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Weather Three! – The Best Anime Scene You’ll See All Year

October 16, 2009

They must have blown the entire season’s budget on this sequence, but it sure as hell was worth it.

Much like how the opening credits from Watchmen will likely go down as the best scene from a movie this year (followed closely by the shootout in the Guggenheim museum from The International), I have to say that the intro sequence from the first episode of the second season of Astro Fighter Sunred is going to be the best anime scene I’m going to see all year.

Right off the bat, when you see the logo, you get muted, faded  primary colors. There’s no attempt to make the logo clean and cg-ified, and there’s no attempt to update its style. This is pure 70s and 80s tokasatsu style.

What I dig the most about this opening sequence is the lighting effects. They’re doing a hell of a job recreating the fact that these shows were shot on the cheap, resulting in “poor” lighting conditions that, now, feel more like stylistic choices than inept camera work. You can see this in the above picture, where they’re riding with the setting sun behind them, and you can see it in the scenes where they’re leaping about, with the sun’s light shining straight into the camera’s “lens.” Considering that Sunred is a kid’s show with a budget that’s likely close to that of the show’s that it’s paying homage to, this is an impressive feat.

I’m also getting a kick out of the faux-damage you see in the “film.” You see scratches and specks of dirt and the like, as if this reel of footage was pulled out of storage in a poorly maintained warehouse or something. Weather Three apparently wasn’t popular enough to warrant a full-on restoration process when it hit DVD in the Sunred world.

All in all, this is great stuff. A nice throwback bone thrown to the fans of this stuff. I’m not the biggest sentai/tokusatsu fan in the world, but I dig the style as a whole. I wouldn’t want an entire series animated in this style, since the charm would likely wear thin after an episode or two, but as a cool intro to a new season of a tokasatsu parody? Brilliant.

Oh yeah, and the actual first episode of Astro was pretty good as well. But, whatever, this intro needs its proper props.

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