It was just another ordinary afternoon for our heroine Suzuko when she suddenly got caught in a giant gas explosion. Instead of getting killed, Suzuko wakes up some 500 years in the past during the Civil War era of Japan.
After being saved from a fate worse than death by a handsome, somewhat overbearing young man, Suzuko learns to adapt to the strange realm where she now resides. Along the way, Suzuko finds out more about her mysterious and spotty past. As clues begin to click into place, though, the village is attacked, and Suzuko finds herself travelling through time AGAIN, this time to the present. Will she solve the mystery regarding her origin and where she belongs?
Fire Tripper. A 50 minute OVA by Rumiko Takahashi telling the story of a girl who somehow finds herself traveling through time to the Civil War era where she meets a high strung young man and she has to find out how she got there and what the story is, etc, etc. Sound familiar? Somehow this gem made it under the radar of even Inuyasha fans who pass it off as a rip-off of their favorite half-demon. Which is not only impossible, but a shame as this OVA is definitely worth the watch.
The story was set and concrete. There were
no interruptions, no random visits to the beach with the 'gang'. The OVA moves forward and tells the story, and a great story at that. It's a bit hard to really get into without spoilers, but the story is not overly complicated. Anyone could easily figure it out just by looking at the synopsis and picture. Everything unravels nicely, and there were some very clever foreshadowing hints throughout the beginning. They're a bit hard to spot on your first watch, but it's fun to look out for them and then compare with the ending. One thing that Inuyasha can't compare with is that this story had a beginning and a solid ending. As much as I would love to see more of these characters, the end was very satisfying.
The characters were like a breath of fresh air. Suzuko, while a little annoying at first, was really very mature and I liked her as a character. Unlike a lot of characters who find themselves in a strange new world, she adapted well and the only major whining to be heard from her was justified. Shukumaru was an idiot. Gosh I loved him. He had a temper and was rough around the edges, but from the looks of it he seemed to be the most trustworthy guy in that village. Their relationship was natural and even with such a short time frame it never felt forced. Most of the character development was all Suzuko, but again it was gradual.
The art wasn't the best. For its age of course it's pretty darn good and it holds that classic Takahashi style that fans of Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura would be familiar with. Newer anime fans might be a bit thrown off because the show does show its age a bit, but it wasn't exactly a tragedy. It's never a distraction and some scenes are even quite beautiful.
It's probably true that this story inspired the series Inuyasha that people know today. Had this been a full length series and not a 50 minute OVA, I would without a doubt say this surpasses Inuyasha in every way. I still want to say that, just for the fact that it has a solid ending and an enjoyable story. Just for its short length and history alone I would recommend anyone giving this OVA a try. Fire Tripper has the feeling of watching a good movie, and is ideal for Inuyasha fans, Rumiko Takahashi fans, or just someone looking for something short but sweet.
Fire tripper is a interesting little OVA and while watching it i couldn't help but think it was the first draft of Inu Yasha or it borrowed heavily from it for inspiration. Of course it is made by Rumiko Takashi the maker of Inu Yasha so it is not a far stretch to believe she borrowed elements as she has done in the past and currently does.
The story is all within this one episode and it feels very fast paced. In the amount of time used it actually creates a fairly interesting plot with a good ending with a rather enjoyable surprise. I think they
did good with the story over all and maybe had the ova been 30 minutes longer or two episodes they may have been able to resolve any pacing issues.It feels like a short story in that you understand everything cause its laid out openly but its short,sweet and to the point.
The characters are hard to identify with or grow attached to in such a short amount of time but that does not mean they are bad characters. Revolving around only the two main characters you do get a decent understanding of there feelings even if you don't have enough time and content to attach yourself to them personally. The characters do whats intend effectively and you can appreciate the simplicity of it all.
The Art and Audio are very early 80s and make me personally feel nostalgic of a lot of Rumic Works. I have no complaints about either department as they both look and sound perfectly fine for the time it was made and the budget and length of the project itself. I actually like the male leads character design and his color pallet. The main leads both resemble characters from Inu Yasha a great deal.
Overall i really enjoyed this Ova in particular over the other Rumic Ovas, it was just enjoyable. I felt interested the whole time and i wanted to see the conclusion as it built. Being a big fan of older anime i recommend this to anyone who likes classic. Modern anime viewers may not enjoy it as much cause of its age.