A meteorite crashes to Earth, bringing with it a deadly virus known as M34 that infects humans, turning them into lethal beast-like monsters. The world’s top organizations gather to form the organization CURE to combat the infectious disease. One organization, NOA, stands in the virus’ destructive path by using soldiers implanted with super nanotechnology to fight the vicious disease. But as the virus continues to spread and mutate into different strains, mankind’s only hope may be a sixteen-year-old girl, named Ai.
As the outbreaks of the M34 virus continue to worsen, the NOA soldiers face strengthening opposition. The virus continues to evolve, adapting itself against the nanotechnology, turning the very advantages of the NOA soldiers against themselves as the threat of the M34 virus brings havoc and death all around them.
Well, hello again, I just finished watching all four episodes of Zaion, and boy are my eyes tired (nyuck,nyuck). Anyway, I am glad to say that I found the show very entertaining, perhaps a little on the corny side because of the mediocre animation and monsters but the overall idea and action sequences were alright in my book (sweet Jesus that’s a thin book).
I immediately felt that the Nano Machine soldier suits seemed very reminiscent of the Bubble Gum Crisis power suits, except these suits manifested directly from the individual blood streams of NOA (hand picked combatants) troops. You see, the idea is that tiny nano bots swim around the blood of these very specialized soldiers and when it’s time to kick butt, the bots rush towards the surface of the skin, break through and start to build armor instantaneously (AKA Power Ranger style). The bots also improve strength and durability. Cool stuff, huh?
Well the premise is this meteor lands and spreads this M34 virus that starts to gobble up humans and transforms them into all kinds of freaky zombie like creatures. The governments of the world, tries to hide this from the general public and the fact that they’ve formed these “special teams” of technologically enabled soldiers. A very cool part about the show is that NOA’s are very expendable and suffer from a very high mortality rate, so you’ll get to see a lot of these guys die.
The M34 virus turns out to be the 34th strain of an alien infection and it learns to adapt like the virus from the movie The Thing. It eventually figures out how to incorporate the nano-tech into itself as well. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
There’s this whole plot between this guy Yuugi, who hates being a NOA and this telekinetic girl who can control light or some such craziness, it’s OK, if your into that sort of thing, but she hooks him up with advanced nano’s that allow this guy to morph all kinds of s**t, like his motor bike. Hey, it’s better than having your pet sidekick transform into a super jet like in Casshan Robot Hunter.
Look, if you have the time (2 hrs) and the money. Check it out.
Oh yeah, I read somewhere that these four episodes were originally made to be seen on the internet as a way to generate enough interest that the studios would pick it up and turn them into a full length TV series. Oh well, so much for the internet.
Review by David Marini
Unbeknownst to the general population, an alien force opened an inter-dimensional gate in Antarctica over 30 years ago in attempt to invade the Earth. The unified forces of Earth formed an elite military unit under command of the United Nations to combat the aliens and to push them back towards their own dimension.
But the war still rages on. Rei Fukai, a pilot in the elite Special Air Force (SAF) unit and designated pilot of the Yukikaze, an advanced fighter armed with a sentient computer control system. When fear of alien infiltration within the SAF spreads, the Yukikaze may be the only weapon humanity has to bring an end to this war.
Well considering I have only seen two episodes which is; all that is available at the present moment, I’m hooked.
I could care less about the overall character interaction since at this point in the show there isn’t any. What I’m excited about is the visual mastery of showing experimental fighter jets in action over the skies of an alien planet (that’s cool). This show is like Top Gun meets the Abyss, from the first two episodes you immediately realize the unusualness of what is going on. The jets are super exotic and it’s enhanced by the green sky they fly through, the enemy aliens are strange as hell as that they’re constantly spinning and their fighter craft vibrate to the point that they blur at the edges (you’ve got to see it).
If you like aerial combat and exotic environments this is a good show to check out. I know I’ll be looking forward to seeing how the rest of the show turns out.
Review by David Marini
At the millennial edge, the concluding battle for humanity’s future is staged. Kamui Shirou’s destiny has been decided as he returns to Tokyo to face his ultimate challenge. The Dragons of Heaven, defenders of the Earth, stand ready to protect the world from the Dragon of Earths, the seven angels of legend, who embrace the devastation of the planet to bring about its purification. Now Kamui must decide which side to fight for although he finds the idea utterly unappealing. It isn’t until realizing that his two childhood friends, Fuma and Kotori Monou, are in grievous peril that Kamui decides to step into his fated position in the climactic struggle of the Year of Destiny: 1999.
So let’s talk about X TV series a bit. I’ll tell you why I sat down and watched all 26 episodes of X in a 2 day period. Actually it’s more like a zero to 25 episode show because the zero episode is like a collage of things to come; so if you see it, don’t be weirded out. Originally created by Clamp, the basic story found in X is that Kamui holds the key to the future, and the battle of this future will be waged by the 7 seals and the 7 dragons of earth. These 14 beings are super human, and have varying abilities. The true key, is that they must wage war as soon as they see each other. OK, so you’ve read the overview above. It gives you an idea of the struggle between opposing forces, but it doesn’t tell you about the bazillion bouncing characters that roam throughout the saga.
You see each side has 7 angels making a total of 14 really important characters and a ton of extras and superfluous characters as well. As the show goes on each angel gets to tell his or her back story that we get to see acted out up to the point of the present where all they do is try to kill members of the opposing team. These back-stories are well crafted because once you’ve seen them you love that character unconditionally and would hate to see them die, even though a lot of them do.
Let me say the fight scenes are topnotch and quite entertaining; it has all the high flying battle scenes with well developed characters and emotional scenes that might be lacking from Dragon Ball Z. To say the honest truth, I felt the show to be very “X-men vs. The Avengers” if you follow what I’m saying. Both sides have these super cool secret bases of operation; each angel has a very distinct gift or power. Interesting components to the fights are the use of Barrier Fields (cool idea) that only the angels of Earth could put up. It turns out that anything within the field is displaced in reality so things like buildings are destroyed but they have no physical effect on the outside world unless the angel that puts up the field dies (super strange).
The philosophies that permeate the show are a smashed together combination of Eastern and Western religious beliefs and of course add sprinkles of Meta-Physics and you have X. You never know if it’s about God, Earth, reality, so forth and so on. Hell it’s just fun to watch. Believe it or not with all the fighting and death, there is some real humor that shines in here. I was even disturbed that I was having a good time watching a violent and apocalyptic show, but people see the best in everything I guess.
Now while on the subject of apocalypse and the “End of the World” and yata, yata, yata, each side, the angels of Heaven and Earth have what is called a Kamui (not going to get into it) lets just say, really dangerous guys and team leaders. These Kamui guys are the only individuals that can wield Divine Swords that believe it or not burst from the bodies of Human sacrifices (no way, yes way). Women give birth to these super weapons, you gotta see it. This show just keeps on getting crazier. To top it off these Kamui’s were once best friends (dangit).
People out there, this is a sure good time. If you’re pissed that there just isn’t anything good to watch lately, check this out. Oh yeah, sorry no mecha in this show.
I haven’t seen the X motion picture, so don’t confuse this with the series. They may be two completely different animals.
Review by David Marini
By the year 2142, the Earth has been devastated by pollution; the once blue sky has been obscured behind thick black clouds. A self-sustaining city, dubbed ECOBAN, is created which draws upon the pollution for fuel. In theory, this should clear up the toxins, but greed takes hold of the city’s inhabitants. They turn away masses of immigrants seeking to escape the pollution, who retreat to a city called Marr.
The Marrians are put to work keeping ECOBAN in operation. As civil unrest among the Marrians seethes in the cities below, ECOBAN scientists conclude that in order for ECOBAN to survive, it will be necessary for them to perpetuate the toxic stew which provides the city with the energy and resources it needs to thrive. Working alongside the mysterious exiled ECOBAN scientist Dr. Noah, a resistance fighter named Shua breaks into the ECOBAN data core, stealing important data which details ECOBAN’s predicament.
As fate would have it, Shua encounters a lost childhood love named Jay, who has become a law-enforcement officer for ECOBAN. Jay must choose between her duty to ECOBAN and her feelings for Shua, while Shua struggles to thwart ECOBAN’s plans and perhaps restore Earth’s former beauty.
Wonderful Days is just that, Wonderful. This is what the Final Fantasy: Spirits Within movie should have been like. The movie has the most superior animation to date, it’s untouched. It can compete with Ghibli Studios’ Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
If you’ve read others reviews and they trashed this movie, then I trash them (please, no assassination attempts). Seriously guys, if you have any sci-fi interests at all, check this out. It’s beautiful, exotic, and the tech is through the roof. James Cameron should take a look at this flick for ideas for his own work in progress Avatar.
Review by David Marini
Where do I begin?
If this review was only on the animation of Wonderful Days then this would be a glowing review. Wonderful Days manages to mix 2D and 3D art fantastically and both are used to create some absolutely stunning sequences. Some of the exterior shots of one of the main characters, Jay riding in her motorcycle are breathtaking. The people behind the art of this film went a long way to make everything look superb. Unfortunately this isn’t just a review of the animation.
Where Wonderful Days fall short for me is in the story. The bigger story of the film is the conflict between the Ecobans and the Marrians but the deeper story is that of lost love and of a boy that wanted to see the sky. Now I am not trying to trick you. This may sound like a great movie and for all purpose it should be, but somehow it failed. I hardly cared about any of the characters in the movie and I wanted to! There is a convoluted love triangle between Jay, Shua and security chief Simon that after the movie was over I was left unsatisfied. I wanted to feel something when Jay followed the love that she thought had died so many years ago. I wanted to feel something when she finally caught up with him on the abandoned tanker. I wanted to feel something during the ending sequences. I felt nothing but marvelled at the artistry.
I don’t know what could have made this movie a better one. Maybe more dialogue between Jay and Shua? If a better bond was created between Noah and Shua? Maybe if the plight of the Marrians was made more human? I have no idea. I do know I had to constantly ignore the fact that the planets sky is blocked by thick pollution even though Ecoban itself feeds off of pollution.
I recommend this movie only for the more hardcore animation fans. I can’t imagine anyone else getting enjoyment out of it.
Review by Noel Ruiz
On a barren, dusty planet baked by the rays of two suns, colonists eke out a miserable existence in small settlements reminiscent of the Wild West. It has been hundreds of years since the Ship brought them to this world; people know the old stories but no one remembers the lost technology that allows them to raise crops on this inhospitable land. In this lawless time stands a lone gunman. His name is Vash the Stampede. He is the Humanoid Typhoon, the man responsible for wiping out the entire city of July. The price on his head: $$60 billion (double dollars). Truly a man to be dreaded. Where he goes, destruction follows.
Well now, where do I begin? The thing is the show starts out almost like a comedy with no direction or overall plot except to capture this guy Vash the Stampede; but then we get into I would say the fourth or fifth episode and their seems to be some mysterious crap going on. Now the show has you hooked because by this time you’re in love with Vash. He has a lot of the same charm that Spike of Cowboy Bebop has but he’s far more comedic.
So anyhow, it’s very difficult to tell you the story because I feel the whole reason for watching the show is to actually watch through to the end for the big surprises. What I will tell you is it’s very reminiscent of Outlaw Star and Captain Harlock’s Gun Planet, minus the space battles and cool starships. People die left and right in the show even though the main character tries to avoid the loss of life as much as possible. Definitely have to admit there is a slew of villains that are very interesting along with the guns they all sport. My favorite is this crazy priest guy who walks around with an enormous cloth wrapped cross that transforms into a mini arsenal and he claims the reason it’s so heavy is cause it’s filled with mercy (f**k yeah it is!!!).
The artwork is alright, very standard, but there are some really sharp gun battles that haven’t been done elsewhere. Most of the scenery is desert that’s broken up by giant metal derelicts of “Lost Technology” just like in Big O.
Overall, it was pretty good. The story plot was clever but I felt the scenery a little lacking, thank god for all the decent villains.
Review by David Marini
One of the most acclaimed films in Japanese anime, The Wings of Honneamise tells the story of a group of would-be astronauts on a planet that is not Earth — but not unlike Earth. While an eager young pilot named Shirotsugh Lhadatt dreams of making his nation’s space program a success, Shiro and company are part of the new Royal Space Force of the Kingdom of Honneamise. Experimenting with new technology, they hope to put a man in orbit, for no other reason than to show that it can be done. His leaders are not sure of the project’s viability, and shortages of money and technical know-how threaten to keep space flights on the ground. With assassination attempts, budget cuts, faulty equipment, political maneuvering, and an enemy army massing at the border for an invasion, Shiro is being trained to go; for no other reason than he is the only one crazy enough to volunteer.
Well, first and foremost, I have to say that this movie is in the same quality and vain of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. We’re talking Akira quality artwork here, except a bit choppier. To tell the absolute truth I thought that this show was somehow a kind of extension of Neon Genesis Evangelion and I just don’t mean that because Gainax Studios was involved here. There is a ton of religious under and overtones in this movie. The way the characters and outfits appear and standout makes the show carry a lot of the Vibe that Outlaw Star is known for and it’s known for being the bomb.
Did I already say that the artwork is Top-notch? OK then let me tell you the story is quite interesting as well. To define this show in as concise a way as possible, it’s basically an alternate universe story where there are still humans so a lot of the same predicaments arise. There’s war, kingdoms and the attempt to get a man into outer space. Other than the kingdoms part, the rest is easy to relate to. An aspect of the show that caught my eye was the use of aircraft that had a striking resemblance to the planes in the Xbox video game Crimson Skies. Please be aware this movie came out first.
Be warned this is not some high speed action movie this is a spiritual movie in the department of the Right Stuff, Apollo 13 and October Sky, it’s a feel good flick. It is a slower pace show, but it’s still a wonderful piece of storytelling.
If you can, try to rent or purchase the VHS version because the DVD version was converted poorly, so you get a lot of digital blurring when there are a lot of things happening on the screen at once.
Review by David Marini
The city of Tokyo has been overthrown, taken over by the Mu, invaders who have devastated the rest of the planet. Within the domed walls of the city, however, time flows in a different path, and none of the citizens even know they’ve been conquered. Outside Tokyo, the remnants of the human race have fought a desperate 15-year war against the Mu, knowing only that the key to victory lies within the occupied city. But no one has been able to get into Tokyo-until Ayato Kamina, a young resident fleeing a horrifying attack on the city, unwittingly breaks out. An extraordinary mystery unfolds as Ayato confronts a world he has never known, and begins to learn the horrifying secrets of RahXephon, a humanoid super weapon which apparently only he can control.
Secret Organizations, Ancient Civilizations, Mechanical Gods, and Alternate planes of Existence… Oh my.
This show starts out corny, but by the end, you’ll think you’ve had a heart attack during an LSD trip. I liked it. To be totally honest I enjoyed it more than Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The Artwork is the Neutron Bomb. This show is brought to you by the guys who did Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop, the theatrical releases. If you haven’t seen either one of these, what the hell is wrong with you people?
Anyway the series begins in Tokyo Jupiter – It’s the city of Tokyo displaced in time via a temporal/dimensional barrier that happens to look like the surface of the planet Jupiter (weird). The populace is unaware that they live amongst the MU- blue blooded hyper beings (nice). The city is surrounded by Dolems- Metaphysical Mecha which the people of Tokyo Jupiter can’t see (freakish).
I don’t want to give away much more but the story is definitely character driven and relationship heavy. There is a strong feminine element (hot chicks) running throughout the series, such as Quon, who is a lavender haired bombshell who only speaks in riddles.
Now RahXephon is by far the strangest and coolest looking robot I’ve seen. It reminds me of Mazinger of old and the Shrike from the novel Hyperion, savior or doombringer. Either way, when RahXephon shows up for a fight, violence turns into an artform (f**k yeah, hardcore). If any of this stuff appeals to you check this show out. It’s 26 episodes in total, 7 DVD’s complete the series.
About RahXephon: The Motion Picture
Hailed by many as one of the finest examples of the mecha (or “giant robot”) anime genre, RahXephon set new standards of excellence upon its home video premiere in early 2003. Now the acclaimed TV series returns for RahXephon: The Motion Picture, the previously unreleased feature-length follow-up to the smartly crafted science-fiction thriller. RahXephon: The Motion Picture revisits the TV series, presenting new perspectives of the familiar events as they unfold and uncovering new mysteries and secrets along the way.
Hey people this movie is out, see it!!!!
Review by David Marini
2167 AD. Deep in a hidden laboratory, the Martians are testing new weapons technology that’s going to blow Earth away! Hotshot pilot Lieutenant Radium Lavans is taking charge of this program to lead the fight against Earth’s oppressive rule-or is the program taking charge of him? The mineral Metatron that powers the Idolo weapon has a mind of its own! With the Earthling UNSF working to crush a possible Martian uprising, Radium’s Orbital Flame project development team has no time to lose. Will Radium be able to force the Idolo beta unit to choose a noble destiny, or will the power of Metatron consume him completely?
The planets are on the brink of war, but the only thing hard-working, hard-drinking, all-American cargo hauler James Links wants is to reconcile with his estranged wife. But when he discovers the Orbital Frame Dolores aboard his carrier ship Ender, the entire Links clan is plunged into mystery, murder and mayhem! Earth wants her; Mars wants her; everybody wants Dolores except the one man who has her. Blast off with a crew of unlikely heroes in the high-speed interplanetary adventure Zone of the Enders!
Alright, first, if you don’t already know, these Anime‘s are a continuation, or shall I say prequels to the ultimately cult games Zone of the Enders for Playstation 2. If you thought the games where amazing, then you’re gonna think this is the reason for living. The idea for Zone of the Enders was originally created by the man who created the Metal Gear Solid Universe that we are all so in love with, at least I am (Solid Snake is no joke).
P.S. Did you know Solid Snake is getting his own comic book now?
So with all this said, I sat down and watched the Idolo movie and then went immediately on to see the Dolores TV series and I just enjoyed (loved really) them both. I think this is important to say, Idolo the movie should be seen first otherwise you’ll be lost as to what the hell is going on in Dolores the show. Yes, the two shows complement each other so you’ll be forced to spend more money for a fuller richer story; but listen if you do you won’t regret it. There is mecha action out the ying yang in these shows, if you like Gundam, please check this.
Be warned the two shows are completely different initially in style, Idolo is hardcore, thru and thru. On the other hand Dolores is a comedic (honest yo, the show is funny) romp through space that gets darker as it progresses. The art seems to lack detail, especially for a show with a overwhelming volume of fighting robots but then you realize it works for the show because it never gets worse or improves, totally consistent. I guess they set out to make the flow of the story the most important aspect rather than pondering about all the eye candy.
By the way the Orbital Frame Dolores is pink, don’t let it bother you, she crushes her opponents.
This whole saga is political, but it never bogs you down, its good politics because it’s really all about saying “hey, we’re all humans right!!” Same thing in Dolores except its family politics, there’s a whole macro — micro concept happening here. James Links family is totally dysfunctional and so is the Earth/Mars relationship, but they’re still family and have to work it out.
In Idolo there are scenes that have Earth born humans fighting Martian born humans and you really never realize that being born on another world could cause such physiological and psychological affects on people, cool stuff to observe. In Dolores, there’s a ton of stuff about the solar system and Mars that you never get to witness in the video games. You also get to meet a lot of the characters in their youth that are in the video games such as Viola and Anubis.
Best of all about Dolores is you get to see a terrorist attack on an orbital space elevator (How cool is that? I mean not that terrorism is cool, just the realism of the show). There is a lot of subject material about the future in these two anime’s that almost nobody’s ever taken the time to touch upon elsewhere. Even Babylon 5, which does have a civil war with Mars in the series, never gets around to the level of detail that Dolores does.
Being the science fiction lunatic that I am, I recommend this to anyone. Also for those of you who loved Cowboy Bebop, Dolores is very similar in that you have no idea where the show is going, but you know it all comes to an end.
Review by David Marini
Here is a brief synopsis for Newbees.
At the turn of the century, the apocalyptic ‘Second Impact’ melts the polar ice caps, resulting in a flood that wipes out half of Earth’s population. In the year 2015 the mysterious alien entities known as ‘Angels’ return to Earth, seeking to wipe out humanity in an apocalyptic fury. Devastated, mankind’s last remnants moved underground to wait for the day when the Angels would come back to finish the job.
Fifteen years later, that day has come…but this time, humanity is ready to fight back with terrifying bio-mechanical weapons known as the Evangelions, Eva’s for short. Only a handful of special children are capable of piloting these Evangelions and thus, the fate of the world rests in the hands of a few 14-year-olds. Piloted by Shinji, Rei, Asuka as well as the top-secret U.N. organization code-named NERV, who use these giant bio-mechanical humanoids to withstand the force of the Angels’ defense fields long enough for the pilots to tackle the massive invaders in brutal hand-to-hand combat! To top it off, every Angel that appears is much more advanced than its predecessor, and the Eva’s can’t defeat it using the same method twice. At the same time, NERV struggles to pierce the veil of mystery surrounding the enigmatic Angels, or are they?
High-tech action, blistering battle sequences, soul ripping drama and spectacular visuals are seamlessly merged in the stunning animated series that ventures beyond the boundaries of space opera and questions the very nature of what it is to be human! Mankind’s last battle has begun in Neon Genesis EVANGELION!
What makes Neon Genesis EVANGELION so great?
I have no idea… It was beyond me, I’m still dumbfounded. I mean this all in a good way.
Why don’t we have TV like this in the U.S.? I guess that’s why the people who brought us Lord of The Rings are in the process of bringing us a live action version of this film. (see images below)
I just watched all 26 episodes of the television series plus Death and Rebirth along with End of Evangelion movies, if you don’t watch these two movies you’re just asking for punishement. All the f**ked up stuff happens in these. The last few episodes of the series do nothing to explain the many, many mysteries that surface. For a more complete explanation of the back story, the two Evangelion movies* need to be watched.
I’m more of a technical person, so an interesting aspect I really enjoyed was watching the interaction of Tokyo 3 city (Nerv HQ) with the Eva’s in action. Listen people, there is some pretty clever stuff here, not just big mechas like Getter Robo with unlimited power smashing the enemy to pieces. You won’t see Shinji-Ikari, the main character, climb into a machine he has never piloted before and beat the pulp out of the Angel attacking buildings of Tokyo-3 as you may in other mecha series. You will see him thrashed by the Angel, and later you will experience his fear, his anxiety, and his need for love in all the wrong places. The Eva’s are vulnerable, like Superman with kryptonite.
Watching the 26 episodes of the series as a whole is a very moving , yet sometimes slow going experience. The first few episodes are a slide-show of action and human emotion with little movement toward any unified plot. The art by the way is sick[phat, dope, da bomb, whatever] futuristic cities, robots, weapons, action. There are memorable scenes out the ass in this series. The fighting sequences between the monstrously large EVAs and ever-evolving Angels are top-notch, and the action is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. In the middle of the series, the plot picks up the pace, and there grows the feel of an X-fileesque conspiracy. ‘Secrets and lies’ abound, and behind the scenes of NERV and Angel attacks there are mysterious forces at work, driving the very gears of human existence.
The Story line is not necessarily unique if you read hard science fiction and religious speculation stories, but you’ve never actually SEEN it. Reminds me a little of the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.
At it’s core, Evangelion is a study of the human psyche so it is imperative that Evangelion gets you attached to its characters. The focus is on the three EVA pilots, their friends, and NERVs adult personnel. Unfortunately, I did find that I pretty much disliked all the characters except Misato who would wake up and enjoy a few beers before heading out for the day. She’s my kind of chick. I feel that the cast of the series Rahxephon were far more appealing (Hey, this is just my opinion).
The show rapidly moves from comedy to tragedy and back between episodes and may be a little disorienting to some (unless you’re familiar with Japanese theatre). You will be hard pressed to find a drop of cheese in Evangelion. The series as a whole delivers the strongest and strangest pathos, from fear and loneliness, to heart-wrenching sadness.
The series is often lauded as genius because of what lies below the surface. Those excited by philosophy and theology will have a ball with this intellectually complex series… Extensive biblical references, an intelligent, philosophical and psychological examination of humanity will guarantee a new experience at every re-viewing. You’ll also notice if you’re paying attention the constant droning of Cycada’s in the background (weird).
I recommend this series to those who have the time, it requires concentrated viewing and it may be several volumes before you start to “get into” it.
Just see it you’ll like it.
ADV FILMS’ release of the Neon Genesis Evangelion Perfect Collection ($169.98 SRP) contains eight DVD volumes – including a newly remastered volume one – in the English language version, along with the Japanese, Spanish, and French versions with English subtitles. Each DVD also includes special features such as scene selection, character bios, and more.
Here are some books and other pieces of entertainment that have themes or ideas that are similar to Neon Genesis, you just might like.
Review by David Marini
Across the ocean, on the tiny island kingdom of Barou, something wakes an ancient god; Neo Ranga, from his slumber. He is drawn to Tokyo, and nothing’s going to stop him as he searches for Minami, Ushio and Yuuhi, three beautiful sisters who are unwittingly linked to him. But instead of rolling out the red carpet, the military rolls out the weaponry, and things start to get nasty. As Neo Ranga goes on his rough-and-tumble, crush-and-crumble romp through the city, the mystery grows. Is he a vehicle for corruption, or is he simply uncovering what already dwells within the city? Is he a messenger with a warning for humankind, or just a big boy out for a good time? Can Ranga defeat the military’s fully-loaded ACE robot and the power-mad pilot who’s out to blast him to bits?
On the surface, it’s all fun, games and greed. But things are not as simple as they seem. While everyone is having fun and making money, criminal forces are working behind the scenes. As corruption runs rampant, the conflict grows. Sinister forces awaken another old god, all plans for fun fall to the wayside. Meanwhile, anti-Ranga sentiment is on the rise. In Tokyo, ugly rumors have started to spread that Neo Ranga is no god, but a devil! With the National Defense Force and the U.S. Army standing by, will the girls be able to convince the people that Neo Ranga is truly good? Will they show themselves to be true kings?
On the fringes, Neo Ranga’s enemies continue their attacks, waging war both in the streets and in the minds of people. Spreading lies, kidnapping loved ones, resurrecting new gods – nothing is off limits when the stakes are this high. But nothing thus far has prepared the sisters for the biggest shock of all&emdash;the mystifying return of their long-lost brother, Masaru. Is it really him…or something taking advantage of their greatest weakness?
New rampages and resurrections bring forth the most difficult enemy yet-the god Ibuki. Overwhelming Neo Ranga with an awesome display of power, this new foe leaves him for dead in the snowy wastes of northern Japan. Neo Ranga lives, but barely. Strange beings descend upon the Earth bearing a message: finish Neo Ranga off or face annihilation.
Alright so now that I’ve managed to summarize [poorly] a truly unique and massive TV show, it did go two seasons (not common over in Japan). It’s about these three sisters who can control a massive plant/animal robot god with a Godzilla tail who has some really cool powers such as manipulating time. He kind of looks like the ‘Garthim’ insect creatures from the Dark Crystal and the Invid from Robotech Masters.
Now to drop a few ideas on you to be intrigued by, the three sisters had a brother who one day mysteriously disappeared out in the ocean. Then there is a secret society that wants to regain control of Japan called the Kyoshin Ki – who are worshippers of the “empty gods”, very similar to the Gasara worshippers in Gasaraki. These Kyoshin are the same as Neo Ranga, except that Ranga has an Asura inside him. An Asura is an advanced perfect human being who is transcended from the universal overlord ‘Tau’. Tau had given the asura back in ancient times the power to rule the world under his name until Ranga showed up of course. I don’t want to give away much more but the shows pretty sophisticated in the bizarro department.
When we get back down to Earth in the show, it takes the giant monster “thing” into new avenues, such as the Yakuza taking advantage of the chaos Ranga’s presence produces in Tokyo. The sisters start selling Ranga cookies to the public for extra cash. Fighting breaks out against the Americans because of height limitations.
The show is really about the trials and tribulations of being in charge of something greater than yourself – like a big freakin monster with heat rays, plasma bolts and a Vine sword from its chest! Overall the shows pretty funny too. Anyone who liked Gasaraki, I think would definitely enjoy it.
Review by David Marini