A scientist has just discovered a deadly new application for the electromagnetic technology used to levitate cities high above the clouds, and is promptly assassinated by a small faction of the government before he can warn others about it. His 16-year-old daughter Elysse barely escapes with her life. Taking an escape pod to one of these floating cities, she is almost recaptured except for the interference of pet-shop hunter Tita (I swear I am not making this up).
Tita is the very young captain of her pet-shop hunter crew, and takes it upon herself to help Elysse pay the government back for the killing of her father and to help make sure that her father's technology will never be misused. But it's just a few against an entire army...does Tita have what it takes to succeed?
Plastic Little is one of those anime that has gained its own (perhaps unfair) notoriety among fans. When you read the back of the box cover describing this title, you'd think that Plastic Little was some sort of ecchi title from the selling points they make ("Lots and lots of hot action and gratuitous nudity! Gorgeous babes!"). That having been said, yes, Plastic Little has all that. But it would be unfair to say that's all that it's about Plastic Little is a surprisingly fun title to watch, provided you're not in the mood for something with a little substance.
As a title that's meant to cater to the drooling otaku, Little delivers. The art is at least above average, with bright, rich colors and sharp backgrounds to match. Character designs are especially well-rendered, gorgeously drawn in a compelling style normally reserved for ecchi titles (not that I'd know anything about that). The animation is well-done, too, at times achieving some truly nifty effects during the action scenes. And, yes, there's a good deal of gratuitous fan-service towards the beginning with the type of (ahem) animation you'd expect, earning it the nickname I won't share here*.
The story is surprisingly coherent, given its penchant towards fan service, although its certainly not anything that will win any awards anytime soon. There's nothing terribly original about this story (defeat evil overlord-type dude and redeem yourself yadda yadda yadda), but this title doesn't seem to care. Plot cliches and character stereotypes are played to the hilt, and when you throw in the highly improbable action sequences (this OAV should have been titled In Which A Small Band of Plucky Individuals Are Able To Destroy A Small Army With Nothing But Their Little Fishing Vessel), you'll find yourself eating your macaroni and nachos straight, if get what I'm saying.
A note on the dub quality: although purists will most likely cry foul (there are those who refuse to listen to _any_ dub), I found that the dub job worked quite well for this title. Amanda Winn makes for an adorably spunky Tita, and the phony foreign accents sported by the members of Tita's hyper-ethnic crew manage to be both effective and unbelievably silly at the same time. For this particular type of title, it works, although it certainly wouldn't work for anything more serious.
So, to sum up, Plastic Little is cliched, silly, preposterous, hokey, cheesy, and gratuitous. But you know what? It's quite a bit of fun, too.
Recommended Audience: Some moderate levels of violence (Tita gets beat up pretty badly in one point) which alone would keep this from being something for kids. As stated before, the nudity in this title is of a more detailed quality than in most anime titles (mostly concentrated in an extended bath scene near the beginning), which may give some people pause before showing just anyone this title. It's not as prevalent as the box cover would have you believe, though. If the audience can deal with the skin display, there shouldn't be too much trouble.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Plastic Little © 1994 Yoshimoto Kinji / Urushihara Satoshi / MOVIC / Sony Music Entertainment
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