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[Babel II box art]
AKA: バベル二世 (Babel Nisei), Babel the Second
Genre: Quasi science fiction action
Length: OAV series, 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Media Blasters out of print
Content Rating: PG-13 (violence)
Related Series: Babel II TV (1973), Babel II TV (2001)
Also Recommended: 8 Man After, Dagger of Kamui
Notes: Based on the 1970s manga by Yokoyama Mitsuteru.
Rating: One Star
 

Babel II

Synopsis

Our hero thought he was just another ordinary high school student until he started to get strange dreams that kept referring to him as "Babel the Second." He gets contacted by a mysterious psychic woman, and finds out that he's a psychic, like so many others who have to hide due to their strange powers. Of course, the underground organization of psychics isn't exactly what it seems, and soon our hero fights for his life, using powers he never knew he had to escape.

Eventually, our hero finds out that he has been chosen to succeed the alien who centuries ago landed on Earth and built the Tower of Babel (yeah). Newly christened Babel the Second must now fight the nefarious movement of psychics who would destroy all of humanity to clear room for themselves. Fight, fight, fight, fight some more, and then fight again! Um, yeah!


Review

Wait! Before you read this review, you might want to go back and read the review for The Dagger of Kamui.

This Streamline Hall-of-Shamer was like Dagger of Kamui in many aspects. Like DoK, Babel II had a very promising beginning. THEM found ourselves drawn into the storyline of a boy who had to suddenly deal with a power he never knew he had. After fifteen minutes, we were almost certain we had a winner on our hands.

Boy, were we mistaken. Babel II gives me the impression that the writer sat down at his desk, scripted the first fifteen minutes, found out the script was due in five minutes, and turned the thing in as is, after which the producers created a two-hour anime out of it. The difference between Babel II and Dagger of Kamui, of course, was that Dagger of Kamui actually had a coherent, involving plot that ran through the entire anime. All semblances of plot, storyline, and overall effort in Babel II utterly vanished after the first fifteen minutes were over.

The hour and forty-five minutes that followed (it seemed more like three hours at the time) quickly dissolved into ceaseless, uninspired, and pointless action sequences (whottawhottawhottawhotta) one after another, lightly sprinkled with laughable attempts at drama and tension. Plot holes the size of the national debt abounded, and there were enough deus ex machina in this thing to make Mt. Olympus jealous. It got to be so that the entire anime was just one giant, overextended action scene with Babel the Second close-proximity-electrocuting countless brainless evil psychic extras. Whottawhottawhotta, indeed.

Strangely enough, the art and animation were actually pretty decent. The art was fairly crisp and clean, and animation was, for the most part, pretty good except near the end where even the producers gave up on this thing. The soundtrack was completely unmemorable, and the dubbing was adequate.

As for the characters... like the Dagger of Kamui, THEM really didn't give a rat's patootie about what happened to anybody by midway through the anime. Well, that's not quite true. We wanted the main baddie to die. We wanted the stupid femme fatale to die. We wanted the side characters to die. We wanted Babel the Second to die. Heck, we wanted everybody to die, so long as it would ensure the anime would finish soon. Never before had credits been so welcomed as in this thing.

So, if you hadn't figured it out, this thing really, really sucks. Don't get it, and if you do, watch only the first fifteen minutes.

If I could, I'd rate it lower. Really.Raphael See

Recommended Audience: No nudity, but endless cartoon violence of Babel killing about umpteen-gazillion minions. No one should have to see this thing, no matter how old or young.



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Babel II © 1992 Yokoyama Mitsuteru / Hikari Productions / Sohbi Planning / Teeup
 
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