A devil sends two cities; Kujukuri City in Chiba Prefecture and Dallas in the U.S., to ten thousand years ahead in the future, makes them fight each other, and enjoys watching over the fight. The devil's name is Bazusu. So Tanbara Gai, a member of Time Patrol, fights this devil to stop the atrocity.
This title here is a TV special somewhat loosely based on a less known manga by Osamu Tezuka. It's probably for the best that the manga is less known and the changes made for television were probably for the best, but there is only so much an adapting team can do.
The story is a rather simple one and briefly told. Read the synopsis, it already contains half of it. Let it be told though that the story is not really about that time traveller. Indeed, it changes quickly to a story about the girl who we meet early on, the titular Prime Rose. But that
doesn't change the fact that the story is somewhat predictable and entertains at all the wrong places.
The art is a bigger source of entertainment. Yes, it is old, yes, it is typical Tezuka art, but that does not save it from being laughable sometimes. Prime Rose, for example, changes her build at will - or so it seems. In her amazon battle suit she looks like she had her left breast completely removed, when bathing in the lake she is suddenly well-endowed on both sides... actually, everywhere. Guroman soldiers look like straight from Asterix comics (you Americans probably don't know this series. Sadly, I don't know if there's any equivalent in the US for it), making them a bit too laughable to be taken seriously as an oppressive, invading force. And that fire dragon... well, I assume that one was SUPPOSED to look comical.
The characters... I may have hinted at it, but for the most part, they cannot be taken seriously. Probably the biggest offender is Prime Rose again, inexplicably falling in love with the male hero despite just seeing her previous boyfriend, whom she risked her life for just before, killed. I don't feel like using derogatory terms, but really, you can't help but think "slut". Which she maybe isn't, but somehow comes across as. Also, most of the characters have virtually no role to play, they are just there as tools or as stepping stones. Not everything is due to a short runtime though, the writing is to blame as well.
Speaking of the writing, it's... okay. It doesn't particuarly stand out, but it's not really bad either. It does have one major flaw, though: while nearly everything is believable or can be accepted, bodies turning into stone just doesn't come across as believable or acceptable. There is just no basis for it except "magic" and magic clearly does not fit in the world of Prime Rose. Thankfully, it doesn't serve much purpose.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this anime to anyone but die-hard Tezuka maniacs. There is just no enjoyment to be gained from it and it doesn't have much value either. Children may like it, but only if they have nothing else to choose from.
Starting in 1979, Nippon TV started an annual 24-hour fundraising program, and for the first several years, Tezuka Pro offered up an original animated special feature. This is the fifth in that series, which started as follows:
1. Bander Book
2. Marine Express
4. Bremen 4
5. Prime Rose
7. Three-Eyed One
8. Border Planets
In this particular story, an artificial satellite (shaped like a
giant head) splits in two, plummets to the Earth and destroys two cities. But, in fact, it didn't really 'destroy' them, but teleported them (and the people inside) to the distant future. And a young man is sent in a time machine to figure out what happened.
Arriving in the future (with his stowaway younger brother in tow), he discovers a wasteland, ends up imprisoned in a labor camp forced to create giant statues, as two warring states face off against each other. Meanwhile, the young Emiya (who he bumped into) is forcefully betrothed to her king, but runs away, discovers her destiny under the tutelage of an old hermit in the wasteland.
Oh, and that's just describing part of the story. But pretty quickly (like in the first few minutes), so many obvious plot holes pop up, that you just have to give up and stop taking any of it seriously. Don't try to apply logic to this, because it will only get you more and more frustrated. Instead, back off your brainpower and consider this more along the likes of a pulp fiction tale (a la Flash Gordon or John Carter of Mars). That is, light fluff fantasy rather than serious science fiction.
Once you have that frame of mind, you should be fine watching it. But, that still doesn't actually make it a "good" show. The little brother character is consistently annoying as hell. The Demon Mask villain is ridiculous. The artwork is standard Tezuka type stuff (either you're okay with it, or it's 'dated" to you), the animation quality is unremarkable.
At first I had a thought. Maybe Tezuka sat around with all his staff and said, "Okay, I want to see everyone make up as many strange, weird, and improbable creatures as possible! And then once we have gathered them all together, we will try to make a story that includes them all." Because this work, like many of Tezuka's weirder efforts, is chock-a-block with the most unusual drug-induced creatures you can imagine. Like he's trying to one-up himself each time. So, this almost seems like a vehicle created to showcase his zoological menagerie more than anything else. It makes as much sense as any other explanation, I suppose.