Submarine 707R (サブマリン707R?) is a two-episode anime OVA produced by Group TAC and Sony and also a manga released by Satoru Ozawa (小沢さとる) released in 1963-1965 on Weekly Shōnen Sunday and although not a mecha robot series, a "mecha" storyline that spawned plastic models during its time.
The manga series was very intriguing for its time as it was a unique story that featured various submarines with a storyline that introduced readers to anti-submarine warfare, homing torpedoes, sonars and technical topics in relation to submarines. Due to its popularity, reception of the OVA adaptation has been mixed.
In the near future, the world is at war: the USR, a mysterious organization led by Admiral Red and his powerful submarine UX, wants to stop human exploitation of the seas, having torpedoed many ships and ports. The world's navies unite and form the Peace Keeping Navy, or PKN, to fight the "terrorists". Every major UN member contributed a submarine, though the Japanese entry is an old clunker, the 707, and it is running late to the inaugural meeting. When the meeting finally begins, Admiral Red and the UX come to spoil the show with a spread of torpedoes. Arriving late in the battle, Captain Youhei Hayami steers the 707 into the way of a torpedo launched at the supercarrier that serves as the PKN's flagship. His ship is destroyed, but the flagship survives.
Six months later, Captain Hayami is given command of the salvaged and rebuilt 707, and takes a crew of old comrades and brand new cadets to sea to fight Admiral Red once more.
- Admiral Red
- Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka: Commander of the USR and the submarine UX, main antagonist of the series
- Captain Hayami
- Voiced by: Ben Hiura: Maritime Self-Defense Force officer. The 707's captain.
- Hayato Nango
- Maritime Self-Defense Officer which through the manga series went from third to second grade officer and later became the captain of the 717
- Admiral Rozhestvensky, CO Aleksander Semyonovski – Russia
- Gotha-Werft, CO Wilhelm Friedrich – Germany
- Great Guardian, CO Howard Boone – United States
- Cachelot, CO John Barringer – United Kingdom
- Ganges, CO Mahabaryana Soong – India
- Mansoula, CO Eddamel Asshab Saddad – Egypt
- Melchiore, CO Pierre Morel – France
- Vulcano, CO Luvo Marisol – Italy
- 401, CO Mao Dzuhai – China
- 707, CO Youhei Hayami – Japan
- UX, CO Admiral Red
Release and reception
The first original attempt for an anime series based on the manga was planned back in 1964 but later released as an audio drama ala "Sonoshito" (ソノシート, a very thin-sized record).
In 1997, a Toei film was released that focused on his second manga "SUBMARINE 707F" but the anime version "Submarine 707R" OVA's were released by Aniplex back in Sept. 26, 2003 (mission 01) and April 24, 2004 (mission 02). The animated film received a split reception with those who loved it for its CGI, music, and the main characters' style of outwitting each other. On the other hand, the criticism received in Japan was that the animated film, despite high anticipation, was a let-down since it was not true to Ozawa's manga and others who said if one didn't know about submarine mechanics, would probably enjoy it but those who are knowledgeable about it, would see the animated OVA series as too farfetched.
The largest criticism was that the OVA series ended with only two episodes and no planned animated TV series nor OVA episodes to complete the plot.
German and English dubbed versions of the series exist.
Reality vs. Anime
Although the show is technically accurate with submarine terms and tactics, it suffers from a number of "mistakes".
None of the PKN submarines look particularly hydrodynamic. The most "sound" design happens to be Admiral Red's UX, as it has a nicely rounded hull that resembles a modern-day attack submarine. The namesake of the show, 707, looks half-way between a World War II I-boat and a nuclear attack boat.
Vertical anti-ship cluster rockets used in the intro by the UX against the two destroyers would be an inefficient weapon to aim and deploy. A torpedo would have been the more conventional option. Also, destroyers hunting subs would have helicopters out and primarily be hunting with torpedoes, not depth charges, particularly against modern submarines.