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[R1 DVD art]
AKA: ザ・ヒューマノイド 哀の惑星レザリア (The Humanoid: Aware no Wakusei Rezaria), The Humanoid: Rezaria, Planet of Sorrow, Metallia
Genre: Science fiction
Length: OAV, 47 minutes
Distributor: R1 DVD from US Manga Corps / Central Park Media out of print.
Content Rating: 13+ (science fiction violence, excessive pretentious coffee references)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Armitage III: Polymatrix, Armitage: Dual Matrix, Battle Angel
Notes: According to the DVD cover, this was apparently featured during Madonna's "Drowned World" tour. I wonder if there is a correlation that can be proven between those who were involved with/saw that tour and those who currently don’t like anime.
Rating: One Star

The Humanoid

Synopsis

(taken from DVD cover):

Body like a rock, heart like a hurricane!

Dr. Watson has created his masterpiece: a beautiful woman made of metal. A wonder of science, Antoinette is a childlike innocent who holds the key to an ancient civilization that could save the world, or destroy it. And when a mad tyrant kidnaps the man she loves, Antoinette finally discovers the courage, and the amazing fighting skills, that are her true calling.


Review

This isn't good. This isn't good at all. I suppose you can say it entertained me in the sense I found myself laughing at several points. Unfortunately, this wasn't intended as a comedy.

The plot is, and this is being charitable, an overstuffed mess. I suppose if they had two hours or even ninety minutes to work with, it might have helped, but honestly the idea of having to sit through another 45 minutes of The Humanoid fills me with such dread that I'm pleased that this title was as short as it was. As it stands, events do, I suppose, somewhat logically flow from scene to scene but mostly it seemed like the screenwriter had a checklist of elements he needed to include and was simply going down the list. The result is generally a bunch of abrupt shifts in tone, scene, and place that prevent anything remotely resembling dramatic tension from building up at any time during this title.

Good characters can elevate a title with a pedestrian or otherwise bad plot, but The Humanoid fares even worse in this area. Most of the characters are hollow stereotypes that get little to no development. It is somewhat telling that the fact that a freighter captain, Alan, seems to really enjoy coffee is the height of character development in this title. A lot of the characters' reactions struck me as incredibly odd or obtuse at times. It really feels like the creators didn't want to dwell too much on realistic reactions to certain events because that might complicate their plot timetable. As I sat through certain scenes, I just kept asking myself, "Huh? Did they forget what happened five minutes ago?" or "Why the heck didn't that fellow just kill them right there? Did he attend the SPECTRE Graduate School Of Villainy?"

Despite the OAV being named after her, Antoinette, seems less a character than a plot connective device to fill in a few gaps in the storyline (there is that pesky checklist again). The finale, which is supposed to be this moving commentary on the power of love, comes off as totally ridiculous given that the personality changes that occur in Antoinette are utterly abrupt and based on a bare handful of scenes. I honestly had to resist the urge to laugh during the final scene in which this written commentary about the nature of love and life is displayed on the screen. Checklist again, no doubt.

The music, while not awful, positively screams mid-80s. Many of the key "dramatic" scenes have rather mediocre 80s J-pop tunes that amused me more than help enhance the scene. The rest of the scenes relied on rather generic sounding synth compositions. It is definitely not a good sign when the best feature of the show was mildly passable music.

Well, maybe it had some good action, right? Nope. Not really. The title is fairly old (1986) and even accounting for that, the animation isn’t particularly impressive. The "amazing fighting skills" that they talk about on the DVD cover doesn't end up seeming quite so amazing in the actual OAV. They aren't utterly wretched but they certainly aren’t enough to make up for the rest of this exceedingly unimpressive production. The actual character design and scene work is decent enough though not really impressive.

The Humanoid just isn't any good. It is badly plotted, has shallow and occasionally confusing characterization in addition to utterly bland action that in the end doesn't make for particularly impressive entertainment. With the existence of several quality anime (or even mediocre) anime titles that deal with the concept of androids, there is very little reason for anyone to watch this. Uh, I guess at least it isn't offensive.Jeremy A Beard

Recommended Audience: There is a lot of sci-fi violence and death though most of it is bloodless. Most appropriate for ages 13 on up or anyone who simply really enjoys bad anime.



Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (1/1)
The Humanoid © 1986 Hiro Media / Kaname Productions / Toshiba EMI
 
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