Anime Meta-Review


Detonator Orgun


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3 of 3
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: mecha
  • made: 1991
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This title has to be one of the best examples of something that just doesn't translate well. Just in case you were wondering no organs were detonated in the production of this anime. The story starts off very promisingly, with a nice hard sci-fi edge and a bit of mystery to keep us going. The young hero of the story is having doubts about his future, and his uncertainty is echoed in the VR `dreams' he plays while asleep. At the same time the earth military is very worried. They've been receiving instructions from outside the solar system for over a year. And when translated these instructions allow the construction of what looks an awful lot like a mecha. It seems that the foundations are being laid for the earth itself, and the characters we meet, to get dragged into something rather epic. However, in the best sci-fi tradition everything is not quite as simple as it seems.

I've been pretty vague there, because the start is very nicely done, with a definite style and some nice sci-fi foundations to set the characters and events in motion and set the scene. The good observation of people, along with interesting dialog, gives it a sense of promise. This is enhanced by a very real feeling world, various `adverts' to give an idea of the society and a lot of detail in the environment. The possibility of a strong hard sci-fi story seems to exist and the pacing is willing to take some time before giving it all away. Sadly this fades a little bit as the suspicion dawns that it is quickly moving in the direction of another `one man and his mecha must save the world' anime. And while there is a sizable element of this, and a lot of elements that seem very familiar, there is also a fairly solid story, some strong characters and a nice build towards a climactic ending. In addition the story has some extra complexity, the discovery of which is nicely paced, which also keeps the characters involved and developing throughout the series. The action buffs might actually be disappointed, but if you are in the mood for a solid sci-fi anime with mecha in it and a nice big story this anime is probably worth a try.

I should also mention that while there are only three OAV's they all run for about an hour. As you can guess from this trait these are older OAV's, and while the animation has dated a bit it is still pretty good. This is helped by a great deal of interesting tech and world design. From the leads sneakers, public transport and incidental tech (we get to see a high tech closet) there's a lot of design work in there. And this extends to the military hardware and mecha themselves. Unfortunately some of the design seems detailed but not entirely convincing, with the mecha having all sorts of protruberances with uncertain function which just ends up being confusing. In addition it must be mentioned that the action animation can be taken two ways. It uses a lot of dramatic close ups and `flashes' of motion when the action heats up. This is actually pretty stylish and dynamic and gives it an interesting visual style. It can also be seen as a bit confusing and indicative of budget limitations. How you react to it is probably going to play a large part in how much you enjoy the title. The music is interesting, nice large symphonic stuff at certain points (I rarely notice music) and the voices seemed fine.

While Lord Carnage has an entry for the title it's basically only a short comment. However it does indicate that this was one of the first OAV's to be brought to the western market. The comment is positive, the rating average.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:17 WST 2009