atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1729: Nova's panties!

I've started watching Uchuu Senkan Yamato. I call it by its Japanese title, rather than Star Blazers, because I am watching the uncut-and-subtitled version from a fansub group.

And in the second episode, we see this:

Let me tell you, that was most assuredly not in Star Blazers.

The robot (IQ-9 in SB, Analyzer in USY) is a pervert. Awesome.

The female character in this scene is Yuki Mori in the Japanese version, and Nova in the US version. fact all the names in the US version suck ass.

Anyhow, this fansubbed version gets Starsha's name right (other versions spell it Staasha).

USY was first broadcast in 1974; this particular episode was broadcast October 13, 1974, which is only a few weeks shy of 35 years ago. Holy crap.

When watching SB I am only able to stand it because of nostalgia; many was the morning in 7th and 8th grade when I woke up to SB on the TV. But watching USY is effortless because the dialogue hasn't been camped up with a bunch of shitty names by people who were writing scripts with "this is for kids" in mind. And because the original story is 100% intact, with no shortcuts to account for the short attention span of children. USY uncut and subbed is pretty good TV sci-fi.

* * *

In 1977 I saw a Star Wars book and wanted it; Mom bought it for me. When I got it home, I was really, really disappointed with it and only ended up reading it once. What went wrong?

I was 10 years old and the book was aimed squarely at people my age, so why was I so turned off by it?

Two words: zukonium rays. Luke Skywalker's X-wing needed to shoot something and it couldn't be proton torpedoes or lasers; it had to be something new and different, so the writer came up with zukonium rays. Even as a 10-year-old, I thought, Oh, God, is that STUPID.

Someone who didn't know squat about SF wrote a story with SW characters and conflicts, and solved his plot problem with phlebotnium--what I now, for obvious reasons, call zukonium whenever I see it.

Zukonium isn't really phlebotnium, though. Zukonium is phlebotnium's retarded little brother.

Zukonium is what a writer who doesn't know the genre he's writing in at all will use instead of phlebotnium, confident that he is conforming to the usages of the genre (and also probably expecting that his audience won't know the difference anyway). This is why so many Hollywood productions end up with serious howlers in their plots: the people who rewrite the scripts don't know their asses from flashlights.

* * *

Speaking of a writer not knowing his ass from a flashlight: that reminds me of the movie version of Starship Troopers. It was nothing but guys in flak jackets with machine guns versus bugs; and no wonder the bugs killed so many people: a mobile military with faster-than-light spacecraft which docked at a ring around Earth still somehow managed to lack basic military equipment such as tanks and artillery. (To say nothing, it must be said, of the missing power suits around which the entire concept of the story revolved.)

Oh! But they did have nuclear hand grenades!


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