Anime Meta-Review


Armored Trooper Votoms


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-13
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: mecha
  • Series state: Will watch more at some time.
  • made: 1983
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

From the opening frame you know this is ancestral animation. The relatively complex appearance, but somewhat jerky motion and use of short cuts to reduce costs is very familiar. This story follows the story of an armored suit pilot Chirico who is having a very bad day, of course since he's a soldier in a sci-fi interplanetary war that has gone on for many years you get the feeling that he doesn't get that many good days. Still, this one has to hurt. He's been assigned to a commando raid which has `suspicious' written all over it, got a peek at the military's absolute top-secret before being betrayed (explosively) by the others involved. The military save his life, but of course don't believe he knows nothing no matter how many times he says it. The world itself is very post-apocalyptic as all resources have been drained by the war, pollution in the form of acid rain is ever-present and much of the world is still in ruin.

As is expected the struggle to survive is vicious and the familiar corrupt cops and motorbike bandits drag our hero into the violence of this new world. Not that the largely silent Chirico does much to avoid it of course. There are lots of other characters, some quite well represented albeit familiar to anyone who's seen this sort of material before. In addition the events generated at the start of the show continue to have mysterious effects and promise future revelations. While the animation is older the strong writing and good design of the world and technology is more than adequate to support the interesting story. The action is often conservative in what is animated, but is good when done, both on foot and in the armored suits. Indeed the greatest tribute to this show is that it isn't long before you hardly notice the animation style and wish you had more tapes to shove in the VCR. Especially recommended for those interested in post-apocalypse environments, older anime and an indication of just how long the Japanese have been doing powered armor anime.

Those who like the game `Heavy Gear' might be interested to see just how old armored suits with secondary wheels are in Japanese animation, although this anime still has more features than the game. It took me a while to realise, but the mech's will lock one foot and wheel the other for a fast pivot, I love obsessive attention to detail. The only review I could find, and I almost missed it since it was under (V) is at Akemi's AnimeWorld and it considers it to be `cheesy' as well as old and familiar.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:15 WST 2009