Time for another anime review, this time with a mid-80s OVA (direct-to-video miniseries).
Yuriko Yamamoto as Iczer-1
Arisa Andou as Sepia
Kaneto Shiozawa as Big Gold/Sir Violet
Mayumi Shou as Nagisa Kanou
Naoko Watanabe as Sayoko
Sumi Shimamoto as Sir Violet
Mika Doi as Sayoko’s Mother
Keiko Toda as Iczer-2
Written and Directed by Toshihiro Hirano
Mechanical Design by Shinji Aramaki, Masami Obari, Hiroaki Motoigi
Animation by AIC
Music by Michiaki Watanabe
Earth finds itself menaced by an alien race calling themselves the Cthulhu. Far from being squid-like monsters, they all look like beautiful women. They plan to conquer Earth to serve as their now home.
Standing against htem is one of their own advance android scouts, Iczer-1. However, to user her full power, she needs a partner – a young girl named Nagisa Kanou. While Nagisa is originally reluctant to fight, when the Cthulhu kill her parents, she joins forces with Iczer-1 to avenge their deaths.
While the Cthulhu (or at least their leaders) don’t look like their namesake, their ground troops are incredibly creepy, and there is some real body horror in this story, and some real suspense and tension to go with it.
There are a bunch of little problems with this OVA which add together to make for a real issue – though these are the kind of things to be expected by an ’80s OVA.
First, when Nagisa interfaces with Iczer-1’s mech, why does she have to be naked?
Second, the tech level in this show is schizophrenic The tech level of the world at large is that of the late ’80s. However, the series also features the Fuji Project, a series of battle-ships that look like a mix of something out of Thunderbirds and Mobile Suit Gundam. They’re not a classified project either – as Nagisa knows about them, and neither she nor her parents are part of the military.
Third, the final episode of the OVA has some fairly rushed fights, especially the battle with Big Gold – who basically goes out with one shot.
Originality: This is something of an interesting spin on the Super Robot Genre of anime. 4/6
Animation: The animation quality is quite good, and you can tell that most of the film’s budget made it on screen. 5/6
Story: The story is fairly simple, which works to the OVA’s strengths. Where things fall apart is in the world-building. 4/6
Emotional Response: The tension level for the OVA is pretty high, until we reach the conclusion and everything just gets rushed. 4/6
Production: This is where everything falls apart. While most the budget is clearly put into animation, the creators skimped on sound design, and music (aside from writing having a new closing credits song for each of the three episodes). Hell, there is no opening credits, and the closing credits are white-text-on-blue. 3/6
Acting: The acting is pretty good, as while the cast is small, they made up for it with quality actors. 3/6
Overall: This is a fun, though flawed, anime.
In total, Fight! Iczer-One gets 28/42.