Anime Meta-Review


Gall Force: New Era


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-2 of 2
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • made: 1991
  • Review created: Wed Dec 6 12:19:57 EST 2000
  • mod: none

Aggressively stupid, poorly conceived and completely unneccessary. The tendrils of the Gall Force family have never seemed so weak. Which is a pity, because it's quite nicely designed and produced.

In any case the story begins about 200 years after the events of Gall Force Earth Chapter. In that series mankind barely won a battle for survival against the insane AI GORN in a war that left the earth largely de-populated and inhospitable. While the damage is still evident mankind has built huge arcologies (enclosed cities) and begun attempting to repair the environmental damage. While there are still problems it seems that the future has promise and the citizens can live their lives without violence. Indeed the whole of humanity is linked in one great computer network so that the human community is more tightly bound than ever before.

Did any one else get a sense of danger at the last sentence? well, it seems that they must be running some sort of microsoft operating system. Because while computers are prevalent they're not very secure. Especially when there's a disposessed group of humanity, the genetically engineered yumans, who believe they've found a powerful ally amongst the wreckage of the old war. So, in short order things go dramatically wrong for humanity. However another remnant from the past, the android catty, has seen the signs and come up with a plan to allow seven human females to escape the coming catastrophe. Although they thought they were just going to get their citizen identity cards updated.

There are some good bits to this anime. The tech design is good, the sense of a realistic world is created and the characters seem to have the seeds of interest within them. There's also some impressive scenes of hell on earth as the human world falls event which dominates the running time of the first OAV. However there are just way too many bad decisions in the story design to make this worth watching. And which may have had a large part to play in this being a very short new era.

The most obvious irritant is Catty. For a several hundred year old genius level android she seems strangely ignorant about human sexuality. Building what is in effect a sort of `ark' with seven human women seems mind-bogglingly pointless. And if she knew of the upcoming plans this was her best response? Meanwhile the super-genius computer, tied into all of humanities computer systems, manages to overlook all the equipment needed for catty's plan. Likewise believing that mankind will place no limits on the powers of their computer systems pushes the boundaries of credibility.

But the real destroyer is the character aspects. The lead characters have no idea of what's going on for most of the show. They simply follow the `plan' that catty has laid, which reduces our interest in them. Indeed the most useful thing they seem to acheive is taking frequent showers. There's simply not much time for character development. And when there is character stuff it's awful. The characters seem intentionally stupid at times, and will launch into meaningful conflict about `racism' or `militarism' when it's not justified or logical. And given that mankind appears to have lost, while the opponent has inherited all its power, who really cares about 7 random women on a long trip to nowhere in particular? It also irritates by invalidating the result of the events that occurred in Earth Chapter.

Meanwhile it wastes the advantages the good production gives it. There's a well developed sense of `world' to the human cities, but that element exists largely to be destroyed. The character designs are good, but not developed and seeing more `clones' of the Gall Force characters is getting a bit much. The action, when it occurs, is pretty cliche and very familiar especially to those who have seen other Gall Force material. Technically the animation is detailed and well designed, but with an older style and some suprisingly `loose' sections. It's actually a step down from the earth chapter animation, and not that attractive or impressive. This also reduces the `cute' factor. The voices never really became attractive to my ears and there's some strange cheerful repetive synth stuff played over scenes of massive destruction that is just strange.


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