Saturday, October 5, 2013

Anime Review No. 66-Iria Zeiram the Animation

Iria Zeiram the Animation

1994 OVA, 6 episodes

Studio: Ashi Productions, Director: Tetsuro Amino
Writers: Tetsuro Amino, Naruhisa Arakawa, Yoshihisa Arakawa and Hajime Matsumoto

DVD Cover
Ok, so once again back to the well-90s anime OVAs most people are less than aware of. That is, of course, lucky for me as this is an OVA that doesn't really suck that much. That OVA is Iria: Zeiram the Animation. A show that about a year ago I wasn't aware of, until I saw on the anime shelf at my local MovieStop. Said price for the boxset was about 4$, and it came in a neat little tin box container. Quite a bargain, I must say.
Anyway, what is this show about? Well, Iria: Zeiram the Animation (IZA) tells the story of Iria, a female bounty hunter in training on the planet Myce in the far future. One day, she and her brother Gren, also a bounty hunter, are sent on a mission to retrieve some cargo and rescue some survivors from a decrepit space station. Once there, however, it turns out the space station was housing an experimental killing machine-the Zeiram. And it has gone on a killing spree on the space station and must be stopped, for the sake of all humanity. Of course, the only thing standing in its way is Iria herself-and her associates-as the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.

Iria, our heroine
So, what are the merits of this OVA? Well, for a start it has a rather good story. It's a nice and straightforward sci-fi adventure with plenty of action and character piece, particularly Iria the MC. She's very much the 80s/90s action girl archetype: Steadfast, strong, quite a shot with guns and weapons, yet a tad reckless and tends to lead with her emotions. Granted, the story does go into the bleak and grisly (plenty of bloody violence as requisite in nearly all 90s anime OVAs), but it is balanced out with a sense of cautious optimism; the feeling that in spite of all our problems, we will make it out OK in the end.

Of course, the story has to be bolstered up by good animation, and IZA certainly has it in spades, even for a series that is nearly 20 years old. It is very solid, from some very striking visuals and backgrounds at times to be sure. IZA actually shares a character designer with DNA2 and Video Girl Ai; just thought that'd be a fun trivia nugget. It looks a bit on the aged side, but that's just something to be expected with anime from the 90s nowadays.

Lastly, the English dub. Now, this was originally licensed by Central Park Media back in the days. It turns out that they did put it out on VHS, but it show up on the anime block on the Sci-Fi Channel in the '90s. They went defunct and thus lost the license. Luckily, Media Blasters rescued it and re-released it a few years ago. Now, the dub is not too bad, especially considering the quality of the majority of CPM dubs. It is a bit stiff in places but serviceable.

Overall, IZA is a rather enjoyable sci-fi adventure with some good animation and a serviceable English dub. It gets a recommendation, particularly if you are into science fiction.

And now for some end-of-post humor...
Now, the next review will be over Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, to be posted on October 31. In between, I shall post up the first three entries (#10, #9 and #8) on my Anime Favorites page for this blog. This will take place around the weekend of October 19 and 20.

No comments: