In the near future, there are people with special power called Sevens. It seems like the country has maintained peace by a company called Sumeragi Group, but they are the one who captured the people with the special power by force and did inhumane experiments. Gunvolt, the main character who has the power of Sevens, used to be in Feather, a resistant group who fought against the Sumeragi Group. The story begins with meeting the heroine, Sian.
Azure Striker Gunvolt is a beloved action platformer series that has spawned two games, with more probably on the way in the upcoming years. From the footage I've seen, it looks like a lot of fun. Since the franchise has been a success, it would pretty much be inevitable for someone to make an anime to either adapt or promote the games. I'm not sure how fans will react to this OVA, but I'm not impressed by it. Some of you might bemoan me for ripping on a glorified advertisement for a video game, but that didn't stop us last month
when tearing up Fate/Grand Order: First Order, and it certainly didn't stop us from obliterating Mars of Destruction or Skelter+Heaven. Now, is it as bad as those few? Oh, hell no! It would be a sin to put this in the same ball park as the latter two abominations from yesteryear, and it's not as ridiculously bad as the former title either. Even still, when compared to other OVA promo prequels for beloved video games (like Megaman X's "Day of Sigma), this OVA falls flat. This is coming from the perspective of a newbie that is planning on getting into the series, so maybe fans of the games will have a better time with this one than I did. So, why didn't this electrify me in the slightest? Well, let's find out, shall we?
Basically, this is the story of how an adept, named Gunvolt, saved an adept by the name of Joule, with the framing decide being that Joule remembers being saved 6 months prior (how did she remember the stuff she wasn't there for? Did Gunvolt tell her? Dunno.). It's all basically a search and destroy mission and a generic OVA. Gunvolt breaks in, gets caught, has a poorly placed and poorly excecuted flashback, kicks some ass, finds the "core" that he needs to destroy, goes AWOL because it's the hero way and because he can relate to his target, and kicks more ass before getting kicked out. There's not much too it really. If the story was written tightly around that, with no asspulls, deus ex machinas, or any of that, this would be perfectly fine. However, specifically involving Gunvolt's fight with an adept by the name of Marik, and even before that, that proves to not be the case.
In said fight, Gunvolt powers up out of nowhere, and he gets helped by an unknown sniper who isn't even seen by the end of this (unless there is context in the game to prove that it was someone we know), all in the middle of a generic and boring fight scene. This was clearly made for fans, as they make no attempt to explain much about anything here, leaving newbies, such as myself, in the dark. It all ends on a lazy advertisement of what's to come in the games, as was the case with the other glorified ad anime that came out recently. All of this may seem too benign for a 3, but, in 21 minutes, it stacks up really quickly, and with no flavor or anything to really mitigate the damage. Oh, we also see his rival, Copen, randomly because of course we have to shoehorn the rival character to advertise him. Maybe it was him who fired the shot? He hates adepts, so, why didn't he help kill the enemy adept? We'll never know. Well, let's move on.
Another reason this OVA was boring was due to its characters. I understand that in 21 mintes, it's hard to really sell a cast of characters, especially when it's an adaptation of a video game, but shows like Steins;Gate have proven that to be possible, making us love the cast by the end of episode 1. Everyone feels stale and generic, but not stupid or excessively generic. It's a lukewarm cast with a lukewarm hero (Gunvolt, who I'm sure is more interesting in the games), damsel in distress (Joule), and Gunvolt's now ex-organization, QUILL, and Nova, the headmaster of the evil organization, The Sumeragi Group. There mainly there just for the sake of putting them in this scenario to advertise the game, and it shows since almost none of them have a personality that goes beyond the basic archetypes.
Gunvolt was animated by "LandQ studios", and they did an alrigt job, even with the borderline "generic LN" character designs. It really shines when they animate some concert scenes with Lumen, the pop idol who just so happens to be an extension of Joule. Everywhere else, it's merely ok; even by OVA standards, this isn't anything notably impressive. The combat is mediocre but not poor, and I'm glad they kept the mechanics from the game in check (unlike some adaptations out there). It's decently animated by a relatively unknown studio, and that's all we care about for this section.
There really isn't anything special about the background OST aside from the pretty decent Lumen songs. They make a good backdrop to whatever goes on, even if there is nothing else that has any real merit (like a sense of memorability). As for the dub, it's really bad. Given that it came out the same time as the sun, it makes some semblance of sense, but Space Dandy has the same scenario and, from what I've heard, it has a great dub, so what's Gunvolt's excuse? Everyone sounds like they're just reading their lines from a script instead of actually acting, and it really shows. For 2017 standards, that is unacceptable.
All in all, this was a very dull advertisement OVA. Nothing really tried to stand out, and it was all middling and lukewarm. The dialogue was also meh, as was the fighting. Nothing felt like it was really trilingual to entertain, and it's a shame. Still, at least it wasn't excruciatingly boring, but it was dull nonetheless. That's all there is too it, aside from one funny like about Marin complaining about Gunvolt's actions and lines sounding like a generic hero.
OVERALL: 4/10 RAW SCORE: 42/100
There's not much left to say here. It's a boring OVA that, while meant to make us interested in the franchise, probably succeeds better at giving a small treat to existing fans than drawing new ones in. It doesn't do anything interesting or play it's events up in a way that is fun, but at least it's not as bad as some of its earlier contemporaries. Still, it's not one of the better ones if it's kind out there. Well, with all that said, I bid you adieu.
As a fan of Gunvolt I hate to admit it but I'm quite disappointed. When I heard Gunvolt was getting an anime I was hyped! The magnificently designed characters by Yoshitaka Hatakeyama being brought to life in animation! Though the key animator had no choice but to slightly edit the designs a bit to make the animating process smoother. When you see the Megaman Zero comercials you have to wonder...what if Megaman Zero got an anime? Why? Because you wanna see more of that while still using Toru Nakayama's (Megaman Zero's Character Designer) designs. Still, the work would be tremendous! So they had to settle
with easier to draw designs which I completely understand. But enough of my hype, let's talk about how they messed it all up.
Gunvolt isn't about the story, it's about the world. Megaman games are the same thing. The story isn't all that important. All you need to know is that robots are attacking and it's up to the robotic heroes to save the day. Simple. But concepts stack onto that base to expand the world of Megaman. That's the appeal of it. More robot masters and reploids, how the world evolves through each game, the idea of reploids and humans can coexist and all of the fun memories of friendship along with the hardships of evil. Gunvolt is essentially Megaman but replace robots/reploids with adepts. Since the anime is about the beginning where things left off, and because of how short the first mission in Gunvolt is, SURELY they can go for the best option by having the first ten minutes be about how Gunvolt starts his days in QUILL. Instead we get a poorly paced drawn out first mission plagued by badly placed flash backs and ridiculous pacing. One moment Gunvolt is on the train, next moment we are back to Jewel. One moment we are seeing Gunvolt infiltrate a random building then we cut to a flash back when he was saved by Asimov. While other things are happening Joule's Septima keeps interrupting the flow as well. If they wanted to shoe horn her septima to sing, why not just use her RIGHT when Gunvolt is about to fight Merak and have her dance around with decent animation like how she is used in the game?These choices are so jarring even I kept being sucked away from this anime. Honestly if this was the direction they were going they could have at least had Gunvolt's flash back be the start and work their way up to the moment he saves Joule and leaves QUILL. Over all the story in Gunvolt isn't an issue, the matter is how the anime presents it is very slashed into pieces and arranged in a way that would make it confusing and jarring to even watch. And don't forget that shoe horned fight scene...I will talk about that later.
The art style is fine! They put in some nice moments to show off how awesome Gunvolt and how beautiful Joule's Septima can be at times! He makes some nice moves here and there but the problem starts to fall when it comes to other aspects of the show. Art in anime isn't about how flashy it can be, it should be about how they can spread their budget to the right areas and like most anime that have action in it they save the best for the good stuff. But that also means making cuts. Gunvolt's flash back were multiple still frames, his talk with Asimov is on a desk side shot for side shot with bland colors, sometimes the other animation bits can be choppy when they don't want to be. I don't blame them for this animation! Gunvolt only solid like 150 K units! You can't expect someone like Inti Creates to make a pretty anime! They just had to work with what they had. Still, it's no excuse for this choppy animation when they could have used previous bits of animation in favor of something different. They don't have to make a 21 OVA by stretching out animation and pacing, they could have compressed the best scenes without unnecessary ones to make it as pretty and short as possible. After watching Planetarium I realized you don't need 21 minutes to describe some plot in that frame of time. All you need is enough, and because of how simple the story is in Gunvolt it could have been so much better if they made a smarter move for quality and not quantity.
Joule's song is...well...meh. Compared to her other songs I'm surprised they didn't just put in Reincarnation when Gunvolt was powered up. That song is a staple in the series and they didn't even use it. I watched the dub and sub and...Was Gunvolt's voice actor making Gunvolt trying to sound like a complete idiot? I don't know, Merik and Gunvolt's voices in this anime are awful. Joule's and the others were fine at times though. The Sub is way better, and I think what happened here was that the dub was rushed. You can tell with the cut and paste translation. Dubbing is pretty difficult. You have to make sure your lines match the lips of your character while also conveying the same message. Meaning there is syllable management. There are times where Gunvolt finishes his lines and his mouth keeps moving up and down, including Marik's at the end. Though some of the line's are delivered to the point it would make the dubbing of Megaman X4 blush. When a character's face is conveying so much emotion but their delivery is VERY off, it results in cringe and hilarity. Look no further than Marik's 'Just freeze already!' line while he is making a rage face. It makes me wonder if this was intentional or not because of how far voice acting as gone. Even the most inexperienced of voice actors can be whipped into shape with multiple cuts until they get it just right. If that isn't the case then the voice acting was most likely rush to finally get Gunvolt published for the media. Watch the Sub if you wanna take it more seriously...or the dub if you wanna have a laugh. Don't forget Gunvolt's "SHEEEE HAAAS NEEEEDS TOOO."
Character: While most characters are portrayed accurately, Gunvolt and Marik's is very off. Gunvolt now sounds like your generic anime protagonist with a sense of justice. Yes, he is that but Gunvolt's appeal comes from how much of a snarky bastard he can be. He loves thinking about how messed up people are with a silly one liner, he loves to show off how cocky he can be with his ability fry your jitt up. They did not convey this side of his character very well in the anime even when he was fighting Marik. Instead he talks about Joule's dream to sing with her own power, why Marik works for Sumeragi and how wrong it is and such. Gunvolt in the game is like this, but was this really the right time to talk about it? Where are his lines of sass? What does he say when the torture pedophile was scared out of his mind? "Good intel, creepy electro whip guy." What...WHAT!!?!? That...that's his sassy insult?!?! What happened to his "Ding ding thanks for the whipping. I needed a good recharge." or "I -AM- LIGHTNING" line? And then there is Marik. How did they mess him up? Well for starters WHY is Marik here? He isn't in the Anthem opening mission in Gunvolt. He felt shoe horned in because he is the most popular Seven Glaive users/bosses in the first Gunvolt game because the audience can easily relate to a gamer boy who has no drive whatsoever. Marik is constantly annoyed, he finds everything else to be a chore and wants to go and play vidja games. Honestly they draw him with a cocky smile rather than a dull expression. His lines at times are fine and make sense for his character, but honestly he serves no point here. He should be complaining why Gunvolt is here or why can't he just die already. Oh well. Way to ruin two characters at the same time, OVA.
Though despite low numbers I am still a Gunvolt fan and I will gladly support the series by giving some of my money to watch this OVA. The problem is they could have done so much better and added more lore in the Gunvolt universe. It isn't about the story, it's about the world they are in with silly and awesome one liners filled with wacky people with pretty j pop playing. They can't fit all of that in 21 minutes, but instead of trying a different route they took a path that had to be drawn out. I enjoyed the flashy stuff, I enjoyed the pretty designed, I enjoyed the horrible voice acting, but I did not enjoy the overall performance which severely hurts this OVA. If this anime was made for a Gunvolt fan then it's alright. I can't expect much from Inticreates. But if I wasn't a gunvolt fan and watched this then I would NOT be interested in playing the series. Regardless, good try Inticreates! Better luck next time.
Gunvolt, a game that I've watched the walk through for because I do not have the money to buy it on eshop. I don't even know how to put money on eshop. I absolutely loved the game and I was even more excited for the anime. But there are things that they should of done to improve it.
Compared to the game itself, it mostly showed the very beginning. This leads me to disappointment as I was expecting a lot more than just the beginning. If they were targeting people to go play the game, they did a good job. To gunvolt fans who waited
forever hit the dust as it was just about the beginning. In a story, there is a beginning, middle and end. We have one thing but where is everything else!?!
I really liked the art style in this episode. It really gives that spark. Especially when the blue lighting kind of flashes. Sadly when it came to a long battle. The portals kind of confused me.
It was pretty decent. It did give energy, especially to the ones who have played the game as the song is recognisable but it was mostly all lumen. I know there is more music then that. Especially during the fight. What could of made it better is some dramatic fight music!
Where the heck is the character build!?! Yes, I know that it's hard to do something like that in 21 minutes. I bet anyone that has watched this and is basically new are wondering what is QUILL's main objective, what is the sumeragi and how many are they, what is an adept? If they did a whole series. It would give them time to build up more character in not just the main character but the supporting also. I'm betting right now that first timers only remember 2 names and it's pretty obvious what those names are.
I really enjoyed it. What I never expected was Gunvolt wearing glasses and all that normal attire. It just gives fangirls a squeal. Like I said before, it was quite confusing with all the portals. Although I did really hate that it was only available on eshop. It would of reached far if the good quality was available for other devices.
I enjoyed this one short episode. I believe it would of been better to have it as a series than a 21 minute video. There was so much left out just by doing one episode. Like Danganronpa. It started as a game. It had a 13 episode series which not only attracted people to play it but also to play the sequel and other games in the DanganRonpa franchise. Other than that, I liked it!
Armored Blue Gunvolt or Azure Striker Gunvolt would be an awesome anime series. All of it the story, art, sound and characters match the game so well. After finding it and watching it I watched it at least ten times. When and if they make this into an anime I would rewatch again and again. All in all I give it a 10/10. For the record I am still rewatching it till this day.
Story=10 Reasons: It fits so well it make sense and its clear to understand
the situation of what's going on. It also makes me
want to see what happens next.
Art=10 Reasons: Its so beautiful that it makes me want to cry and I just
Sound=10 Reasons: N/A (it's that good)
Character=10 Reasons: They are just awesome to look at.