Aura Battler Dunbine Blu-ray Collection (anime review)

Title: Aura Battler Dunbine Blu-ray Collection

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio:  Nippon Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Aug. 28th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray/ 49 Episodes / 1225 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Mecha, Action, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C+


Aspiring racer Sho Zama finds himself pulled into a strange realm in the middle of a motocross accident and into the mystical land of Bryston Well, where lords in castles settle disputes with unicorn-mounted cavalry and giant mecha called Aura Battlers!

Initially forced to pilot a Battler for the powerful Lord Drake, Sho soon discovers that he’s not the only person from the Earth drawn to Bryston Well, and worse, that he may be fighting for the wrong side. But once he’s joined forces with Dallas-born Aura Pilot Marvel Frozen, tiny fairy Cham Huau and other resistance fighters, Sho’s rapidly growing Aura powers may prove to be the deciding factor in a war unlike anything either world has ever experienced. From the acclaimed creator of Mobile Suit Gundam comes the wildest fantasy adventure ever in Aura Battler Dunbine!


Middle Earth meets Gundam. Aura Battler Dunbine is one of those older series that tried so very hard to mix Mecha and Fantasy. The fairies and weird mecha don’t always mix. In the first episode there is an honest attempt to explain how they manage to have the technology to build such amazing war machines when their existence is really rooted in the middle ages. In other words it take a leap of faith to allow this world to even exist.

With all of the fantasy and mecha going on it would need a great character or set of characters to tie it all together. The fact that there were weekly episodes produced between February 1983 and January 1984 should help tell you that it wasn’t the hit you might think just because there are 49 episodes. A one year run does not equate a great series, but then most hit series now don’t last much more than 24 to 26 episodes.

Overall Grade: C+

I don’t want you to think that Aura Battler Dunbine is a complete loss. It is a great example of the type of stories that were being told in the late 70s and early 80s. Much of which are fantasies with a twist of science thrown in. I found Aura Battler Dunbine to be a rather typical melodrama that lacks much imagination or surprise to it. I also found the attempt to explain the technology they possess made things even harder to believe.

If you love the early Gundam series you will love this. If over-the-top melodrama with some crazy mecha and funny little fairies all mixed up is your thing, then Aura Battler Dunbine is definitely your thing. For me I found it old and lacking but funny and interesting because of the age. I guess that in many ways it is a great reminder of where much of our favorite series might have come from and a idea of how they may be looked upon in 40 to 50 years.


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