Jul 1, 2022
I was pleasantly surprised with Osamu Tezuka's Shin Takarajima, or "New Treasure Island." Thankfully, it has nothing to do with Tezuka's 1-volume manga by the same name. I just thought it was boring and anti-climactic. Surprisingly, I think Shin Takarajima is the best-directed movie-length project of its time. It's basically a bunch of anthropomorphic animals on a ship searching for treasure. At an hour-long, it's got a solid introduction, comedic indirect characterization, and enough exposition to understand its simple treasure hunt plot without feeling long-winded. In addition, there's an enjoyable build-up with foreshadowing and intriguing developments leading the crew to plot against each other. Lastly,
it's got an exciting climax where the animators went into overtime, leading to a satisfying conclusion.
While I've never read Robert Stevenson's "Treasure Island" novel to comment on the anime's originality or lack thereof, my experience was better for it. The anime took me back to my childhood watching some dusty vintage black VHS cassettes around the house. Its comedic style feels similar to what's eventually shown in the first Puss in Boots anime, where it's very western and somewhat slapstick but exaggerated. At times, it's chaos, like when they first discover the treasure map. Everyone goes crazy to board up the room to scheme in secret. This guy pulls a painting off the wall to cover the fireplace and blindfolds it just in case it's one of those cliche eyeball cutout paintings. I think it's totally worth a watch if you're into the vintage cartoon aesthetic, and it's also perfect for kids. I give it a 7. Of course, it's not nearly as beautiful as earlier Toei works I've scored lower, but its writing, animation, and scope all match. It's not ambitious, but it lives up to expectations of its shallow scope.
This was just an excerpt from a video script I'm writing on 60's anime, it's not a great review, but there weren't any other reviews yet and I think its pretty underrated here, so I hope this helps new people to enjoy it.
What did you think of this review?