Sho Fukamachi, a normal teenager accidentally found an alien object called Unit and thus, changed his life forever. The Unit bonded with Sho, resulting in an incredibly powerful life-form called Guyver. With this great power, Sho battles the mysterious Chronos organization and it's Zoanoids, in order to protect his friends and his world. Unknown to Sho, the battle against Chronos will lead to the discovery of the origins of human, their destiny, and the Creators...
What is the reason of our existence? Do there exist beings that reside in a higher plane of existence? Is our fate beyond our control? Ah, the famous questions that are usually asks not only in anime; but in stories and philosophical works as well. Bio Booster Armor Guyver takes these questions and steers them towards a " road less traveled", id est, from the more conventional methods of using divinity as a foreground to answer such questions.
Indeed, the existence of other sentient beings does play a major factor in this. The story was quite unique, because when I watched it, Guyver invoked such
questions as to why humans are such violent creatures, and it would answer back with disturbing rationale that would make you think there is some plausibility with their answers they impose. Of course, this is a work of fiction; however it does leave an impressionable message that gets you thinking. This is how I interpreted the whole story so far anyways, others may differ in opinion, but it is alright because Guyver does supply the action if that's what you're really looking for.
The story does take off slow, where you find your typical adolescent boy thats thrown into a world of conflict with an arcane power to combat a massive force working in the shadows. The idea of the power that Sho posseses takes a unique spin on things as well. Not your typical mecha, magic, or type of supernatural power, rather a weapon that is essentially "living" , id est a bio-mechanical organism that forms a symbiotic relationship with its host, which in this case is Sho Fukamachi the leading character. I thought it was an pretty original idea, especially around the early 80's when the manga for this was made. So, its not your typical weapon you find bearing resembelance to other anime.
Its not until you get halfway into the season, where things get interesting, and the plot starts to solidify gradually. If you're a fan of sci-fi or just acion in general with gory violence to complement it, then you'll appreciate it more. Although, this series is a little more milder in terms of gore to its predecessor, which was a 12 part OVA back in the late 80's. Most of the battles puts Sho up against the "alien" creatures known as the Zoanoids, while he's trying to protect his friends, and later against more competent opponents that rival the power of the bio-booster armor. So you can expect some good fight scenes while sho grows stronger learning more about the armor, whilst dealing with his own inner conflicts.
The artwork and animation is decent, showing no indications of a low budget. The fight scenes are fluid in motion, but some fight animations tend to be repeated occasionally. The backround music is nothing to complain about or praise either; it matches the mood just fine. Though, I did like the opening theme " waiting for..." by reiri and the closing theme "cotton candy" by bonnie pink, so the OST isn't too bad.
The protagonist and antagonists are your typical anime archetypical characters. You got Sho, an apprenhesive boy with a strong sense of justice, his typical sidekick and bestfriend, Tetsurou, that sometimes makes insightful observations of the enemy, Mizuki, the damsel in distress which the main character falls for, the typical enigmatic villians which are cold and calculating, who are scheming some major plot, et cetera. Nothing fresh, but enough character development to keep the story together.
Guyver had a great foundation to work off of, and was a great story of: love, frienship, loss, regret, and sorrow. All aspects in which you find in a good anime are present, whether it be for the action fan or sci-fi fan. My only complaint is that it ended on a cliffhanger; in which case, I'm not sure if a second season will ever be in the works. However, you shouldn't let this discourage you from watching it because it is well worth the time.
There was a time, in anime, when men were men, and they had huge swords and guns with which to leave bloody trails of corpses in their wake. Indeed, the Guyver series is one such anime, and in ages past it flew far in the firmament of ultraviolence into territories known by such classics as Ninja Scroll and Akira.
The remake brings Guyver up to modern standards as far as animation and sound are concerned, but otherwise it is deliciously old school in many respects. You'll find no moe lolis or tsunderes here, just a good old fashioned story about a boy and his biomechanical robot
armor and the mutated freaks trying to kill him.
Guyver was always pretty dark and the remake lives up to this standard. You'll see young Sho tormented by the Chronos corporation in devious and spectacular ways, and he must constantly fight to protect his loved ones, who are kidnapped to use as bait in the early part of the series. To be sure this is a pretty old plot device and you could say that Sho is not much different than Peter Parker but with an alien symbiote (oh wait...) but as our old pal William Shakespeare would remind us its not the plot that counts but how you use it. The series takes us through quite a few ups and downs and makes a strong emotional impact. You will be impatient to see what happens in the next episode and there is never a drag in the action.
Surprisingly, one of the main appeals of the series is the growing relationship between Sho and his girlfriend. The development of her character is excellent and adds a lot of emotional flavor to the story, increasing the suspense and NEVER getting in the way of the action killing.
A few people have complained about the ending, but without posting any spoilers I can say that it is satisfactory from a dramatic and emotional perspective, even if there's a shit load of story material left unsettled. It would be great to have a second season, but since Guyver still hasn't found its audience I guess we'll have to make do with manga scanlations for now. In the meantime do yourself a favor and check out the Bioboosted Armor Guyver, if you have any taste for old school anime action you will not be disappointed.
If you're strongly familiar with Kamen Rider when watching this anime, you'll notice a lot of similarities with the plot elements. And it is not coincidence because the original manga-ka, Yoshiki Takaya, was influenced by Kamen Rider. But despite that, a lot of traits in Guyver are still distinctively unique, original, and engaging.
The beginning of this anime will be repetitive in some aspects, but I feel it is for the right reasons. At times, Cronos will try to kidnap Tetsuro and Mizuki to lure out Sho in almost the first 12 or so episodes, but like I said, the reasons are legitimate since it's
the only way they can lure out Sho and eventually, they'll resort to other methods and the series itself develops to go beyond that aspect. I think the show was being realistic in that kind of way and I feel it does a great job of conveying that which is why I can forgive it being repetitive in that light.
What I love most about this installment of Guyver is how it uses a majority of their characters and how they develop individually, as well as their relationships with one another. It really surprises me how Mizuki develops and is used in this series. I say any average anime watcher will wonder how a character like her can be utilized, and I love how the anime really explores that and makes the story progress all at the same time.
As for where the anime ends, I heard it only covers roughly half of what the manga offers. It has an ending that does feel conclusive, but there is still a mountain of material and aspects left to explore, develop, and resolve. I know Chris Patton (who plays Sho) has expressed in the DVD commentary as well as the dub director that they want to do more Guyver. I hope in due time they make more Guyver anime.
Moving on, if you've seen the original OAV or read the manga, a majority of the character designs still have the same feel, but with new techniques have an upgrade that apply to faces, clothing, and hairstyles which makes them look more appropriate to their ages while I felt some of the character designs in the oav looked a little too mature and old, especially Tetsuro and Agito. Sho this time looks a lot like Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing as opposed to his more feminine design in the oav (I'm to assume that his design in the oav is more faithful to the manga's). Sho looks a little more generic with his design but he still comes across as unassuming with his slim build. I also like Murakami's design in this TV series. I felt his new fashion for the TV series is also appropriate for this day and age as he looked more like a Miami Vice character in the OAV, and I feel that design would be a little silly today, especially his aviator sunglasses in the oav (despite my love for old school.....and Miami Vice).
The coloring and detail to the Guyver suits still look appropriately organic, but the movement also makes it look more flexible and less stiff from the original OAV. The action is pretty violent on Berserk levels and its constant and exciting. My biggest problem is some of the background drawings, especially in the forest during the daytime. The detail and coloring look more like a children's coloring book. It really does stick out like a sore thumb. But the city designs on the other hand are very breath taking and the other character designs as the series goes on are pretty shiny and nifty.
I would like to open up this part of the review by saying I really enjoy the dub. It's of course not in the league of Cowboy Bebop's or Gundam 08th MS Team's, but it's a great dub and far superior to the old OAV dub which really sucked. I thought the actors did a very excellent job of portraying teenagers and yet still being true to the situation that lies around them. Despite how I feel that the seiyuu cast in this one doesn't hold up to the talent of the oav's cast, I felt it still does a great job and I feel the English equals it. So despite not having an all star cast in Japanese, I think the English and Japanese voice acting are still top notch.
The background music is also excellently orchestrated. It really creates this organic feel and it really comes across as sci-fi along with horror elements. I thought the OAV had more catchy music and I personally like it more, but as contradictory as it sounds, I think the music in this series captures the atmosphere of Guyver more appropriately.
All I can say is if you want a well-paced story with an excellently utilized cast of characters along with wicked action, then this is the anime for you. As for a new installment, I hope to count on it.
Several fans of the original Guyver hated this series without giving it a chance. However, I welcomed the very much needed change. This version which is considered The New Guyver far surpasses the original in many ways. There were numerous elements that had room for plenty of improvement and it succeeded on improving in some areas. Most noticeably is definitely the animation, characters, dropped story elements, and better use of plot devices.
The animation is very good, the fights are very brutal and stylish; a good portion of the fight scenes are fluid and aren't downplayed into unseen action. The character designs for both the Guyver
and creatures are done well. The creature designs are imaginative but some come off way too goofy looking. The animation and artwork are far from perfect though. Some episodes lack the same quality and the artwork appears to be done very lazily. This is most noticeable during episodes 13-16 especially. I found myself actually despising the artwork at times. Fortunately though, the animation regains its focus way before the end and returns to its former glory.
Character development along with character usage stood out to me quite a bit. The characters are better used and given longer life spans to push the story this time around. This is mainly concerning the villains, in which this added a little more depth to the storyline. There are hidden agendas and one villain in particular evolves into more of an antihero type. The main character Sho is much easier to tolerate now, and is given the time to better adapt to the armor. His actions and personality are very believable, especially in the way that Sho isn't a trained fighter. This fault puts him at a big disadvantage against all of his opponents. Despite the realism that is applied here, this is actually a love/hate approach for me. Sho at times appears to be too weak and many battles are won by pure luck.
There are many questions answered this time around unlike the original series which raised a few and left them hanging. I'll leave that part alone as not to spoil it with details. The battles at times can be violent. They consist of weapon use via high energy attacks, fisticuffs, along with slicing and dicing. The battles have their gory moments at times. However, they're also a mixed bag to me. Some are very well done with the Hyper Zoinoids boasting some nice abilities; but I can understand the hatred from the fans to a certain degree when concerning the violence in the series. The original was definitely more violent. One battle in particular that really stands out as being heavily toned down in comparison with the original, would be the battle with the Guyver's nemesis Enzyme.
The battles with Enzyme can be boring to say the least. They are not on the same level when concerning the sheer brutality and drama found in the original. Those whom never saw the original will benefit the most with these encounters. While fans whom have seen it will more than likely find it very hard to digest; but this not at all means the original is better. The action scenes present here are still entertaining, and the storytelling elements along with the characters are far superior to the original.
The soundtrack and voice acting is also greatly improved. The opening theme song "Waiting For" performed by Reiri is without a doubt one of my favorite songs in anime. This song alone makes me want the soundtrack, and even if this was a bad anime I could actually watch it to listen to this song alone.
The New Guyver is a good series and despite the things it does well; I still have a hard time giving it a full recommendation because of it's unfinished feel. I think this will appeal more to those whom just love anime and can over look weak endings.
Highs: Nice animation & artwork, great action, characters serve a purpose
Lows: Inconsistent animation, open ending, last three episodes are disappointing
In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn't go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?