In 2100, the newly built Bayside City serves as Japan's premier international port. The Angel Arms Company is established by a former policewoman named Takako, to help wage war on terrorism with armed security suits. When the mayor is assassinated, the women of Angel Arms end up protecting the evil crime-lord Hassan, in hopes that his information will help bring down a global terror ring. Takako's back is to the wall as a band of criminals plot to kill Hassan, and the organization's leader is revealed to be the former lover of Angel Arms' own Alisa.
Brethren... Today, we gather to give eulogy to an animation team which quit us 20 years ago, exactly.
You were barely known, Studio Junio, and yet you were the witness of a pioneering era. Under the guidance of Takao Kosai and Tetsuo Imazawa, freshly debarked of the defunct Hatena Productions in 1969, you gave a hand on successful outings as "Akado Suzunozuke" or "Hajime Ningen Gyators" for your debuts. As you went on to hold your little fort for 30 years, Mushi Productions were thriving thanks to the business acumen of Osamu Tezuka, you saw Madhouse's birth in 1972 initiated on the impulse Osamu
Dezaki and many others... Also, Your punctual partners, Daikichiro Kusube's A Productions and Yutaka Fujioka's Tokyo Movie spectacularly rose out of nothing, conquering the young television market right under Toei's nose. You were hardly the best animation producer around but, for the connoisseurs, you will go on as the silently dutiful company which perfected the education of Toshiyuki Inoue, one of the best key animators of all time. You completed subcontracting works after subcontracting works with tedious application for want of mastery.
So what happened with "Gundress"? What annihilated suddenly your hardly acquired financial stability? Simply put, you bite more than you could chew. Sticking to the planning for what sought after to become Bubblegum Crisis' spiritual successor is a whole different deal than what you were used to... It was your first time fully involved with the movie format and you fumbled appallingly. The D day, only half of the total animation was completed, leaving Toei (its distribution branch, not the animation studio) particularly embarrassed in front of their pre-ordered ticket holders. Before spring 1999, cinema goers were promised a new masterpiece around Masamune Shirow's name, but instead of it, they got a ghost in a half shell. As of now, theater seats are priced in average at 1500 yens, which is a relatively high price, so you may picture the indignation it caused. Everything was halfway done, from the visual detailing of the Landmates (the mecha fac-simile of the knight sabers from Bubblegum crisis) to the barely elaborated on art direction which recycled the same backgrounds. Yet, oh woe, it was secondary complaint to the animation shape and size ratios often changing from one shot to another! That is not taking into account the lack of in-betweening during many scenes. Verily, Gundress had the production values of a lackluster OAV of second-class. But it was not completely your fault, Junio. Even if you upheld your part of the deal, this frivolous project wouldn't have flown high. From the get go, it had the soul of a video game adaptation, shouldered by an all female cast as transparent as Girl Detective Club's. Come to think of it, it was not surprising given how the main backer of Gundress was Masaya Nakamura's Namco, which owned Nikkatsu then. Bubblegum Crisis garnered success because it came during the right time, even more so as western audiences got wowed with something they had never seen before. Unfortunately, it was one decade too late after AIC and Artmic squeezed the juice of the scifi mercenary girls formula.
Unsurprisingly, indifference was met when the updated version of Gundress finally came out, following the scandal.
For the fiasco it is, this movie is a difficult watch if you replace it in its Historical context. As of today, very little may be enjoyed from it. Masamune Shirow's input was limited to the chara-design, so his brilliance only pierced through rare instances. The plot was nothing to write home for, namely a predictable political thriller which did not overlay the breadth of a cutting edge Science-Fiction setting. All in all, past the initial bravado of pre release marketing, this endive begged to be forgotten at once. Too bad the recesses of Internet keep everything in memory...
Junio... Despite this faux pas causing your undoing, despite the upsetting duds you delivered like "Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers", nobody acquainted with you parted with hard feelings. Even the shlocky part of your animegraphy stay somewhat entertaining to rewatch, as a whole. It would be nice to say that you are as missed as the late Triangle Staff, but it would not be true... You remain the little known veteran corporal among a battalion of animation producers. Let us salute you a last time, by quoting Ninja Ryuukenden's dialogue: "Of course you are excited by battle! We all love violence! We all love getting drunk! We all love sleeping with women! Some of us even enjoy sleeping with men! The point is that we are MANLY men and that is nothing to be ashamed of! Now lets go kill some fucking demons and celebrate with some fucking beer!"
Yes. We raise a pint in honor of your fall even though you slayed nothing here, good companion.
~Praised be unto Sacred Geometry
..| Colophon |..
This section is dedicated to content indication in order to inform audience in a practical way. On the next paragraph, the buzzwords offer hints about the title's strong suits and drawbacks.
Ketchup meter: Nothing too objectionable here, either. People die by bunch, but not in gory detail. The most unsettling of all death involves euthanasia and it is probably the most shocking thing you will get to look at.
xXx meter: There are two naked scenes for anyone amenable with the joy of ecchi fanservice. Nothing too racy, just the main protagonist having little modesty as she is a cyborg without a care for prying eyes. To those interested to male nudity, you may see the main antagonist, Jean-Luc, and Hassan (the arm trafficker) nakedness as well...
Fishing scene(s): Despite being set in redesigned lookalike city of Yokohama, you will hardly see anybody hoisting fishnets shock full with captures
+ Masamune Shirow's chara-design
+ A certain ambition, noticeable during the beginning of the movie.
+ The updated version distributed in USA is a decent watch overall, if you pretend it is an insignificant OAV.
Life is not as black and white as one depicts it to be. Criminals are not criminals and good guys are not good guys. Rather it is more of a wavering pool of data. No clear indication what will wind up on shore. Like any water source there is always the chance of pollution. Something to consider when taking in this anime.
In terms of an introduction i was not a fan nor was i a hater. Visually it was action based but plot not so much. A believe to the shoot first ask later concept. Personally, all love of action aside
i want to know off the bad who is good and who is bad or moreover whom they represent.
As for conclusion it is harm hearted. An anime that will thrown a kick or two extra.
Good drawing all around in general. They did couple things that were not appeasing. Such as rather than having a blue print idea of the enemy base they decided to go with a slow pulse flash picture. It was different but created the wrong idea. The problem with this is not only does it make it look like the show is dying (it would be more clear if you were familiar with old school film) but the show didn't jump straight to it.
However, somethings were drawn quite well in a symbolic stand point of view. In one scene a girl does a farewell act to a somewhat impacting segment to her life growing up. As can be seen later on looking at her eye. That segment that she had is now gone as shown by partial blackness of her eye. Which makes sense if you are a believe to eyes are doors of the soul.
Each character worth mentioning had a good back story.One thing i did like what some of the word choice or comical character aspect. At one moment a somewhat powerful enemy is in view. An individual orders, "stop, you are surrounded." A very intimidating remark if it wasn't just the chief was. That is right the chief made that call when he was by his lonesome self.
As you can see this anime has its pros and cons but nothing breathtakingly bad or cool.
three things of note:police officers word choice you are surrounded when it is just the chief. Unneeded visual flashes of the base and the darkness of the girl's eye.