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Anime of the Year 1976 - Hana no Kakarichou



No masterpieces for me, but I'd like to highlight another slice-of-life old comedy Hana no Kakarichou .  
1. Haha wo Tazunete Sanzenri 母をたずねて三千里 [1976-I] Nippon Animation (Dropped 3/52)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Drama, Slice of Life
Based on a short section of the novel Cuore by the Italian Edmondo de Amicis, Marco is a young boy living in Genoa, Italy, together with his father Pietro. But the family is not complete, for Marco`s mother left for Argentina around a year earlier in order to find work. Letters from her arrive regularly until one day they suddenly stop. Worry for his mother and what might have happened to her overcomes the young boy. Marco thus decides to embark upon a journey to Argentina in the hope of being reunited with his mother. At first, Pietro is opposed to Marco`s plan, but moved by his son's enthusiasm, he eventually allows the boy to go. So begins Marco`s long journey of the heart. Marco encounters many people throughout his travels, and finds maturity and self-acceptance as a result of his experiences.
It comes from the same director as Alps no Shoujo Heidi and it shows. On one hand, story is more coherent in comparison and protagonist is more mature . On the other hand, protagonist is not as cute and there is less situational humor . Overall, it's nice enough, but definitely not for me.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
2. Huckleberry no Bouken ハックルベリィの冒険 [1976-I] Group TAC (Dropped 5/26)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Drama
Based on Mark Twain's well known masterpiece about Huckleberry Finn, the bright and merry orphan, this film is full of life, laughter, and will be loved by children around the world. When Huckleberry runs away from his orphanage, he teams up with an escaped slave. Together, they travel the Mississippi on a raft, encountering all kinds of people and adventures.
I've lost count cow many "kids travel" anime suddenly appeared since 1974. There is some humor, plus both Huck, Tom and little Jim are quite nice, so I can rate it higher than usual, but not too high since there is no integral idea or something special about it.    
Overall Rating: 6/10
3. Manga Nippon Mukashibanashi (1976) まんが日本昔ばなし(第2期) [1976-I] Group TAC (Dropped 3/1471)
Tags: Historical Fantasy
An omnibus-format TV series consisting of anime adaptations of Japanese folk tales, this is one of Japan's longest-running TV series, and Group Tac's second TV series (the first was The Road to Munich, a documentary anime about the 1972 Olympics). The governing rule of the series was that the creative staff change from episode to episode. While later other anime series like Nippon Animation's Famous Works of Japanese Literature would attempt the same, none would be as long-lived or successful.
The rotation idea was that of director Sugii Gisaburo, a visual visionary unequaled in Japanese film history who has revolutionized anime several times in his career, be it in the 1967 TV series Goku's Big Adventure, in which he sought to shake anime free from the dominance of story development by yanking it back to a more cartoonish form, or The Belladonna of Sadness, where he broke the Disney full-animation mold, creating a full-length animated film in a completely new style that was a hybrid of still drawings and animation. The reason for rotating the staff each episode was so that each episode would have a completely different look and feel from its predecessor, and in this it was eminently successful. This is a series that is genuinely rewarding to watch, and is visually one of the richest in anime history.
While this system also meant that quality varied, there were also occasionally superb episodes, as on the staff were many veterans like Group Tac founder SUGII Gisaburo himself, SHIBAYAMA Tsutomu, FURUZAWA Hideo, RIN Taro, and HIKONE Norio. Old episodes started being repeated more and more frequently as the years went on, and production of new episodes finally ceased completely in late 1995, but the series is still widely broadcast.
Omnibus format can never attain a masterpiece level from me, but this poorly animated series at least has a lot of stories I never heard of, nothing unexpected or must have though.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
4. Fengshen Bang The Story of Chinese Gods 封神榜 [1976-I] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Martial Arts Action, Fantasy
Based on a traditional Chinese novel of the same name.
Bewitched by his concubine Daji, who is actually a vixen spirit in disguise as a beautiful woman, King Zhou of Shang oppresses his people and persecutes those who oppose him, including his own subjects who dare to speak up to him. Ji Fa (King Wu of Zhou), assisted by his strategist Jiang Ziya, rallies an army to overthrow the tyrant and restore peace and order. Throughout the story, battles are waged between the kingdoms of Shang and Zhou, with both sides calling upon various supernatural beings – deities, immortals, demons, spirits, and humans with magical abilities – to aid them in the war. Yuanshi Tianzun bestows upon Jiang Ziya the Fengshen Bang, a list that empowers him to invest the gods of Heaven. The heroes of Zhou and some of their fallen enemies from Shang are eventually endowed with heavenly ranking and essentially elevated to their roles as gods, hence the title of the novel.
Story itself is bs with torn hearts, heads and the number of demons surpassing that of humans. Making Bruce Lee come and defeat all unbeatable enemies is the cringe squared.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
5. Chou Denji Robo Combattler V 超電磁ロボ コンバトラーV  [1976-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/54)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Adventure, Sci-Fi
The first of Tadao Nagahama's Romance Super Robot Trilogy. (#2: Chou Denji Machine Voltes V, #3: Toushou Daimos)
Thousands of years ago, the people of the planet Campbell decided to leave their planet and seek out new worlds to inhabit. One group, lead by the scientist Oreana, landed on Earth, but was delayed from their mission. In the early 21st century, Oreana's group reawakens and begins their plan to conquer the Earth. The only effective defense against the Campbellians' giant biomechanical slave beasts is the super-electromagnetic robot, Combattler V and its pilots.
Five kids have distinguished personalities, some humor is present, enemies ae varied. These elements make it on par with the best genre representatives so far, but the core is same dumb as ever, can't rate it higher.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
6. Daikuu Maryuu Gaiking Dino Mech Gaiking 大空魔竜ガイキング [1976-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/44)
Tags: Shounen Mecha Adventure, Sci-Fi
Earth is still in danger: aliens from planet Zeraz are willing to invade our planet because theirs is being swallowed by a Black Hole. Led by Great Darius and his four generals, they begin seeding death and destruction. When an ESP warrior is killed by aliens, professor Hi-Tech understands the danger and builds the huge Space Dragon (Daiku Maryuu) piloted by Pete, and the gint robot Gaiking whose pilot is Sanshiro Shiwobuki, an ex-baseball player. Daiku Maryuu is a big dragon shaped spaceship and his head is the Gaiking torso. When the Gaiking enters the action, Daiku Maryuu launches other Gaiking's components and then it re-unite neck with tail, becoming unbreakable.
The story chronicled the battle between the crew of the semi-transformable carrier Daikuu Maryuu and the Super Mecha Gaiking against an invading race of aliens from the planet Zela, whose home planet is facing destruction by a black hole. The robot Gaiking was piloted by a baseball star named Sanshiro Tsuwabuki (Sanshiro's name was changed to Aries Astonopolis for the English version of the show with the carrier being called the "Great Space Dragon", a literal translation of "Daikuu Maryuu". Gaiking was notable for being one of the few super robot series to take place in real places outside of Japan, and for being the first Super Robot series to have a mobile carrier for the chief robots.
Personalities are less varied, so it feels more like great Tsuwabuki and the sidekicks. Did not spot humor. Apart of that, the usual mecha, nothing special. 
Overall Rating: 3/10
7. UFO Senshi Dai Apolon UFO戦士ダイアポロン [1976-II] Eiken (Dropped 3/26)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi 
The story is about 16 years old boy Takeshi who recently formed an American football team at the BlueSky orphanage. One day the game is interuppted by a light in the sky. Takeshi discovers he is the son of the king of the planet Apolon, spirited away to Earth by his father's retainer Rabi to avoid death at the hands of General Dazaan. He turns out to have special energy abilities which can control UFO saucers from under the ocean floor, which in turn can become robots that are synchronized to their movements.
I've seen all its elements elsewhere already. Unremarkable character cast and no humor spotted, so the usual just above the ground rating. 
Overall Rating: 3/10
8. Machine Hayabusa マシンハヤブサ [1976-II] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/21)
Tags: Shounen Racing Action
Because of the appearance of a villain team, Black Shadow, the international racing was ruined. To compete with Black Shadow, Saionji Racing Team was founded. They developed a racing car, Hayabusa. It was a super racing machine that carries hyper power engine, Cavalier Engine. The main driver of the team was Hayabusa Ken whose big brother was killed by Black Shadow.
Side-characters hardly show up at all, so it's just protagonist racing on armed cars, It has action all right, but that's it.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
9. Youkaiden Nekome Kozou Cat Eyed Boy 妖怪伝 猫目小僧 [1976-II] Wako Productions (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: Seinen Psychological Adventure, Horror, Supernatural
he story is told by the cat-eyed boy, hated by humans and demons, who engages in tales of terror, including monsters and children.
The problem with this anime is that... it's not anime. It's drawings cut and screened on the real backgrounds and other tricks like that with real animation taking mere seconds of screen time. Apart of that it's just two old horror stories per episode, nothing fancy.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
10. Gowapper 5 Gordam Goliath the Super Fighter ゴワッパー5ゴーダム [1976-II] Tatsunoko Production (Dropped 3/36)
Tags: Mecha Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Five youths from Edo City explore a strange rocky island and discover the mecha that Doctor Hoarai had been creating in order to resist the impending attack by a race of subterranean rock people.
Doctor Hoarai was ridiculed by the scientific community for his predictions that such an attack would take place. The youths decide to join the doctor (who was dead but had transferred his mind into a computer) in piloting the vehicles and protecting Earth. The Gowapper 5 Gordam team is born! With the aid of the giant fighting robot Gordam, the Gowapper team under the leadership of Youko Misaki must face the hordes of the inhuman subterranean people.
Cartoonish clumsy characters and girl protagonist are what strikes the eye. In addition to usual mecha characters also often pilot drill machines and fights sometimes take place below sufrace. Varied episodes, partially memorable protagonists and significant focus on humor make it a 5, but not higher. 
Overall Rating: 5/10
11. Blocker Gundan IV Machine Blaster ブロッカー軍団Ⅳマシーンブラスター [1976-III] Nippon Animation (Dropped 3/38)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
The peace of the world is suddenly threatened by Mogool, which is located on the bottom of the sea. Helqeen, tyrannical master of the Mogoolian Empire, attempts to conquer the earth with her faithful companions Goroskie and Zan-gack.
In order to frustrate their ambition, Dr. Yuri, who predicted this horrible occasion, organizes four powerful robots to form the Blocker Corps! He also gathers four members who have the super ability known as "elepath" - a talent for maneuvering gigantic robots.
A fierce battle begins between our Blocker Corps and Mogool at the risk of their lives! A series of fantastic and fabulous battles unfolds.
The usual four mecha becoming giant one. A bit of light humor, rather bland character. The single distinguishing feature is that protagonist has a weaker younger brother as partner. Robot mascot Pico can also be of notice.
Overall Rating: 3/10
12. Groizer X Gloizer X グロイザーX [1976-III] Knack Productions (Dropped 3/36)
Tags: Mecha Sci-Fi
The Gaira aliens, hidden in the Arctic, plan to conquer Earth. Captured and forced to work for the aliens, Dr. Yan creates the ultimate weapon, a transformable aerial robot called Groizer X. Entrusted to his daughter Rita, Groizer X escapes the clutches of the Gaira and lands in Japan, where pilot Jo Kaisaka meets a wounded Rita. Taking up the controls of Groizer X, Jo and Rita fight against the Gaira invasion.
It's unusual that boy and girl make a duo of protagonists, but I failed to find anything special about this anime, usual trash mecha action.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
13. Candy Candy キャンディ・キャンディ  [1976-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/115)
Tags: Shoujo Drama, Slice of Life
This story is about a girl, Candy, who is an orphan. She is a nice and optimistic girl and she has a warm heart. When she was a child, she lived in an orphanage called Pony's Home. She had a good friend called Annie. And she met the "Prince of the Hill" who is a important person in her life, on the hill behind the orphanage.
She was adopted by the Leagan's family. What's awaiting her are the bad-hearted Neil and his sister, Eliza. One day, in the rose garden, she met a boy, who is identical to the "Prince of the Hill" who she had met in her childhood. The boy is called Anthony. Thereafter, a fantastic story that she has never expected begins.
It's a long series, so things are taken very very slowly, by the end of 3rd episode it was still in orphanage. So it's closest to women novels, yet with contemporary time. Can't say I got a faint desire to watch it to the end, so 5 it is.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
14. Manga Sekai Mukashibanashi Manga Fairy Tales of the World まんが世界昔ばなし [1976-IV] Madhouse (Dropped 3/127)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Each episode of this series tells the story of a famous fairy tale from all around the world. Some of them are adapted from famous books such as "The Iliad".
This must have been marked as anime for kids. Won't have much sense if you're not a kid.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
15. Magnerobo Ga-Keen マグネロボ・ガ・キーン [1976-IV] Toei Animation (Dropped 3/39)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
Dr. Kazuki, who perceived of an invasion of Earth by the Izaru people builds a robot based on the science of magnetism and sphere joint theory. Undergoing a dangerous augmentation process, Dr. Kazuki's daughter Mai becomes the pilot of "Mighty" or "Magnetman Minus". Takeshi Houjou becomes the pilot of "Puraiza" or "Magnetman Plus".
The pilots would hold each other and then physically trasform their joint bodies in a metallic plate locking itself on the Gakeen (Short for "Gathering Keen") robot's frame thus enabling the super robot to move and fight. This sequence was notable, to an adult's eye, for its almost-sexual connotation.
Protagonist is an adult hooligan much like in Ashita no Joe. Overall drawing quality level is surprisingly high. Unlike Groizer X, both protagonists have enough individuality for empathy. Side-characters and humor are nice. Even though it's among the best representatives of the genre up to this moment, still no incentive to watch to the end as it's just new monster each time and a different way of dealing with him.   
Overall Rating: 5/10
16. Dokaben ドカベン [1976-IV] Nippon Animation (Dropped 3/163)
Tags: Shounen School, Team Sports Action, Sports
Tarou "Dokaben" Yamada, who was a judoist while at junior high, enters Meikun High School and is talked into joining the baseball club. He displays his superb athletic abilities in baseball and becomes well-known as a hard hitter. He and his unique teammates establish Meikun a solid position as No.1 in the High School Baseball Championship games.
Dokaben is mostly known as thorough spokon manga that was in development for nine years. I like both characters and humor here, but would not want to watch it fully as pretty much almost any spokon.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
17. Kyouryuu Tankentai Born Free 恐竜探検隊ボーンフリー [1976-IV] Sunrise (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: Action, Sci-Fi
When a meteor crashes to Earth, it briefly changes the climate and dinosaurs once again roam the planet. It's up to a newly formed expedition team to relocate the dinosaurs to a safe environment.
This anime... is not really an anime... again. Because roughly half of scenes are screened in real life environment or on real life backgrounds. Because... seriously... who would sponsor anime about saving dinosaurs by dinosaur rescue squad. Team is bland, no humor spotted, so watchin all those toy decorations and plasticine dinosaurs is beyond me. 
Overall Rating: 3/10
18. UFO Senshi Dai Apolon 2 UFO戦士ダイアポロンII [1976-IV] Eiken (Dropped 3/21)
Tags: Mecha Action, Sci-Fi
Sequel to Dai Apolon consisting of a mix of new and reaired episodes.
One of the worst representative of the genre. Same trash as original.  
Overall Rating: 3/10
19. Hana no Kakarichou 花の係長 [1976-IV]  Tokyo Movie Shinsha (Dropped 3/25)
Tags: Seinen Comedy, Slice of Life
A wacky comedy about a man from a noble ancestry of long ago, but who in modern times is just a lowly salary man that is constantly being humiliated by his family and co-workers.
Concept is similar to Dame Oyaji, if it was realistic. Males now are only a bit weird and no one really hates dad, all specter of feelings is used. Anime tackles with as many problems of an adult salaryman as possible - like high libido and hot wife under circumstances of occasionally impossible intimacy, not respectful subordinates, molesters and tight spaces in train, worry about kid not being smart enough - very mundane things like that. Spirit is very frivolous with what could be called ecchi today. There is next to zero situational humor, but conceptual humor is good. I'd give it a masterpiece score if it was translated .  
Overall Rating: 6/10


Recommended Comments

If by kids travel you mean World Masterpiece Theater anime series, then get used to it because there's still more of it at least until 1997 later. That said, Huckleberry here is not the part of World Masterpiece Theater though, but rather it's Haha no Tazunete Sanzenri in which it tell us a story about Marco who search for his own mother. By the way after I read the premise of said anime I just realize that Harukaze did make a homage of it (ie 1976 World Masterpiece Theater anime) in form of Marco and Galaxy Dragon with the same premise except with some difference, namely that Marco being the female MC and that instead of Italy Marco herself is an Earthling who've been kidnapped in her childhood and became the slave in another planet.

Speaking of female MC, Candy Candy here is another anime that aired in Indonesia, although I didn't watch it because I'm still at four years old when it's aired. What I know is that it left some influence in regard of manga popularity in Indonesia as one of the manga that was localized in 1991, although if we look at it nowadays it might be look like a soap opera. Speaking of soap opera obviously there's a need for villainess character, and if we look at a number of female MC reincarnated as villainess I believe the author of these works are obviously take some inspiration from Candy Candy villainess character (Eliza Legan) rather than the villain from otome VNs that was said is the main setting of the world where the MC was reincarnated into.

That's all for my comment in regard of 1976 anime.

Edited by littleshogun
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By kids travel series I rather mean kids travel genre since I can't call it any conventional genre. Only knew of Kino no Tabi beforehand, could not imagine there was a whole slice behind it. Never heard of World Masterpiece Theater before this retro race either.

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I see, then my bad for mistaken your statement earlier. Anyway as for the genre I suppose you can call it as travel genre here, in which it's still happen with Majo no Tabitabi from back at 2020. Although now that I remember it, perhaps we can say that Hutch here is also travel as well with him find himself helping several insects along with encounter some danger in order to reunite with his mother.

Edited by littleshogun
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