Review: Zone of the Enders: 2167 IDOLO Anime | My Reviews 12 AUG 2011

Yes, yes, we all know that Hideo Kojima is responsible for the much loved Metal Gear Solid gaming franchise, but another popular franchise he created, in conjunction with Konami, is of course the Zone of the Enders line, which consists of three games, one full 26 episode anime series, and one standalone OVA, courtesy of Sunrise.

Zone of the Enders: 2167 IDOLO was released in 2001, having been directed by Tetsuya Watanabe and produced by Sunrise, and weighs in at a hour in length. It acts as the prequel to the Zone of the Enders universe, serving to explain the war between Earth and Mars, as well as the origin of the all important Orbital Frame technology. The events stemming from the OVA also lead directly into the TV series Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i.

The story revolves around a skilled but reckless Martian LEV mecha pilot in the BAHRAM military forces, Radium Lavans, who together with his trusted subordinate Viola, gets contracted into a secret BAHRAM operation which seeks to tap into the abilities of the mysterious but powerful material Metatron in the building of a new class of mecha that is better than Earth’s current fighting abilities, known collectively as Orbital Frame technology.

As it turns out, Radium’s beloved, Dolores, is a scientist currently working on this top secret project and soon Radium is being put through his paces as he tries to tame the almost uncontrollable power output from the first Orbital Frame prototype, IDOLO.

However, a side affect that no one could have known about is that the Metatron contained in IDOLO appears to be interfering with Radium’s psyche, resulting in some very unexpected behavioral changes, all of which come to a head when Earth’s forces find out about the project and attempt to make both the prototype, and the scientists developing it, their own!

On the whole, there is nothing wrong with ZOE: 2167 IDOLO – it is a perfectly acceptable and well told mecha story that gets everything done that it needs to get done in its short hour long frame. In other words, it is about as typical a space mecha story as you could expect, and if you are a fan of the genre then it will probably appeal to you, particularly if you are already a fan of the franchise itself.

However, it also isn’t the most exciting of OVAs ever produced, and as such I can’t say that I found it particularly endearing or attention grabbing as I sat through for the first watch. The animation is nicely done though, well detailed and sporting some great mecha designs, particularly on IDOLO. Also, the battle sequences are solid (if a little uninspired), and as a whole, it delivers on the visual front everything you would want from a proper space mecha saga.

And that said, I must also say that the soundtrack and voice acting are also nice and polished, exactly at the level you would expect from a proper OVA release.

In summary, Zone of the Enders: 2167 Idolo is a competent and polished space mecha saga, but it is a little boring if you aren’t already in love with the space mecha genre. The short nature of its story is a little off-putting, but if you take it as part of the Zone of Enders franchise and its role of giving some backstory to that universe, then it has to be said that it does achieve this quite well.

Is it worth picking up then? Well only if you are a fan of the franchise or big into your space mecha sagas I would say. As for myself, I can’t see the need to see this one more than once.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.