Angel Cop, a six-episode OVA launched between 1989 and 1994, is broadly thought of one of many worst anime of all time, however for very completely different causes in English than in Japanese. The English dub reaches “so bad, its good” hilarity with pressured profanity and weird one-liners like “If this is justice, then I’m a banana.” The unique Japanese model is unhealthy for a lot much less entertaining causes: it promotes antisemitic conspiracy theories straight out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. By some means, the identical screenwriter went on to write down Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), an anime far superior on each inventive and ethical grounds.
The story of Angel Cop follows Angel and Raideen, two cops within the Particular Safety Drive preventing a takeover of the Japanese authorities by the communist terrorist group Crimson Could. It is finally revealed that Crimson Could was began by Jewish bankers as a method to show Japan right into a poisonous waste dump. The ultimate episode incorporates a prolonged expository monologue that appears like Mel Gibson on a bender, claiming that the Jewish folks have taken over America and are answerable for all of its wars.
All of this blatant antisemitism was lower from Manga Leisure’s English dub, which modified the final word villains to easily Individuals with no Jewish connection. Even the English subtitles on Manga Leisure’s launch fully modified the dialogue in the course of the antisemitic monologues. Discotek’s 2018 rerelease included extra faithfully translated subtitles in addition to an essay explaining the historical past of antisemitism in Japan for context.
Sho Aikawa wrote the primary three episodes of Angel Cop with Ichiro Itano, whereas Itano wrote the final three on his personal. Whereas this clears Aikawa from duty for the monologue within the last episode, the antisemitic components present up as early as Episode 3 when Aikawa was nonetheless concerned. In that gentle, it is all of the extra stunning that Aikawa would go on to be the pinnacle author of the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime, a sequence with a strongly anti-fascist message that immediately parallels its villains to the Nazis and, in its 2005 finale film The Conqueror of Shambala, incorporates a optimistic portrayal of the half-Jewish filmmaker Fritz Lang and explicitly condemns the Nazis’ persecution of Jewish and Romani folks.
One might probably assume the wildly completely different politics of the 2 anime may very well be the results of completely different supply materials, however Aikawa is understood for radically altering his scripts from their supply materials. Taku Kitazaki’s authentic Angel Cop manga is not legally accessible in English, however by all studies is a special, extra cyberpunk-type story than the anime. The second half of the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime had a very completely different storyline from the then-unfinished manga (later tailored extra faithfully as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), and the modifications Aikawa made solely made the manga’s implicit Nazi parallels explicit by way of parallel universes.
It is not clear precisely how Sho Aikawa’s views modified between 1989 and 2003, however anime followers in all places ought to be joyful they clearly did. Whereas the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist is usually the topic of controversy, normally compared to the manga or Brotherhood, its message towards bigotry is unambiguously an enormous enchancment over the acute antisemitism displayed in Angel Cop.