Anime Meta-Review


Gall Force: Eternal Story


By Date




Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • made: 1986
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

A movie that is famous, at least in part, for the failure of the story to end when the film does. This movie was a popular fan favourite and that led to multiple sequels. And while the movie is not without flaws, both in story and animation, it certainly is interesting, especially for being fairly serious sci-fi.

The movie begins on board a starship which is a minor part of one fleet in a large and brutal space war. This ship is crewed by the solonoids, a race entirely composed of female humanoids identical to humans, and the enemy is the far more alien paranoids. Unfortunately both sides are roughly equal in technology and numbers and the war seems both unstoppable and unwinnable leading to some fairly brutal scenes of conflict. This is made clear when the ship, once full of life, is reduced to holding only 7 survivors as the battle moves to another location. Things turn even darker when they find themselves the victims of an important and deadly conspiracy that might give the lie to everything they believe in, and easily cost them their lives.

One of the most interesting things about the movie is the characters, who are surprisingly strong and interesting for the short development time they get. This leads to an interesting comparison between the brutal, and seemingly hopeless, war and these people trying to live their lives. And these are minor players in the war, ordinary soldiers, given orders rather than information. In addition the technical design is very detailed and coherent, which greatly increases the reality. This is backed up by a well written and ambitious story (which has some holes perhaps) that develops nicely as the movie progresses. Still, this is serious sci-fi and these are not "hero's" and as such there is a relatively grim atmosphere and a goodly number of fatalities along the way...which in some ways does enhance the atmosphere and character of the movie.

It must be mentioned that this is an older movie, and while the technical design is good it does lead to some complex scenes that the animation simply cannot handle. In addition the character designs are very strange, looking suprising solid and weighty at best and doll-like at others. It's very different from the normal anime style and in some ways makes them feel more like `people' than designs. It also reduces the `fan-service' factor, with the designs being quite unglamorous and un-sexy (even with lufy's various shower scenes). There's a solid style in their expression and their actions which makes it very watchable. The music didn't get me, but sound effects are strong and most of the voices are good. The conclusion is satisfying, but given the story scope still leaves more to be said.

Those THEM have a review, but they didn't like it enough and it shows in the relatively simple review, saying it lacked polish and failed to stand out from the crowd. Akemi's AnimeWorld also has a review and calls it, "either an epic space opera gone horribly wrong, or a babes in outer space flick gone horribly right." which is cool, but i'm not entirely certain what it means. The review has a similar duality, pointing out many flaws but also mentioning the `epic' scope. The Anime Review is fairly blunt, in this review suggesting it is somewhat disjointed and aimless although partially redeemed by the relatively strong story. The Anime Critic had no doubts, calling it awful in this spoiler rich review. A lot of his criticism is for the english dub voice acting.


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