If there are two things I love, its Star Wars and Anime. Arguably The adventures in a galaxy far, far away and the story of Goku set me up with what I saw as morally right and wrong, which might not have been the best way but dammit, its my way! Anyway, back on track, just yesterday we got the release of the perfect Neapolitan mix of Star Wars and Anime with Star Wars: Visions, a 9 part anthology series produced by a range of anime companies with absolutely no ties to canon, giving them free reign to create! This has led to some outright wild concepts in a universe that normally sticks hard to its guns, lest the greasy hateful types that the internet attracts come out from their masturbation caves to yell about how “Rey isn’t a Skywalker” or whatever vague change to the established lore has come along to upset the Jogan cart.
With the mixed bag nature of the series in mind, I’ve done my due diligence and, having watched all 9 episodes, narrowed things down to the top 3 of the anime mash-ups we got from the best animation production teams Japan has to offer…
The Duel – Kamikaze Douga
Starting of with the first episode! The Duel is an ode to samurai cinema. Produced by Kamikaze Douga who are best known for Batman Ninja and less so for the CG openings to the first 3 seasons of JoJos Bizarre Adventure, The Duel gives us a wandering Ronin style force user entering a small village that while having a strong air of Star Wars outpost, still looks like it would fit in to any given Kurosawa film you care to mention. Straight away everything has an Afro Samurai flavour, from the animation to the motivations of our leading character. The unnamed hero oozes cool with his ragged robes and katana style lightsaber as he battles a woman wielding what might be the single most ridiculous saber in the history of ridiculous sabers… The Duel starts off intriguing before going balls to wall exciting, then pulling back to end on a heart-warming note which covers a whole lot of emotion in only 15 minutes! An outstanding way to start things off and did exactly what you would want from a first episode, left me wanting more.
T0-B1 – Science SARU
Okay so this one might not appear on my people’s favourites list, but hoo boy I couldn’t get enough of this Astro Boy-esque adventure. T0-B1 tells the story of a inquisitive android who has a dream to become a Jedi, while his creator; a man who looks like the result of a night of passion between Dr Elefun from Astro Boy and Dr Light from Mega man, would rather he keep his mind on their mission to terraform a desert world. T0-B1 is an adorable character who brings a much-needed warmth to the series that seems to prefer a little darkness. His adventures are scored with interesting electronic tunes that flow in sync with his actions. I had a great time watching his story unfold from happy go lucky bot to a true Star Wars hero! an impressive transition to be made in only 15 minutes really.
The Ninth Jedi – Production IG
Possibly the best actual story given to us in the anthology, The Ninth Jedi is set after The Rise of Skywalker and tells the tale of a group of Jedi making their way to a temple in an asteroid to receive promise lightsabers from a mysterious benefactor who they wonder if they can trust. The mystery is broken up by a side story about a young force sensitive girl called Cara and her mission to get the new lightsabers to the waiting Jedi. While the storyline is interesting, the smart part is the new lore created for the weapons. Cara’s father, A “Saber Smith” reveals that the new blades will change their size and colour based on the force user holding them, the example being that Cara’s blade is near enough clear, showing that she needs to improve her connection to the force. It’s a really clever idea to freshen up saber lore, though I doubt it’ll take off for the main canon!
And there we have it, my 3 favourite episodes! Overall, out of the 9 we got, only one disappointed me, which really isn’t such a bad hit rate for what is really, an experiment. I hope we get some more soon, and I hope even more that we get something a little bit Shonen in the mix!