As the sole survivor from a squad that was sacrificed and hung out as scapegoats for embezzlement of military resources at the end of the 100 years war, Mellowlink Arity is out for revenge.
Carrying the dogtags of his deceased comrades and armed with a dated anti AT rifle, he swears to hunt down and exact revenge on the corrupt officers that betrayed his squad, and maybe even uncover the truth behind the plot as well.
"To exact revenge for yourself or your friends is not only a right, it's an absolute duty."
Armor Hunter tells the story of Mellowlink, a soldier and a man of few words who was forced to go on a suicide mission with his squad in order for the military to retreat. Mellowlink's unit is equipped with outdated AT rifles and is overwhelmed by the enemy forces, one by one his comrades are slaughtered until he alone reminded. By playing dead Mellowlink manages to escape the battle field and reunite with the military where to his surprise he is tried for treason and desertion. Angered and confused Mellowlink escapes and vows to avenge his fallen allies by killing all the corrupt officials that framed him and uncovering the truth behind his mission. With nothing but an outdated AT rifle and the dogtags of his fallen comrades Mellowlink sets off on his journey to get revenge.
The story of Mellowlink is told in an episodic format, in each episode Mellowlink tracks down and assassinates one military official and there is about one or two episodes in-between dedicated to fleshing out Mellowlink's back story. The episodes typically follow a very simple formula, Mellowlink finds the official, we see the official doing malicious things, the official gets the upper hand on Mellowlink, Mellowlink manages to survive whatever trap is planned for him, he gives the official a dogtag, they fight, and Mellowlink wins. This formula is recycled episode after episode, and while at first it was entertaining to watch it became a bit dull after a while, overstaying its welcome a little bit.
Luckily there are a few redeeming factors that stop this anime from feeling too repetitive particularly the masterfully choreographed action sequences, almost every episode in this anime features an action sequence and they are all extremely well directed and made use of guerilla tactics and various different weapons such as mines in order to allow Mellowlink to get an advantage over troops that heavily out number and outgun him. The story also features a very large conspiracy and each episode gives you more subtle hits to figuring out the truth behind who framed Mellowlink and why, the finale features a solid twist and an amazing fight to round this anime off and end it on a somewhat solid note.
The characters are definitely where this anime falls flat, Mellowlink is the strongest character in the bunch which honestly isn’t saying too much, he’s a somber protagonist which makes sense considering his circumstances and history, he’s also cold, calculated and distant which once again is fitting for his role in this series. While we don’t see Mellowlink develop much throughout the series he is characterized very well. The rest of the cast ranges from decent to very weak, firstly the officials Mellowlink must assassinate throughout the 13 episode series are all not only static but also one dimensional as all hell, every single one of them is evil to the core and just loves to kill people for absolutely no reason other than good fun and sport, and are often see killing off nameless side characters and grunts for the fun of it.
The only reason they act in this way is to indicate to the audience that they are the bad guy and Mellowlink is in the right when he kills them, the tactics used to characterize them are very lazy and none of them stand out or manage to be particularly memorable. I wish some of the officials were a little bit more dynamic maybe showing regret for what happened to Mellowlink and putting him into a situation where he’s not sure what to do, unfortunately we don’t really get this and all of the assassinations are pretty clear cut and formulaic because of it.
Mellowlink’s squad from his past also receive no characterization, making their deaths in the flash back episodes to have little to no impact, they feel more like a device to give Mellowlink a reason to do what he’s doing rather than actual characters.
Lastly there are two characters that follow Mellowlink throughout his journey whose identities are completely unknown until the later episodes of the anime, one is a woman named Lulucy who starts off a strong character only to devolve into a madden in distress in the later episodes, I really wish her character was a little more consistent and that there was more foreshadowing leading up to the reveal of her true identity as the viewer’s pretty much had zero idea of who she was or why she was following Mellowlink until the end, and honestly the reveal isn’t a really impactful or powerful one.
The second follower is a man shrouded in mystery who goes by Mr. Jui. Jui is almost equal to Mellowlink when it comes to combat abilities and is quite a bit of a gritty badass and has a lot more presence than the aforementioned Lulucy. While his reveal later one is also poorly foreshadowed it has a large impact of the story and takes it into an interesting direction, he’s definitely one of the more interesting characters in this series and one I rather enjoyed.
Armor Hunter Mellowlink was animated by studio Sunrise and they did a very good job, as I previously stated the action sequences look amazing and for a 1988 title Mellowlink looks fairly good, the movements are somewhat fluent for its time and the backgrounds are simply stunning during some episodes and really add a lot to the visuals of this show.
All around Mellowlink isn’t really good but at the same time isn’t something I’d consider bad either, it has its flaws but has a lot of elements that redeem it to a degree I wish this anime was a little shorter so it didn’t end up overstaying its welcome and that some of the characters were a bit stronger. I’d lightly recommend this title to a fan of action mecha anime who is looking for really dynamic action sequences on par with those in 008th MS Team. However if you are not interested in these scenes you should probably just skip this title all together.read more
For any fan of Ryosuke Takahashi's Armored Trooper Votoms franchise, you'll feel right at home with this series. It's set in the same world, and Chirico even makes a short cameo as well, though their paths never really intertwine.
As a revenge tale, you shouldn't expect anything profound from the plot. Simplicity is the name of the game here, so the setup is fairly obvious...you get pieces of info along Mellowlink's journey that unveil why he's hunting down these high-ranked officers.
The main draw of the show, IMO, is the clever, tactical ways in which Mellow dispatches his enemies. Whether it's using misdirection ploys or baiting pursuers into a trap of mines, he's always got some scheme going on to get the upper-hand. And seeing how he's just a lone man against giant mechas most of the time, it's absolutely essential he turns the battle into a match of wits rather than outright strength. Some of its episodes are better than others at depicting this, but overall, the action here engrosses with its gritty guerrilla warfare...a stark contrast to other mecha anime like Gurren Lagann and recent Gundam shows.
Concerning the animation, I think it's important to point out it was made back in the late '80s. As a bit of an old-school fan myself, I don't mind it at all, but younger anime fans accustomed to shiny CGI and sparkly colors may be put off by the gritty, earthy look of the show.read more
It's not outstanding or a classic, but you will not be disappointed if you watch it.
If you are a mecha fan or more specifically Votom fan this is definitely for you. since its a votom spin-off
I personally really like the mechs (A.T's). Even though the main character dosn't use one. He uses a anti-AT rifle to take out the mechs the "bad guys" use.
The animation is typical of the 80's. character animation isn't that strong. BUT some of the still frames the use for paning is pieces of art.
I'm not sure who animated the series, but it sure resembles the work of Moriyasu Taniguchi. who is awsome :)
The Music is .... awful, sorry.
It's a lone ranger story. A soldier running around taking revenge for his fallen comrades who where betrayed. with a hint of love story.
The main Character is cool. like a little Rambo with is own signature move. read more