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|
|Music by||Shin’ichirō Ikebe|
|Original network||NHK, Animax|
|Original run||April 4, 1978 – October 31, 1978|
|The Revival of the Giant Machine|
|Directed by||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Written by||Kensho Nakano|
|Music by||Shin’ichirō Ikebe|
|Released||March 11, 1984|
|Anime television series|
|Future Boy Conan II: Taiga Adventure|
|Directed by||Keiji Hayakawa|
|Written by||Sadahiko Sakamaki|
|Music by||Gorō Oumi|
|Original run||October 16, 1999 – April 1, 2000|
|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.
A second series, Future Boy Conan II: Taiga Adventure (未来少年コナンII タイガアドベンチャー Mirai Shōnen Konan Tsū: Taiga Adobenchā), aired for 24 episodes on TBS from October 16, 1999 through April 1, 2000. None of the original main staff worked on this series.
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.
Nippon Animation originally presented NHK with several proposals. At first a different story was favored, but eventually, The Incredible Tide was chosen.
There was a preparation time of three months for the layout. Six months passed between the start of the key animation work and the airing of the first episode. Although a stock of eight episodes was already produced by that time, the show still went behind schedule. According to Miyazaki it "took [them] from ten days to two weeks to produce a single episode" and that if "NHK hadn't inserted a special program in there as a padding, it probably would have turned into a real wreck of a series. If we hadn't been working for NHK, we never could have pulled Conan off."
In a 1983 interview with Yōkō Tomizawa from Animage bunko, Miyazaki stated that he only worked on the show under the condition that he was allowed to change the story. He disliked the pessimistic world view of the original story, claiming it was a reflection of Key's own fears and insecurities. He wanted a story aimed at children to be more optimistic, stating "[e]ven if someone's lost all hope for the future, I think it is incredibly stupid to go around stressing this to children. Emphasize it to adults if you have to, but there's no need to do so to children. It would be better to simply not say anything at all."
Miyazaki further made an effort to distance himself from the notion of High Harbor representing North America and Industria representing the Soviet Union. In order to do this, he even considered making the setting more Japanese. For example, in his version of the story, the people of High Harbor would grow rice instead of wheat and eat using chopsticks. But this "would have led to all sorts of other problems", so he eventually dropped the idea.
One scene of Jimsy smoking cigarettes was removed by NHK before the airing of the episode. Miyazaki admitted that he put "way too much of [his] own feelings into episode eight", specifically the underwater "kiss" scene. He had grown fonder of Lana by episode 5 and 6 and "realized that [the show] incorporated the exact same story line of a manga [he] had created back in [his] student days" to the point where even the shots were arranged in the same way.
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 tsunamis. 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 in October 2010, bringing a new ray of hope to the survivors. 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, Conan 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 adventurous 11-year-old boy who was born on Remnant Island and raised by his grandfather after the Great Disaster. Conan is very attuned to his rural, secluded lifestyle. For his size and age, he is very clever, immensely strong, an exceptional athlete and swimmer, and can hold his breath for more than three minutes. He is also proficient with his spear, particularly at throwing it. Despite his lack of social exposure, he is gentle and kind. Deciding to rescue Lana in a self-constructed sailboat after his Grandfather's killing and Lana's subsequent capture, Conan meets new friends and acquaintances while becoming caught up in Lepka's plots for Industria and High Harbor.
- Lana (ラナ Rana) Voiced by: Mieko Nobusawa
- Lana is a quiet, soft-spoken girl from High Harbor and the granddaughter of Dr. Lao, to whom she is devoted. Lana, who is also 11, is discovered by Conan, unconsciously washed up on the shore, as the first person other than his grandfather whom Conan meets. After a period of being held captive by Dyce, she follows Conan's group through Industria in an attempt to find her grandfather. Pursued by Industria, Lepka intends to capture her as hostage in order to obtain the secret of solar power from Dr. Lao. Lana is referred to as possessing telepathy, allowing her to communicate with a tern named Tikki, as well as sense the presence of her grandfather. With her affection for Conan, she begins to form a close telepathic rapport with him as well.
- 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 friend, helping him rescue Lana. Jimsy is a master hunter (with a particular preferrence for grilled frogs), proficient with his bow and able to draw with Conan in a race, although his constant desire of filling his stomach tends to get him into trouble. Jimsy ends up spending most of his time with Dyce after Conan and Lana are separated from the party. Initially, Jimsy has a negative view on women, but he gradually forms a relationship with Tera at the end of the series.
- Lepka (レプカ Repuka) Voiced by: Iemasa Kayumi
- The head of administration of Industria, Lepka technically serves under the Industria High Committee, a group of benevolent but naive scientists. However, over the course of the series he becomes the sole dictator of Industria, and the primary antagonist. Cruel and power-hungry, 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. Briac Lao (ラオ博士 Rao-hakase) Voiced by: Masato Yamanouchi
- The grandfather of Lana, and the scientist responsible for the development of solar power for both civil and wartime usage. Originally a member of Industria's High Council, he defected after he learned of Lepka's power-driven ambitions, and hid under the cover identity of a hard-handed salvaging crew captain. He believes that the people of Industria must be taught to discard their weapons and begin new lives in peace. For this reason he escaped, bringing with him the secret of how to access an orbiting solar power station left over from pre-war times.
- Monsley (モンスリー Monsurī) Voiced by: Rihoko Yoshida
- The young assistant director of Industria's Administration forces. As a young girl, she was her family's only survivor when the final war broke out and the Earth was devastated; and as a result of that tragedy, she became a harsh, uncaring enforcer. She is tasked by Lepka to capture Lana, and eventually leads the invasion of Industria against High Harbor. However, as she encounters Conan, she is gradually swayed by his unwavering courage and sincerity, and eventually joins him and his friends in taking down Lepka.
- Dyce (ダイス Daisu) Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai
- Dyce is a citizen of Industria, and the captain of the plastic-salvaging ship Barracuda. He was originally ordered to track down Dr. Briac Lao, Lana's grandfather, and convey the girl to Industria, but ended up developing an affection for Lana, enabling her to escape to Remnant Island. Fed up with Lepka's cruelty towards Lana, he eventually becomes one of Conan's allies, helping to overthrow Industria's regime in their exploits. He is a comically inept character, and often makes it out alive only by pure luck in his fights with Industria's forces.
- Luke (ルーケ Rūku) Voiced by: Tanaka Hideyuki
- The leader of an underground cell composed of Industria's lower-class/slave citizenry. He is an old ally of Dr. Lao in the latter's attempts to improve the lives of the city's downtrodden people, and was repeatedly arrested and charged for rebellion. During one stint in prison, he and his compatriots are freed by Conan and in turn aid him and his friends in navigating the underground city beneath Industria's Triangle Tower, which is riddled with secret passages only the resistance knows about.
- Orlo (オーロ Ōro)
- Orlo is the leader of a rogue gang based in the mountains of High Harbor, who tax whoever the gang catches crossing their territory. He originates from a village of herders on the other side of High Harbor island, but turned into a bullying outlaw after he found honest work to be unsatisfactory for living an easy life. He plots to become the leader of High Harbor, and thus cooperates with the Industrians when they invade the island, bringing down the villager's defenses. However, when a tidal wave hits the island and the Industrians subsequently surrender, his plans are permanently dashed. In the end, he finds his place back among his fellow islanders.
- Tera (テラ Tera)
- Orlo's younger sister, about the same age as Conan and Jimsy, and the deputy leader of Orlo's men. She and Jimsy quickly take a liking to each other, but their radically diverging views of life prevent them from reaching a common ground at first. During the Industrian invasion of High Harbor, she is rescued by Jimsy and Conan, which breaks down the barrier between them, and they become a couple.
- Grandpa (おじい Ojii) Voiced by: Masato Yamanouchi
- Conan's adopted elderly grandfather, who raised him on Remnant Island. Originally part of a crew of people escaping from the largely destroyed Earth, their spaceship crashed back down, miraculously landing on Remnant Island, with all the members surviving, including Conan's grandfather. With every other crew member dying soon after Conan's birth, he was left to raise Conan alone for 11 years, taking him as his adopted Grandson. However, after being attacked by Industrian soldiers during Lana's abduction, he dies from his injuries. In the later course of his adventures, however, Conan encounters an Industrian low-class citizen who bears a striking resemblance to Grandfather.
- Umasou (うまそう Umasō)
- Umasou ("looks delicious" in Japanese) is Jimsy's pet piglet which he acquired after becoming a pig herder on High Harbor Island.
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
- Director of photography: Katsuji Misawa
- 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: Hidenori Ooshima, Hideo Kawauchi, Masako Shinohara, Nobuhiro Okasako, Nobumasa Shinkawa, Nobuo Tomizawa, Toshiyasu Okada, Yasuji Mori, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, Yoshifumi Kondō
- Animation Assistance: OH! Production: Johji Manabe, Kazuhide Tomonaga, Koichi Murata, Shojuro Yamauchi, Shunji Saida
- Animation checker: Hidemi Maeda
- Backgrounds: Atelier Roku: Masamichi Takano, Taisaburō Abe, Junji Kasahara
- Photography: Tokyo Animation Film: Hitoshi Kaneko, Masatatsu Shimizu
- Editing: Takeshi Seyama
- Film developing: Tōyo Laboratory (now Imagica)
- Paint: Studio Killy
- Sound recording: Kunio Kuwabara
- Sound production: Omnibus Promotion
- Sound recording 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, Lana's was changed to Leena, and Jimsy's was changed to Abbisy 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.
- 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. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
- 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.
- 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 July 24, 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. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03.
- 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 on IMDb
- 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 (in Italian)