Sunday, May 9, 2010

Guyver: Out of Control (1986) OVA

Overall verdict: 2.5/10

The Good: over the top violence, main characters were voiced very well

The Bad: choppy animation, sloppy writing, minimal character development, chessy lines and voice acting for supporting characters, hentai.

Current Availability Status: internets only


It is a normal school day for young Sho Fukamachi. Happy, carefree, with his only worry being whether his cute neighbour Mizuki would ever love a guy like him, Sho's life could not have been more normal. That is, until a wrong turn on the way home causes Sho and Mizuki to stumle into what seems like a Mafia hit. Except that this "mafia" is the powerful "Chronos Organisation" and the hitman is a huge musclebound monstrosity tearing the limbs off another monster. Fleeing for their lives, Sho accidentaly activates a hidden "Guyver unit" which symbioticly binds with him. This Guyver unit encases Sho in near inpenertrable armor, augments his natural strength and allows him to fire searing beams of light from his chest.
With the Chronos organisation out to silence all witnesses and retrieve the Guyver unit, Sho would need to harness the power of Guyver if he is to keep himself alive and protect Mizuki.

This movie seems to be a highly condensed retelling of the opening chapters of the Guyver manga series which then spins off into a whole new story onto itself. From the get go, this 50 odd minute long OVA tries so very hard to be "style over substance" but ends up lacking any style other than pumping itself full of grissly violence and disturbing imagery. Character development here is a totally alien concept. Our main character of Sho appears for like one minute, has some dialogue with his dad and his girlfriend and then we get thrown headlong back into the action. Perhaps the director is trying to convey the main protagonist's sense of fear and shock at suddenly being in possession of an alien symbiotic weapon (the Guyver unit), being hunted by monstrous assassins and seeing his friends die around him, but the lack of characterization just does not allow the audience to relate to Sho as well as they could have. There are some flashbacks that are supposed to instill a sense of pity for the character but due to slipshod character development (or rather, an overall lack of character development) those scenes come across as a cheap attempt to milk a tear out of the audience for an otherwise uninteresting protagonist.

The much hyped and largely extolled action in this movie is not just violent, it is excessively so. It seems like every monster and villain that ends up shedding blood just so happens to have, like, a thousand large arteries running through the same spot. Blood is not shed; it is splattered, sprayed and splashed with all the wild abandon of a kid playing with the garden hose. The monsters are at first creepy in the opening scene where one of them attacks a truck driver on a dark and stormy night. But once the scenes move to the daytime, the monsters come across as looking only slightly better than those in Power Rangers. The whole story seems to be centered on the fights, causing the entire movie to spiral quite literally, (as the title says) out of control as it heads toward its halfway mark.

The next hyped aspect is the female guyver aka agent Valucia who adds nothing to the story other than to give those hot blooded and deprived otakus something to salivate over. Tastelessly and unnecessarily over-sexualized, the director takes every opportunity to either show her naked or huffing and puffing away, all sweaty in the gym making suggestive moans and grunts. The only times she keeps her clothes on are just like a transition from one naked scene to the next.

This movie should appeal to only the most die hard of guyver fans and anime otakus looking for a violent and borderline hentai anime fix. The sick minds behind this atrocity even turned the concept of "binding with an alien symbiote" into tentacle porn. Spiderman's Venom character pulled off the binding bit with a lot better taste. It is a slip shod collection of violence, sex and nightmarish images all set to some incredibly cheesy synthesiser music and disappointly inconsistent animation.
For those of you looking for an adaptation of the Cult manga series "Guyver" with a good coherent story and characters we can actually care about, look elsewhere. Anything you'll find in this movie is bland, brainlessness and bloody.

*****************************Review End******************

Go For it: if mindless violence and R21 stuff is your thing
Avoid it: if you have a shred of good taste or are a existing fan of the Guyver franchise.

Entertainment: D
Story: D+
Characters: C-
Animation: D
Art: C-
Voice work(japanese only): A-
Replay Value: D
"brains": F

Hold the gravy, please.
Guyver after he tears off someone's arms.

What follows is A collection of disturbing images.


Lost his head, plain and simple

Donkey Kong EXTREME

One really what sick mind thought this up. No prizes for guessing what happens in the next minute.

Wait, another white Guyver??
Actually its the same character but thanks to lousy animation and inconsistent artwork, his look varies from scene to scene

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