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Anime of the Year 1973 - Dororon Enma-kun


There are no masterpieces for me in 1973, but I rate Dororon Enma-kun higher than others.
 
1. Mazinger Z マジンガーZ [1973-I] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/92)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
The villainous Dr. Hell has amassed an army of mechanical beasts in his secret hideaway, the island of Bardos located in the Aegean Sea. He is capable of controlling mechanized beasts with his cane, and instructs them to unleash devastating attacks. However, Dr. Hell doesn't do all the dirty work by himself; he has his loyal henchman Baron Ashura to carry out his devilish plans.
There are also those that will see to it that evil does not prevail. Kouji Kabuto is the young and feisty teenager with a score to settle: his goal is avenging the murder of his grandfather by Dr. Hell. And he might just be able to pull it off, as he is the pilot of Mazinger Z, a mighty giant robot made out of an indestructible metal known as Super-Alloy Z.
Mazinger Z boasts several powerful special attacks. By channeling Photonic Energy through its eyes, and unleashing the Koushiryoku Beam, it can cause great destruction. But things get really cool when Mazinger Z launches its Rocket Punch attack. Dr. Hell and his minions might have just found their match!
We're finally at the point of classical mecha where kids pilot giant robots instead of transforming into them in an form or controlling them remotely. It's well done and has some charm as genre discoverer, but character-wise it's still stereotypical both protagonists-wise and enemies-wise. Can't rate it high because of that. 
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
2. Babel Nisei バビル2世 [1973-I] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/39)
Tags: Shounen Adventure, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
Life seems simple for Koichi, a young student, until he learns that he is the reincarnation of an alien protector who crashed onto the mantle of responsibility as "defender of the Earth," Koichi/Babel teams up with a trio of super-powered alien companions to battle the the dark forces of an evil cult leader. The war to save humanity takes Babel from the deserts of southern Asia to the upper east side of Manhattan and ultimately to a final showdown with "the master" in a hidden base nestled in the Swiss Alps. The action is fast-paced and deadly. The fate of the world rests in the ability of this courageous youth to tame his latent psychic power and use it to defeat the enemies of mankind.
For some reason I can't stand phychic-esper battle anime. This is exactly such one. Plus with three cheater additional instruments of fighting. Protagonist is super boring , and the only interesting side-character in the form of mischievous sister plays an insignificant role.   
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
3. Kouya no Shounen Isamu 荒野の少年イサム [1973-II] Shin-Ei Animation (Dropped 3/52)
Tags: Shounen Action, Adventure
The adventures of Isamu, a young boy living in the Far West, searching for his real father.
First Japanese Western. The good thing is that there are cool adults around. And protagonist has to kill and thus is not our usual warrior of light. It's more of a survival in wilderness and in towns pressed between different gangs. For me too many episodes means loose pacing and aimless storytelling. 
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
4. Wansa-kun ワンサくん [1973-II] Mushi Production (Dropped 0/26)
Tags: Comedy
The hero of Wansa-kun is Wansa, a puppy who is sold for a pittance, then escapes, and spends much of the rest of the series looking for his mother.
Not found  
Overall Rating: 0/10
 
5. Microid S ミクロイドS [1973-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Action, Sci-Fi
This work focuses on environmental issues from the viewpoint of insects. In a refreshing twist, the central character miniaturizes, unlike the conventional hero who grows ever larger. From this perspective, the world looks different and unfamiliar. This work enables the reader to see that the world around is quickly moving towards destruction.
A weird anime of three butterfly heroes fighting against mechanized insects in industrial and different high technology zones. As I understand it, insects try to commit ecology terrorism and crashes with mass victims. Microids try to minimize dealt damage and prevent crashes. Plus there's a professor with student who oversee microids and spend some time resting in the city with their subordinates. As usual, I see no aim or meaning here. 
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
6. Jungle Kurobee ジャングル黒べえ [1973-II] Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/31)
Tags: Comedy
Urobe was a son of the great chief of Pyrimi, Africa. One day he hung on an airplane and came to Japan. Because of the cold and hunger, he fell on to the yard of Shishio’s house, and Shishio nursed him. Kurobe was very thankful for him and began to repay for his kindness. Kurobe dug a big hole in the yard.Every time he returns the favor, he threw a stone into the hole until stones would fill the hole.
We're back to Perman concept with his protagonist, family and only this superficial element different. Kurobee from jungle is the most charismatic from all the previous variants, but it's same average comedy with two stories in each episode.     
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
7. Kanashimi no Belladonna Belladonna of Sadness 哀しみのベラドンナ [1973-II] Mushi Production (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical Avant Garde, Drama
The beautiful Jeanne marries a man named Jean, and the happy newlyweds make their way to the Lord's castle with a cow's worth of money for his blessings. However, the demonic Lord is unmoved by their offering, ignoring their desperate, impoverished pleas. The Lord's wife offers an alternative: Jeanne must become the Lord's conquest for the night in a ritual deflowering.
Scarred by the experience, the shaken Jeanne receives no sympathy from her husband. Instead, she is neglected. But as Jeanne drifts off to sleep, she is met by a strange spirit that encourages her to deliver retribution to those who wronged her. And with a mysterious surge of pleasure and an unquenching libido, Jeanne agrees.
Kanashimi no Belladonna is a captivating, psychosexual adventure that tells a story of cunning witchcraft and deceitful superstition in a poor, rural village of medieval France.
Very poorly animated abstract ecchi. It's mostly moving camera over still pictures. No scenario value spotted.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
8. Mazinger Z tai Devilman Mazinger Z vs. Devilman マジンガーZ対デビルマン [1973-III] Toei Animation (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Shounen Mecha, Mythology Adventure, Sci-Fi
The heroes of the series Mazinger Z and Devilman fighting against the evil Demon Cla
First anime cross-over! But it's just 40 minutes, twice longer than a usual episode. And that additional time is used to share intelligence and save each other in a pinch. Pretty stupid, as for me.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
9. Cutey Honey キューティーハニー [1973-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: School Action, Sci-Fi
One day, Honey Kisaragi's a trendy, class-cutting Catholic schoolgirl. The next, her father's been murdered by demonic divas from a dastardly organization called Panther Claw. When his dying message reveals that she's an android, Honey uses the transformative power of the Atmospheric Element Solidifier - the very thing Panther Claw wanted to steal - to seek revenge against the shadowy clan. Can Honey fight her way up Panther Claw's ranks to defeat its leader, the sinister Sister Jill while managing to escape the watchful eyes of Miss Histler, her school's headmistress?
Aided by journalist Hayami Seiji, his ninja father, and his lady-loving grade school brother, Honey sometimes appears as a racecar driver, sometimes as a glamorous model, and sometimes as a beggar, but her true identity is none other than the warrior of love, Cutie Honey!
First transformation heroine. Also first deliberately fanservice anime. That's basically all points of interest. Usual random action with one protagonist.
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
10. Ace wo Nerae! エースをねらえ! [1973-IV] Madhouse, Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Shoujo School Drama, Romance, Sports
On her first day at Nishi High School, 15-year-old Hiromi Oka is inspired by top player Reika "Ochoufujin" Ryuuzaki to take up tennis. Shortly after joining the school's tennis club, she encounters Jin Munakata, the club's new coach. Munakata puts everyone under rigorous training that even puts Ochoufujin to shame. Despite the hardships, Hiromi's determination prompts the coach to select her as part of the club's main players. Because of this, Hiromi must endure the peer pressure from her seniors to become an ace tennis player.
There have been shoujo before, but this anime is the first true Shoujo. Without a specific graphical style shoujo tries to mimic mainstream anime with a girl point of view. Inside true shoujo I also define normal and hardcore versions. In the latter boys also have a specific sensual images. Basically, I'm fine with anything but the hardcore variant as boys instantly start looking as in contemporary boys love titles. Ace wo Nerae is exactly such variant that is painful even to watch for me.   
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
11. Shinzou Ningen Casshern 新造人間キャシャーン [1973-IV] Tatsunoko Production (Dropped 3/35)
Tags: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The brilliant Dr. Azuma created many robots to aid humankind. However, during a thunderstorm his lab was struck by lightning, corrupting the programming of one of his robots, BK-1, who renames himself Braiking Boss and declares that instead of serving mankind, mankind will now serve him! He brings other robots together into an overwhelming army bent on enslaving the human race.
Tetsuya, Dr. Azuma's son, asks his father to turn him into an indestructible android so that he will have the power to destroy the threat his father inadvertently created. Shortly thereafter, Braiking Boss captures Dr. Azuma and his wife. Tetsuya, now renamed Casshern, sets out to turn the tide of the war and rescue his parents, with the help of his girlfriend, Luna, and robot dog, Friender.
Cyborg superhero with his cyborg dog fights against cyborgs. Luna is pretty bland as well. That's all there is to know about this anime.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
12. Dororon Enma-kun ドロロンえん魔くん [1973-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: Shounen Mythology Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural
Monsters are coming to the human world from the Hell in order to get human spirits. As people's minds are getting dirty, being attracted by the dirty spirits, the monsters break the rule to go to the human world.
Tsutomu, a boy who goes to Yokai Elementary School, is suddenly assaulted by monsters. Those who save him from the monsters are Enma-kun, the son of Enma, Yukiko, a snow woman, and Kapaeru. They are members of Monster Patrol that are sent to the human world to arrest monsters.
I don't like youkai. But Enma-kun is entertaining as action, inventive and has multiple fun characters. It's nowhere near masterpiece for me, but it's easy to watch and enjoy - that much I can appreciate.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
13. Karate Baka Ichidai Karate Master 空手バカ一代 [1973-IV] TMS Entertainment (Dropped 3/47)
Tags: Historical, Martial Arts Adventure, Sports
Failed kamikaze pilot Ken Asuka becomes a rough, tough hooligan who settles all of his problems with karate, until he learns about the legendary swordsman Musashi Miyamoto in the novels of Eiji Yoshikawa. Resolving to live his life like Musashi, he begins to take karate more seriously. Based on a manga by Ikki Kajiwara and Jiro Tsunoda, itself inspired by the real life of Yasunobu Oyama, the founder of the "hard-knock" Kyokushin Karate school.
Watching adventures in post-war chaotic Japan is more interesting than our usual sports career from the start. But if we compare Karate Master with the closest rival - Ashita no Joe - the latter one actually wins by many points due to better protagonists and more fun characters. If someone wanted deadly serious Ashita no Joe, this anime is the way to go.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
14. Samurai Giants 侍ジャイアンツ [1973-IV] Madhouse, Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/46)
Tags: Team Sports
Ban Banjou is an insolent wild boy who was raised on the rough sea in Tosa, southern Japan. He joined the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants in Japanese pro baseball league such a baseball pitcher noted for the blazing fastball and the worst control. He fights hard battles against his rival batters, developing his incredible pitching magics.
This anime is pretty well done and has nice characters, but it's not translated. Why? Because very few people care about baseball outside Japan. The moments that are supposed to be dramatic look laughable for me.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
15. Miracle Shoujo Limit-chan ミラクル少女リミットちゃん [1973-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: Shoujo School, Super Power Comedy, Sci-Fi
As a result of a traffic accident, Limit-chan is reborn as a cyborg and is given three types of supernatural powers. However, there is a catch: if she uses too much of them, her life will come to an end.
There were at least three anime about magical girls up to this point, and this one is on the worse side. Humor is really weak. A wide range of powers is used at will on insignificant occasions. Have not seen even a single character outside some stereotype.    
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
16. Zero Tester ゼロテスター [1973-IV] Sunrise (Dropped 3/38)
Tags: Mecha Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A series of space accidents turn out to be the work of the Armanoid aliens, who plan to conquer Earth. Professor Tachibana gathers a team around him at the Future Science Invention Center and prepares five state-of-the-art vehicles for Shin, Go, Lisa, and Captain Kenmotsu. Three of the Tester vehicles combine to make the giant Zero Tester robot, which successfully sees off the Armanoid invasion in 38 episodes. The rest of the series, retitled ZT: Save the Earth! (Chikyu wo Mamotte!), was aimed at a younger age group and featured an attack by the new Gallos aliens.
It's the ancestor of transformers due to ability to make up a giant mecha out of three vehicles. In all other aspects it's deadly serious and boring. 
Overall Rating: 2/10
 
17. Bouken Korobokkuru 冒険コロボックル [1973-IV] Tatsunoko Production, Eiken (Dropped 0/26)
Tags: Adventure
The adventures of a human and three little gnomes.
Not found  
Overall Rating: 0/10

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It seems that Toei has been liking crossover since 1970's with them making the crossover between Devilman and Mazinger Z, and they've been still at it with them doing crossover in Precure movies (The newest one has both of TRPC and HCPC in a movie). Whether it's good or not is up to each of their own, although if I may say something personally I didn't quite like on how Toei made the crossover in Precure All Star Memories in that Toei forced all of previous Precure (Up to KKPC) in one movie. Crossover movie aside, we have Mazinger Z in which it's quite an iconic anime, Casshern in which it's another serious anime from Tatsunoko (And the remake version of it share same artist as HCPC which lad to the same artstyle), and Cutie Honey is another iconic anime with the transformation scenes that was said inspired the other magical girl series (Such as Sailor Moon and Precure). That's all for what I can comment on 1973 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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