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Waiting in the Summer (anime review)

Title: Waiting in the Summer Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Directed By: Tatsuyuki Nagai

Written By: Yōsuke Kuroda

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 15th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes + OVA / 325 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Slice of Life, Fan Service, Romance, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis: 

When a group of friends decide to make a movie over a long summer holiday, they end up learning a little about film-making and a lot more about each other and themselves. What begins as a simple way to avoid the summer doldrums quickly turns into something much more complex, intimate, and downright revealing.

As the summer heats up, so do the maturing relationships between the young cast members, taking some new, and sometimes unexpected, turns. Get ready for a whole new look at summer romance as hidden emotions get captured and secrets meant to be kept hidden inside young hearts instead spill off the screen for your viewing pleasure in Waiting in the Summer!

Commentary:

Thank you Sentai Filmworks for going back into the vault and bringing this wonderful anime back to life. The english dub should help bring a larger audience to it. As for the dub, because I an so familiar with the original release, I didn’t find it as attractive as the 2016 release.

Waiting in the Summer is one of the sleeper anime that few people have seen. It has a rather straight forward plot and a simplistic romance structure, yet it catches your attentions and makes you really like these high school students on summer break and wish you could hang out with them and make a move too.

With this being a re-release and adding the OVA I am curious why there wasn’t a English dub. I understand that there is a large cost to doing that. I just think that a English dub would have brought another layer of fans to the series and proved to be profitable.

Overall Grade: A-

I is nice to see Waiting in the Summer re-released with the OVA and forcing me to take another look at it. One one level there is a warn innocence that flows though it and on the other hand a sad reality to some things just can’t be. With all that is going on with the film mirroring the plot line and the hidden specter of the men in black makes it hard to stop watching.

The animation is a smooth easy touch that is very typical   for anime of this type and the attention to detail done with such a soft touch that things flow together with the plot perfectly. I can’t think of any other style that would have helped tell the story any better. The only detractor I have is that it does drag a bit in the middle and leave the viewer a tad frustrated with what is going on. I still find the series strong and with the added OVA it is just that much better.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Waiting in the Summer then I think that this is the time to discover a series that is warm and friendly with layers of strange goings on. If you are in the mood for a easy going anime that has plenty of fun and oddities in it then Waiting in the Summer is for you.

Asura Cryin’ (anime review)

Title: Asura Cryin’ Complete Collection on blu-ray

Director: Keizō Kusakawa

Writer: Katsuhiko Koide

Studio: Seven Arcs

U. S. Distributor: Maiden Japan, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: July 17th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Mecha, Fantasy, Supernatural

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

Some people are haunted by memories, but Tomoharu is haunted by his friend Misao, who died in a horrible plane crash that Tomo somehow survived. While having a girl that no one else can see hanging around is a little odd, it’s not until Tomo’s mom gets remarried, leaving Tomo alone, that things get really weird: A mysterious girl appears with a package that Tomo is supposed to guard. A second girl breaks into the house, demanding something called an “extractor”. And both girls can inexplicably see Misao! As more people target the package and Tomo, the mystery only deepens. What’s in the package, why are so many people after it, and is it connected to the plane crash or something even more sinister? The shocking answers will be unleashed!

Commentary:

If you consider that Asura Cryin’ was first released in 2009 you will understand the odd mix of CG and hand worked animation. Even though I was never a huge fan of early CG I have to say that I didn’t really mind it here. The overall look was good and has stood up to 10 years of overall progress in the anime world.

The story starts out rather fun and a little confusing, but quickly settles into a rather standard harem sci fi story line. It is not until we reach the last group of episodes that the story really comes together.

There are plenty of exciting moments and some rather confusing ones too. The real strength of the series comes in the characters and their relationships. This look like there should be some obvious winners and losers here but anime tends to toss a few twists in from time to time and Asura Cryin’ is no different.

Overall Grade: B+

Overall Asura Cryin’ is a solid harem with a somewhat questionable sci fi/ fantasy mixed together. I thought thing progressed somewhat slowly from episode 7 to 18 and then picked back up for the reminder of the series. I also felt like they rushed the ending which made for a slight letdown.

All in all I did like Asura Cryin’ and do think it would be a great addition to those harem / sci fi / fantasy lovers. I also want to thank Maiden Japan to continuing to give us series that are well worth the viewing that may have been missed in the past.

Cutie Honey Universe Anime Review

Title: Cutie Honey Universe complete Collection

Director: Akitoshi Yokoyama

Writer: Akiotshi Yokohama

Original concept/manga series: Go Nagai

Producer: Production Reed

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: July 23, 2019

Genre: Action, fan service

Audio: Japanese and English

Age Rating: 17+

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

The sweet natured young lady named Honey is more than just a student, she also works with PCIS, the organization that fights against the evil collective of monsters called Panther Claw.

Panther Claw is strictly controlled by Sister Jill who wants the Airborne Element Fixing Device that Honey’s father had created. She also has a vendetta against Honey which fuels her insane and ruthless destruction. The disposable monsters that serve Sister Jill are transformed from people she tricks or captures.

In their attempts to force Honey into giving up the Airborne Element Fixing device, Panther Claw will use innocent bystanders to lure Honey into traps. With her instinct for good, Honey engages in battle to try to stop them, all the while struggling with the insight that it is her and her father’s creation that are the true targets.

Commentary:

Cutie Honey Universe is an action anime with a nod to the past. Developed from a manga series created in the 1970’s, this series follows other Cutie Honey shows. This directly influenced the older look of this animation and also the story telling pattern. Still, it had some interesting graphics and design.

This is a story of good and evil, with Honey being the pure goodness. She is sweet, naive and forgiving perhaps to a fault. Sister Jill is almost pure evil. Some of the attacks are unique in form and gruesome in concept. I don’t know why, but some of the violence was just weird. Be prepared to suspended a need for logic or clarity, especially in fights. Some things just don’t make sense, but made for a cool fight.

Cutie Honey Universe seems to get bogged down in the middle by the repetitive nature of the episodes. Panther claw sets a trap, creates havoc, Honey and the PCIS try to stop them, there is a battle and no real resolve. Then it happens in the next episode, just the detail change. We don’t seem to get anywhere in the series very fast. They could have skipped the middle 6 episodes.

The final battle was epic enough to be an exciting climax (my favorite part), but some things in the series seemed to be too quickly skimmed over. Sister Jill’s obsession with Honey (outside the Airborne Element Fixing Device) doesn’t make sense, it is nearly pointless. Where her actions stem from? I would have enjoyed it more had I known. There is more to her, but isn’t addressed in this incarnation of Cutie Honey. A quick search will revel the root of her evil.

Cutie Honey Universe isn’t all action, it has a bit of science fiction, fantasy, comedy, fan service (transformation scenes and clothing fails in battle) and yuri mixed in. All of these elements are mixed in but aren’t dominate enough to use for a recommendation if that would be what you are looking for.

Overall Grade: B

Sagrada Reset

Anime Review


Title: Sagrada Reset: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Shinya Kawatsura

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: May 21th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray /24 Episodes / 600 Minutes/ 3 Discs

Genre: “metaphysical” drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Grade: A-

Synopsis:

In the small city of Sagrada reality is different. Many of its residents have special and unique abilities. No, not flying or spider like senses, but usually odd and rule specific “talents”. For instance, one man can take photographs that people can enter and talk with the subjects if they tear the paper, but only for 10 minutes. With all the possibilities, good and bad, does someone need to be in control? The Bureau is an organization which attempts to be aware of the abilities in use and step in when necessary. But on whose judgement is this organized, and you might guess there other influencers orchestrating in a different point of view.

Misora Haruki has the ability to reset time, everything begins again where she last saved, including her memories. She can’t even leave herself notes because that too would be reset.  So what can be done with that ability? Without a memory, there isn’t hope that things will be different a second time. Why bother to repeat a day if it would be the same? She doesn’t even know it is a reset. Only when an aquaintance introduces her to Kei Asai does the true importance of her ability becomes practical. Kei’s ability is to remember everything big or little and it is absolute, meaning this memory is intact through resets. He intends to pair up with Haruki as a way to help people and relieve suffering. But life and circumstances are a complicated weave of interdependence. To create a change or plan will undoubtably cause unintended turns in a chain of events.

Commentary:

Sagrada Reset is a layered story and develops increasing complexity. A viewer really needs to pay attention. On that note, during one watch session, a couple of people sat in on an episode a quarter way through the series and they were hooked right away and definitely put this on their list to watch.

Part of the strength of Sagrada Reset is the way it is structured with story blocks running 3-5 episodes long. This gives the back and forth timeline enough space to be better explored. They build upon each other as the series goes on. It also has the ability to evoke a sense of urgency or pressure without being so dramatic.

I found the characters to be interesting. They are easy to care about which could have been very difficult because self-centered/self-serving ability users are the norm. The main characters do have friendships, but they aren’t simple companionship. There is something they need in order to push time in their own chosen direction. New characters are introduced as their abilities are necessary to move the story forward.

Sagrada Reset has some thought provoking ideas and questions. Like how far would you push things if you knew you could reset and live it all over again? What is the importance of memories? How they are valued and do they account for who we are and who other people are to us. If we had the ability to create a copy of someone who is gone, even with the same memories, are they the same person?

Somewhere in the middle, I found things got a bit difficult (complex?), with lots of talking, repeating and explaining. The story, events and results were not just handed to us. Some tricky dialogue, in other words, pseudo-explainations. Like some prose and poetry, it doesn’t all make sense. But trying to figure it out does make it interesting and thought provoking.

Save. I enjoyed Sagrada Reset and plan to watch it again. I think there is even more for me to understand. I want to see what the characters do, to figure out when they are trying to manipulate events, or even if their manipulations are in fact someone else creating the reality. With precognitions, I’ll be able to catch the more subtle movement of the story and its characters the second time around. Reset…

Overall Grade: A-

Who has the right to decide the future, to manipulate the outcomes, the lives of others. Being indirect even when you know the answer.

Kanamemo (anime review)

review provided by Katie

Title: Kanamemo Blu-ray

Director: Shigehito Takayanagi

Studio: feel.

Author: Rika Nakase

U.S. Distributor: Maiden Japan

U.S. Release Date: June 25, 2019

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Shoujo Ai, Slice of Life

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Yuru Yuri and Kiniro Mosaic

Synopsis:

Middle schooler Kana Nakamachi’s life drastically changes when her grandmother passes away. Leaving behind an empty house, Kana learns that no one can provide her lodging due to her young age. Eventually, she stumbles upon the Fuhshin Gazette, a local newspaper delivery business who is able to provide her with a place to stay if she works for them in return.

The small store is staffed by several unique people: the sweets-loving Yume Kitaoka and her girlfriend Yuuki Minami; the frugal Hinata Azuma; the alcoholic Haruka Nishida; and the young but mature Saki Amano. It is not all fun and games at the Fuhshin Gazette, though, as Kana must deal with long working hours, energetic dogs guarding mailboxes, learning to ride a bike, and confusing delivery routes. Add in a small rivalry with Mika Kujiin, a girl from a competing store, and Kana will have more than enough to keep her hands full!

Commentary:

Kanamemo Blu-ray is a very predictable yet light-hearted slice of life series. The comedy aspect is very hit or miss and while the ecchi is present, it does not take over the episode. The only main plot that I noticed was when Kana’s grandmother passed away and she ran away from the house when the movers showed up, thinking they would take her too. She ends up trying to find a job with room and board included and she eventually stumbles upon the Fuhshin Gazette. Her job there includes cooking all meals and delivering the newspaper on foot since she cannot ride a bike. She has to navigate neighborhood streets and avoid dogs and never be late delivering an issue of the newspaper. 

The other characters were very typecast and very predictable. The yuri couple, Yume and Yuuki, are adorable and in their own world most of the time. Hinata loves money and is studying to take her entrance exams. She does anything to make money and also gambles a bit. Haruka is the ecchi drunk. She loves sake and actually brews it at college. She also loves to grab and molest younger girls. You would think she would have a permanent lump on her head from the others hitting her to make her behave. Saki is also known as Shorty and she is the manager of the Fuhshin Gazette. She is also in elementary school and is known to act very cute and innocent to get new subscribers.  

One thing I do appreciate about the characters in general is that they’re shown as having goals and lives outside of the paper. Even Haruka is trying to become a sommelier. Although, in her case, that pretty much just translates to drinking a lot. I also like the way Kana’s character arc and consequential development are handled. If you exclude Haruka, I also like the dynamics you get with the characters. They work well for comedic purposes and characterization purposes. All of these characters are shown as having positive aspects to their personalities, except Haruka and negative as well, which helps make them a bit more rounded. For example, Saki can come across as cold and, possibly too serious, but she also displays genuine concern for her employees. Yume can be childish but she also has a kind heart and tries to bring joy to those around her. Yuuki can be possessive and needy when it comes to Yume but she’s also a hard worker, loyal and she mitigates her jealous tendencies with understanding. 

The voice actors did a great job and really brought the characters to life. The opening and closing themes were catchy but I do not remember them well after a few days. The art was decent. The backgrounds were soft and brightly colored. 

Kanamemo is one of those series that really works when it’s doing what it’s good at. Unfortunately, it also has a massive flaw that really hurts it. And her name is Haruka. Without her, I could say this was great, maybe even fantastic, and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who likes slice of life. With her, I have to pull back and say it’s just okay. If you can tolerate Haruka in all her horribleness, you’ll probably appreciate all the fun, charming moments it does have. And it may be worth watching just for the Yume and Yuuki scenes.

Extras:

Kanamemo Blu-ray includes clean opening and closing animations along with other Maiden Japan title trailers. Kanamemo Blu-ray was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language options. 

Overall Grade: B

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness 2 (anime review)

Title: Hozuki’s Coolheadedness 2: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Kazuhiro Yoneda

Studio: Studio Deen

Music: Tomisiro

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 11th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray /26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Supernatural, Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Grade: B+

Synopsis:

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness 2 contains episodes 1-26 of anime Seasons 2 & 3 directed by Kazuhiro Yoneda.

This is a tale of Hell. The many souls of the dead make their way to the underworld and face the judgement of King Enma. As Enma’s foremost aide, Hozuki is as busy as ever keeping things running. He oversees the punishments of the dead and instructs their tormentors, along with making an occasional inspection of the Mundane World. Together with his usual cohorts, Hozuki will encounter familiar faces from European Hell, a feisty princess, a crane, and other famous Yokai of legend. The exciting and rambunctious days in the underworld continue on!

Commentary:

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness is one of those series that you will either love or hate. In my case I found it very enjoyable, but I loved the first season so the next 26 episodes were very easy to watch, for the most part. I found the mixture of standard story and flashbacks to be both informative and at times a little bothersome. I was happy to get a better understanding of Hozuki and the others, but the silliness that was infused made it hard to watch from time to time.

The best part of the series is going on adventures with Hozuki and feeling relaxed no mater what may come.

Overall Grade: B+

The animation of this series is well above average and added a great deal to the overall enjoyment of it. The writers seemed to know what they were doing even if the really silly parts felt forced there was an overall solid style provided that allowed these characters to thrive.

The only thing about this second set is that it felt less original and a bit more contrived. There were too many moments that were forced and because of this the story fell flat. I am not saying that this less than outstanding writing and directing showed throughout the entire 26 episodes, but there were several times you could tell that it was overly contrived.

All in all, I can say that I enjoyed this set and will return to watch it more than once. I know that I will return to the first season and then come back to this and sit back and let the fun wash over me like a warm stream. If you haven’t seen any Hozuki’s Coolheadedness and you like solid comedies with the historical supernatural mixed in then Hozuki’s Coolheadedness is the cats pajama’s.

He is My Master: Complete Series (anime review)

Title: He is My Master: Complete Series on Blu-ray

Director: Shouji Saeki

Studio: Gainax, Shaft

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 25, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Comedy, Fan Service

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: C

Synopsis:

Yoshitaka Nakabayashi may be young, rich and not unattractive, but as runaway sisters Izumi and Mitsuki Sawatari quickly discover upon becoming Yoshitaka’s new maids, he has some SERIOUS issues. Like his insistence on being called “Master”, and dressing the girls in costumes he creates himself.

Unfortunately, Izumi’s personal net worth is in the negative digits, and with Mitsuki and her pet alligator to support, she’ll just have to grin and bare whatever comes out of Yoshitaka’s twisted closet! But the costumes are only the beginning, and when Anna, a third au pair with obsessive issues of her own, joins the party the situation will go from bad to perverse. The rules of dealing with domestic help have never been so completely abused as when the madmen at Gainax (Evangelion, FLCL) unleash their most demented series ever!

Commentary:

Sentai has done it again. They have reached in their closet to try and resurrect an older series just to remind us of how far we have com in almost 15 years and also how far we haven’t come. He is My Master is a real reminder of how strange Gainax could be and how perverse anime hard core fans are. He is My Master is one of those series that does everything it can to ruin a sometimes decent genre by taking the silliness over the top. Me is My Master took comedy and fan service and left the writing on the floor. The basic premise of the series if a setup for creepy and almost abusive behavior to be seen as okay, but in reality it is not.

The only redeeming quality was the comedy that managed to find its way to the forefront from time to time. Other than that I ended up not liking the characters very much and most of the writing was flat.

Overall Grade: C

I understand that this series is pointed at a very specific audience and that this is the kind of stuff they enjoy, but if it was really geared to them the fan service would have been more explicit. Even that was lacking. Most of all the production quality, even for 2005, was way too low to make the series enjoyable.

So, if you are looking for some laughs and a reminder of how things used to be the He is My Master is a sure thing.

Basquash! (anime review)

Title: Basquash!: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Shoji Kawamori (chief director), Shin Itagaki (episodes 01−15)
Eiichi Sato (episodes 16−26)

Writer: Tatsuo Sato

Studio: Satelight

U. S. Distributor: MAIDEN JAPAN, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: June 18th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Adventure, Mecha, Sports

Age Rating: B+

Synopsis:

On the planet Earthdash, the infrastructure is crumbling and everyone wants to escape to the technologically advanced lunar city of Mooneyes. Unfortunately for young Dan, who dreams of taking his disabled sister to the moon for medical treatment for her paralyzed legs, only their societies’ most elite are allowed to leave the planet. Dan’s big chance comes when he crashes a game of Bigfoot Basketball, which is played with giant robots, and accidentally revolutionizes the sport.

Taking the game to new heights of mayhem and destruction, he gains fame but not fortune or a trip to the moon. Instead, he’ll have to fight his way to the top of a radically changed game while solving a mystery that could affect the future of the entire planet!

Commentary:

I am not going to mislead you and make you think I was looking to enjoy this series because I thought the concept was more than a little silly. As I watched the first few episodes I began to realize that there is a lot more here than a simple Mecha Basketball anime. In fact I found it to be something more than just a little entertaining. I found it to be filled with a rich cast of characters and some dramatic points that helped keep the series focused. I am not real sure how I feel about Dan, he is somewhat annoying and even though he is all about helping his sister that chip on his shoulder is more of a hinderance to his character than a help.

Overall Grade: B+

Maiden Japan sure does know how to pick some very special titles. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Den-noh Coil are two surprising titles and now I have to add Basquash! to the list. The animation is very good and carries off a rather high production value along with the depth of story and characters. Of course the writing makes all of it come alive while the animation make the story easy to watch.

I never thought I would be recommending a Basketball Mecha anime to anyone and would have never thought I would have enjoyed it, but this is one strangely fun anime that I have to give the thumbs up on. Check out Basquash!, you just might find it worth your time.

Land of the Lustrous (anime review)

Title: Land of the Lustrous: Complete Collection

Director: Takahiko Kyōgoku

Written By: Toshiya Ōno

Music By: Yoshiaki Fujisawa

Studio: Orange

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: May 21st, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

No matter what the odds, life will find a way to continue, with young Phos and the other gems as the ultimate proof. Instead of flesh, their bodies are made of living crystal, allowing them to survive in a world too toxic for any human. But their gem bodies also attract a terrible danger: the Lunarians, who hunt the gems and use their shattered forms to fabricate jewelry and ornaments. The gems with the strongest forms defend the others, but Phos is too weak and brittle to fight. Instead, Phos is ordered to compile an encyclopedia; but could that research discover hidden secrets that could help the gems? Join Phos, the toxic Cinnabar, the powerful Bort, the valiant Diamond, and others in a glittering world unlike anything you have seen before!

Commentary:

I am not sure what drives creators to chose the style of animation techniques that are employed. I am also not sure what possesses creators to leave stories with so much to be interpreted by the viewer. In any case I will say that Land of the Lustrous falls short in these two areas and excels in almost every other area it used to tell this strange yet poignant tale.

Watching the cast of characters work though their own complexities and trying to discover their own identities is in many ways the story all of us moving through our own life. With such a strong connection to Buddhism the realities of life was not lost in this surreal world. I particularly enjoyed watching Phos grow and overcome her weaknesses.

Overall Rating: B+

The weaknesses that stood out in the series was clearly the decision to use Computer Graphics (CG) to animate the series. In doing so is was easy to see the group of gems in a more natural state, but the over-reliance of the software took away from the ease of watching the story unfold. The hard edge and stiffness of the production delineated from the story and at time overwhelmed the viewer ability to truly absorb and enjoy the story and many of the complexities of what was happening. This really spotlighted the writing which proves to make the series shine. If the animation would have been done using a more sophisticated program of letting the human hand get more involved then I believe that there would have been a second season and more enlightenment about this strange yet poignant world of Land of the Lustrous.

Land of the Lustrous may not be for everyone, but I think that if you are able to overlook the poor choice of animation style then I think you will find a story that gives you plenty to think about.

Armored Trooper Votoms OVA Collection 1

Title: Armored Trooper VOTOMS OVA Collection 1

Director: Ryōsuke Takahashi

Studio: Nippon Sunrise (Sunrise)

U. S. Distributor: Maiden Japan, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: May 14th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray (Standard Definition) / 8 OVA / 595 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Space Opera

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Synopsis:

They may be encased in suits of powered armor, but the soldiers who wear a VOTOMS unit in battle are simply serving the purpose that infantry has always served in war: to take ground and hold it, no matter what the cost. Combine that mission with the explosive fuel mixture and thin metal of their powersuits, and their chances of survival are decreased rather than enhanced, and only a handful will live to fight again. But of that elite group of survivors, a few will become legends.

Return to the universe of the most realistic mecha warfare ever animated as the beachhead established with the epic 52-episode Armored Trooper VOTOMS widens into a full scale invasion of spectacular and previously unreleased original video animations in Armored Trooper VOTOMS Collection 1!

Commentary:

I am becoming very weary of all the 1980’s Mecha anime that are being rereleased. I understand the ease of reproduction and play to nostalgia along with the quick ability to make money. I also understand that there is a push to revitalize the toy sales from these series. If you remind enough people of what they saw when they were young you might be able to sell them some collectable items.

As for the series, it is a rather predictable story that gives you plenty of melodrama and action along with a taste of how far the Japanese pushed these story lines back in the 1980’s. I can’t say that I found it easy to watch, but I did find it entertaining along with somewhat relaxing because of the total non-committal posture I took while watching it.

Overall Grade: B-

In may ways the series should be rated much lower. I opted to try and place myself in a 1980’s frame of mind and it gave me reason to give it a B-. The writing was fair enough to bring it over the finish line. The production quality was rather interesting if you look at it with the understanding that technology was still a non-starter and the men and women who made this series worked in sweatshops and almost never got to sleep in their own beds even if sleep was something they had time for.

I did find the look into the past rather refreshing which gives me even more reason to be critical of some of the poor quality anime that is being made now.

The main reason I gave Armored Trooper VOTOMS OVA Collection 1 is due to the overall melodramatic quality of the story. It became rather tedious from time to time and in the end I can honestly say that it doesn’t make me look forward to collection 2.

If you are a serious fan of old Mecha and looking for some additional material from the Armored Trooper VOTOMS series then I can tell you that you will need this in your collection.