to join the United Planets Space Force (UPSF) because he thinks he can ride out a cushy desk job and then collect a pension for the rest of his life.  His timing is terrible as it appears the UPSF is heading for space war with the Raalgon Empire.  It appears luck is on his side when he gets assigned to the military pension office until he delivers a pension to a bed-ridden former admiral who is being held hostage by terrorists!  Tylor somehow foils the terrorists plot despite or possibly because of his blundering headlong into the situation.  He gets promoted to ship's Captain as a reward even though he has absolutely no qualifications or experience.  The ship is the decrepit old destroyer the Soyokaze and is filled with a crew of derelict soldiers considered to be at the bottom rung in the UPSF.
Jusy Ueki Tylor is an aimless youth without a purpose in life
Tylor makes a big splash on board with his careless and disorderly command style.  He tells the crew they can do what they want and it starts a mutiny!  The motley crew is made up of insubordinates, buffoons, and a few diligent officers trying to make a name for themselves.
From left: Emi and Yumi Hanner, Kojiro Sakai, Kyung Kim, Makoto
Yamamoto, Captain Tylor, Yuriko Star, Harold Katori, Sgt. Cryborne,
Lt. Andressen, Nurse Harumi, and Dr. Kitaguchi
The crew includes:
  • First Officer Lt. Commander Makoto Yamamoto is strait-laced, determined, and completely inept.  He's a career military man who dreams of becoming captain one day, but doesn't have the smarts to pull it off.  Torn between his duty to follow the military chain of command to the letter by supporting the Captain's wacky decisions and his need to blow the whistle on Tylor's disregard for protocol, Yamamoto is perpetually chasing his own tail.  
  • Lt. Commander Yuriko Star is another upright military officer and she's not afraid to call out her Captain for breaking the rules.  He's a constant source of aggravation for her and she's always trying to restore order to the Soyokaze.  It doesn't help that Tylor finds her attractive and seems to ignore her reprimands.  
  • First Lt. Kyung Kim is the communications officer of the Soyokaze and preoccupied with her good looks.  Regardless she proves to be a versatile crew member able to handle unexpected situations.  She doesn't know what to make of the new Captain and usually doesn't take him too seriously.  
  • First Lt. Harold Katori is the ship's navigator and cool under pressure.  He's a very centered individual who takes in stride all of the new Captain's quirks.  
  • Emi and Yumi Hanner are the daughters of the admiral Tylor saved and are hopelessly devout to their Captain.  They followed him into the UPSF and are endlessly enthusiastic.  The pair are very cute, but inexperienced.  
  • Second Lt. Kojiro Sakai loves his space fighter more than anything else in the universe and spends countless hours polishing it.  He's a total hot-head and gets into arguments with the marines stationed on board.  He's also very awkward around women.  
  • First Lt. Andressen leads the marines on the Soyokaze and he is a rough man of action.  He's not afraid to buck command and engineers the first mutiny against Tylor.  
  • Master Sergeant Cryborne is a tough customer and the scars on his face are a testament to his iron will.  He's as insubordinate as they come and earned his place on the Soyokaze.  
  • Naval Surgeon Kitaguchi is a complete drunk and only a competent physician when he's inebriated.  
  • Staff Sergeant Harumi is assigned to the Soyokaze and makes an immediate splash due to her fetching good looks.  Every man aboard is instantly smitten with the new doctor's assistant and makes up some excuse to see the nurse.  What is her daring secret and how does it involve the Captain?
The destroyer Soyokaze (yes, the flag waves in space)
On the opposite side of the galaxy the Raalgon Empire is in transition following the recent assassination of their Emperor (the UPSF is blamed).  The Raalgon are a proud race who value strength and conviction above all else.  The Emperor's daughter Azalyn ascends to the throne, but she's barely sixteen and unaccustomed to ruling an empire.  Furthermore, she's not allowed to openly grieve for her father's death as it's not acceptable for an Empress to show weakness.  She's torn between her duty, grief, and wanting to feel normal again.  To make matters worse, the Emperor's advisors are back-stabbers (quite possibly in the literal sense) who want to control the inexperienced Azalyn and are rallying for a complete attack on the UPSF.  Azalyn has only one confidante in Captain Ru Baraba Dom who truly cares for the Empress.
The Empress Azalyn rules over the war-like Raalgon yet privately
mourns her father's passing and yearns to recapture her lost childhood
The Soyokaze immediately stumbles across a Raalgon advance fleet and Captain Tylor is put to the test.  Can the crew put aside their differences and rally behind the Captain to save the day?  Captain Tylor barely recognizes the true danger he's in from both within and without.  Only a miracle will keep the Soyokaze in one piece, but can Tylor's uncanny luck possibly continue?  The UPSF top brass want Tylor to fail miserably and he's not making a good case for himself.  How will the Raalgon's Empress react when she meets Tylor?  Can the most irresponsible man in space stay in one piece?
The Captain of the Soyokaze is not your typical ship's captain
Pros: Great ensemble cast of characters, some genuinely funny moments (my favorite was Empress Azalyn's sixteenth birthday), fun homages to other sci-fi series (like Macross, Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato), unique showdown between the two space fleets (UPSF and Raalgon), Tylor definitely has his moments of genius, good ending
One of the marines wears a hockey mask and is named Jason...wait a minute!
Cons: Tylor really acts like a fool and it can get a bit tiresome at times, plot and situations are completely ridiculous (on purpose), opening/ending theme songs are bland, older animation, not very exciting, some boring episodes, the whole 'Paco Paco' thing with Empress Azalyn
The ship's doctor is a raging alcoholic (although he does
perform better when drunk)
Mike Tells It Straight: This series originally aired in the early 1990s and I finally got around to watching it after having the collection on my shelf for a few years.  It was definitely a mixed bag with some good points, but also a lot of parts which left me scratching my head.  First off it's a comedy/space opera.  The main character, Captain Tylor, mostly acts like a nonchalant moron with very little regard for structured authority.  He's incredibly lucky and seems to blunder his way through difficult situations with ease.  It can be slightly amusing or extremely annoying at times.  Some of the situations are absolutely hilarious, but many are downright lame.
The crew of the Soyokaze support their Captain in his time of need
The supporting cast was the highlight of the series and each character contributes in some way to the overall story.  Their interactions with the Captain make the series much more enjoyable.  The series definitely grows on you and the ending was actually pretty good.  Some of the episodes were total duds, but a few were great.  I really disliked the whole 'Paco Paco' thing with the Captain and Empress Azalyn.  It was corny, but the episode with her sixteenth birthday party was absolutely hilarious.  I liked the episode with the space confrontation between UPSF and Raalgon fleets.  The tension and build up was cool.
Shia Has - because alien space-faring races wear bikinis
It's an older series and the animation shows its age.  I liked how the Soyokaze and some of the character designs were homages to other space opera series (like Macross, Gundam, Space Battleship Yamato).  The opening and ending animation/music was weak, but the episode soundtrack was good.  This series is just okay - it has a few funny moments and is lighthearted, but Tylor's character can get tiresome.  I can see why it sat on my shelf for so long, but I'm glad I finally watched it.  Somehow it seems to grow on you and the last few episodes are pretty darn good.  Now I've got the sequel OVA sitting there and I'll have to check it out to see if the story gets better.  Stay tuned!
Let's go!

TO BUY and Recommendations: