Big robots and boobage, half of any good story. In that regard, you won't find Vandread lacking. It has plenty of jiggling delights as well as shiny robots going at each other. One thing i particularly liked about it was that they don't advertise the ecchi. If it happens, it happens but the producers don't go out of their way to make a girl fall into a questionable position just so we can get some eye candy. That makes the ecchiness all the more wonderful.
As far as the plot for this anime goes, it is quite creative. Instead of the generic dark vs light scenario we usually get in mecha animes, this time we are faced with a somewhat delicate problem...males vs females. Almost everyone as a kid has thought along these lines, that the opposite sex was the "enemy" (until, of course, puberty hit). In addition to the basic premise, the story includes multiple layers. There are more factions at work than the two main military powers and that does give depth to the storyline. However, the story follows an episodic formula so sometimes it seems a part of the story is rushed while at others it feels like the episode would never end. Even so, the story is executed in a well paced manner.
For a 2000 anime, the animation isn't half bad. They mixed CGI with actual anime drawings which to me felt a bit cheap but it still managed to work out. Due to the CGI, which was mainly used during the fight scenes, the fight scenes themselves suffered quite a bit. Explosions were mere blobs of fluffy yellow clouds and lasers were a bright light with an outline and a few shades to give it depth. But those are facts that can be overlooked easily, the main problem arises when we move to the character designs. The hair style, as always, is anime-generic aka anigenric. You have the straight long hair for the females, the shoulder cut, the twisting forelocks and the well known double pony tails. For the protagonist male, it is the usual just-got-out-of-bed hair. Moving on, the character costumes are outrageous. Most of the crew on the ship "Vandread" wear uniform, but our main characters are exemt from this rule and wear fancy, colorful clothing. Something like what a bard would probably wear. Even the uniforms of the crew have extravagant designs, from maid outfits to radioactivity protection suits.
We have to go through 13 episodes of out-dated sounding techno music and beats. That mashed with some trumpet like sounds. There would be nothing note worthy about the music. It just serves as "filler" for boring parts in the story. Something to keep our minds occupied while characters go around doing as little as possible.
The only characters that have even a semblance of depth are the male protagonist and one of the female pilots. The male characters depth includes a 5 minute flash back (in pieces over the series) of his grandfather giving grandfatherly advice. The story behind the female pilot, however, was more to my liking as it was a whole story in itself with a background, conflict and result to go along.
Even so, all the characters are pretty one dimensional. You have your airhead, over-passionate protagonist brat, the quiet doctor, the female engineer with the glasses (her whole crew has glasses), the tough supervisor and the bard type of character. Cliche Central
This anime does have the basic premise, a good story and decent pacing, but it fails to combine these elements to give us something decent. It does have some laughs here and there and is generally a light-hearted series. Watch to pass your time. It is basically your typical mecha-ecchi anime
In the first part, I was quite disappointed, the story wasn't very appealing and the characters weren't strongly introduced so you don't really know their names and have that "anime bond" feeling.
However, if you watch the second part as soon as you finish watching this, it's quite good.
At first glance this seems like a classic sci-fi mecha, then it looks like a baffonish comedy, and finally like an epic romance anime. Now let me say i am no fan to any of the 3 genre's i just listed.I am also not a fan of ecchi or the classic 15 year old boy becomes all powerful scenario.
What this title does perfectly is bind some of the best things of all those genre's together.
It makes you feel for most of it's characters in a way that i couldn't understand. it seems like they are all shallow or repetitive at times but you can't help caring when one falls from grace or get's their heart smashed. even if you don't like comedy in your anime you will chuckle occasionally at the great male vs female jokes. the cliche let's work together and beleive in yourself stuff gets alittle old but its important to the show's message.
If you are looking for deep fight scenes and intricate mecha homage, look elsewhere, because the fight scenes cool as they were, are really just a way to progress the growth of the characters and the overall story arch.
Story: the overall story arch is impressive, not really deep and twisting, but what you would expect right when you should get what you need. the characters are so lovable and by the end i felt a kinship with all of them even the ones i hated to begin with.
Animation: this anime wasn't really ultra new, but for when it was made it looked and still looks fantastic. This anime was made when sci fi series were still debating on hand drawn and artsy vs computer animation. this one went with computer and it was the right choice for the show.
Sound: alot of care went into the quality sound production for this show, especially for the english dubs, however the voice actors were the usual crew we see everywhere.
Overall:this show is like a friend that hugs you when your down, it's heart warming and interesting. You find yourself falling for it's flaws and its triumphs, and hanging on to every little interaction between it's characters.
that being said if your a cynical bastard or a fan of one of the mecha genra in particular skip this show, its more for people who like to feel things, and love people shows.
Oh, Vandread, Vandread, Vandread. What the hell did I just watch?
What on Earth is the STORY in this anime? I really missed it. I mean, other than the whole boys and girls being separated and then reuniting after growing up with fear of each other. I think that could have been a lot of fun, and the first part of it was, but then it became boring. How do people manage to make a 13 episode anime boring? I mean... there's on thirteen episodes! But I felt very bored and was web surfing from episode 9 on. The end of the anime began to tell a story with the harvesters, but it seems like season one was just set up expllcably for season two. Unfortunately, there is no way I will be watching the second.
The ANIMATION for a 2000 anime was pretty fun! I loved seeing the early CG with their battle ships and such. It was sort of cute, ha. The anime itself was very cartoony and very 90's reminiscent. I liked this particular style because it reminds me of my favorite era of anime.
What an OP! I swear, early anime used to have such great OP and Ending songs. What on Earth happened? I feel like nowadays the anime songs are either slow and tedious or high pitched and annoying. The OP for Vandread was really fun and a song that I would probably Youtube for back ground music.
The CHARACTERS... oh gosh, what can I saw about the characters? I honestly don't remember any of their names except Hibiki (although I basically refer to him as Mr. Alien). The characer designs were vastly different, which was fun, although they all shared ridiculously huge boobs. There were just so many characters and it was hard to keep track. Why introduce such an abundant amount of characters in such a short anime?
My PERSONAL ENJOYMENT of this series is probably around the same as the actual score (a first!). I didn't enjoy this anime after the first three or so episodes, and while the last two episodes might habe been interesting, I had lost all will to actually pay attention.
OVERALL, this anime is a 4/10, thanks to the animation and sound. I really wouldn't recommend this anime. Ever. But if you're intrigued, go and watch and let me know what you think!
NOTICE: This review covers both seasons, as they are part of the same story.
- Animated by that piece of shit studio GONZO. But hey, even a broken clock is right twice every day and even GONZO makes a watchable anime once every one hundred attempts. An example of which is VanDread.
- Conceived and directed by Mori Takeshi, and stands as his best work. Meaning, the only watchable show of everything he ever made.
When it comes to this show, I was mostly fascinated with its premise rather than anything else. It was stupid and captivating at the same time, something that I rarely fall for. It’s just that it came out at a time when the sircumstances were right and thus managed to win me over.
So the story is about a world where men and women live apart and are even hostile to each other. Reproduction happens artificially and practically everybody is homosexual. And then weird aliens attack and one ship from each side crash and combine with a mystical force to form a new power for fending off the aliens. They now need to work together in order to find a way back and prevent the alien threat.
Seriously, the premise is to die for. Seeing them trying to trust each other and even trying to study each other (since they have no idea how things are going on with each side) was not only highly comical but also even educational in a way. The whole purpose of the story is in fact to have an open mind to try new things, to learn, to evolve, and to cooperate for a common goal. And for once the deviance was about turning from a completely homosexual crew back to… heterosexuals. For some weird reason I kept making comparisons to Macross and the first old Star Trek movie. The themes are a twisted form of those two features, with the aliens being… humans of the opposite genre and aliens being… mechanized humans. And it was all some allusion to evolution, life, love and coexistence. Isn’t that something to die for? Everything is reversed in this show; right is wrong and wrong is… left.
Ok, premise aside there are other things I liked in this show as well. The cast for example is highly likable. Each one begins as a stereotype and slowly evolves through interactions with the other side into a unique personality. Some of them are highly memorable as well, such as the robot mascot and the curious bimbo “Mr. Alien” Dita. The show makes them act as idiotically as possible but for a change this is nothing but means to excuse their ignorance over what is going on beyond their tiny world and to begin a learning procedure. And even if you don’t see them as such, they are still fine ecchi material for superficial laughs. Since most of the crew is gorgeous girls and the lead pilot is Hibiki, a neurotic teenager, you can just imagine the silliness that comes from having to share the cockpit on every battle… in a humorous ecchi way as always. Meaning, I liked the cast for not being an archetypical harem cast or a token space crew. They were both and they gradually evolved past their mold. Whole episodes are dedicated into fleshing them individually and any learning process is not nullified by the next episode. That is what a good cast is all about.
GONZO was always good at this department but almost always messed in the CGI. Well no surprise that most people hate the CGI in the series for looking too crude. The 2D is otherwise great (the characters that is). I will be lenient here since VanDread was amongst the first shows to be heavy on computer animated battles and did fine with what was available at the time. I ensure you that later GONZO works feel a lot worse for trying to turn their human models to 3D. Over here it remains purely during mecha action in space and once again contributes to the alien feeling of the show. I mean, when I first watched the show I thought it was all too weird. Just like the setting. Just like the characters. It was part of the themes too; cooperation and having an open mind to new things. And 3D was so new back then you also needed an open mind to accept the possibilities; thus I was not annoyed by it.
The OST feels kinda weak and voice acting is full of retarded dialogue and erotic humor but as I said, it was all part of the same package and I was not annoyed by it.
It is a zanny space adventure with various funny characters, interesting settings, and side stories that gradually enrich both the cast and the story. It starts all silly and goofy and by the finale in the second season it turns to an epic scale war for the salvation of mankind from… itself. It was just too awesome.
It’s not as if I fully enjoyed the anime though. Its weakest part is the plot, which is chaotic and messy in the least. For the most part it feels like it lacks direction and most problems are resolved with deus ex machina cheap tricks. Seriously, that glowing crystal super computer in their ship would constantly offer power ups when they needed them and even teleport them or enemies away… on its own. Yup, that was just the scriptwriter being lazy; it would be a lot better if the characters were being more strategically smart about it, other than using superior weaponry fueled by the power of love or something corny like that. Even the finale does not feel that solid as the aliens are still there and Hibiki didn’t “experiment” yet on how heterosexuals make babies.
This anime was never appreciated much for its deconstruction of the ecchi/space adventure formulas. I guess it was all too silly and the CGI alienated most (lol, alienated, like the opposite of what the show … shows?). I consider it amongst the better sci-fi adventures of the turn of the century and I recommend it to anyone who wants to open his mind to ideas, stupid ones like how homosexuals learn to make babies, or intriguing ones like how too much reliance on technology ends up being self destructive. It is not very common in themes amongst anime and it’s even rarer to find something that good by GONZO.
Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 2/2
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 6/10
Analysis: Premise 2/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 2/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 1/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Presence 2/2, Personality 2/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 1/3, Memorability 4/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
Analysis: Art 0/1, Sound 0/2, Story 1/3, Characters 3/4