To save the galaxy from impending doom, Cacao and Parfait are sent on a mission through time and space to retrieve the Fourth Warrior, Lamunes.
Unfortunately, Cacao and Parfait discover Lamunes at the helm of the marauding Giga Genos invasion fleet. World by world, Lamunes is determined to bring the entire galaxy under his tyrannical heel. With the help of a plicky orphan, it's up to Cacao and Parfait to stop Lamunes from taking over the world.
Once upon a time, there was a kids anime called VS Knight Lamune & 40. It was a simple and fun adventure series from 1991 that eventually spawned three OVA sequels and another TV series in 1996. This third OVA, the final chapter in the franchise, takes a hard left turn away from what this franchise was and decided to go down its own path.
There's a reason why people say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
The problems began no more than five minutes into episode 1, when I was introduced to the apparent main focus of this OVA: Ecchi. Now ecchi, in moderation, isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the T&A in Knights of Ramune makes its presence known about as subtly as an air horn in a library. Not even the opening and first ending sequences are safe, with both featuring numerous pans of Cacao's and Parfait's assets. No amount of fan service was able to cover for the actual plot, which is your typical 'Save the world from impending doom' fare with more questions than answers. Why was Ramunes chosen as the Giga Genos leader? Why is he so adamant in taking over the galaxy? Why do Parfait and virtually every other woman have to be naked to pilot the mobile suits? Couple that with a plot twist that could be seen a mile away, and you have the makings of your textbook shoddy plot.
It's not easy to watch an anime when you can't sympathize for any of the characters, and Knights of Ramune is a prime example of this. We're given a slew of one dimensional characters, including our very own heroines, who are about as forgettable as they come. Attempts are made later to give some background to Ramunes and his lover Electone, but it's far too shallow and far too late to be able to save face. The seiyuu cast is no better, with Yuko Miyamura (Evangelion's Asuka) and Takeshi Kusao (Lodoss' Parn) among the bigger names who displayed flat performances.
There were, however, a few glimmers of goodness in this sea of mediocrity. The art and animation, in general, were decent. Though it was far from groundbreaking, it wasn't entirely atrocious either. Even though the first ending was a poor excuse to show more T&A, the second ending theme, "Hoshi Furuyoi no Monologue", was an enjoyable piece of vocal music, and I actually looked forward to hearing it as the second batch of episodes would end. After episode 4, the rampant ecchi is also taken back a bit, though it's far from enough to get this series out of the hole it dug itself.
Hardcore ecchi fans will get the most enjoyment from this series, but everyone else should stay far away. Make no mistake, Knights of Ramune is still a very poor OVA series and an even poorer representation of the Ramune franchise. read more