Irresponsible Captain Tylor was an interesting anime series in 1990s. Actually, come to think of it, I believe I can classify this anime as one of a kind because I haven’t seen anything like this ever since.
The story of this anime has had an impact on me as I wrote my own story about a poor space captain, Two Clusters: Kain arc. It’s not remotely similar to Captain Tylor but I was inspired by it.
Set in a sci fi setting, the story begins as Tylor, who is jobless and poor, lazily watches a fancy space navy recruitment ad. He figures why not and eventually joins the navy.
In the world setting, there are two factions. The first is UPSF (United Planets Space Force) ruled by humans.
The second is Raalgon Empire ruled by elf-like humanoids. The two factions have been at odds for a while. Whispers of an all-out war is heard here and there.
When asked why he wants to join the navy, his responses are casual, basically stating that he wants to join to feed himself properly and have an easy life.
After a few filler episodes, he is eventually given a command of a cruiser “Soyokaze”. She is a very old cruiser that should have been decommissioned already. The only reason it still exists is because the navy figured they’d put unwanted troublemakers into that ship and forget about’em.
Basically, bar few, no one assigned to that ship has a career path. They are stuck there until being discharged eventually.
The first half of the anime does not make much sense (to me at least) because Tylor’s success appears to stern from absolute sheer luck rather than discreet ingenuity. In fact, for the large part of the story, Tylor doesn’t really do anything at all.
He is just really, really, reeeeaaalllllyyyy, lucky as he claims the ladder of the command within the navy. His crew are flabbergasted in how Tylor keeps becoming successful.
You know what though? If one’s lucky enough, he can do pretty much anything. That’s a fact. Doesn’t matter how good you are. If you are cursed with being unlucky, you will fail.
Because Tylor’s success in battles doesn’t really make any sense after Soyokaze defeats Raalgon fleets single handedly, the navy high command is initially skeptical of his true allegiance.
And, for Raalgon empire, he becomes a target to assassinate.
In fact, both UPSF and Raalgon empire attempt to assassinate Tylor. Neither is successful because … Tylor is just lucky, surviving both attempts by a hair.
So, one may ask what Tylor does offer.
Well, for the most part of the anime, he does not offer anything. Sheer luck is pretty much all he has. But he does offer something that nobody seems to think is possible.
To understand Tylor, you need to go back to episode 1 where he is asked why he wants to join the navy. He says he just wants an easy life. You know what that ultimately means?
Peace is what Tylor offers. You can actually see him actively trying to calm down opposing factions within his own ship. He often acts as a mediator and a pretty good one as well.
It’s all because he wants an easy life. Conflicts do not make his life easy. Therefore, he does what he can in order to smooth out conflicts.
When he casually questions why UPSF and Raalgon empire are at odds in the first place, nobody knows. UPSF blames Raalgon for something, and so does Raalgon. Either side feels another is up for something no good. Basically, there is no trust, only suspicions.
Ultimately, by the end of the anime, a peace agreement drafted by Tylor is agreed by both sides verbally. It is not a formal agreement but it’s enough for both sides to cease fire.
And, as a reward, Tylor is given a shiny new cruiser which he ditches it for Soyokaze.
And that is it for the anime.
Now, after the anime, there has been an OVA series and “an exceptional” episode. The “exceptional” episode has two episodes, 45 minutes each. It also carries what I consider the best song used in anime.
The song is actually what I remember the series by. I’ve kept the MP3 file for over 10 years on my hard drive. I originally had an authentic music CD for it before digitally transferring it to my computer sometime in 2000.
It is probably the most underrated song in the history of anime.
In conclusion, nothing really stands out from Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Animation quality is average. The plot is also average, I feel. But it does feel wholesome when you are done with it, especially the Exceptional episode where Tylor is tasked again to bring a peace talk to Raalgon.
This anime also does not shy away from drinking which is frequently a forbidden subject in general anime. It is also one of few that display romantic relationship properly which must have been refreshing in that era.
The characters are adults after all. They know what they want.
So, yes, I can safely claim that this is one of a kind series out there. There hasn’t been anything similar in the past 27 years.
I wonder why. I think I know why.