a.k.a. Mirai Shounen Conan
Early in the 21st Century, mankind turned to magnetic weapons for warfare. The result was a corruption of the earth’s axis and massive flooding, effectively ending civilization as it existed. Conan and his adopted grandfather end up alone on a small island, unaware if anyone else survived the devastation. That all changes one day when a young girl named Lana washes up on shore. She explains that she is running from the nation of Industria; soon after agents of Industria arrive at the island and kidnap her. Conan sets off to rescue Lana, and the adventure begins.
summary by Mugs
Highs: Fun factor cranked ten fold
Lows: Lana is captured maybe one too many times
It’s been said that this series served as a prototype for Laputa: Castle in the Sky. There is certainly a similar feel to the two anime, and more than a few similarities in characters and plot. But luckily, more than anything else, they both share the high quality that everyone has come to expect from Miyazaki Hayao.
Many of the themes in this anime should be familiar to anyone who has seen previous Miyazaki works, including tons of flying gadgets and a heavy dose of the horrors that mankind can induce on the natural environment. As usual the message doesn’t come off as preachy because it is well integrated into an anime that is really a lot of fun. The bulk of the show is comedic action with some weightier scenes interwoven. The action isn’t particularly believable, but it sure is fun; Conan can perform feats that would make the world’s strongest men green with envy, and other members of the cast seem to have ESP. Normally things like this would be a distraction in a reality-based anime, but the whole look and the feel of the show gives it a ‘toon-like base that makes the impossible the expected.
Future Boy Conan is over two decades old at this point, and the animation and artwork logically cannot compare with the CGI-infused shows of today. However, it does hold up surprisingly well and doesn’t have any ugly moments that most older shows degenerate to from time to time. There were no horribly scaled shots or unendingly repeating loops of animation to be found here. The voice actors all do first rate jobs, and the music works well for the show… if being nothing memorable. Mostly, the music is a selection of the instrumental variety oft times used to punctuate the mood of the scene nicely.
Overall, Future Boy Conan is a highly recommended series if you’ve liked anything else that Miyazaki has done or enjoy a high quality action/drama with comedy infused into almost every scene.
Future Boy Conan can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.