Anime Meta-Review


Sonic Soldier Borgman


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 2
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • made: 1989
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This anime nearly drove me nuts because, while they are self contained stories, they are stacked with flashbacks and assumptions about your background knowledge. It turns out these are conclusion pieces for a (assumedly successful) TV series which has not been translated. Anyway, we get to follow three people who moonlight as `power cyborgs' and fight the enemies of mankind. While super-enhanced to begin with they can `borg up' into power suited versions to really kick tail. On the other hand they are also dealing with the wounds amassed in their previous victories, which leaves them with a good store of `angst' and `agony' to draw on.

Before anything else I will state that all but the most tolerant will probably find it annoying to be introduced so late into a story. It also seems that this might have been a big power-suited hero's versus horrible monster beat-em-up in the TV original. However given the need for an OAV story, and access to more money, they have increased the emotional content. This is linked to the fact that the cyborgs power is dependant on their will, and at least one of them is not quite right in the head. Of course the fact that the roots and reasons for this element are unknown to us only adds to the annoyment. We've only just met the guy, and really the writing isn't that great or original. In addition you just know that, in the end, he's going to pull the transform into a brightly colored cyborg warrior and blow the evil bad thing away.

The animation has a similar sense of disconnection. There is a wild variation between some animation so sharp and simple that it looks almost primitive and then some quite atmospheric ambient or character work. The character animation, and some of the background detail, is quite attractive and shows a great deal of care. Of course once the `action' starts ambience is lost, and the `borgman' suits look pretty damn corny by today's technical standards. In addition the attempt to do character drama takes time away from the action, making it unsatisfying. It really is an uneasy mix, and feels a bit of a waste. Oh, and negative points for the female cyborg being bright pink, and (in the first ep.) largely a victim.

None of the sites I source from has a review of this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:25 WST 2009