We Can Only Watch One: Picking Out a Show ONLY by its Opening Credits

We pretend: Flipping channels looking for anime to watch, we see two OPs on two different stations. We know nothing about these shows (we actively avoid researching them; at most, we’ve seen adaptations/dubs/raws in part but this is rare). Based on what we see, we have to pick one show to watch together.

This will be a series of some sorts here on WRL. Our shows for today: Fang of the Sun Dougram, and Sentai Mecha Xabungle. (Note, there will be a broader sample of anime genres in future installments).

Mechafetish: All right, let’s do this!

ghostlightning: HASSHIN! < /weaboo>

Fang of the Sun Dougram OP

We’ll keep our comments on the scenes in slideshows so as not to clutter up the post body with images (just note that you can’t view the slides if you’re on a feed reader; go visit the post ^_^).

ghostlightning: Ok, I think the show had me during the emo into to the song. I think shows usually start with a loud, driving beat for its song, but Dougram does something interesting here.

Mechafetish: I dunno. Too much skin, not enough PEW PEW. However, I find it very interesting how couture is the clear demarcation between the heroes and the villains.

ghostlightning: Oh, so it’s like some Marxist class-struggle, only the labor/communist party was driven to the desert…

Mechafetish: …without food, water, and CLOTHING…

ghostlightning: …by the bourgeoise, who wanted a monopoly on fine and fashionable raiment. Ok, there is a specter hanging over wherever they are… the poor and disrobed unite, NAKED BUT NOT ALONE!

Mechafetish: Instead of cloth, they are draped by the the black steel of the FANG OF THE SUN DOUGRAM.

ghostlightning: … who will lead the world to peace, of course.

Mechafetish: Ya rly, nice mecha. Wait, the show on the other channel is starting too. Let’s check it out!

Combat Mecha Xabungle OP

Notes and comments (slideshow):

ghostlightning: I think it’s clear what we can expect from this show.

Mechafetish: Lots of robot action, lots of fighting…

ghostlightning: … with the novelty of having a lead character with the fattest head in robot anime.

Mechafetish: This is a must-watch I think.

So, what do we watch?

ghostlightning: Dougram. Not a clear-cut choice, but I think it’s the best one.

Mechafetish: What? On what basis really? I think that judging from both OPs, there is even more uncertainty in Dougram‘s than in Xabungle. Let us say that there is an equal possibility of each being awesome, BUT, there is less ambiguity in Xabungle’s. We know pretty much what we’re going to get.

ghostlightning: Tell you what, while I think you aren’t incorrect; I think that while Xabungle poses less risk of watching something we won’t enjoy, it has less potential to surprise us with something beyond mecha anime. In Dougram, with it’s unorthodox OP, I sense a level of risk-taking and attempt at distinction.

While the risk is arguably greater that we don’t enjoy what we watch (rather, we regret not being able to watch a surer thing) we may end up with something transcendent of robot anime.

So, what are you more interested in?

Mechafetish: Dougram, because in the end I want to watch something transcendent. If we’re wrong, I think I can live with our way of choosing.

Those of you who know these shows are free to tell us how wrong our impressions are of it. After all, we’re only basing them on the OPs.

Those of you who are as clueless as we are, which one would YOU pick, and why?

One Year Ago…

ghostlightning finished watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes and reflects on the experience in this post [->]

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22 Responses to We Can Only Watch One: Picking Out a Show ONLY by its Opening Credits

  1. Turambar says:

    Xabungle: Hey Arnold + Mecha. I actively avoided the series when playing SRW Alpha Gaiden, but the OP has me interested.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    Dougram all the way. I’m not into mecha, so the risk is well worth taking.

  3. RWG says:

    I’d forgotten how laid back the Dougram OP theme was. I’m trying to remember any other mecha show theme from later in the era that was so mellow, but I’m actually blanking.

    RWG (the Xabungle theme is much more representative of that time period)

  4. schneider says:

    I’ll go with Xabungle, because the ship robot looks awesome. Not too hot with how the Dougram people look, too.

  5. adaywithoutme says:

    Dougram had me at hints of Marxist class struggle. Or the sweet blanket.

  6. gaguri says:

    Dougram all the way for the same reason as B-raptor. It still looks pretty gay but a risk well worth taking!

  7. chii says:

    gotta agree with gaguri and Baka-Raptor here. This is an interesting way to pick what show to watch XD hope it goes well!

    • The idea of this post is, back in the day, it was the ONLY way to pick shows to watch. There were shows on two channels but I wouldn’t know what to watch. Of course I couldn’t analyze them the way I do now, but so far I’ve gotten to see pretty fun shows — or at least I had lots of fun with them when I was a kid.

      Now we have chartfag. Baka-raptor is right, kids today are spoiled.

      • RWG says:

        Back during the ’80s here in fandom, we made whole strings of opening credits that we’d stick on the end of tapes when there was enough space. As you say, sometimes that’s the only sampling people could get. Then they’d get the tape, watch the credits and tell us what shows they wanted, since no one could speak Japanese.

        “Send us episodes of the one with the big blue robot with the kid standing on top of it” or “Send us episodes of the one with the kid with the sword and the big red robot.”

        RWG (“Giant Gorg” and “Panzer World Galient,” respectively)

  8. Ryan A says:

    Yea, in agreement on Dougram. Boring OP, but the guy wears a cloak… not sure why it flew off in the end there D:

  9. Caraniel says:

    Going with Dougram on this one – it looks a bit more interesting and I’m curious about the fashion choices 😛 I like the non-standard OP too.

    The giant fat head in Xabungle is kind of off putting, but the action element is attractive in a ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’ kind of way.

  10. Emperor J says:

    Hmm, the Dougram one is a bit different from most from the time period. The sound effects thrown into the middle also make it seem like they have firearms made from cheap plastic.

    Xabungle is more typical and has the required main cast running directly at the camera sequence that was killed in the mid-90s.

    I’d probably go for Xabungle because I don’t need to associate emo with giant robot anime if I don’t have to.

    • LOL

      I’d probably go for Xabungle because I don’t need to associate emo with giant robot anime if I don’t have to.

      You’d be surprised by how much emo there is in super robot shows, and pretty good ones, if I may say so.

      Two of the ‘Romance Trilogy’ of Nagahama Tadao; Voltes V and Daimos have a LOT of crying and emo. However, back then it never felt terrible. Daimos is a straight-up Romeo and Juliet story involving angel-winged aliens who try to conquer the Earth with beast fighters. Voltes V is a father-son tale; 3 kids trying to reunite with their half-alien father (who is hornless in a pro-horn alien caste).

      Gundam arrived and ushered a whole new universe of emo… but that’s another post.

      Great observation with the running main cast convention in these OPs. I wonder why they finally killed it. It wasn’t particularly GOOD or anything, but still.

  11. kadian1364 says:

    That’s an interesting experiment, probably one we all practiced 10-15 years ago. Then again, 10-15 years ago most of us likely weren’t thinking along the lines of “watching something transcendent of robot anime”, instead just picking what looked coolest. That certainly sounds like my 12-year-old self.

  12. donkangoljones says:

    OK, Dougram’s OP had me thinking we have something a bit series and brooding on our hands. But there was some hope. And everyone whipping out those guns in that line-up made me think that people were going to get f*cked up in this series.

    Five seconds into Xabungle (or “Zanbung-aah-loo”) I said f*ck Dougram. It was so kick ass, my son came up to the desk while it was playing and started bouncing to it! Xabungle looked cheesy but screamed @SS KICKING to me from beginning to end. Matter of fact, time to find that torrent (if it exists).

  13. Cobrafire says:

    Xanbungle’s theme is frikkin awesome. I sing along with it every time the show starts. The next con I go to, I’m gonna Karaoke the crap outta it.

    That said, since I’ve seen half of Xanbungle already, I’m gonna pick Dougram by default. That, and because it has the most awesomest blanket since Linus Van Pelt.

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