The Irresponsible Captain Tylor.
Tylor began life in Japan as a series of novels by Hitoshi Yoshiyoka, and went on to become a 26 Episode TV series that ran from 1993-4 (Which then spawned a 7 Episode OVA Series). It's easy to see how it became such a hit there.
Tylor is a biting satire of macho war stories, set mainly in space and revolving around one Justy Ueki Tylor (Age 20).
Tylor is the ultimate slacker, whose blind luck and utter stupidity (or is it genius?) carries him through one ridiculous situation after another.
He somehow manages to blag his way into the military, looking for an easy life and shortly afterwards manages to get himself promoted to Captain of a starship. He commands the Soyokaze ('The Slight Wind' or 'Gentle Breeze' depending on the translation), an ageing rustbucket whose previous crew committed mass-suicide from depression.
The Soyokaze is considered the dumping ground of the United Planets Space Force and Tylor has been 'promoted' there to hopefully keep him out of trouble. Somehow though, despite the best efforts of both the Raalgons and the UPSF, Tylor just won't die! In fact, he seems to be winning the war single-handed while doing absolutely nothing.
The main joke of the show is that Tylor is considered to be the exact opposite of a Japanese martial hero, cowardly, undisciplined, disloyal, lecherous and above all IRRESPONSIBLE. His first few days as Captain see an attempt on his life, followed by a full-scale mutiny. Eventually, through a combination of his incredible luck, and charm, he slowly wins them over, well with the exceptions of his First Officer Yamamoto (25) and Lt. Cmdr. Yuriko Star (19).
The reason for it's huge success in Japan is mainly down to that fact that it is littered with jibes at Japanese popular culture. The Japanese spelling of Tylor, 'Taira' is not only the name of Hitoshi Yoshiyoka's daughter, but also the name of the losing clan in The Heiji War (a civil war from Japan's Feudal Era).
To the youth of Japan, (with all the pressure to succeed, and spiralling suicide rates) Tylor's attitude of "Just relax, have fun and everything will work out" was like a breath of fresh air.
I first read about Tylor back in 1996 when I started getting into anime. It did sound incredibly funny in the review I read, and just recently I started to buy the collection on DVD
I have to say, it is funny, but not as side-splittingly hilarious as I'd believed it would be. Perhaps it would be fairer to say that this probably has more to do with me not fully understanding Japanese Culture. It is fascinating to watch none-the-less.
Official Site: www.Tylor.com
DVD Produced by The Right Stuf
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