Mar 31, 2023
In 1998, Bandai released their Dinozone toyline as a direct competitor to Takara's Beast Wars. To market the toyline, Bandai made this OVA which were distributed on video tapes packaged with the Dinozone toys. This OVA would also form the basis of Dinozaurs, the Fox Kids cartoon made when the Dinozone toys were imported to America in 2000.
The OVA is almost entirely CGI, save for still 2D drawings that serve as establishing shots and live-action toy commercials. The CGI makes it really obvious that Dinozone is a Beast Wars competitor, since a similar style of CGI was used in the Beast Wars cartoon. The CGI
is pretty rough in the first couple of episodes (below Beast Wars quality), but as the episodes progress, the CGI gets better and better. The last 5 minutes of the first two episodes were entirely live-action toy commercials, but this stopped by the third episode, which is around when the animation quality begins to improve.
The story is a generic good vs evil battle (I watched it raw in Japanese since there were no English subs, so perhaps I missed something). The fights, which I were able to understand, were fairly engaging for me. Unlike in the 2000 cartoon, there are no human characters in this OVA, which is good because it focuses more on the war between the dinos, with no human character filler that is common in children's robot shows like the Transformers Unicron Trilogy.
The sound is good, with engaging, epic music and an intro that uses only instrumental music, something rare in anime (I never skipped this OVA's intro, which is uncommon for me).
If you want to watch a weird robot show with ancient CGI, I recommend Dinozone. I enjoy obscure mecha and sci-fi OVAs, so this was right up my alley. If you aren't interested in those things, you will probably get very little enjoyment out of this.
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