It’s been a while since the last time I reviewed an Anime. This time, I’m taking a look at an OVA series from the 80s, that combines horror, mecha action, and large quantities of fan-service.
Cast & Crew
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, and Hiroaki Motoigi
Animation by AIC
Music by Michiaki Watanabe
Earth has found itself menaced by an alien race calling itself the Cthulhu. Far from being squid-like monsters, instead they all look like beautiful women – and no, that’s not a coping mechanism for the human brain. The aliens plan to conquer Earth to serve as their new home. Standing against them is one of their advance scouts, Iczer-1. However, to use her full power she needs a partner – and she recruits a young girl, Nagisa Kanou, whose parents were killed by the Cthulhu for this role.
While the Cthulhu don’t look like their namesake, their forces are incredibly creepy, and there’s some real body horror in this story when it comes to their troops, along with a strong sense of suspense and tension.
As is to be expected with OVAs from the 80s, there are some significant problems with this show.
First, when Nagisa interfaces with Iczer-1’s mech, why does she have to be naked, aside from the argument of “We need to have nude scenes here to get people to buy or rent the VHS tapes.”
Second, the tech level in this story is positively schizophrenic. The overall world appears to have a tech level equivalent to the time when the show was made, the late 80s. However, we also have the Fuji Project, a project designed to protect the Earth from alien attack, which is like a mix of the Thunderbirds and Mobile Suit Gundam – and said project is public knowledge, as several characters who have no connection with the project, either personally or through family members, recognize the craft in the Fuji project when they launch and do battle with the aliens.
Third, the final episode of the show has some fairly rushed fights, with the show’s villain basically getting killed in one blow.
Originality: This is kind of an amalgamation of the Super Robot Genre with some bits of Tokusatsu as well. 4/6
Animation: The animation quality is very good, and you can really tell that most of the budget made it on the screen. 5/6
Story: The story is fairly simple, which works to the OVAs strengths. The only time the story really starts to fall apart is when you even casually start looking at the world-building. 4/6
Emotional Response: The series maintains a steadily tense tone to it, which keeps the audience on edge, only to mess it up at the ending with its rushed conclusion. 4/6
Production: While the show spent all its money on animation, it ended up suffering in the production department. The closing credits are white-text on blue, the VHS equivalent of white-text on black in a film’s opening credits. Speaking of which, there are no opening credits for any of the three episodes in the OVA. 3/6.
Acting: The acting is pretty good, as since the OVA has a small cast, they could go the extra mile to hire some quality actors for the characters. 4/6
Overall: This is a fun, though flawed, anime, 4/6
In total, Fight! ICzer-One gets 28/42.