Anime Meta-Review


Gall Force: Rhea Gall Force


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • made: 1989
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Aaaah! The gall force family tree is such a tangled mess. For example this is actually called Rhea Gall Force (thus making it easier to overlook in alphabetic lists). In addition, according to the Anime Movie Guide, it came out between Gall Force Earth Chapter OAV 1 and 2 despite clearly being a prequel to OAV 1. Thus even a chronological list will get it wrong.

Anyway, once the tape starts rolling its place is pretty clear. And that is as the foundation tape for the earth chapter series (despite some continuity glitches). Through the events at the end of the Gall Force OAV's mankind suddenly gets access to alien technology far in advance of its own. However when it is realised that much of the technology is for plasma weapons and combat robots competition between the nations of earth to understand and reproduce this technology becomes intense. And having developed the most deadly combat robots, the most powerful warheads, ever seen on earth we are ill prepared when they turn on us. The world left behind is a blasted, depopulated, wasteland and humanity is definitively losing the war against the machines. We get to follow a group of warriors who try to survive and claim what victories they can during mankinds seemingly inevitable defeat.

In other words this is grim, grim stuff. And while there is a victory, of sorts, at the end it doesn't represent a magical conclusion, more an extension of mankinds ability to resist for a while longer. Meanwhile the body count and power of the survivors continues to be whittled away. The characters we get to watch are interesting enough, and the character conflict and interaction (while following many war-movie traditions) pretty well done. Of course you can tell it is anime by the profusion of female combatants, but given the state of the conflict I suspect anyone not aged or crippled would be a combatant so it does not pose a problem. For those who like well observed military action, filled with the sort of bravery that comes from desperation and simply having no place to run to, then you'll probably find this a solid piece of work. For those who hate war movies, futuristic or not, move on.

Certainly there is a decent serve of action, which is actually very watchable and well animated. However the true strength of this title, and the thing that lifts its rating, is the ability to create a rich and believable atmosphere. Certainly well observed characters, even if archetypal, plus detailed and coherent technical design are present (and required) but it goes a bit beyond that. It manages to generate an air of believability, one missing from the Earth Chapter video's. Even the backstory, where the origin of the enemy is spelt out, seems perfectly believable and logical. This is of course supported by attractive character designs, good voices and strong animation (at about the same level as the earth chapter material) to provide a strong and coherent production.


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