#197 : Outlanders

Magical girlfriends, early harem influences and half naked alien ladies always fall for nerdy Earth boys who dont have many social skills and often get labeled as losers Now that is a different opening statement. Sandwiched between Urusei Yatsura and Tenchi Muyo was a one off OVA that still has its cult following even to this day and can be an easy recommend to otaku types who are into more contemporary titles as a buffer to get into older, classic titles… respect your elders please! Now then, let’s have a little fun this time round with the outlandish Outlanders.

Outlanders_1The super cynical side of myself kept telling me not to like Outlanders. Why in my right mind should I care, let alone watch an OVA which is basically about a hopeless geeky virgin guy who ends up with a bikini clad alien princess from another galaxy who for some bizarre reason falls in love with him? Really now, Urusei Yatsura was one thing to consider, but this premise again? This is space opera after all, it should be totally serious and filled with battle tactics, not his kind of silliness and pathetic romance! Then the inner voice inside me goes, “ya know, you love Maris the Chojo!” Well yeah, there is that And it says again, “you LOVE Dirty Pair too!” Oh all right then! I do love  fun antics in outer space featuring women who wear close to nothing, hello Barbarella. So step one has been reached, remove my cynical snobby side.

Outlanders_2Step two and this one is so obvious. Outlanders has such a beautiful presentation. On par with cinema quality detail and fluidity, Outlanders is a poster child of why fans of 80s OVAs hold them in such high regard. Well some of them. This is a well done production and showcased material many of us in the west were hungry for, but had no idea that this could exist until Outlanders showed up in our faces. Please give us more sci-fi please… an alternative to what we have known already… yeah now that’s what we are talking about. Back to the artwork, each frame is lovingly drafted showing a passion from the artists of Tatsunoko and AIC. And as to which studio did the heavy lifting of drawing I leave that to the historians as I am just in awe over the visuals. Add to this the pacing and a solid story that never leaves one bored either… this may be one of the best 80s OVA ever made from a technical level. What do you think?

Outlanders_3Do alpha males always triumph in the world as successful?… not this time around. Certain alien princesses like Miss Kahm from Outlanders prefer a more beta type like Tetsuya as a perfect specimen for manhood. Don’t ask me why. Only in anime can someone so unassuming become so epically heroic… sniff… it gives us all hope doesn’t it. After all that could me, or you. … Outlanders an example of insane comedy of star crossed love affairs, alien invasion, fun action, treking through outer space and how could I forget catgirls and dogmen… furry love. A coming of age story like no other. A rare flash in the pan. This may sound real cheesy, but Outlanders is so out of this world. Yeah that’s the best I could come up with. 😉

#182 : Gall Force 2: Destruction

When we last left the world of Gall Force, the war between the Solenoids and the Paranoids came to an apparent close with the unification of the two races. Similar to a Biblical Adam and Eve story that might have been the origin of humanity here on Earth? Yet the story we thought was once over has hardly begun. May we enter the land of sequels and ignore the previous chapter to conclude that this intergalactic war is far from over. The stakes are higher, the B-movie cheesiness is ever greater and the ladies are back once again… well at least one of them… well maybe two if you count one as an android clone with a host of new girls in Gall Force 2: Destruction.

GF2_1The war between the electrical coils and the Black Sabbath fans (I am going to keep up this pun again!) seen in the film Gall Force: Eternal Story are back. Both sides have lost their respective home worlds by the start of the film, so the question to be asked is what are these kids fighting for? According to the dub, “To win the goddamn war!” Okay… and then what? You win (?) and have nothing to go home to. To top it off a majority of the Solenoid troops are now androids. I guess the yin/yang of the Solenoid and Paranoid conflict is an ever apparent component in the universe in the fact that war and strife are a natural part of creation. To separate and divide are as much an essential ingredient to all life as is harmony and unity. Wow that got deep! Especially for this anime, lol.

GF2_2After the destruction of the Paranoid home world, a Solenoid ship picks up a strange reading from a bunch of space debris. An old Solenoid warrior craft is found with an intact life onboard that is frozen in stasis. Guess who it is? Remember Lufy (my girl) from Eternal Story? She died early on in that film, or so we thought. She is brought on board the Solenoid ship and revived after a few attempts to wake up with one hell of a come back to life hangover. After being debriefed and somewhat interrogated about having knowledge about the Species Unification Plan and Ninth Star System the battle alarm sounds. In true Lufy fashion, she commandeers an aircraft and does what she wants, which is kick some ass as a pilot in combat!

GF2_3After the skirmish she is congratulated on her skills as a pilot, but Lufy ends up going into a spot of self reflection. Kind of out of character, but can you blame her… she is in unknown territory. Soon discussion comes up about the origins of a familiar, yet different character, Catty, whose clone was stationed on the Starleaf back in Eternal Story and the Ninth Star System, the third planet ito be precise, Terra and Chaos (Earth and the Moon?), the last Solenoid possibility of hope in the universe. Many Solenoid ships travel to Terra and Chaos to defend this new world, but where the Solenoids run the Paranoids will follow. Now under the gun of a Paranoid planet destroyer, Lufy’s new allies decide to invade and destroy this large threat instead of fighting the invading Paranoid fleet. Lufy must decide if her heart is in fighting on the front lines, or preserving this possible new utopia.

GF2_4While not as ground breaking as the initial entry in the Gall Force saga, Gall Force 2: Destruction serves as a bridge linking the initial movie to the rest of AIC produced franchise. The characteristic Kenichi Sonoda character designs are back once again as well as the space sci-fi action that was laid down during Eternal Story. Somewhat forgettable and very cliche, Gall Force 2: Destruction may not be the strongest entry in the Gall Force series, but it is fun and at times funny in terms of certain scenes and character reactions. That and Lufy gets a second chance… YES!

 

#148 : Call Me Tonight

CMT_1It’s Friday night (or maybe Tuesday morning?), I have nothing to do at the present moment. Hey I have this business card for a hotline to call in case one gets “bored”. Its one of those party lines… like a 900 number to call for “a good time.” (LOL) We can have a laugh, right? Anything is worth a try at least once, right? ANYWAY!… the service is so namely called Telephone Communications Madonna (maybe a reference to the famous pop star, this is an 80s OVA after all, insert a little pop culture for good measure). … Well folks, I choose not to call this time round (yes I am chicken), but I can tell you a story about a young man who did call that was quite out of the ordinary. Here is the tale of Call Me Tonight.

CMT_2This young man’s name is Ryo and he is insistent to get in touch with whoever is in charge of Telephone Communications Madonna. A girl named Rumi, who initially goes under an alias, is the head of this party line and is “the one” that Ryo is searching for. Good thinking on the alias since safety as a precaution is always smart. Ryo’s request for help in the mean time is at first odd and may just be some offhand creepy caller… SPAM ALERT… but don’t worry folks he is a sweet and genuine guy with a very disturbing issue. Now here is Ryo’s problem, every time he gets turned on or masturbates he becomes an animal literally. No literally… his clothes rip to shreds and his body changes and becomes more monster like than human. Poor boy here has one heck of a sex drive. Kind of similar to the Incredible Hulk, but instead of rage it’s all his hormones that are all out of whack. Almost as if he is possessed?… I may have spoiled the plot… nah, not too much. Rumi agrees to help and meets Ryo and the rest I leave up to you as you finish this OVA.

CMT_3Call Me Tonight could at first be dismissed as an erotic horror fantasy, or perhaps soft porn (I wouldn’t go that far) from what is described, but it is for what it is, a decent, entertaining and slightly endearing romantic production. It’s a fun horror OVA, a little bizarre. Just take everything with a grain of salt and think of Call Me Tonight more in line to what I theorize it may, or may not be about. Some of us have issues with intimacy and relationships, or perhaps how we feel about our bodies and the awkwardness that was, or perhaps is if you are of age, puberty. Call Me Tonight is like an over the top horror version of those times in our lives where we feel a little out of place bodily and sexually insecure. Leave it to oddball, rare, or forgotten anime to tell a story like this. But this is my theory, it may have some other meaning, but I am sticking with my guns on this one.

… and would you believe, Call Me Tonight has a happy ending too! So if you feel uncomfortable about yourself, reach out to someone because you often find help, support and even love when you set your insecurities, or demons, free. It worked in a short one off OVA title so that says something. Right? Yeah!!!… anime saves the day again!