Future Boy Conan
|Future Boy Conan|
Promotional artwork for the series.
(Mirai Shōnen Konan)
|Genre||Adventure, Drama, Science fiction, romance|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hayao Miyazaki (chief)
|Written by||Akira Nakano
|Music by||Shin’ichirō Ikebe|
|Original run||April 4, 1978 – October 31, 1978|
|Mirai Shōnen Conan Tokubetsu Hen-Kyodaiki Gigant no Fukkatsu|
|Directed by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Produced by||Junzō Nakajima
|Written by||Kensyo Nakano|
|Music by||Shin’ichirō Ikebe|
|Released||March 11, 1984|
|Future Boy Conan: Love and Courage and Adventure|
Future Boy Conan (未来少年コナン Mirai Shōnen Konan?) is a post-apocalyptic science fiction anime series, which premiered across Japan on the NHK network between April 4 and October 31, 1978 on the Tuesday 19:30-20:00 timeslot. The official English title used by Nippon Animation is Conan, The Boy in Future. It is an adaptation of Alexander Key's novel The Incredible Tide.
Spanning a total of 26 episodes, the series was produced by Nippon Animation and featured the directorial debut of Hayao Miyazaki, who also contributed to character designs and storyboards. Other future prominent anime creators like Isao Takahata (storyboards, directing) and Yoshiyuki Tomino (storyboards) also worked on the series.
The story begins in July 2008, during a time when humankind is faced with the threat of extinction. A devastating war fought between two major nations with ultra-magnetic weapons far greater than anything seen earlier brings about total chaos and destruction throughout the world, resulting in several earthquakes and tidal waves. The earth is thrown off its axis, its crust rocked by massive movements, and the five continents are torn completely apart and sink deep below the sea.
An attempt by a group of people to flee to outer space failed, with their spaceships being forced back to earth and vanishing, thus shattering their hopes. But one of the spaceships narrowly escaped destruction and crash landed on a small island which had miraculously survived the devastation. The crew members of the spaceship settled there, as if they were seeds sown on the island.
Amidst these survivors, a boy named Conan is born on October 2010, bringing a new ray of hope to the earth. After several years, during which most of the other survivors had died and the only people left on the island were Conan and his grandfather, he meets a young girl named Lana, and their adventure begins. Between the different islands left in the world, including Industria, High Harbor, Remnant, and others, the young group of adventurers travel and conflict rises between good and evil people. Throughout the series a pure love story develops between Conan and Lana.
- Conan (コナン Konan?) Voiced by: Noriko Ohara
- The main protagonist of the series, Conan is an 11-year-old boy who grew up on Remnant Island and was raised by his grandfather. Conan is very strong, and can even hang from a ledge using only his toes. He is also a superb swimmer and can hold his breath for more than 3 minutes. Despite his strength, he is gentle and kind. Conan is friends with Lana for whom he develops romantic feelings.
- Lana (ラナ Rana?) Voiced by: Mieko Nobusawa
- Lana, who is also 11, is the first person Conan ever meets who is not from Remnant Island, and also the first girl he ever sees. Lana is the granddaughter of Dr. Lao, and she devotes herself to him throughout the story. Lepka wants to use her to get Lao to tell him the secret of solar power. Lana is referred to as possessing ESP, allowing her to communicate with a tern named Tikki, as well as sense the presence of her grandpa. She comes from High Harbor. Lana develops romantic feelings for Conan and a desire to be with him.
- Grandpa (おじい Ojii?) Voiced by: Masato Yamanouchi
- Conan's elderly grandfather, who miraculously survived the war when his spaceship crashed into Remnant Island. He worked hard to make a good life for himself and his crew, but now he and Conan are the only ones left on the island.
- Monsley (モンスリー Monsurī?) Voiced by: Rihoko Yoshida
- A young commander of Industria's armed forces, Monsley is the second non-Islander Conan sees. Piloting the flying boat Falco, she follows Lepka's orders by helping capture Lana, and eventually leading the invasion of Industria to conquer High Harbor. Ultimately, after the battle in High Harbor, Monsley renounces Lepka's ambitions, and joins with Conan against him.
- Jimsy (ジムシィ Jimushī?) Voiced by: Kazuyo Aoki
- A wild boy living alone on the first island Conan arrives at, Jimsy quickly becomes Conan's first "companion", helping him rescue Lana. Jimsy is a master hunter, and is motivated mostly by his stomach. Initially, Jimsy has a negative view on women, but he gradually forms a relationship with Tera at the end of the series.
- Dyce (ダイス Daisu?) Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai
- Dyce is a citizen of Industria, and the captain of the ship Barracuda. He was originally ordered to kidnap Lana, but let her escape due to his obsession with his captive and his dislike of Monsley and Lepka. Dyce is initially a comedic villain in the show, but eventually becomes one of Conan's allies.
- Lepka (レプカ Repuka?) Voiced by: Iemasa Kayumi
- The head of administration of Industria, Lepka technically serves under the Industria High Council, a group of scientists. However, over the course of the series he becomes the sole dictator of Industria, and the primary antagonist. Lepka desires to extract the secret of solar power from Dr. Lao to power his weapons, which would allow him to rule over what remains of the world.
- Dr. Lao (ラオ博士 Rao-hakase?) Voiced by: Masato Yamanouchi
- The grandfather of Lana, and the main scientist responsible for the development of solar power for both civil and wartime usage. Originally a member of the Industrian High Council, he defected after he learned of Lepka's ambitions. He believes that the people of Industria must be taught to discard their weapons, and begin new lives. For this reason he escaped, bringing with him the secret of how to access the orbiting solar power station from pre-war times.
- Umasou (うまそう Umasō?)
- Umasou, which means "Looks Delicious" in Japanese, is Jimsy's piglet.
- Orlo (オーロ Ōro?)
- The coward and the traitor of High Harbor, Orlo follows Industria and has an evil plot to become the leader of High Harbor. He demands that the citizens of High Harbor surrender to Industria or face destruction.
- Tera (テラ Tera?)
- Orlo's younger sister, who is injured by a rocket from Industria's soldiers. She is the second leader of Orlo's men.
Future Boy Conan first aired across Japan on the NHK TV network between April 4 and October 31, 1978, during the Tuesday, 7:30pm timeslot. It has been regularly broadcast across Japan on the anime satellite television network Animax, who have also later translated and dubbed the series into English for broadcast across its respective English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, under the title Conan, The Boy In Future.
The series was also translated into numerous other languages, including Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), French, Spanish, Italian, Catalan, Basque, Portuguese, Korean, Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic. It has been broadcast across Europe, Latin America, the Arab world and numerous other regions.
- Original story: Alexander Key (The Incredible Tide)
- Planning and production: Nippon Animation
- Executive producer: Kōichi Motohashi
- Production manager: Mitsuru Takakuwa
- Planning: Shōji Satō (Nippon Animation)
- Producers: Junzō Nakajima, Shigeo Endō
- Script: Kenshō Nakano/Sōji Yoshikawa/Tetsu Kurumi
- Music: Shin’ichirō Ikebe
- Character designs: Hayao Miyazaki/Yasuo Ōtsuka
- Chief animation director: Yasuo Ōtsuka
- Art director: Nizo Yamamoto
- Sound director: Shigeharu Shiba
- Storyboards: Hayao Miyazaki (ep.1~4,8,12,15~19,22~26), Keiji Hayakawa (ep.3&4,8,12,15), Isao Takahata (ep.7,9&10,13,20), Seiji Okuda (ep.5&6), Yoshiyuki Tomino (ep.14,21), Noboru Ishiguro (ep.11), Takayoshi Suzuki (ep.17)
- Animation checker: Hidemi Maeda
- Animation Assistance: OH! Production: Johji Manabe, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Koichi Murata, Shojuro Yamauchi, Shunji Saida
- Backgrounds: Atelier Rourke: Masamichi Takano, Taisaburō Abe, Junji Kasahara
- Photography: Tokyo Animation Film: Hitoshi Kaneko, Masatatsu Shimizu
- Editing: Takeshi Seyama
- Film developers: Tōyo Genzōsho
- Effects: Hidenori Ishida
- Sound recording: Kunio Kuwabara
- Sound production: Omnibus Promotion
- Sound studio: Cinebeam
- Sound Effects: Ishida Sound Production (now Fizz Sound Creation): Hidenori Ishida
- Co-director: Keiji Hayakawa
- Assistant directors: Takayoshi Suzuki, Ken'ichi Baba
- Production assistants: Nobuaki Hosoda (ep.1~26), Kazuhiko Hoshīde, Kōji Takeuchi, Shūji Uchiyama, Yoshimasa Kanda
- Finish checker and color design: Michiyo Yasuda
- Episode directors: Hayao Miyazaki (ep.1~26), Isao Takahata (ep.9&10), Keiji Hayakawa (ep.11~26)
- Director: Hayao Miyazaki
- Production: Nippon Animation, NHK
- Opening theme: Ima Chikyū ga Mezameru (今地球がめざめる Now, Earth is awaking.?) (performance: Naozumi Kamata, Yūko Yamaji)
- Ending theme: Shiawase no Yokan (幸せの予感 Presentiment of Happiness?) (performance: Naozumi Kamata, Yūko Yamaji)
- Italian theme: "Conan" (performance: Georgia Lepore)
A video game version of the series by Telenet Japan was released in 1992 on NEC's PC Engine console. The game was released on the Super CD-Rom format and was only available in Japan. In 1995, another game titled Conan: The Boy In Future, was exclusively released on the 3DO, and was developed by Bandai Visual and published by Emotion Digital Software. The game also is exclusive in Japan, and is extremely rare. In January 2011, NewGin announced a pachinko game titled Future Boy Conan: Love and Courage and Adventure (未来少年コナン〜愛と勇気と冒険と〜 Mirai Shōnen Konan: Ai to Yūki to Bōken?) based on the anime television series.
Another video game adaptation of the series was released for the PlayStation 2 home console in August 25, 2005 only in Japan.
Influences and reception
In a 1983 interview with Yōko Yomizawa, Hayao Miyazaki acknowledged that ratings for the show had not been very good, noting that episode twenty-five had received the highest rating at 14 percent.
In her 1999 book Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, Helen McCarthy identifies Conan as a "seminal" work and recognizes themes and story elements in this production which Miyazaki would continue to explore throughout his career. McCarthy also notes continuity in the development of the characters and their plight throughout Miyazaki's work. She sees Lana and Conan as precedents for his later heroines and characters, and mentions, among others, Sheeta's rescue by Pazu, from Miyazaki's 1986 animated feature film Castle in the Sky, as an example.
Popularity in the Arab world
The show was very popular in the Arab world and still is today. The dubbing was performed by the now defunct Arab Audio and Video Center, which was based in Kuwait. The cast included a number of Kuwaiti TV stars such as Jassim Al-Nabhan, Ali Al-Mufidi and others. Conan's name was changed to Adnan and Lana's was changed to Leena so that they could have names similar to Arabic names. Unlike most Arabic dubs of anime, Future Boy Conan has retained most of its plot details without any altering. A DVD version was released for most of the episodes with the anime dubbed into the Arabic language. The Internet Archive made a copy of the full series in Arabic available online.
- 純粋な少年「コナン」と少女「ラナ」の愛の物語「ラブストーリー」 [Pure Love Story Conan and Lana]. Animage (in Japanese) (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten) (145): 37. June 10, 1990. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Miyazaki, Hayao (July 31, 1996). "「コ ナン」 を語る" [Speaking of Conan]. 出発点 1979~1996 [Starting Point 1979~1996]. San Francisco: Viz Media. pp. 285–310. ISBN 978-1-4215-0594-7. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- アニメ｢未来少年コナン｣がパチンコ化決定! [The anime "Future Boy Conan" to be pachinko-ized!] (in Japanese). Searchina. Archived from the original on January 29, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
- McCarthy, Helen (1999). Hayao Miyazaki Master of Japanese Animation (2002 ed.). Berkeley, Ca: Stone Bridge Press. pp. 39, 223. ISBN 1880656418.
- Nippon Animation's official website for Conan, the Boy in Future
- Nippon Animation's official website, introducing work "Conan, the Boy in Future"
- Nippon Animation's official English webpage for Conan, the Boy in Future
- NHK's official website for Conan, the Boy in Future
- Conan Future Boy (A.K.A. Adnan & Lina) Arabic / English Website - Story, Characters, Downloads,DVD And Much More..
- Bandai Visual's official Conan website
- Future Boy Conan at the Internet Movie Database
- Future Boy Conan (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- HighHarbor - Fan Site for Conan, the Boy of the Future
- Conan, The Boy in Future at Nausicaa.net
- Conan, The Boy in Future (Anime Mundi), detailed production information (Italian)