Anime World Order Show # 219 – Stop Fighting and Give Me Your Brain

The intro ended up running long and possibly out of control since it was recorded moments after Gerald ended up being one of the only people in America to have actually gone to see Knights of the Zodiac, the English live-action film adaptation of Saint Seiya produced by Toei. Fret not; we’ll release that audio next time! For now, we’ve got Clarissa reviewing the classic anime series Red Photon Zillion, the most entertaingly deranged extended light gun toy commercial sponsored by Sega in anime history.

Review: Zillion aka Red Photon Zillion (1:30 – 54:04)

Se-ga! Not seen in this shot: the power cables that happen to exactly match the controller cables of the Sega Master System light gun.

Oh sure, Zillion is historically noteworthy for a variety of reasons, most of which we touch upon in the review. But the MAIN reason to watch it in 2023 is because, like Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos, it operates on a logic of the lunatic geniuses who made it.

Fantasy Zone is not messing around

Zillion recently celebrated its 35 year anniversary and is available streaming and on home video (for now) from FUNimation. You…might want to consider purchasing this one either from Right Stuf or Amazon (affiliate links) since FUNimation first released Zillion in 2019 with the “Anime Essentials” edition out a few months later. You may also want to grab it in conjunction with the recent 4K release of Streets of Fire, since the “Burning Night” OVA is infamously the crew deciding “let’s just do an animated Streets of Fire only using the cast of Zillion!” We will reveal the actual relationship this OVA has to the original TV series, which is contrary to what we were told / what was suggested for decades.

Yep, that’s Ellen Aim’s dress, all right
And we’ll fly away on those angel wings of chrome in your daddy’s car…

Sadly, the Streamline Pictures English dub of the first five episodes and the OAV is not included on FUNimation’s releases. Fortunately, fans have preserved it in a few places. Here’s a semi-restoration using the HD footage (they didn’t replicate the Streamline title cards, but others did VHS captures).

Dave and Apple making the face that the writers of this show were making as they concocted these scenarios

Promo: Right Stuf Anime (54:49 – 56:30)
It’s Ani-May 2023, which means that for orders over $50, not only do you get free shipping in the US but you also get a 1.5″ enamel pin of Crunchyroll’s mascot, Hime. This week the specials are themed around “Midnight Run,” which is basically Adult Swim/Toonami titles. Turns out that several of the most popular anime in the US achieved that status thanks to airing on Toonami and/or Adult Swim, so there should be plenty of favorites to choose from.

This would qualify as JJ’s Bizarre Adventure

3 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 219 – Stop Fighting and Give Me Your Brain”

  1. I actually researched this years ago for a review that ,finally, I didn’t write.

    Based on what I learnt, it’s amazing that Zillion turned out as well as it did given the issues during production, mostly due to Sega.

    From what I heard:

    * The original story was supposed to be between different human factions, but Sega nixed the idea because they didn’t want the guns to be used on humans. The aliens were redesigned to elf-like creatures but they were still deemed to “human-like”.

    * Sega explicitly stated that (the original) laser guns were not to have a clearly defined origin. They were only allowed to be described as something akin to a “divine” gift.

    *I heard two contrasting stories about the reason the guns change: One was that Sega started to complain that the popularity of the show overshadowed the product itself, so they (partially) “decoupled” with Sega for the rest of the series. The other (more likely) thing I heard was that the new gun reflected the upgraded “Zillion” gun that was sold halfway into the run of the series.

    It was a pretty big success though; It did come in second at the Animage Grand Prix, coming second behind Saint Seiya. JJ was also chosen as their favourite male character and Apple came in third for favourite female character.

    1. I’m curious, are there any English sources for the story of the character redesigns or the lasers’ origins?

  2. Another piece of Sega history was tied into Zillion. The laser tag gun was manufactured and distributed in Brazil by TecToy. It was the beginning of a partnership that’s still going on to this day.

Leave a Reply (please, listen to the episode first):