A week or so ago I Netflixed an animated series I had started watching halfway through its original TV run when I was living in Japan, “Sadamitsu: The Destroyer“. You got your basic rowdy gang of lovable Japanese teen toughs, led by the quick-tempered, never-say-die, brawling Tsubaki Sadamitsu. You got your enabling bombshell high school teacher, Chieko-sensei, who patches up the gang after their fights (most of which lead to her personal possessions, hard come-by, being destroyed somehow). You got your enigmatic new girl in school, whose deep and unfathomable bond with Sadamitsu is expressed with your basic screaming, brash manliness and arm-punching for Sadamitsu’s part, and the big-eyed blinking and gasping for new girl Kamishiro Yayoi’s part, oddly typical of boys and girls in Japan who often never seem to learn to give articulate shape to their feelings for one another. You got your basic inscrutable woman who is also a world-destroying planetary hangman robot alien. It touches on the basic fabric of male/female relations and vast, fearful gulf that gapes in the understanding between the sexes!
Sadamitsu, as you can see above, keeps it real with the Yamato spirit, communing with nature and keeping the balance between fighting monsters from outer space and tradition and all that.
The story goes that an intergalactic police officer, chasing intergalactic criminals to earth, is distracted by Sadamitsu during a battle and is consequently destroyed. Sadamitsu puts the space-cop’s head on like a helmet, and he is suddenly covered in skin-tight body armor and knobs. Utilizing skin-tight body armor and knobs, and, if you will dig the picture below, occasional extra eyeballs, he spends the rest of the series sending space criminals to space prison. And he screams a lot. And he never backs down.
I’m not really the otaku anime type, but this guy is just too badass. Flipping the stations in my mountain valley washitsu as I sat beneath the warm, testicle-baking kotatsu drinking a couple of dai-bins of Kirin Ichiban, I very dimly recall thrilling to the exploits of this teenager in a trenchcoat riding a bikemonster to glory. I lolled on the floor amid the kerosene fumes hoping Sadamitsu could reverse the roles and get around to being a real man who could protect Kamishiro for a change, instead of relying on her unnatural space robot habit of doing the man’s job and always protecting him. How relieved I was to see he was finally able to do it- but only with the aid of Yayoi’s enigmatic new girl in school style feminine wiles. She recharges his space pajamas halfway through the series. Oh, man, that is a spoiler, but it’s just such a beautiful example of how you gotta respect that all life springs from woman and that’s why you have to keep them safe with laser swordplay. Did I mention his bike was a monster? His bike was a monster. That is far more badass than anything you would find at Sturgis. If I had a bike that was a monster, you know what I would do? I’d ride straight to hero’s promontory and stand there in the lens-flare as the wind whipped my coat around. I would also tuck my parachute pants into my tabi socks. Damn, would my loneliness have a manly meaningfulness to it.