Anime Opinions: Plastic Little | Marvel Anime: Blade | Armageddon Anime | My Reviews 05 APR 2012

Plastic Little (1994)

Young Tita Mu Koshigaya is the female captain of the ship, the Cha-Cha Maru, whose business it is to capture exotic creatures in the ‘sea of clouds’ of the planet Ietta, apparently a gas giant of some kind, and selling these captured creatures to collectors and zoos.

By chance, she saves Elysse Aldo Mordish, a young woman of her own age, from a rogue faction of Ietta’s own military forces, led by the armored commander Guizel – who already killed Elysse’s scientist father. As the military conducts a vicious chase for Elysse, it becomes apparent that she holds the key to a secret that could determine the fate of the entire planet’s independence.

Plastic Little is a great example of a 90’s OVA in that it features some pretty slick and detailed animation combined with fantastic mecha and mechanical designs, shows off a fair bit of skin of the ladies for the requisite 90’s OVA fanservice quota, features great vocal and aural tracks, and makes for a short, compact and enjoyable watch.

Unfortunately though, we can’t really count it as one of the classics, in that its short length causes the story to hurtle along at such a pace that there isn’t time for any real character development or building up report with the audience, meaning that by the end of its run, you are left a little ambivalent towards what just happened, but at least you were entertained and the visuals were pretty hot.

Worth watching if you have it, but not necessary to hunt down if you don’t.

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Marvel Anime: Blade (2011)

Eric Brooks is probably better known as Blade, a “Daywalker” vampire hunter who was born with both human and vampire blood in his veins, following a vampire attack on his mother while she was still pregnant with him.

His ongoing mission to hunt down the four-fanged vampire Deacon Frost, the killer of his mother, takes him to Japan, where he encounters other vampire hunters, before being drawn into battle against “Existence”, a vampire organization seeking to rebel against their European counterparts through the machinations of their leader – Deacon Frost.

The ensuing hunt leads Blade across all of Asia, as he and his new partner Makoto tackle a host of different vampire types in their quest for Frost’s head!

The Marvel Anime project continues, with Blade being the fourth 12 episode installment, following Iron Man, Wolverine and X-Men. Written by Kenta Fukasaku, Blade probably slots in at number three on the enjoyment list, with X-Men leading the pack by miles, followed by Iron Man despite its very episodic nature. Unfortunately the Logan character design and simply too over the top action sequences banishes Wolverine to the last spot.

Anyway, Blade is a competently written action adventure, filled with enough drama to make it a serious show, and comes with the added bonus of varied locations which are used to introduce us to the various Asian vampire lore that exists, certainly something I haven’t previously been exposed to.

As will all the titles up until now, the Marvel hero gets teamed up with a Japanese counterpart, with Blade delivering to us a young precocious vampire hunter in the form of Makoto, who prefers to kill vampires up close and personally, with silver blades and a set of silver knuckledusters secreted around her body. Only thing is, she’s also after Blade’s head for killing her turned father.

The show is well paced despite the frequent location changes, and the story unfolds to deliver a decent mystery with resolution, leaving a satisfying tale in its wake as the final credits draw to a close.

The animation is top notch, with some fantastic character designs, particularly when it comes to the various types of vampires to be encountered. A lot of the action happens in the dark, something which Madhouse needs to be commended on for handling so well, particularly when you look at how detailed, fluid and choreographed the animation actually is.

Aurally, Blade is a polished production, featuring great music and voice acting, with Akio Ohtsuka providing an excellent voice for the protagonist.

All in all, Blade is a solid and entertaining television anime, suited particularly to those who enjoy action packed, vampire-fuelled stories, or those who are already followers of the Blade franchise.

Worth picking up if you come across it then!

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Armageddon (1996)

Four billion years ago in the Andromeda Nebula, an ambitious project was launched. An ancient race of aliens, seeing that there was no other intelligent life in the universe, set their massive supercomputers the task of seeding more races that could grow to sentience. The project was known as the Omega program.

The human race was the result of the project. However humans were not the only races to grow from the Omega program and lurking in the future is the deadliest threat to the human race ever. In time, the products of this program are destined to clash in violent opposition. Hopelessly outnumbered by the technologically superior enemy, Earth has one last hope. The secret fail-safe of the Omega program – The Delta Boy, living avatar of the supercomputer that began life on Earth!

It’s no small secret that a large chunk of both Western and Japanese animation actually gets farmed out to Korea, and thus it is no surprise that eventually the Koreans started to produce films for themselves – unfortunately for us though, 1996’s Armageddon from director Hyunse Lee isn’t exactly a classic.

Pacing is completely thrown out of the window as the story hurtles towards its conclusion, with huge leaps in time made, not assisted by an almost nonsensical storyline that eventually becomes so silly that you can’t keep a serious face while trying to make head or tail out of it! There is almost no character develop of Delta Boy (or any other character for that matter) whatsoever, and the chopping around from one place to another is likely to leave you with a headache.

This train wreck of a story and storytelling is further hindered by some rather dreadful animation, in part thanks to the cheesy CG affects thrown in, but mostly because of the wildly vibrant, trippy color palette that gets used throughout, not to mention the quite frankly terrible character designs and stiff animation!

This is a difficult watch, and when the two supercomputer avatars finally finish the big end fight, you’ll be kind of happy to eject this silly disc out of your player and drop it at the back of some dusty old drawer somewhere.

Not worth pursuing, not worth watching, unless you want to experience something a little different from the normal American or Japanese fair – and even then you’re going to be disappointed, so best just leave this one completely alone!

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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.