October 12, 2011

Zipang'd!


Nearly four years ago, I wrote a little piece about the anime Zipang!.  I liked it at the time.  Now I've gone back and watched the last few episodes and... well... it's probably just me, but I've noticed a lot of glaring discrepancies.

If you remember, the JMSDF cruiser Mirai is sent back in time to 1942.  A lot of things happen, and in the climax to the series, the Mirai becomes involved in a duel with the USS Wasp.  In the picture above, the Wasp is just beginning to launch her first attack on the Japanese cruiser.  The SBD is flawlessly rendered, except that it's specifically said to be carrying a 1000lb bomb.  To be sure, a Dauntless can carry a weapon of that size, and quite often did... except that when it did, it couldn't carry bombs on the wing positions.  Looking at the Wasp, you'll note that it has a deck-edge elevator opposite the island.  Indeed, she was the first ever carrier with such a thing.  Only problem is that it didn't look like that; it was a simple framework arrangement instead.

It certainly doesn't help that I wrote a post about the Wasp last year.  There are other problems as well.  In the climactic battle, the carrier's first attack is 40 planes, divided between SBDs and Avengers.  Her second attack is to be the same size.  That's 80 planes right there, and the Wasp couldn't carry that many.  We only see one Hellcat in the entire sequence.  Sure, there's no need for them in the attack against a lone surface ship, but if she only has one squadron of F6Fs, that still puts her Air Group around 96... many many more aircraft than she could ever carry.  And then there's this picture:

Episode 02 takes us to the Battle of Midway, right as the SBDs come raining down on Kido Butai.  Above, we see the Soryu.  As is traditional, her flight deck is packed with aircraft... though they all appear to be Zeroes.  Of course, we now know that the Japanese carriers didn't have their flight deck filled with aircraft at any time after the Midway striking force landed.  The producers did get the location of her island correct, though.  However, I'm not entirely sure what those SBDs are doing.  Oh, yes, they're pulling up from their bombing run, except they're pulling straight up (the next couple of seconds show them flying right into the camera).  1) the pilots would be unconscious from the g-loads, and b) the wings would have come off.  Still, it's an exciting shot.

I'm nitpicking, but I've got to, it's my job.  Let's not even talk about the way the characters go off-model constantly...  Zipang! is an interesting watch, but I'm no longer convinced it's good.  The CG ships and planes are pure WWII pr0n, though.

Even if the Kaga looks a little squat and cartoony.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:48 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I bought and watched the first disc in a sale about four years back, and I always meant to get the rest of it, but I could never find someone who had the last disc in stock for a reasonable price, and kept putting it off until it vanished entirely.  Geneon really let this one drop into the void, like they were embarrassed by it.

Posted by: Mitch H. at October 13, 2011 07:48 AM (jwKxK)

2 If the SBDs were pulling up after their bombing run, Soryu would be burning.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 13, 2011 08:54 AM (+rSRq)

3

I specifically chose a screencap from just before the explosions began, Steven.  In fact, if you look up towards the bow, just inboard of the foremost starboard AA gun position, you can see that there's something that looks like a brown smudge.  That's actually the beginning of a smoke bloom. 

Trust me, the SBDs are pulling out of their runs.

Mitch, when I first heard about it, the individual DVDs were still selling for $29.99 each, with four eps per disc.  Even when I thought it was a good series, I didn't think it was worth $180.00.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 13, 2011 10:38 AM (OS+Cr)

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