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Anime of the Year 1974 - Uchuu Senkan Yamato


Uchuu Senkan Yamato is innovative in many aspects. Pacing can sometimes be slow with it, but I enjoyed first season and looking forward to second and third ones. The only definite masterpiece for me in 1974 .
 
1. Alps no Shoujo Heidi アルプスの少女ハイジ [1974-I] Nippon Animation (Dropped 3/52)
Tags: Historical, Iyashikei Drama, Slice of Life
After becoming an orphan, Heidi is forced to live with her grandfather Öhi, who lives in the Alps. She learns he's a very bitter man who only accepted by force to take her in. But Heidi's kindness may be able to open his heart. Together with the shepherd Peter and invalid Clara, she has lots of adventures.
Nice slice-of-life with drawing preceding Miyazaki style. Simple easy-to-understand motives try to substitute humor which remains only on situational level. Everyone can like it just as Miyazaki works for it's about universal things instead of anime-specific ones. I could probably give it a borderline masterpiece, but there seem to be many remakes, so I'd wait for something shorter than 52 episodes. Too much idling and slice for me which is not as interesting for an adult.
Overall Rating: 6/10
 
2. Getter Robo ゲッターロボ [1974-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/51)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
From deep within the Earth's surface, the Dinosaur Kingdom make their move to wipe out mankind and conquer the planet with their mechanical dinosaurs. After a prototype Getter Robo is shot down by a mechanical dinosaur, the Saotome Research Institute decides to use the real Getter Robo, which is combat-capable. Due to a lack of pilots in the institute, Ryo Nagare goes to his college to persuade martial artist Musashi Tomoe and outcast Hayato Jin to join him and pilot the Getter Machines to combat the new threat and protect mankind.
It's basically the same Mazinger Z as three vehicles make a giant mecha, but with more fleshed out characters and even some nice side-characters. With very small grains of humor, but equally boring.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
3. Majokko Megu-chan 魔女っ子メグちゃん [1974-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/72)
Tags: Shoujo
Megu is sent to Earth in her early teens, she is adopted by Mammi Kanzaki, a former witch who gave up her royal ambitions to wed a mortal. Mammi bewitches her husband and their two children, Rabi and Apo, into believing that Megu has always been the eldest child of the family. Under Mammi's tutelage, Megu learns to control both her abilities and impulses in order to prove her worthiness for the crown. This Rite-of-Passage subtext is continued throughout the series.
Magical girl genre as it began in 1960s. Girl from another world comes to this one and meets new friends. But somehow I liked Mahoutsukai Sally more because of super fun characters it had. Here we have a much wider range of bright characters, but due to this variety and the need to develop all the heritage and rival drama it all becomes a mixed flavor. It has many advantages, but overall taste is worse.   
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
4. Shin Minashigo Hutch The New Adventures of Hutch the Honeybee 新みなしごハッチ [1974-II] Tatsunoko Production (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
The sequel to Konchuu Monogatari Minashigo Hutch where Hutch struggles with married life.
Did married life change it a lot? Not really. Same random dangers, just more responsibility.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
5. Hoshi no Ko Chobin 星の子チョビン [1974-II] Studio Zero (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Chobin is a cute little alien prince from another planet, who crash landed on earth. Looking for his mother, he has a magical bracelet that will help him on his quest.
Small alien lives in a family, talks to animals and occasionally gets hunted by robo-dogs and robo-bats and other aliens. It tries to go into humor , but it ends up to be gimmicks mostly. Another unremarkable title.   
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
6. Judo Sanka 柔道讃歌 [1974-II] Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/27)
Tags: Shounen Combat Sports
The last TMS sports-themed anime series ("Star of the Giants" was the first).
Because of low ratings, the series was pulled off the air before later episodes of the original manga could be adapted.
Another spokon story with all elements seen somewhere already, many in the same Star of the Giants. Same cheeky brat and next to zero humor. With this high competition ordinary spokon is not enough.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
7. Dame Oyaji ダメおやじ [1974-II] Knack Productions (Dropped 4/26)
Tags: Comedy, Slice of Life
Dame Oyaji is the story of Damesuke Amano, a hapless office worker who faces a tremendous amount of bullying on the job and especially at home, where he has (contrary to traditional Japanese notions of family) absolutely no power or say in the runnings of the household whatsoever.
Amano lives with his wife, Onibaba, his beautiful teenaged daughter Yukiko, and his grade-schooler son Takobo. Onibaba is an imposing, violent heifer of a woman who regularly berates and even physically assaults her husband and who enjoys nothing more than making his life miserable; Yukiko and Takobo frequently join in physically and psychologically abusing their father.
The original manga is said to have been quite shocking to early 1970s Japan, in which the father was often still traditionally regarded as the head of the household.
Too violent for me. The way men are graphically drawn is horrible. Seeing more of the corporate world and humor is nice, but the outcome that it always ends in humiliation is overwhelming.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
8. Zero Tester: Chikyuu wo Mamore! ゼロテスター 地球を守れ! [1974-III] Sunrise (Dropped 3/28)
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...
For the zero zero tester fans out there.  
Overall Rating: 2/10
 
9. Mazinger Z tai Ankoku Daishougun マジンガーZ対暗黒大将軍 [1974-III] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Action
Kouji and his friends have defeated Dr. Hell and are now enjoying a break, but suddenly a strange prophet appears and warns everyone of an oncoming danger, mechanical beasts never seen before start appearing all around the world wrecking havoc. Its up to Kouji and his Mazinger Z to stand up to this threat but it seems he is vastly outnumber and outmatched.
This film served as an alternative link between the Mazinger Z TV series and the Great Mazinger TV series. It basically introduces Great Mazinger to the audience, as well as his enemies from the Mikene Empire.
Unlike previous stupid crossover, now it's only protagonists vs Babel Nisei similar monsters. The good thing is that it finally tries to add humor and some fanservice. It also seems to be high budget, so there's no lack of scenes with giant monsters destroying Tokyo and military. But for those who don't like original Marzinger Z it's still not a thing.    
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
10. Uchuu Senkan Yamato Star Blazers: The Quest for Iscandar 宇宙戦艦ヤマト [1974-IV] Group TAC (Finished 26/26)
Tags: Adult Cast, Military, Space Action, Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the year 2199, Earth is a mere shell of its former glory after a vicious bombardment by the Gamilas Empire. The inhabitants have been forced underground to escape the irradiated surface, but the deadly radiation inches closer and closer to the retreating population. With only one year before complete and utter extermination, time is fast running out and hope is in short supply.
So far, any attempt to escape or retaliate has been instantly annihilated by the alien empire—until an emergency transmission from the planet Iscandar in a neighboring galaxy offers a glimmer of hope to save the doomed planet. Covertly, Earth's Self Defense Force constructs a faster than light engine for a journey to Iscandar. Armed with new weapons and a determined crew of fearless navy men, the World War II era battleship Yamato is reborn as Space Battleship Yamato. She and her crew set out on a perilous journey across the stars to save their home and the entire human race.
One of the most famous anime of 1970s. It differentiates from prior space anime because characters are fleshed out and are ordinary humans under constant pressure of the environment. There is a good concept and aim, some lengthy technical explanations , high level of complexity and easy to understand logic behind it. But of course in the long run it all depends on the characters, and I can't complain here either - very human-like and fun. Truly first complex structural project with one integral line out there.
Overall Rating: 7/10
 
11. Great Mazinger グレートマジンガー [1974-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/56)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
A manga comic book and anime television series by manga artist Go Nagai, made as a direct continuation of the successful Mazinger Z series. It was aired on Japan in 1974, immediately following the end of the first Mazinger series.
Did not find much difference except for more stress on personalities and humor.  
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
12. Calimero カリメロ [1974-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 1/45)
Tags: Comedy
Calimero is a small black bird who has a shell on his head; his dream is to fly like the other birds. When he tries to fly and screws up he is teased by the other birds, but his girlfriend Pricilla is there to cheer him up. Despite his appearance, he is quite smart and thinks up an idea to fly.
The whole thing looks too childish and and naïve to me. Black and white series has more humor than following colored ones, but it's still just out of my league.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
 
13. Hurricane Polymar 破裏拳ポリマー [1974-IV] Tatsunoko Production (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Detective, Super Power Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Yoroi Takeshi is a carefree and somewhat naïve youth, who works as an assistant to the bumbling detective wannabe Kuruma Jo (who frequently proclaims himself the heir apparent to the title of Greatest Detective “Sherlock Holmes”).
From their rundown and shabby office, they run a humble if not failing private investigation service. The spunky and cute Nanba Teru (who’s father owns the building when Jo and Takeshi reside in) frequently interferes in their affairs by threatening eviction (Jo is continually months behind in back rent).
Since they rarely get any clients, they must resort to eavesdropping and spying on the Secret International Police Department headquarters, located in the building across from theirs in order to get their assignments. Unbeknownst to Jo and Teru, Takeshi has a deep secret. Not only is Takeshi the son of the International Police Department Chief but in times of peril and danger, mild-mannered Takeshi uses his trusty Poly-Met (Polymer Helmet) to transform into the Superhero “Hurricane” Polymer, a red suited masked man with incredible fighting abilities and superhuman strength. The only one who knows Takeshi’s secret is his lazy Saint Bernard, Daisaku, who always likes to provide cutting commentary to the audience (using his inner voice).
Together Jo and Takeshi (as Polymer) confront and battle a myriad of evil organizations, criminal gangs, mutants and monsters as they fight crime in the future city of Washinkyo (Washington/Tokyo).
We've already seen detective turning into superhero. This time it's detective assistant which allows to introduce detectives as simpletons and thus provide lots of primitive humor. Anime also uses fanservice proactively, and even ecchi. Entertaining only on a low level. 
Overall Rating: 4/10
 
14. Tentou Mushi no Uta Song of the Ladybug てんとう虫の歌 [1974-IV] Tatsunoko Production (Dropped 3/104)
Tags: Drama, Slice of Life
The adventures of seven orphan who live in poverty, although they have a very rich grandfather.
Monk and wife suddenly die and seven adopted children are separated, though they come back to the shrine and decide to live on their own, because they remember from deceased parents that as ladybug has seven spots, the seven of kids should be together. A rather unusual anime as it's mostly centered on one location. There is a ton of situational humor in each episode as there is least one fight to show in a funny way. But the symbol of this anime is actually patsu of the smaller girl who often takes off pantsu. Characters are fine and varied, plus there are a lot of animals with personality. The problem with this anime is simplicity and episodical nature (so that 104 episodes are possible). In such anime humor is most important aspect, and it's average at best to my taste.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
 
15. Hajime Ningen Gyatoruz はじめ人間ギャートルズ [1974-IV] Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/77)
Tags: Historical Comedy
A comedy about the wacky adventures of Giatrus and his tribe of the first human beings on the planet.
Prehistoric theme is the first one that comes out to visualize as anime, so there was already 5-minute episode series about it. Now it's similar, just with a wider cast of five main characters and more lengthy stories. It's still primitive in all meanings, humor does not impress.  
Overall Rating: 4/10

Edited by kivandopulus
Miyazawa/Miyazaki stuff

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I believe in Alps anime you meant Miyazaki's style, because I did search about Miyazawa influence in anime only to find out that the most famous name is Miyazawa Kenji in which it's more in regard of the writing with his famous work is 'The Night on the Galactic Railroad'. Anyway as for the style in Alps anime, it shouldn't be a surprise that the style may remind you on several Ghibli's anime movie because the director for Alps anime is the late Isao Takahata who along with Miyazaki Hayao did found Ghibli Studio (Although you may already know it). As for 1974 anime itself, no much comment on this beside Alps anime and that the Hutch getting married anime wasn't broadcasted in Indonesia, so that's all for my comment on 1974 anime.

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