Tsutomu, an average middle school kid busy studying for the final exams to enter high school runs into a man running from someone and gets caught up in the chase. In all the confusion he gets accidentally killed. Luckily Birdy (an interplanetary agent) knows a way to save him, unfortunately that means joining bodies to become one. So now he is stuck with this officer and along for the ride capturing criminals and saving lives.
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” - Roald Dahl
Well, I'm back again with another obscure, bargain bin title review, this time: Birdy the Mighty.
Birdy the Mighty 1996 is a precursor to the more popular BTM: Decode series, which aired more recently. Masami Yuki, a guy who's done literally nothing else of note, started Birdy way back in the mid 80s, which he mysteriously and abruptly stopped writing. (it was probably the cocaine, that he along with everyone else back then did, 'the 80's, mannnn'.) Well, Birdy was turned into a 4 episode OVA series by everybody's favorite studio MADHOUSE!
Unlike their peer Production IG, who had an absolute turd of a show in 1996 called "Panzer Dragoon" (we daren't speak that name), Madhouse delivered a quality animation. Unfortunately, the licensing in NA was handled by Central Park Media, known for their schlockiness and giving dubs a bad name.
Artwork and Animation: 8
Madhouse, true to form, delivers a very high quality, fluid, and fast moving product that looks great for a mid 90s show. This came before the big CGI boom in the late 90s/early 00s, so we're saved from those horrors, and blessed with some very slick hand drawn animation. While there are some lazy moments with stillframe, the action was as good as it was going to get for a show of this budget, and it is very easy to watch.
Sound and Voice Acting: 3
This is where the problems begin, and it's mostly on the voice acting front.
My biggest problem with this is on a technical level, and it's partially a result of the technology at the time, and partly because they used junk equipment. When there's no music (which is usually mixed at a higher level than the voices anyway, making it hard to hear), there's a slight static that everything made before the digital age has. It's there, just trust me.
Well, when the actors are speaking, you can hear hard mic cuts, where the only sound mixed is that of their voice, then it cuts back to "silence" which resumes the static scratching sound, which is a bit jarring. They also apparently didn't know what pop filters were, and you can hear their lips smacking together as they talk.
Half the VA sound really bored, or phoned in, it's just this side of bad cheesy, but not bad enough to laugh at, since it takes itself seriously. A lot of the music sounds like it came straight out of Super Mario Kart, but the ending themes are pretty groovy.
Being that Birdy the Mighty is incomplete, it's natural to say that it's got a poor story, but I disagree. It's "fair". The first episode is just an intro to Birdy and Tsutomu, but 2-4 cover the plot. It's nothing original- an investigation into a growing series of crimes perpetrated by an intergalactic criminal intent on creating psionic soldiers with which to destroy the intergalactic police organization hunting him. The mastermind has created a serum through a series of genetic tests on himself and others which turns the recipient of it into a hulking reptilian psionic rage monster (think Akira- it definitely had some influences here). There is another villain who is explored , but not resolved, which hurt the show, but in a way left it open ended for an eventual revisitation.
Characters: 7 ---*minor 1st episode spoilers*---
Tsutomu is a weenie and a giant loser who lucklessly happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up dead while the Intergalactic supercop Birdy is chasing a criminal. As punishment for ending the poor kid's pathetic life, Birdy is instructed by her giant Radroach of a boss to ressurect Tsutomu by morphing bodies with him. They're able to switch at will, and both have their own lives to attend to, which often leads to some pretty funny results.
Birdy herself is a confident and capable fighter, but impulsive and hot-headed, a trait she vehemently denies, then tries to fight someone over for saying, hah. She's tough, and she don't take no crap- which sometimes ends in billions of dollars in destruction of property, but she makes sure to kick enough intergalactic ass to cover the bill.
I picked this up on a whim, like most of my obscure titles, and while the first episode was pretty boring, the 2nd-4th were really good. There's some brutal action including arm and leg breaks, and several awesome sequences- one where an entire skyscraper is taken down in a battle, and a second where there's a telekinetic fight that ends with an oil tanker being thrown into a character who crashes through a 6 foot thick concrete wall! There's a few cheeseball lines of dialogue to snicker at too.
It has some over the top moments, but overall it's a good twist on the typical superpower shonen. A handy female protagonist who shows the beta male how it's done, and a fun concept of the body switching made for a good little show.
Sure. It's a nice change of pace, and at 120 minutes runtime, not a big investment. read more
Birdy the Mighty started as a 1980s manga that combined tropes of the "Magical Girl" genre with the Space Bounty Hunter genre. It is unsurprisingly about a lose cannon Galactic officer named Birdy. She gives zero fucks and often causes some massive collateral damage. However, after accidentally killing a random Japanese highschool student, her boss comically yells at her and forces her to save his life by binding his spirit to hers. Anime fans will instantly recognize the similarity to the relationship between Alucard and Seras from Hellsing, which came about 10 years after the Birdy manga concluded. However, the boy Tsutomu does not get to keep his own body like Seras. Instead he and Birdy share a body and switch during times of danger, much like Yugi and Yami from Yugioh. With this fairly interesting set up, our story begins!
Birdy the Mighty is largely episodic with our title badass taking down a new threat in every episode. There was supposed to be an overarching plot about Birdy chasing a famous alien criminal hiding out on Earth for unknown reasons, but the anime was scrapped after just 4 episodes! What is amazing is that Birdy actually had the makings of a decent show, but was never given a chance. Why? There are anime out there WAY worse than Birdy that are actually popular and have multiple seasons! Ikki Tousen is one of the worst anime I have ever seen and I believe that piece of shit has 4 seasons now! Several attempts were made to reboot Birdy, but none of them caught on in popularity. Perhaps because Birdy is a very shonen action series, but broke the rules by having a female main protagonist? I'm honestly not sure why this show did so poorly with Japanese test audiences.
Tsutomu is a bland, beta male that is easily forgettable. The character that is actually interesting is obviously Birdy herself. I love how she grins from ear to ear while tearing apart her opponents with her bare hands. She is gleefully psychotic and is sort of like a female Alucard, or if Revy from Black Lagoon was actually likeable. It is too bad we have likely seen the end of Birdy and her reckless police work.
One possible reason for Birdy's failure in the US was that it was adapted by the dreaded Central Park Media. Of all the companies to licence anime in the United States, no one had a reputation worse than the now thankfully defunct Central Park. This was a company that adapted the absolute WORST anime that NO ONE wanted to see, simply because they didn't have to pay very much money to adapt and bring over Z tier anime titles to the US. This was the company that gave us MD Geist, Mad Bull 34, Angel Cop, and probably 8 of the top 10 worst anime ever to see an American release. Like all Central Park titles, Birdy suffers from HORRIBLE voice acting and cheesy music inserted in. However, I didn't honestly think Birdy suffered that much from these flaws. It kind of made it nostalgic and fun.
Birdy the Mighty was obviously not a cinematic masterpiece, but it certainly deserved more than 4 damn episodes before getting axed! Sometimes for whatever reason, good shows get screwed and cancelled WAY too early, while shitty shows somehow stumble on season after season. Birdy is one of those decent shows that had some real potential, but failed to find an audience and was never given the chance it deserved. Of all the garbage that Central Park Media dumped on to American audiences, this was EASILY one of their best titles.read more
Good old fashion space alien takes over human and fights evil show. Characters are believable and interesting to watch, attention to human motion is impressive in this animation and design style is rather nice not complicated by extra layers of shading. The music isn’t half bad either and usually appropriate to the situation. Guys family is fun to watch as they can be comicly sarcastic. Recommend 16+ because of brief partial nudity and some disturbing scenes.
one of my old school fav that just goes to show that know matter how short an anime is, it can still be packed with quality.This anime starts fairly straight-forward.Tomu is a loser teen with absolutely no hope for his future.He gets bad grades,he's unpopular and his own familiy think he's a prick.Cant get any worst right ? wrong ! as one day he unwittingly finds himself between an alien police officer called birdy and a evill alien thug.Tomu almost die in the incounter and in order to save his life birdy is forced to merge her body with his.
Tomu life from therein gets even more complicated as he have to juggle his fleeting social life while sharing his body with an alien female and help her to uncover the mystery as to why an intergalactic criminal organization has come to earth.The action is great,awesome fight scenes,some good tasteful humour.the animation and sound is well done. Avoid the dub its absolutely awful.read more
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