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AKA: 天空断罪スケルターヘブン (Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven)
Genre: Sci-fi action
Length: OAV, 19 minutes
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 16+ (violence, idiocy)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Typically we use this field to recommend similar anime, but if your cup of tea is 'low-quality video-game promotional OAVs' then there's really not much I (or a professional) can do to help you.
Notes: Based on the PlayStation 2 game Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven.
Rating:
 

Skelter+Heaven

Synopsis

(according to ANN)
In the distant future, a mysterious floating object appears suddenly in the center of the city. The top secret mission unit "Alta Mira Agency" or AA is comissioned by the Defense Agency to deal with this mysterious invader. In charge of the robot training is Hunagai Otsuya. He must choose one of the girls to recieve special training which she will recieve in secret. They must use the "Battle Soles" to push back the enemy even at the cost of their lives.

(actual)
In the near future, Japan is under assault by badly animated CGI giant squid, and the only way to save it is by having a college guy lead a bunch of generic anime girls in equally badly animated CGI power armor to defeat them with the power of ... umm ... persuasion. And explosions. Or something.

Review

The end of the world has never looked so stupid.

First off, with a nineteen minute runtime, you don't have a lot of time to develop the characters. Skelter+Heaven doesn't even bother introducing them properly, instead, flashing character names and bios with still shots during the opening sequence, which, incidentally, features "Naked Heart", possibly the worst theme song ever recorded by Minori Chihara.

And, no, it doesn't get better. Any google image search could tell you that I'm not exaggerating an iota about the badly animated CGI giant squid. Now we all understand that Japan has a long-held obsession with tentacles, but that doesn't automatically make them a compelling, or remotely scary antagonistic force. So when the tentacles start flailing around and slapping around the good guys (generally fatally), it looks less like unstoppable evil, and more like these characters are too stupid to just get out of the damn way. ("WATCH OUT FOR THAT TENTACLE BEHIND YOU ... Oh, poor Midori!" *sob*) What's even funnier is that the girls' mecha are, in at least one synopsis, apparently referred to as "Battle Soles", which prompts me to ask which member of the staff has a foot fetish.

It doesn't particularly help that the CGI is so badly textured that it looks to all the world like Japan is being assaulted and/or defended by enormous vinyl figurines. Not that the 2D is much better - it's purely perfunctory at best, and both the openings and endings, normally the home of your best sequences, are essentially character art slideshows.

What's even more hilarious is the anticlimactic ending, where the lead girl (er, survivor?), Rin, is able to essentially talk the giant squid into self-destructing into squid paste, only for something like a zillion of them to show up a year later, with no hero team in sight. <3 THE END <3

The sad thing is that this isn't even particularly fun to mock. The storyline and script, using Aiden's words, are "about as derivative as a calculus textbook." Even at nineteen minutes it's a chore to watch, and you could probably fast-forward through half of it, or watch it with French or Polish or Swahili or Tocharian B subtitles and still pretty much end up with exactly the same result. You couldn't find more buncombe in North Carolina and they've got a whole county of it.

Skelter+Heaven was clearly intended as a promotional tool for the original work, which apparently features the main male character (who looks actionably identical to the protagonist of Sakura Taisen) dating the five-girl hero team and shacking up with one of them depending on affection levels and, ostensibly, whether or not they were able to dodge those giant squid tentacles. And thanks to this anime, I find I've never been less interested in a video game in my entire life, which means this title has succeeding in doing the complete opposite of its intended purpose. Whoops!

But that should've all been expected, because these are the same people who would bring us the equally embarrassing Mars of Destruction just a year after this one. Skelter's writer, Yoshiaki Sato, would go on to direct that piece of crap, and arguably the only role in the anime industry he hasn't thoroughly embarrassed himself in is playing the accordion in the soundtrack to .hack//SIGN.

About the best thing that can be said for Skelter+Heaven is that I got a fair number of laughs out of it; unfortunately it's not a comedy, but one of the greatest accidental tragedies of modern anime.

All Skelter, no Heaven. This is an abject failure of an anime that deserves every bit of its embarrassing reputation.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: Well, there's violence, with character deaths and explosions, but it's so badly animated that it's pretty hard to call it explicit. The girls wear skimpy outfits. Probably the most offensive thing about this, though, is the plot - this is not recommended for anyone.



Version(s) Viewed: Digital source
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Skelter+Heaven © 2004 Idea Factory