Well Happy (LAAAAAAAAAAATE) New Years to you guys as I am going to kick off the 2012 year with even more drinking and losing track of time in front of my TV. So, after a few shots of strong whiskey and experiencing another lonely New Years Eve, only to watch Dick Clark “old as dirt” face on the tube, it was time to pop in another random anime tape. By the time I used my last bit of conscious to hit the “Play” button before being overtaken by the devils liquor, I soon found myself in the middle of the desert, with nothing in sight but some old piece of technology that has been rotting on this desolate place for centuries it seems. After investigating the wreckage, behold, a large white mechanical suit popped out from the sand, that looks like it was a defect Metal Gear unit that Kojima didn’t see a purpose to add in his Metal Gear series. The machine spoke to me, saying he has been buried in the sand for something of a thousand years, and waiting for a life form to become his new pilot. He told me his name was Shaian, and opened the cockpit like hatch on his right side of his mech chest unit. “Oh…great, this again…” as I told myself, because I already knew what was going to happen. So, let’s get this booze dream over and done with in this review of Dragon’s Heaven.
I am actually going to do this review a bit different. So, instead of me explaining half the story and saying “hey, screw you and go out there and find it yourself” (like I enjoy doing), I will do a brief review this time to make it easy on you guys, and on myself also. So, let’s dive into this world of robot loving women, 80′s mecha designs, and all around short (and enjoyable) OVA of Dragon’s Heaven.
The OVA starts out with a brief history lesson of a war long forgotten, back in the (or should I say way ahead in the future) year of 3195, where we got robots fighting other robots on the planet Earth (there is a Brazil in this anime, so I will have to use my gut instinct and say Earth). We then hear of the robot back story of Shaian, who cannot return to his home world due to his pilot dying on him in battle and decides to go into robot sleep till whenever. We cut to the current (WAY FUTURE) time and see a rider on some weird looking ostrich animal going through the barren desert, when they go to a wreckage site and see a relic of the past that catches the riders attention. Soon after checking out the wreckage, we see a computer screen appear on screen with the text “Life Form” written, and we see our robot protagonist appear, Shaian. Shaian states that he has been in “robot sleep” for around a millennium when he awakens, and we find out who our mysterious rider is, our human female protagonist Ikaru. From then on, the story takes them into Shaian past and to fight his old robot rival, El Madine.
This is a very short OVA, so your looking at 30 minutes of the actual show, then credits, then about 10 minutes of a documentary at the end. How the actual OVA starts out is there is a 5 minute live action scene at the beginning between animatronic robots that are featured in the anime itself, who look like they are about to throw down right when the anime starts. I have to give the people behind the live action opening some credit, seeing how this was 1988, and if not most of the money went to the animation production than making the animatronic robots, they used what they had to make garage kits of the mechs themselves to try something different. In its own way, it does look really cool. And we get to see the title of the anime that seemed to be made out of a block of steel, rather cool looking. Then ending is just more of a “behind the scenes” look at what they did to make the robots move in the opening, which was recorded at a garage somewhere in Japan. I would have to say the opening sequence and the robots themselves were probably done by the director of this anime, Makoto Kobayashi.
This anime also has its amuzing moments where Shaian is embaressed by Ikaru being nude, and where Ikaru has the hots for Shaian rival when Shaian shows her the picture of the robot. Its like there is this underline theme of “chicks dig robots” in a minor way, for a comical effect that is amusing. The animation and mechanical designs are very unique for its time, which gives this OVA that genuine feel of 80′s nostalgia when you see this. Also to add is Ikaru body armor design when she goes against El Madine with its crazy design of clay looking spike high top boots, spiky knee guards and circular shoulders makes it more unique when it comes to the design work of this anime. There is much more to say when it comes to locations and what not, so keep your eyes peeled. The soundtrack has that 80′s synth pop to it also that kinda stays with you when you watch this.
I would say if you care to check this out, I will be worth your time. Its short, sweet and very too the point. It is available over at Anime Classic Reviews if you care to check it out. Well, I told you this would be shorter, so hope you enjoyed it.
If you enjoyed this, check out my personal blog at Anime of Yesteryear.