Anime Meta-Review


Fire Tripper


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • dur: 48
  • people: Takahashi
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Mon Jan 22 13:52:46 EST 2001
  • mod: none

The anime adaption of a short story (from the Rumic World series) by Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma, Urusei Yatsura). Given that it's a pretty good story, a bit different from her comedy stuff, and also could be seen as having some of the seeds for Inuyasha (her latest) it's definitely worth a watch.

The story relies on two elements, romance and time travel. The time travel element being used to add a couple of nice twists to the story, but describing them in too much detail would detract from the fun and impact of the story. The essence is that a japanese school-girl, an orphen who does not know her own past, is caught in a terrible accident. While she should have died instead she finds a latent power within herself and is hurled back to the civil war period in historical Japan.

While it's not a very nice place to visit, being a time of rampant war and banditry, she does find herself rescued by a young warrior from a small village. He's collecting salvage from the battlefield, and is definitely delighted to find such attractive (albeit a bit weird) salvage as her. However unlike most Takahashi stories he's not too socially crippled and she's not too hot-tempered so it looks like romance might find fertile ground between the two. Then again, when bandits attack the town, and the twists introduced by time travel become clear, things get a bit more complicated.

It's actually a pretty good story. In addition the realistically brutal violence and strong romantic sub-thread are both very Takahashi but also more powerful and direct than her later works. There is not as much comedy to soften the events. And while the time travel trickery isn't overly complex it works well and is revealed piece by piece in a believable fashion. There are negatives though. The main one for me is that the anime is a fairly direct translation of the manga story to anime. And since I had read the manga there were not too many suprises. Likewise it's a short story, and a relatively short OAV, so while Takahashi's strong abilities with character make it work it's not too deep or complex.

Another issue is the production. These are old stories and the animation isn't new either. In addition it's sort of plain, as if using only the minimum amount of animation and complexity to tell the story. Then again this simplicity allows focus on story and character and to an extent means that the lack of flash and some shortcuts don't matter as much. If you've seen any of the other Rumik world translations you'll have a very good idea of what to expect. The voices are fun to follow, music and sound are pretty sparse but the closing song has some interesting lyrics.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009