Two weeks before a concert at Yaon Hibiya auditorium (1987.8.26), while playing at the club Shinjuku Loft, lead vocalist To-Y (pron: to-o-i) of the band GASP is jumped by a rival, Aikawa Yoji. GASP is a upcoming band known for its violence, struggling to be noticed against the popularity of hotshot Aikawa, who's #1 on the charts and beloved by his fans. The Yaon Hibiya concert represents GASP's mainstream debut to break out of the small-time club scene, which is threatened by the schemes of Aikawa's manager, Ms. Kato of Koyama Productions. Kato wants To-Y to leave that "bunch of hoodlums," and sing independently for a major label.
Adding to the confusion is an unexplained character who manifests feline traits, named Niya. Niya presents herself as "To-Y's aijin" ("Niya, To-Y no aijin da yo!") to the consternation of Koishikawa Hiderou, who has interest in To-Y. Koishikawa, also known as "Sonoko-chan," is typed as a "okama" by Niya. A running motif is GASP, it's fans, and associates regarded as unusual by the mainstream public, as exemplified by their musical taste, dress, and Classic Coke-drinking, which only contributes to more difficulty in their struggle to be accepted.
Yes, there's a story running through this. But this OVA is more about a *mood*, than it is about any concrete storyline.
This whole thing just screams EIGHTIES from beginning to end, as you have some internecine struggles between bands, little petty jealousies, a few pounds of eyeliner, pretty boys singing on stage, a snake-like manager ripped from a Nagel painting, and long musical video montages. And, surprisingly, it actually comes together (unlike, say, the much less coherent Cipher). The artwork is decent, the music is also decent, and you really do get a sense of the band scene
of the time.
Probably the most ineffable element to all this is the girl-toy character, that clings to To-y and mews and purrs...no really, she's basically acting just like a cat. For contemporary anime fans, they might get a better idea of the character type as Ed from Cowboy Bebop (to the point that I strongly suspect this unforgettable catlike character could have been a strong inspiration for Ed). Incorrigibly free-spirited, perpetually hyper, childlike and naive. It's a strange character to have in the mix, and you can't forget her after the OVA is done.
Our podcast reviewed To-Y years ago and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
"To-Y is a product of it’s time, or should I say, a time where animators did whatever they felt like doing to an OVA in the Japanese economy boom of 1987. I saw To-Y as a visually fun looking 55 minute music video that told a story of a band and the people around it. Where as Jonn saw it as a giant waste of time 5 minutes into our AIM conversation."
How many words do I need in this review, all im trying to do is put up a podcast link that already
has our review on it since its way easier to just listen than type werdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdzwerdz to get the point across. It's there in the link, go and listen.