Conan Review


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No attempt has been made to avoid spoilers in the gallery.
      Conan is a vision of an Earth after the apocalypse, perhaps one of the most optimistic views of mankind ever presented. Earth is torn apart by war, leaving small isolated islands of life amid the vast ocean. A small group attempted to escape Earth in a space. Instead they are flung onto an island all alone. A lone boy is born to this group, Conan.

      Conan, copyright 1978, Nippon Animation, represents one of the earliest works of famed director and animator Hayao Miyazaki. The series is based, as much as any of his works are based, on the book The Incredible Tide by Alexander Key. According to, Miyazaki wasn't too fond of the book. Even so, I'll try to find out more.

      The show is really quite enjoyable, though like is other early works, I doubt it would hold the interest of today's A.D.D. ridden children. The pacing varies between fast moving shots and long periods of silent scene setting. A look at row after row of hundreds of tanks lying half buried in the sand, with the desert stretching away out of sight will pass minutes of film without a word being spoken. This is more reminiscent of Laurence of Arabia than of any recent movie. I'm not saying all movies should be made that way, but it is a powerful tool in this man's hands.

      I've seen several arguments about what the title of the show is. Taking a literal word order translation, the three words are: future, person, Conan. Many then say the title should then be Future Boy Conan. A few have taken a less literal approach (especially since Japanese word order is different from English) and say the title is Conan, Boy of the Future even though there is no possessive in the original. You will notice I have avoided using either title since the arguement is too petty for words.

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