Anime Meta-Review




By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-6 of 12
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

I had high hopes for this one, but instead it proved to be a good example of how a noble attempt at making good anime can go horribly wrong. The story is borrowed from a fairly popular manga, and seems fairly promising. In a collapsed fragmented world far in the future humanity struggles to live. And if some task is too great, and you have the money, you can hire a mercenary to...smooth over some of the rough spots. One such mercenary is bolt crank, a unique man with a unique gift and a seeming talent for getting into (and out of) strange situations.

At least I assume that's how it goes, because this anime gives very little backstory as to why the world is the way it is. And certainly bolt is not going to tell you, because he has to be one of the most inert hero's in any anime. The guy simply stands there and watches for most of the anime, but there's a reason for that. The reason is that the producers seemingly decided to make some cool, slightly arty, really atmospheric anime. Lots of atmosphere, quixotic stories and scenes full of deeper meaning. The problem is they failed, and when this sort of attempt fails you get something lifeless, meaningless and tedious. Thus the stories attempt to be weird, but just end up feeling pointless and incomplete. The writing simply isn't strong enough to get away with it. For his part bolt is clearly meant to be ubercool, thus the lack of reaction and minimal dialog. However this just makes him seem boring and lifeless. Taken together, despite the best ambitions of the creators, this is awe inspiringly boring and character-less series with little to recommend it. Oh yeah, bolt has a gimmick power, the ability to eat equipment and reform it later, but if you think a few occurences of that are enough to make an anime interesting I have news for you.

And the animation has similar problems. It looks pretty good, but it is fairly obvious that they are budget constrained. They've made a heroic effort to try and work with this, but it simply doesn't conceal the limitations. For example there are lots of still scenes, with camera pans, which must be cheap to animate. These are concealed as `atmosphere shots', but there are simply too many of them. Likewise action is heavily limited, to the extent that it most often occurs off the screen. Despite their best efforts the final result is lifeless which corresponds with and enhances the weaknesses in the writing. The voices are okay, although given the dialog limitations (especially for bolt) fairly irrelevant. The use of incidental music is interesting and okay, but the opening song is lousy (and the lyrics nonsensical).

The only review I could find amongst my sources was from Lord Carnage, in this case even the review itself is limited by the lack of story or character.


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