Anime Meta-Review


Bronze / Cathexis


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Oct 22 16:28:40 EST 2000
  • mod: none

This is a yaoi title. In other words the story is based around a male homosexual couple. This review is not meant for die-hard fans of the genre (i'd assume there are better sources) but for the general anime fan wondering if there is anything of interest in this title. Since this OAV is a sequal to the (assumedly successful) Zetsuai '89 we don't know the character's too well. However one is a rebel from a powerful family, now a famous rockstar, who has always been searching for something to fill in the missing parts of his life. The other is a young potential soccer star who has a relatively dark past and has had to mature early and raise his younger siblings by himself. While these two apparently started a relationship in Zetsuai '89 it is far from stable and acknowledged. In this OAV various challenges, both within and outside their relationship, test their ties to one another and the way in which they will live their future. One of the elements of the conclusion is the rockstar pledging to record his last (and after the events one assumes his greatest) album. And this leads nicely into the Cathexis part of the tape which is about 5 anime video clips featuring the characters and events of the story.

There's no explicit sex on this tape but there is some nudity and homosexual physical affection so you've got to get past that before you bother with anything else. Sadly once you do get past that you realise that this is a suprisingly soppy and soapy story. Sure, it has its moments of power, but it all seems fairly unreal and a little bit over-acted. For a start a lot of the dialog is awfully emotive (and occasionally poetic) with the `tortured by impossible love' angle getting given a solid work-out. Meanwhile the events, and interactions with other people, seem improbably dramatic. In other words reality and believability is sacrificed in an attempt to create emotional impact. If this is what you want, and you're willing to accept some florid language and almost cliche scenes, then get the tissues and go for it. But if you like logic and story you might find it a bit much. On the other hand it does give an opportunity to watch men acting more emotional and angsty than you'll see any place else. Strangely enough this actually worked better for the video clips (the cathexis part), largely because you expect song lyrics and visuals to be a bit poetic and over the top.

The animation is not overly impressive. The anatomy and proportions are often so stylised and romanticised as to look downright alien. There's also a fair degree of variability in how it looks. And there seems to be a weird tendency towards `dagger' chins. Finally given that everyone looks quite `pretty' there's some potential for confusion. In addition the `movement' of the characters is a bit odd, but given that much of it is dialog it is not too much of a problem. The voices seem fine, but a bit over-acted in parts. One good thing is that the video clips are much more than the `extras' you might expect. Given that they are in the context of the story, feature the characters, and have original animation (rather than just chopped up from the title) they're actually worthy of consideration. Given that they've got a decent sound and interesting lyrics and vision you might even find them quite enjoyable. And those who like gazing at cool posing bishounen types should be very happy indeed.

I must admit I wonder if the problem is that in countries where homosexuality is not that much of an issue some of the dramatic power is lost...or perhaps i'm too unromantic to understand the allure. In any case i'll also embarass myself by pointing out that a Spas-12 is not an automatic weapon...although I don't expect anyone else to see the connection in that comment. Well, it's not Lord Carnage but Herself the Elf who provided a review of this one. While she wanted `action', which I could live without, we both seemed to find the soap opera just a bit much. Entertaining review, and also covers Zetsuai which I haven't seen (and might not).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009