- The original Choujin Locke movie was quite a shock when I first watched it as a little kid. Severed heads and rivers of blood filling the screen while parents and television supervisors still considered anime to be just for kids. It was my first encounter with the action/horror side of anime. And yes, it was one of the titles that made me love anime. For most of us 20+ otakus, he was a major hook.
- This follow-up side story of the movie on the other hand is nothing to brag about. It feels a lot less interesting than the original, despite its superior main story. Instead of repeating myself, I will write only the differences between the two titles. For more info on the original movie, just check my review there.
ART & SOUND SECTION: 7/10 [Of the same level, despite the fact it was made several years later.]
Art Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 2/2
Sound Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
Its visual and sound effects are still poor. A major bummer is the absence of action/gore scenes that made the original so memorable. The storytellers opted for a far more drama/mystery-driven story than a splatter/action-driven story and the result is not exactly good. The character designs are still very simple and uninteresting and without the frenetic battles, the chance of turning off younger otakus is pretty high. This of course gave room for focusing on the mental instability of the characters and several scenes where the use of psyonics blurs the line between reality and illusion. But it is not that cool as having berserked espers blowing up heads with the power of their minds.
STORY SECTION: 7/10 [It’s all in the mind and not in the mind-crushing powers.]
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 2/2, Complexity 2/2, Plausibility 1/2, Conclusion 1/2
- Locke is like before an almost god-like human being who has lived for many centuries and has taken part in many battles. And he still tries to live a simple life, while humanity has colonized most of the galaxy. But he has lost his memories of the past and is soon dragged back into action when others like him are involved in another scheme, where an ambitious and amoral young scientist plans something really big.
- The story still evolves espers (telepaths and telekinetics) and a plan to make them live isolated in a space colony. It is clearly superior to the original, since the events take place in different times and places (not in lineal order) and the scenario is a quest of self-awareness rather world conquest. The real events happen inside the characters minds and not in the universe around them. Unfortunately, it is also far less epic in proportions. No mayhem, no genocide, no grand finale. Still, if you want a smart scenario rather the usual Hollywood treatment, you will definitely prefer this one to the original.
- Nothing we haven’t seen before but the story is still presented in a very mysterious way, with twists and revelations every now and then to keep you hooked. The ending is not predictable but it will feel dry.
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 [Getting deeper, but otherwise lower.]
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
The new villain in the story is a powerless little boy who doesn’t plan to rule the galaxy by blowing to pieces all inferior human beings. He uses his above genius intellect to plan ahead and take advantage of his aids and of the future events, as he almost controls the future this way. This clearly makes him more interesting than the usual powerful but stupid freak that just smashes through its problems. He would be a great character if he weren’t obsessed with this ethereal creature he created as his true love. He let his emotions get the best of him and devolved pretty fast into the usual nutcase, driven-by-his-penis cardboard villain. As for the rest of the cast, there is nothing to write about. Since they are amnesiac, they don’t have a backdrop story. By the time they start to remember, the story is practically over. They still have plenty of drama around them but it’s nothing that will stick to you. In all, the characters are less developed and interesting than the original.
VALUE & ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10 [The eyes close instead of popping out from their sockets.]
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 1/3, Memorability 3/4
In all, the detailing remains the same but the focus has shifted from feeling dread to feeling uneasy with what is going on. A change that makes the OVAs far less appealing to the average eye than the movie.
The accused is found … GUILTY! … Give us the old Locke back.
Elfen Lied and Galerians have a similar story.