Friday, February 12, 2010

The podcast


Download my Odin review HERE

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to Odinworlds

Firstly thank you to the Japanese President of the Odin fan club for support, info and material that will be put up on the blog. My mission and overall goal with the creation of Odinworld is to display pictures, designs, collectibles, reviews, information and the legend of the anime classic: Odin - Photon Space Sailer Starlight. All reviews that are collected will be fully credited to the original reviewer and are used without permission, if I have used your review on this blog and you don’t want it on Odinworld please email me at reganstrongblood@gmail.com and said article/review will be removed immediately. On the other hand if you see something you wrote/reviewed on Odinworld why not just be cool with it, you are building the monster which will become Odin world. I will provide links to torrents of the uncut movie along with links to pod cast reviews of Odin. I have a anime podcast called Anime82 and will do my own review of Odin in honour of the creation of Odinworld. You may notice the intro provided by the Japanese president is somewhat hard to understand, but as he took the time and effort to honour us with a intro, I have left the intro untouched. Love it or hate it Odin is now part of the world....Odinworld!

Regan Strongblood

A Message from the President

Welcome to Odinworld I am president of Japan Odin fan society with few words of intro.
Thanks to Mr Strongblood for keeping Odin Spirit well in North, welcome and please keep searching for Odin....

Space battleship Yamato/from completion compilation' immediately after, the Nisizaki justice spreading/displaying producer frequently, “try the revival of Yamato,” first you start the plan which 'king of [desura]'. Popularity [kiyara] “of Yamato”, with the work which designates President death Ra of the [gamirasu] star as the protagonist, this is held up following release announces summer of 84.

Consequently being summer of 84, the new work 'photon sailing ship starlight' becomes, it announced the plan which together, “animation 3 year plan” it struck out, 1st feature 'king of [desura]', 2nd feature received semi- village well in the original, '妖 star transmission', and 3rd feature 'the Yamato birth compilation'?!

This “animation revival three year plan” or “to change Yamato revival three year plan” and name, 1st feature 'the photon sailing ship starlight', 2nd 'the [desurazu] war I/battleship star plain gauze', 3rd feature 'space battleship Yamato/the birth compilation' (or 'space battleship Yamato/the revival compilation) with it could change feature' afterwards. '' The [desurazu] war “1” a certain way, seems that is schedule of no section work.

Title 'the o dean/venture 2099' was modified to unknown, but immediately before the releasing 'the o dean/to the photon sailing ship starlight' re-modification. That is this work. “Dream the once more” thinking producer was placed, it is in fact “the Yamato” [rimeiku] work.

As for the producer having emphasized however before the releasing, that the point which you say whether how “Yamato” it is different. It has been said, but 'as for Yamato' 200 year future story 'the o dean' is ahead 100 years. It has been said, but 'as for Yamato' the warship 'the starlight number of the o dean' is demilitarization by the merchant ship. It has been said, 'with Yamato' the loom was used, but 'with the o dean' gravity cutoff navigation is adopted. It has been said, but 'as for Yamato' the symphony which designates jazz as keynote 'the o dean' is the hard lock, etc. But if the difference is emphasized, it became the result that the extent which is done, the similarity becomes conversely relief.

Difference of the times, ahead 100 years and ahead 200 years cannot get wise with image, has started advancing also outside solar system but if in this world as for the hand of the mankind the setting that, it has not extended, the gravity cutoff navigation which changes to loom navigation is used to only Jupiter, vis-a-vis “the Yamato” world, if you say, that it can fly away to outside outer space, after all it is the same thing. But the starlight number which is not the battleship, there is no about you arm strengthen midway, picture the wave motion gun and what to change to the especially bow the electronic scraper gun is equipped up to reaching. It is new to appoint loudness to subject song, the attempt whose also it is new to participate the music unit TPO which Amano right track and others has united there is no either not saying, but as for having taken charge of music itself Yasushi's and Haneda Kentarou's Miyagawa which adapts combination. This just is something which is on the extended line “of Yamato”. Next, because SE (effective sound) it is diverted “Yamato” empty in large quantities, if it does from the aspect “of sound”, difference is good asserting that almost it is not, (the cast the person “of the Yamato” edge is done some person the casting).

But also the main staff even with “the person who manages the Yamato” series long is many, 'so is space it introduces first aircraft carrier blue Noah', it is different from “Yamato”, if you say, that it is different, you think that more the surface, it is quick to change the part which is recognized even with the amateur but is, so as for the notion that where it did not do, as mentioned earlier, “dream, that the once more” thinking was strong only, there is no expression. Originally, it is something which diverts TV series plan with say, as for the story in the middle of travelling it ends it was not something where and, as usual the captain (captain) as midway dies in battle and, the hand is added to the film in the or open middle where production is not in time, produces, the work is possible and is never praised. As even entertainment been the crushing defeat, as for carrying to essential “Yamato” revival it was not possible. If this it is, tricks, that you think, but is, perhaps whether from first it does not mean that the one which keeps pushing out “Yamato” revival to the front is better, rather than nature, rather than desire, what it has amorousness. Though not to be conscious of “Yamato”, as for the point which it should appraise in that appearance that you think as long as (not knowing) is seen whether it is. Height of quality of drawing, composition and layout, the production aspect which includes those, when the script which to that can give room in story development (“Yamato” is, always to stuff too much, in order to keep cutting that midway, the explanatory insufficient situation and the explanatory excessive speech are appeared,) the charm which is not “Yamato” is.

Critical opinion it is many by the way in regard to the production system and the producer “of Yamato”, either the staff who goes away from the work midway is not little. In addition recently becoming open, the person who expresses critical opinion it is, but is, why as for some person of those staffs that way 'in the o dean' participating, the fact that or returning and is puzzle. In addition although finally it is shaved from credit, at early stage there is also a name of the “Matsumoto zero loyal retainer,” there are some whose also reverse side of these human patterns is interesting.

-greetings from Japan-
by odin2995

The Beautiful Starlight

Searching for Odin



The master!

The sound of space


The science of Odin

Posters, art and books of Strongblood










The dvd cover


The people who built OODDDIIIINN!




Keiko Han as Sarah Cyanbaker
Toshio Furukawa as Akira Tsukuba
Norio Wakamoto as Naoki Ryo
Tesshô Genda as Belgel
Tohru Furuya as Jiro Ishige

Director:
Eiichi Yamamoto
Takeshi Shirato
Toshio Masuda
Yoshinobu Nishioka

Screenplay:
Eiichi Yamamoto
Kazuo Kasahara
Toshio Masuda

Music:
Akira Takasaki
Fumitaka Anzai
Hiroshi Miyagawa
Kentaroh Haneda
Masamichi Amano

Original story: Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Art Director:
Geki Katsumata
Tadano Tsuji
Director of Photography: Shigeyoshi Ikeda
Producer: Tomoharu Katsumata
Executive Director: Yoshinobu Nishizaki
Theme Song Composition: Akira Takasaki (ED)
Theme Song Performance: Loudness

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=704

Odin Mechanic Catalog



tour of the ship




anatomy of the ship





Dont front!

The songs



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reviews from around the net

Reviews
Odin - Potentially the worst space opera ever
By teepee_uk, 10th Nov 04I love Star Wars. I don't buy the models, have any of the films on DVD, or know the name of the person who played the third Ewok
to the left of Luke in the celebration scene at the end of ROTJ. But I love it regardless, mostly for the space battles if I'm honest. Space battles are great. They even made Babylon 5 and even the first two seasons of TNG watchable.

I love anime and manga too. So when I saw 'Odin' sitting alone in a charity shop, I knew what to do. It was all about a 'photon lightship... setting sail
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on its maiden voyage' and had picture of the recruits posing in bodywarmers as though they were straight out of Battle of the Planets. I owned it within a minute, and was a happy bunny all the way home.

I watched it with a friend one evening, and my joy turned to despair, very gradually. I was thrilled by the the additional bonus of 1985 style guitar led rock on the soundtrack, and was thoroughly enjoying the machismo of the young crew members (not to mention the insane amount of super-fake-technical language). I even got a brief kick out of watching their
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ship, the Starlight (not kidding) tear through space with the kind of phallicised penetration imagery one can only dream of.

However, mid eigties cheesieness and essay material will only save a film for so long. And the plot is so mind numbingly slow that by the end I was willing the tv to explode.
When the exposition arrives, it tends to come in long, drawn out speeches, which doesn't help much either.

Add to this some token moralising on the nature of war against an unknown enemy (who unsuprisingly turn out to be 'just like us' after one of them is shot dead)
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and you have a real treat. Tragically, even the battles, the saving grace of half baked sci-fi everywhere aren't up to scratch. They barely even relieve the boredom.

But the real capper is this. The ending isn't an ending at all. It's just the two main characters wondering what will happen when they reach Odin. Fantastic. There isn't even a payoff. I've watched ninety minutes of this hokey for nothing. It's called Odin, it's all about finding and getting to Odin but you never get to see Odin!

My copy of 'Odin' is about to go on Ebay.
Happy bidding and good luck!
By teepee_uk
http://www.homemademech.com/anime-reviews/odin/

Odin
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn...

This is, without a doubt, one of the dullest movies I have ever watched. It's so boring, in fact, that I had to watch it in three installments. There's just no way I could get through all of it in one sitting.

Being a science fiction fan, I was hoping this would hold my interest. The space ship design harkens back to 18th century sailing ships, and seeing these ancient ships floating in outer space was kind of neat.

Unfortunately, there is nothing else noteworthy in this movie. The story is simply boring at the best of times, and very convoluted and unfulfilling during the worse. It involves the crew of the "Starlight" space craft who discover a mysterious ship while cruising in deep space. They find a survivor on board, which only leads them into a much deeper mystery. It seemed like segments were missing, and apparently about 40 minutes or so was cut from the dubbed version. This led to some head-scratching as I tried fathom where certain elements were coming from. Not to mention that the ending was an incredible let-down.

There was a fair bit of action, but even it proved to be tedious as well. The sound effects were incredibly cheesy, reminding me of the Atari video games from the 80's. The voice actors were also quite anemic, lacking proper emotions and the ability to act.

There is nothing to recommend about this movie. Want outer-space science fiction? There are dozens of better titles to choose from. Need something to cure insomnia? Hey, maybe Odin's got a use after all.

The Verdict: * (awful)
http://www.animecritic.com/odin/anr-odin.html

really enjoyed this movie ... for about three minutes. That's when the rather hilariously bad heavy metal song that didn't really fit in with this movie ended, and I had to face hard reality; that was as good as it got. And I really have to hand it to the creators of this movie. You really put out all the stops on your efforts to screw this one up, didn't you?

I mean, this one had some elements of Norse mythology, for God's sake. (Like a lot of anime does ... or did, at least.) And when you have something like that in a movie and still manage to bore a Norwegian Star Trek TNG/Crest of the Stars fan out of his mind, then you've got some pretty friggin' big problems.

Like I said, there was a promising start here. The ship design is actually quite good, and the intro with the amusingly bad heavy metal song was ... well, entertaining. But as soon as everyone was settled and the skipper (hey, skip!) entered, I knew I was in for one long heel-dragging adventure where No-Doz would be essential for my survival.

Now, the story COULD have been good. Exploration is always an interesting topic to challenge in anime. After all, the third generation of Robotech makes good use of that. Odin, however ... does NOT. We're left completely in the dark on where they're going, except that it's called Odin and is, apparently, a galaxy that looks like a giant tree. Yeah, thanks for screwing up the ol' mythology there, Odin! What a way to make a first impression. Anyway, like I said; not only do we have no idea where they're going; we also have little to no idea what they're doing.

And speaking of the crew, we have your typical old veterans, except that their ways of keeping the recruits under control is to threaten to beat the tar out of them if they step out of line. I can't really say I blame them either, since the recruits are a bunch of immature moronic kids which spends the next hour or so taking over the ship in a mutiny so badly planned it gets some of the crew killed in a level of incompetence I haven't seen since that "Mission to Mars" movie. Way to go there, kids! How you managed to survive through this movie will always be considered one of this worlds biggest mysteries.

So, since the story needs to move on, just in case someone should happen to still be awake, there is something going on with some evil robotic character, although the movie really didn't bother explaining how this was linked with the SOS or anything at all, really. And perhaps one could say that it's a good thing when the story is as boring as it is, when it's also as disjointed as it was. It's like, "Hey, we're the new crew at the Starlight oh look how cool we are but now the skipper is angry at us and what is this an SOS signal we better check it out oh man it's all destroyed but at least we got to rescue a cute girl who babbles about Odin and oh dear we're getting attacked by something ...[/monotonous voice]" and so forth and so forth. I'm not gonna spoil what little of an ending there is for you, even though you really ought to look somewhere else for great sci-fi anime. But suffice to say the ending were as boring, as unfulfilling and as pointless as the rest of the movie. It's a monumental failure in every respect. It could even have been offensive and unspeakably gross like the anime I hate the most, but it fails even in that.

In conclusion, it's basically one of the few, if not the only, anime I can't work up any feelings about at all. It's that bland and lifeless.

The crew of Starlight can go fly a kite for all I care. I've got better things to do.

I can't work up the energy to want it rated anything less. — Stig Høgset
http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=572

I love space intensely. I love anime intensely. Knowing this, I think this anime sucked big time.

Odin, as indicated by the name, has some roots in Norse mythology, but unlike fellow Norse mythology rooted anime Ah! My Goddess, Odin is mindbendingly horrid in many ways, starting with the plot. The plot has a good background to it which, if done correctly, could be five star quality, but the way this does it, it's only one star. The movie uses abrupt scenes to try to make the plot happen, but it ruins itself by making no progress whatsoever. Even worse is the massive amount of laughable deus ex machina used. Whenever there's an enemy, the crew is able to fire a cannon unheard of til then. When there's a magnetic storm (and in this anime, there are TONS of them), the crew automatically has access to gravity controls.

Another bad part of the plot is its lack of knowledge in a few sections. For example, the movie mentions Canopus (a star in the constellation we call Carina), a star which turned supernova (even though in today's world, this star is still intact ... as far as we can see), but previously was a brilliant blue. The problem is that Canopus is not blue, but rather a yellowish color. Overall, the plot lacks depth and is really boring for the most part.

Characterwise, this movie never learns. Akira, the only crew member I even remember, is supposedly a flunked student who was overlooked to become a part of the crew, now doing solo flights for some strange reason. Sarah (the mysterious girl who was found by another ship which perished) is a typical case. Amnesiac, unaware of her past, Mary Sue-ish to an extent, all the old things. The higher staff consists of the Captain, who has an empty personality, and a coordinate, who is only noteworthy for threatening to break someone's neck. As for the rest of the crew, you get the obligatory computer wiz, the all-action guy, a doctor, and the usual pilots.

Next up, the art and BOY I'm going to smash it. The ship, while good looking, is marred by the lighting effects, which are some of the absolute worst ever. Apparently, the artists loved the color "Night Vision Green", as you'll see it often, as it is one of only 10 colors that get shoved into your eyes. They got rid of Electric Soldier Porygon because of the seizure inducing, so why not pull this from the shelves since this has lighting gone horribly wrong? Lights such as those in a hall are blinding, so try to imagine an explosion's light production. Lighting aside, the art (other than the ship) is stupid. They lack detail (yes, I know this is from the early 90s, but give me a break) and come off looking goofy. The characters are also done weird, with some of them looking like they are in dire need of a bed (not unlike me after watching this).

Unfortunately, the animation is just as bad as the artwork. Every movement by a character is blurry, making the illusion that the character is moving faster than normal and every time the ship is put to speed (which happens often in odd and goofy ways plagued by the lighting), the ship looks stationary (as if it was held up by a stick) while the background looks panoramic, further digging the grave for this excuse of an anime.

I might as well say this as solid as I can, but the music sucks. Many scenes have this bad music, which is either a cheesy synth song (similar to what I'd expect from a cheap Vangelis imitator), a notoriously cheesy metal song that makes Pat Boone sound like Metallica and the Backyard Dogs theme song sound like Dancing In The Rain, or a horribly misplaced classical song. To comment on the latter, Cosmos (a documentary about space by Carl Sagan) also utilized classical, but at least it made it fit well, which is more than what this anime could do.

Finally, I'll target the voices, which sound bad. Every character sounds like he skipped five days worth of sleep prior to appearing in this movie, which isn't good at the least.

All in all, this movie doesn't try anything interesting and turns into a snorefest for the ages. The art sucks, the music is cheesy, the voices are horrible, the plot is thin, the animation is stupid, and the characters are cliched. Stay away from this one and use that one dollar you were going to spend renting this on a cold soda.

There are many things with better plot, more depth, better voices, and better, more believable characters than this ... like CardCaptors for instance. Odin is THAT bad.) — Jake L Godek

http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=960

Above all else, this needs to be said: ODIN FEATURES MUSIC BY JAPANESE LEGENDS LOUDNESS! Unfortunately, you won't find "Wock N' Worr Cwazy Nights!" in the score, but still...

I also want to address the fact that I've seen blurbs and reviews for this movie which play up the fact that Odin was created by Yoshinobu Nishizaki, one of the minds behind "Star Blazers." While this is indeed true, you'd be extremely hard-pressed to compare this to Star Blazers, let alone anything in the Matsumoto universe.

That being said, "Odin: Space Sailor Starlight" is an excellent piece of space-opera adventure. The film's straightforward story proceeds nicely and is fully self-contained; virtually anyone can jump in and enjoy "Odin." However, it should be noted that due to the abundance of characters who essentially share equal screen time, there is very little character elaboration. That being said, the movie is about the journey of the Starlight, and is not focused on any one of the crew, or Sarah, for that matter. Thus, don't expect deep characters, or you'll be disappointed.

The opening narration does an excellent job of laying a backdrop for viewers and introducing us to the concept of laser-sailing. That being said, there are times when the film tends to over-elaborate on technology and that's when "Odin" slows down. Considering the adventure-nature of the film, I would rather see more aspects of the journey than sit through anti-gravity tests and sail alignment. Thankfully, such occurrences are infrequent, so if you're not befuddled by occasional technical references, don't be deterred from watching.

I'm intentionally trying to be somewhat vague in my summary and review because the very suspense the movie creates is one of its most beneficial qualities. There is very little foreshadowing; coupled with plot twists, it makes for a very engrossing anime.

The animation is good considering it was done in 1985. My only real complaint is that most of the crew members are drawn generically and look the same, which can be confusing at times. The styles of mecha used in the film are pretty random; although the main laser-sailing ships look like traditional sailing vessels with futuristic hulls and masts, all kinds of smaller space vehicles are utilized that range from flying saucers to traditional sci-fi shuttlecraft.

That being said, the spacecraft designs aren't very conducive to fighting. There is some interstellar warfare in the movie, but for the most part, it's free of any ultra-cool futuristic weapons or sleek spaceship designs. If you need large-scale space warfare in your Anime, "Odin" will most likely fall short of satisfying your needs.

The English dubbing is done very well; while there are few standout performances, none of the acting is abysmal. The actors tend to express the relative ages of their characters well through the voices; the captain of the Starlight is particularly well done.

By far, the most prevalent theme in "Odin" is the emphasis on the naivete and courage required by explorers of all kinds in order to forge ahead as pioneers in new territory. This is reiterated throughout the film and summarized by the final speeches of headstrong crewmember Akira and the captain in the film. Some viewers may interpret that as being corny, but I personally feel that it adds a greater sense of substance and cohesion to the film.

There's one other very important point to consider. If you hate incomplete stories, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM! "Odin" is a portrayal of the journey of the Starlight, not a portrayal of the ultimate fate of the Starlight or her crew. The film ends only with optimistic sentiment. I found it very annoying that so many loose ends were left without so much as the promise of a sequel.

The music is also very well done, and consists of symphonic pieces interspersed with Loudness songs. It's a bit reminiscent of "Transformers: The Movie," since preparation and voyage scenes are set to blaring rock music.

The film is extremely tame as far as Anime goes; there is no nudity (one close-call) and the language is pretty light on profanities. There are a few death scenes, but no accompanying gore.

I also want to note that if you've seen the edited version on the Sci-Fi channel, there's not much on the regular dubbed version to entice you to purchase it. Sci-Fi edited less than 4 minutes of footage, most of which was taken out to mask profanity or to shorten transition scenes. Also, I've heard the English-dubbed video called the "short version." I am unaware of a longer version, but it's possible that some variants exist as Japanese versions or on the DVD.

[Editor's Note: The subtitled VHS version and the older DVD's "director's cut" version are about 45 minutes longer than the dubbed version reviewed here (Sci-Fi Channel or otherwise).]

If you're fond of space opera/adventure/quest movies, "Odin" is probably a must-see for you. If you're not particularly fond of space opera/sci fi, I wouldn't recommend watching this; there are very few elements present that transcend the space opera genre. I've also found that "Odin: Space Sailor Starlight" gets old very quickly. After a few initial viewings, I never really watched it again, and I had no urges to. It's a fine story, but there are no paramount elements that prompt another viewing (other than Loudness, of course).
http://animeworld.com/readerreviews/odin.html

In many ways this is quite decent science fiction. The use of laser-driven "photon" sails has been proposed a number of times. The enemy civilization that they come up against has some unlikely flaws, but otherwise is passably believable.
There are holes in the science you could drive a truck through, but Odin pays much more attention to believability than most other anime series. Whether this is a good thing is up to you to decide. And in all honesty being more believable than most anime series is not hard. :-)

Science aside, this is a reasonably straightforward ripoff of Star Blazers. Some segments bear a striking resemblance to episodes from the Star Blazers series. While the driving force behind the plot is significantly weaker (not "save the Earth" but "let's see what's out there") Odin also more-or-less ends with a confrontation with forces determined to destroy the Earth.

In many ways it's a pity that the design of the Odin so consciously resembles a sailing ship, as this is the main place where suspension of disbelief breaks down.

The main problem with Odin is that it is fairly straight science fiction, and frequently takes itself a little too seriously. As a result it can get a ittle boring.

Animation is fairly ordinary by modern standards, but extremely good by early-80s standards - definitely better, if less luridly colourful, than Star Blazers. The style is a little more realistic and a little less stylised than Star Blazers. Altogether it fits the "serious SF" mood of the movie reasonably well.

The Japanese track fits voices to characters reasonably well; the English version does a reasonable job as well, although the Japanese track fits just a little better.

Audio is decent but by no means extraordinary.

Packaging is a fairly standard DVD case with a reasonable clip deign, featuring a large picture of the Starlight and a note saying that the feature is 235 minutes long. This is probably acurate for the combined lengths of the two versions, but not for either indiidual feature.
http://www.ozanime.org/reviews.cgi?KEY=odin

1986, Japan. Directed by Toshio Masuda, Takeshi Shirado, Eiichi Yamamoto. Written by Kazuo Kasahara, Toshio Masuda, Yoshinobu Nishizaki, Eiichi Yamamoto. Purchase from Amazon.com.

Let me start off by saying that I love Odin. Absolutely love it. All those people in the world who call it one of the worst animated films of all time? Liars. Every one of them. Dirty, rotten, filthy liars. Then let me further preface that admission by freely admitting that I have no illusions as to the quality of Odin. It’s awful. It’s a shining example of everything that can go wrong with anime feature filmmaking. It’s bloated, needlessly long, often tedious, thinly characterized, nigh incomprehensible, and since the creators dreamed that it would be a Yamato-style series, it doesn’t even have an ending. Even if, like me, you are a fan of so-called “old anime,” there’s a 99% chance that if you rent Odin, you will never make it to the end (much like the filmmakers themselves). And there’s a pretty high probability that it will make you angry at me, and possibly mildly violent over the fact that I somehow swayed you into thinking it might be a good thing to add to your Netflix queue. So let me get this out of the way right now: Odin is a completely pointless 140-minute disaster that you should avoid at all costs.

Unless, that is, you happen to think like me.

Let me start this review by describing the opening minutes of Odin, which pretty much set the tone for everything that is about to follow. If you don’t get the opening, then the rest of the movie isn’t going to be for you either. First, we get a brief recap of mankind’s various brave forays into exploring the oceans. OK, so far, so good. We see we’re going to get some pretty good artwork. Odin was, after all, a big budget affair. The action then shifts to the future (2099 — at least they had the good sense to set it more than twenty years in the future), when mankind has taken to exploring the solar system in giant spaceships adorned with schooner-style sails that harness the power of a network of directional lasers that propel the ships back and forth across space. The idea of spaceships that look like old sailing ships is a tad silly, but it’s got a nice old-school pulp sci-fi feel to it, and anyway, one of my all-time favorite series is about a steam engine locomotive that flies through space — and you can even put the windows down — so who am I to complain?

So far, nothing too odious (or Odinous — that’s right, I’m here all week, folks) up to this point. We get a brief look at the various space sailers, which is a better montage than the never-ending Enterprise fly-bys we got in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which, as far as I can tell, have been playing since 1979 and still haven’t finished up). It’s all set to snappy Peter Thomas Soundorchestra style music like you got in his score for Chariots of the Gods, which I pretty fitting (this movie had as many composers as it had writers and directors). Then a transport shuttle lands on one of the giant sailers, the ramp opens, and one of the characters steps out, points toward…the future, perhaps…and yells, “GO!!!”

And that’s when Odin begins to earn its reputation.

A song from the 80s Japanese glam metal band Loudness begins to soar majestically across the soundtrack, like a great eagle of pure metal majesty unfurling wings formed from the power chords of one of those pointy, angular guitars. The crew of the space sailer, obviously invigorated by the fist-pumping anthemic rock music, stream out of the transport shuttle, running energetically and giving each other high-fives. They are just that happy and gung-ho to be aboard the Space Photon Sailer Starlight. And I don’t mean they’re walking at a crisp clip or jogging. They’re hauling ass Jesse Owens style, full-speed sprinting enthusiastically up and down ramps, joyously climbing access ladders, and triumphantly situating themselves at control consoles. Then there is more running, more high fiving, and lots of sweeping, panning shots of the exterior of the ship. Then, it all keeps on going. And going. For the entire length of the song. Amid the ecstasy and unbridled “Yeah, A-Number One Aces!” excitement of the boarding process, a solitary figure rides a glass elevator to the tip of one of the sails and places his hand contemplatively against the glass window, staring off into the distance as if to say, “Yes, this ship is my heart, and it soars upward, ever upward, like the music of Loudness!”

How you are going to feel about the rest of Odin depends largely on how you react to five minutes of guys running merrily through spaceship corridors, giving each other high fives and basically handling the whole thing like they’re the champion team running out onto the field for “the big game” while Loudness plays. If this is the sort of thing that has you rolling your eyes and checking your watch, or eyeing the fast forward button, then let me give you a word of advice: just fast forward to the end credits, because this sequence is pretty much as good as it gets. There’s nothing more exciting or logical beyond this point. This whole boarding sequence operates as sort the Dante-esque warning sign posted at the gates of Hell. Abandon all hope, ye who watch any more of Odin.

Actually, you may even want to skip the end credits, during which a very special treat rolls that will delight some and exasperate many.

If, however, you react to this sequence in much the same way as the characters on screen, then it’s safe to continue. Frankly, this entire ludicrous intro does indeed make me want to run at full speed down the hall, high fiving my fellow space sailer sailors and shouting, “Yeah!” The entire sequence always makes me laugh in a hearty, manly fashion. That was true when I first saw Odin back in the Dark Ages, and it proved to still be true when I rewatched it for this review. It’s such a goofy idea, from beginning to end. The running and cheering sequence, I mean, not the movie Odin itself. Actually, I guess the whole movie is a pretty goofy idea, beginning to end, as well, or it would be if it had an end. But it’s just so deliriously nutty and enthusiastic that I love it. If you are tired of brooding space pirates or dystopic futures, then all you need to do is watch these goofballs sprint up and down space ramps while listening to Loudness. From this moment on, I’m going to assume that all space vessel boarding is conducted in this fashion. This is how they boarded the Apollo capsules, and the only reason Japan has never sent a man to the moon is because their astronauts are too tired after a hard day of cheering and running. If we could get a glimpse at the International Space Station right now, you know what we’d see? That’s right. They’d be running up and down the cramped corridors, high fiving each other, shouting, “Da, comrade!” and pressing their palms against the portholes. And listening to Loudness.

Now that my description of the sequence has gone on nearly as long as the sequence itself, we can continue.

Oh wait, no we can’t because all that running and jumping for joy is followed immediately by a lengthy launch sequence in which we get to see the characters fiddle dials and press blinking lights while the movie indulges in another long parade of “fly-by” footage in and around the spaceship. Suddenly, that fly-by sequence from Star Trek: The Motion Picture isn’t looking so bad, is it folks? This goes on for quite a spell, until we finally get the photon laser thing fired up and the Starlight sails gloriously forth toward…the moon? Seriously? All this, and they’re only going to the moon? In an age in which giant clipper ships ply the spaceways, does taking a shake-down cruise to the moon really justify all the high-fives and endless sweeping shots of the spaceship? Oh well, at least the journey is underway and we can now relax and get down to some serious action.

Except that we can’t, because en route to the moon, the Starlight picks up a mayday call from a ship in the asteroid belt near Jupiter. Now why the hell would any ship fly through an asteroid belt in the first place? Didn’t they watch Empire Strikes Back? Well, the Starlight captain decides to respond to the SOS, even though they’re only five minutes out of space dock and there must be closer ships if the laser highways are as crowded as the movie claims. But then one of the characters — some of them have names, but they’re token nods toward organization more than they are significant elements of the story, since there are really only two characters in the whole movie (“young gun” and “old salt”) — announces they can use the gravity isolator engine (or some such device — the made-up pulp sci-fi jargon flies with gleeful abandon in this film) and be there lickety split. If you’re guessing this results in another overly lengthy “preppin’ the engines” sequence, you’d be on target. When they announced that the time until the engine could be used was seventy minutes, I was afraid they were going to really show us seventy minutes of guys fiddling with knobs and blinking lights and yelling out things like, “Phase induction coupling coil MX37 GO!!!”
While all this is happening, space cadet fighter pilot Akira (he embodies the “young gun” characters) decides that it wasn’t fair of the International Space Agency to flunk him out of Starlight service school just because he punched a superior officer in the nose. So he steals a long-distance space fighter (we know it is such because this movie labels pretty much every action and piece of technology with handy captions, so you can learn to recognize Gravity Isolation Sailing when it happens), buzzes the Starlight, and demands to be let on board. This act would be, I presume, punishable by death in many militaries, but in the Odin universe, all it does is make everyone smile and proclaim that having Akira on board “might be good for a laugh.” Not only do they let him on board, but they pretty much turn over control of the ship to him within minutes of his arrival.

Eventually, the ship gets to the asteroid belt and searches the wreckage of a passenger cruiser that was obliterated by a mysterious destroyer, which appears soon enough and is assessed to be of a mysterious alien origin. As mankind has yet to discover evidence of any extra-terrestrial life in the Odinverse, this would seem to be a pretty big deal, even if it is a heavily-armed battle cruiser with a tendency to blow the crap out of anything it comes across. The Starlight discovers a single survivor from the slaughter — a beautiful young girl, luckily enough, because what fun would it have been to discover a fat old crone smoking a corncob pipe and prone to uncontrollable bouts of mixed cackling and phlegmy coughing? Actually, yeah, that would have been pretty funny. While investigating the mysterious cruiser, the Starlight crew accidentally triggers its self-destruct mechanism, apparently by lightly touching the surface of the ship. So it is a vast, heavily armored battle cruiser boasting advanced alien technology, seemingly impervious to all weapons of human design, but you can destroy it by touching it.

The short-comings of this battle cruiser don’t matter much though, because once they pick up the girl, the cruiser is forgotten. No inquiry is ever made as to its origins or what it was doing hanging out in the asteroid belt blowing things up. If there was ever any explanation at all of what this ship was supposed to be, I must have blinked while they were making it. Was this supposed to be a ship from the soon-to-be-introduced Odin? We never see anything like it again, and no one sees fit to ever go, “Oh yeah, we should warn people about deadly alien destroyers that explode when you touch them.”

The exploding battleship sends the Starlight’s seamen shooting toward Uranus, where the girl they picked up guides them to a UFO crash sight. Yes, if nothing else, Odin gives you ample opportunity for childish Uranus and seamen jokes. Make them, otherwise you’re not going to have much else to do. Some special computer crystals (luckily, all computer systems in the entire universe, regardless of whether they are terrestrial or alien in nature, run on the same type of storage medium — an advanced form of Zip Disk, I believe) and the fractured memories of the girl (named Sarah Cyanbaker, “Cyanbaker” being an ancient Norse name meaning, “Maker of neon blue breads”) point the Starlight in the direction of Odin, a mythical planet from which, the movie postulates, ancient astronauts departed en route to becoming the first humans, or Norse gods. Something like that.

The subsequent discovery of a space warp point makes traveling to Odin a possibility, but the old salt Captain and his old salt cronies receive orders to return to space dock, assess the situation, and prepare for a proper expedition to unexplored and potentially hostile distant space. And they might possibly also mention all this newfound evidence of life on other planets to the International Space Agency. Upset by this brief flirtation with some sort of logic and responsibility, the cheering young crew takes Akira’s advice and stages a mutiny, taking the ship in search of Odin and locking the senior officers in the mess hall where, predictably enough, the old farts all smile to themselves and are pleased that their crew has mutinied and taken an untested ship on its maiden voyage through a warp point toward a portion of the universe thousands of light years from the edge of explored space, without proper provisions, armaments, or training. Once again, behavior punishable by death is greeted with sly smiles, back slapping, and “Oh, to be young again!” nonchalance.

When the Starlight is set upon by vicious robot defenders almost immediately after exiting the warp, you can’t help but think they got what they deserved. It turns out that the robots are the last vestiges of life on Odin, an automatic defense system commanded by an acid trip hallucination of a guy named Asgard that has gone insane over the eons and decided to wage war on all organic life (ironically, in this movie, Odin is a place and Asgard, where Odin lived in Norse myths, is a person). Now that the Starlight has popped through the warp point, the machines decide to backtrack and destroy life on earth as well. For his act of mutiny and potentially destroying all life on earth, Akira is congratulated and put in charge of figuring out how to best their mechanized enemies, leading to a laser-studded orgy of animated violence as the crew of the Starlight zap this and that, fly around, and when they need that extra push toward victory, insert their Loudness 8-track into the Starlight’s hi-fi system. And yes, I hope that one day, “A laser-studded orgy of animated violence” appears as a blurb on Odin DVD packaging.

Really, where to begin with this movie?

How about the ending, which doesn’t exist? Apparently thinking that this was going to be a hugely successful movie that would immediately spawn sequels, the film concludes with a dying captain (oh come on — that’s no spoiler) telling his mutinous young crew to venture forth and continue the quest for Odin, for surely the machines are not all that is left of that ancient civilization that may or may not have given birth to mankind (despite all evidence to the contrary and the fact that a dying Odinite even says, “this is all that remains of our culture”), or at least to the mythology of one small section of mankind. We then get a few more shots of the Starlight, then fade to…a Loudness music video??? Oh, come on! A two hours and twenty minute running time, and we don’t even get an ending? And what’s more, the Loudness video, for the song “Searching for Odin” (the main lyrics of which seem to be a soaring power ballad chorus repeating “Searching for Odin, my love!”), is cheaply shot on video and is just of the band standing in some fog machine mist. At their liveliest, I think the guitarist does that power ballad thing where he lightly taps one foot and sort of sways back and forth as he stares off into the distance. You know the stance. Every metal dude does it. But I demand more from Loudness. They’re not even rockin’ out or running around and giving high-fives to each other.
So basically, the entire 140 minutes you just spent watching Odin was for nothing. I would have even been satisfied if they just popped up a screen that said, “And then they found Odin and it was awesome…but that is another tale!” But we don’t even get that, because this movie was a thunderous flop for which no sequel was ever made. It’s the Megaforce of anime (“The Megaforce of anime!” — why is no one quoting Teleport City on their box covers???) — a huge undertaking, using a wealth of talent and money, meant to become an endearing blockbuster that defines a generation, but instead gets relegated to the ranks of bad movie punchline.

It seems like an hour of this movie is padded out by gratuitous fly-bys or pointless action. Everything in Odin takes twice as long to explain as it should, and there’s never any real pay-off for any of this time. One sequence finds the Starlight stranded in a negative energy nebula, or something like that, from which escape is impossible. After lots of talking and repairing (don’t worry — the Repair Boats are labeled when they appear on screen, so you will know when repairs are taking place — I sure wish they’d labeled things like “Energetic Corridor Running” and “Space Photon Mutiny”), they just use a special engine and fly out, no harm done and no point to it except to increase the running time. And after leading a lengthy and involved assault on a computer brain, Akira and his team return and announce, “that was just a communication conduit; now we have to destroy the actual computer brain,” and we have to watch the whole thing all over again. That said, though, the final assault on the computer brain fortress is pretty good stuff, with slick looking robots, giant tanks, and bazooka lasers.

There are, as mentioned earlier, no real characters to speak of other than Akira and the salty old captain. And Sarah, I guess, but her only character trait is to wander onto the bridge from time to time and announce that they should find Odin. That, or she simply falls to her knees and screams, “Odeeeeeen!!!” They pay lip service to differentiating the crew but really, everyone is on board to cheer and die heroically, and you won’t remember the name of a single one of them, except maybe “Boatswain.” And none of the deaths mean much of anything, not just because the characters are so poorly fleshed out, but because there’s practically no point to anything that happens in this movie, especially when you consider the ending.

To the film’s credit, the artwork is beautiful. It’s a great example of eighties tech design at its best. The Starlight looks cool (and believe me, they give you plenty of chances to look at it), and the art is rich and detailed and interesting. It’s obvious that they spent all their money on art and design, and then realized after the fact that they better drum up some kind of script. Said script comes to us courtesy of Yoshinobu Nishizaki (also the producer), Kazuo Kasahara, and Toshio Masuda. Three people? It took three people to come up with this mess? Actually, I guess that makes sense. I bet all three wrote entirely different movies, then they crammed them all into one film and called it a feature. At least that would explain the dazzling lack of coherence and the even more dazzling abundance of idiocy.

None of these jokers were novices. Kazuo had been screenwriting since the late 1950s, including penning some of Japan’s best-known features, such as Kinji Fukasaku’s Battles Without Honor and Humanity films — not that those qualify you for a coherency award. He was director Fukasaku’s go-to writer, though, having penned not only the Battles movies, but also Cops vs Thugs, Yakuza Graveyard, and Renegade Ninjas. They’re all very good, very fun films, but once again, the cord that binds them together is that half the time you have no idea what the hell is going on. You can definitely see the influence of his shotgun approach to characters and audience comprehension in the script for Odin.

Similarly, Toshio Masuda was an experienced director and writer by the time Odin blemished his resume. He wrote and directed the superb Seijun Suzuki-esque Velvet Hustler in 1967, the totally crackpot Last Days of Planet Earth, then became a writer and director for the Space Battleship Yamato series (aka Star Blazers).
If anyone is to be blamed for the glorious awfulness of Odin, though, it’s writer/producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki, whose brain child this abomination was. It’s his fault that the movie has no less than three (possibly four) writers and three directors (including Takeshi Shirado and Eiichi Yamamoto, both veterans of Yamato), which is always a recipe for disaster. That’s just too many conflicting visions and egos. You may also notice that there’s a lot of people from Space Battleship Yamato popping up in the credits of Odin. You may further notice that the plot, what of it there is, of Odin doesn’t sound too far from the plot of Yamato — a spaceship that looks like an old ship plying the stars in search of a legendary planet. In fact, Nishizaki’s first job as writer, director, and producer was with the Yamato series, a concept he dreamed up then turned to Leiji Masumoto to bring to life. When Yamato’s guiding light left the series to pursue other ideas (specifically, Captain Harlock), Nishizaki did his best to keep the franchise limping along, but it was obvious from the precipitous plunge in quality that he was no Leiji Masumoto and that the series was sinking faster than the actual battlehsip Yamato (an endearing symbol of Japan’s bravery and might, even though it was an idiotically gigantic battleship ushered triumphantly into service just as the Americans were discovering how easy it was for groups of small airplanes to sink idiotically large battleships — I can think of better symbols of national pride).

Having sullied the name of Yamato, Nishizaki decided to strike out in a bold new direction with Blue Noah, a show about a spaceship created out of an old submarine, which must journey to a mysterious destination. You may detect a pattern here. When Blue Noah crashed and burned, Nishizaki dreamed up Odin. Or rather, he retooled his original Yamato idea for the third time, assuming that he was going to have a movie so cool that people wouldn’t even remember Yamato. It didn’t really work out that way, and Odin sank at the box office and only resurfaced in the guise of a “so bad you won’t believe it” fascination among twisted individuals like myself, who basically say of Odin, “It’s absolutely horrible. You really should see it.”

Weep not for Nishizaki, however. Never one to stay down for long, he rebounded from the failure of Odin by developing another new idea, one that actually wasn’t about spaceships shaped like old seagoing vessels. That creation — lovingly known in the United States as Legend of the Overfiend — did have the elements present that it needed to become, you know, somewhat memorable.

All that said, man do I love Odin. And not ironically, and not just because it’s bad. I really enjoy the hell out of it. I mean, make no mistake — this is everything that can go wrong with a movie, all going wrong in one gloriously preposterous embarrassment. Odin is a wreck. It’s also, for a guy like me, an endearing throwback to the heady days of anything-goes pulp science fiction and broadly-painted space opera. Make-believe future technology appears and disappears at the drop of the hat; characters are crudely drawn in the most obvious strokes, relying on you simply accepting them for what they are (laser fodder, mostly) without ever learning anything but completely generic things about them (they enjoy heavy metal music and like to high five each other); entire situations are built up in fine detail only to be completely abandoned; hair-brained attempts at philosophy and theology fly fast and furious and never come together to form an even remotely cohesive thematic tapestry. Odin plays out like a long-running, crudely written episodic serial, one that the author dashes off in a couple hours and then promptly forgets until he has to write the next installment, which may or may not connect very well to what little he remembers of what he wrote for the last installment. And then, the whole thing gets cancelled before he ever writes the ending. I’ve read slapdash AE Van Vogt novels from the 1940s that feel very similar in nonsensical tone to Odin. And I love them for the same largely inexplicable reasons I love Odin.

It’s pure pulp, and pure pulp always delights me, even when it’s as bad as this and feels like its being made up on the fly. Yes, there are good pulp stories, and great pulp stories, and it’s a shame that so much of what’s bad about pulp writing has become what’s most strongly identified with pulp writing. It’s a real artistic tragedy, blah blah, and I don’t care. I’d still rather read van Vogt or “Solomon Kane” than Arthur C. Clarke (not that I mind Clarke at all), and I’d still rather watch Odin than many other movies which are obviously much better (and much worse — MD Geist, I’m looking in your direction). I can’t in good faith say you should check Odin out unless you are likely to garner entertainment from such an ambitious piece of junk. I’d say that shearing it of thirty minutes would make it a leaner, better movie, but the American release (both the full length and edited versions are on the DVD release) does just that and emerges as even more incoherent and boring than the lengthier original — plus, I think they cut out the Loudness video that substitutes in place of an ending, so you don’t even have that to look forward to. So make of that what you will. The vast majority of people will find Odin to be tedious at best, and likely very nearly intolerable. Me? Odin is so good that it makes me want to run down the hallway, high five Nishizaki, and watch the whole thing over again.

Like the crew of the Photon Space Sailer Starlight, I’m always going to be “searching for Odin, my love!”
2006 by Keith
http://teleport-city.com/wordpress/?p=764

synopsis

In the year 2099, mankind has colonized parts of the Solar System thanks to the evolution of space travel. To venture further beyond what man has accomplished, the space vessel Starlight is launched. After rescuing a mysterious girl from a wreckage near the asteroid fields, the crew of the Starlight plot a perilous journey towards the Canopus system in search of the planet known only as "Odin" - the possible key to all forms of life.

(description from animenewsnetwork.com)

Welcome to Odinworld

Firstly thank you to the Japanese President of the Odin fan club for support, info and material that will be put up on the blog. My mission and overall goal with the creation of Odinworld is to display pictures, designs, collectibles, reviews, information and the legend of the anime classic: Odin - Photon Space Sailer Starlight. All reviews that are collected will be fully credited to the original reviewer and are used without permission, if I have used your review on this blog and you don’t want it on Odinworld please email me at reganstrongblood@gmail.com and said article/review will be removed immediately. On the other hand if you see something you wrote/reviewed on Odinworld why not just be cool with it, you are building the monster which will become Odin world. I will provide links to torrents of the uncut movie along with links to pod cast reviews of Odin. I have a anime podcast called Anime82 and will do my own review of Odin in honour of the creation of Odinworld. You may notice the intro provided by the Japanese president is somewhat hard to understand, but as he took the time and effort to honour us with a intro, I have left the intro untouched. Love it or hate it Odin is now part of the world....Odinworld!

Keep searching for Odin my love