What I’m Watching: The Irresponsible Captain Tylor

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor is a science fiction anime made in 1993, adapted from the novel The Most Irresponsible Man in Space, according to Wikipedia.

This series is awesome. It goes right near the top on my best anime of all time list, even though I’ve only watched it within the last month. The series follows protagonist Tylor, seen holding the fan above, about his misadventures in space…

The full cast is immense for a show of its era, see below.


During the course of the series, Our Hero, Captain Tylor blunders his way from a recruitment office into the Captain’s Fleet of U.P.S.F. Destroyer Soyokaze. He proceeds to fumble through a universe at war, winning battles through improbable tactics and winning the heart of every woman he meets, from Tsundere love interest Yuriko Star, the doublemint twins, Yumi and Eri, enemy mole Harumi, right down to the Raalgon Empress, enemy of the U.P.S.F. Azalyn.

The male cast is also worth mentioning, from Tylor himself, to 2nd in Command Yamamoto, the tsukkomi to Tylor’s boke, on to the drunken surgeon and the unruly Marines to the woman-fearing fighter pilot. Even the antagonists in the Raalgon forces are given deep motives and characterization, more than enough to make you genuinely care about them, or at least laugh at their misfortune for having Tylor as an enemy.

This series mercilessly parodies tropes from all over the Science Fiction universe with skill and wit, all the while making us wonder of Tylor, like the characters within the series do, whether the man is an incompetent buffoon, or a genius pretending at the role. The one thing about Tylor that is indisputable is his luck.

One of the greatest strengths of the series, atypical of its medium, is the remarkably strong ending. The TV series (26 episodes) ends very well, but if you watch the 10 OVA episodes afterwards (I strongly suggest it), then you will truly see the utter mastery with which every loose end and plot point is tied off. My primary problem with anime is this lack of closure at the end of the series, a difference between Western and Eastern aesthetics in storytelling.

Whether or not you like anime, if you watched Star Wars, you’ll appreciate this anime. What’s more, if you’re subtitle-averse, the English voice cast didn’t do an absolutely horrible job on this one. Whatever your preferred choice of dialogue delivery… you can get it here.

 

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