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[Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer]
AKA: Choujin Gakuen Gowcaizer
Genre: Near-future martial arts action
Length: OAV, 3 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from US Manga Corps out of print.
Content Rating: 16+ (fan service, nudity, violence, incest)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, Street Fighter II The Animated Movie
Notes: Also available in an edited, cut version called Gowcaizer: The Movie (which, ironically emough, is NOT a movie).
Rating: One Star

Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer

Synopsis

In the 21st century, Tokyo has been devastated by a series of powerful earthquakes. At the root of it all is the head of the prestigious Belnar Institute, Ozaki Shizuru - a man who would sacrifice the world to become immortal. Facing him, though unaware of his true fate, is Kaiza Isato, a typical, athletic student who uses a crystal, the Kaizer Stone, to transform into the armored superhero - Gowcaizer. (Ooh, look, Kaiza -> Kaizer -> Gowcaizer! What a coincidence!)

With the help of a few friends and a mysterious stranger, he battles to save the world from destruction at the hands of a force fueled by pure hatred.


Review

Oy vey. And so Ohbari Masami creates yet another veritable anime masterpiece. Bleah. Again, this is yet another adaptation of a fighting video game, and it shows. Though the battles are fairly well set-up, the in-between scenes which are -supposed- to feature character development do very little in the way of coherent plot, but rather exhibit Ohbari's flair in the art of fan service. And if you thought Shiranui Mai in Fatal Fury was excessive ...

Folks, there's more animated silicon in this flick than the annual take of the computer chip industry, and this series is simply top-heavy (pun intended) with mindless, big-bosomed females who want nothing more than to show themselves in the most outrageous angles to the camera. This is Ohbari at his absolute worst - you want to tell this guy to abandon mainstream anime and get on with the ecchi industry already.

Still, I guess the fights were interesting to watch. (Bounce.) A lackluster plot, simply laughable acting in the dub, and some truly bizarre plot twists should delegate this to the turkey bin, but it's just entertaining enough to hold a modicum of attention in the most bored viewer. The Asahina twins, for example, actually have an almost-decent backstory as tragic figures bound by an unnatural love. (Ummm ... yeah. There goes Ohbari again with his deft touch with the "H" brush ...) The action is superficially impressive, though in all actuality, it's just the same button-punch ki blast moves we've seen before in every other video game anime. And the end villain (vaguely reminiscent of a Final Fantasy end boss in scope, if not intelligence) is the typical high-power, low-brainer enemy.

Though animated better than, say, Golgo 13 (or Toshinden for that matter), Gowcaizer is an anime best left to fanatic video game fans (heck, the game didn't even get ported over all that well here either...) and followers of the Ohbari Masami school of directing. Otherwise, steer well clear of this one, unless you -want- to see more bounce than a Jello-filled swimming pool light up your screen.

Add one star if you -really- liked Fatal Fury or Toshinden. Just don't blame me if I say your anime taste needs a little help.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: Excessive fan service and some violent scenes limit this to older teens and adults. There are some shower scenes, as expected in an anime of its ilk, and the outfits ... how do these women -breathe-?



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer © 1996 GAGA Communications Inc / Urban Plant Ltd
 
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