In this episode, Clarissa reviews one of the signature titles from manga supergroup CLAMP: the 1994 anime series Magic Knight Rayearth. Fair warning: in addition to the TV series, we also talk about…Rayearth. You know, that OVA we all try to pretend doesn’t exist. Which Clarissa and Gerald had actually never seen or really heard about until just now.
Introduction (0:00 – 30:07)
Now that we’re about a month into the season, we give updates on the titles we’ve been watching from not only the current season but also the backlog. Why, several of these are fansub-only titles to this day! But more and more of the “we’ll never see an official US release” titles are becoming available, and it’s not just limited to anime/manga. Perhaps it’s all just fuel for the content mill, which reminds us of some certain questionable Netflix adaptations that we dare not watch legally, lest the algorithm decide “we need to make more of this based on the number of views it’s gotten!”
Promo: Right Stuf Anime (30:07 – 33:05)
Thanks no doubt specifically to listeners of this podcast, all of the Dirty Pair Kickstarter stretch goals were met and exceeded, so look forward to that Blu-Ray set sometime next year, barring any further catastrophic disruptions to the global manufacturing supply chain. For now, there are some big sales underway; while the Discotek sale ends in a few hours, the Black Friday and winter holiday sales are just around the corner. Note that if you order items that are out of stock but not out of print, the sale price will be honored. Which is relevant considering what we’re reviewing this episode, since the Discotek sale has it temporarily out of stock.
Review: Magic Knight Rayearth (33:05 – 1:46:22)
Clarissa reviews one of the perennial fan favorites of the 1990s that is remembered as one of the definitive series from the group collectively known as “CLAMP”: Magic Knight Rayearth, a precursor to the contemporary JRPG world isekai from an era before we were deluged with such material. However, unlike all that stuff today, Magic Knight Rayearth is shojo AND it has giant robots in it eventually, making it something of a novelty even after nearly 30 years. The manga has been re-released in very fancy large hardcover editions for the 25th anniversary. Here’s the first series box set and the sequel series box set. More affordable standard editions are also available, and the manga is digitally available on ComiXology. It’s a somewhat quick read, since CLAMP was all about those gorgeous splash pages:
The anime directed by Toshihiro Hirano–yes, the man who directs Baki for Netflix these days–is one of those rare instances in which it differs significantly from the manga and yet remains worthwhile. Well, the TV series at least.
Although Magic Knight Rayearth was a staple of our youths, it’s now old enough to be included in Super Robot Wars, and luckily those games are available in English. Super Robot Wars T for PS4 (there’s also a Switch version which sold extremely well though you can’t customize the music) was the first to include our heroines. They also appear in the recently-released Super Robot Wars 30 (also on Switch and for the first time without being region-locked out of the US, on Steam for PC). Note that you don’t need to have played T before playing 30, as the storylines are completely separate. We can only assume their presence and character interactions in these games is what is driving the trend of drawing our heroic trio as though they’re the Getter Robo team:
There is also…another anime that is just titled Rayearth which…remember earlier when we were talking about questionable Netflix adaptations? Yeah, about that…