This week I’m doing an anime prequel to a series of Japanese science fiction films that I intend to review at some point in the future – the Zeiram duology.

Cast & Crew

Aya Hisakawa as Iria
Chika Sakamoto as Komimasa
Juurouta Kosugi as Gren
Masaru Ikeda as Bob
Mika Kanai as Kei
Shigeru Chiba as Fujikuro
Wataru Takagi as Zeiram

Directed by Tetsuro Amino
Written by Tetsuro Amino, Naruhisa Arakawa, Hajime Matsumoto, and Yoshihisa Arakawa
Music by Yoichiro Yoshikawa
Animation by Ashi Productions

The Premise

Interstellar bounty hunter Iria is on a rescue mission to a transport ship with her bother, Gren, and their friend Bob when things og horribly wrong. It turns out the transport was carrying an alien organism called Zeiram, which can regenerate itself, absorb other organisms and take their knowledge, and create duplicates of organism that it has absorbed in the past, which it then controls.

It’s up to Iria to stop Zeiram and keep him from overwhelming the galaxy.

High Points

Zeiram is a credible and intimidating threat, and the show does a great job of building him up as a threat, without making him so overpowered that he comes across like he can’t be defeated without a Deus Ex Machina.

Low Points

The film isn’t exactly clear about what Zeiram is. Is he a biological weapon created in the labs of the evil Tidan Tippidai corporation? Is he an alien creature from another planet? We have a character who says the former is true, and evidence in the story to support the latter.

Scores

Originality: This film is a sequel to a live action SF-horror film from 1991. 4/6

Animation: The animation is very fluid and the world looks very unique. 4/6

Story: This is a series with a very straightforward story, executed well. 3/6

Emotional Response: The action scenes were exciting, but aside from the climax, there isn’t a part where I can go “yeah, there was this great scene where…” 3/6

Production: Sound design is really good, and the show has really interesting mechanical design. It’s unique in a good way. This is the only series I’ve seen with this style, and I’m actually very disappointed by the fact that the mechanical designer is uncredited, because I’d love to go looking for some of their other stuff. 5/6

Acting: The Japanese cast is very good, particularly Aya Hisakawa (who is best known as the Japanese voice of Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon), who conveys a good sense of youthful determination. 4/6

Overall: This OVA was entertaining, and certainly got me interested in seeing the live action films, but I can’t recommend more than renting or streaming it. 3/6

In total, Iria – Zeiram the Animation gets 26/42.