A long time ago, a bunch of dumb stuff happened involving demons and humans. Somewhere in there was an angsty gurl named Hiro (well, actually, she's half demon! *SUSPENSE*) That's all I know.
I thought I had seen this type of thing before: Low budget cliche fantasy involving an all-out Medieval war against races.
Well, I had, but never like *this*.
First off, the animation is absolutely horrible. All of the backgrounds are CG, and it's probably some of the worst I've ever seen. It's average PS1 quality a lot of the time, and that's really, REALLY bad! At its best, it's about like the original EverQuest for PC, but that’s still COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE for anime. Unfortunately, all of the characters are 2D, and they aren't any better looking. They look sort of PS1-ish too, like the DBZ games and similar ilk. The end result is what would happen if a fifth grader drew a bunch of bad fanart in art class, redrew it all on MS Paint, colored it, and screwed around with it on Flash. All of this may seem amusingly horrible, and it is, for the first two minutes of the anime. Then it's lethal.
Now we come to the characters and plot. Oh boy. I wasn't expecting more than elves and heroes and sages (oh my!), but I was expecting coherency. Instead, I get a story with enough scenes, characters, and plot twists for a 26 episode TV series (a scary thought indeed). But they only had two OVA episodes (Thank God!), so instead of simplifying this story, they just speed it WAY up, and cram it in. The result is an epic fantasy on crack, where you watch annoying characters you know nothing about angst, fight in bad action scenes, and talk nonsense to each other.
And there are a LOT of characters, none of which are the least bit interesting. All you know about any of the characters is that they’re annoying, dumb, angsty, or some horrible combination of the three. Even Hilda, the "main character", remains shrouded in mystery (although I'm inclined to call it bad plotting). All you know about her by the end is that she’s *gasp* half demon and half human (ohmygawd!). When it comes to the rest of the characters, you're lucky if you're even given their name. You see them in a VERY quick scene for a few minutes at most, and then it's bye bye. These scenes are all really poorly directed, and take you nowhere. Because of how little you know about what’s going on in this show, you feel like it requires great thought energy to even comprehend the thing. Thought energy I for one wasn't willing to give to this joke (and hopefully no self-respecting viewer is either).
What this thing really needed (well, it needed a miracle, but besides that) was a good introduction, to actually explain what's going on. But the only thing the stupid narration at the beginning lets you know is that this takes place in Neverland (which I really DIDN'T want to know *Oh my God he dropped the baby off the balcony!!*).
So basically, Spectral Force is about an hour of watching characters you now nothing about yet somehow despise do stuff that you just can't understand. Somehow, at the end, the whole thing resolves and ends, but there was no real climax, just more random scenes that didn’t mean anything. The animation looks horrible, and I STILL see Spectral Force character designs in my cat's litter (That isn't good, is it?). As for the music, it all sounded like SNES midis, except for the ending theme. It was even WORSE. Seriously, it was the kind of song cops make people listen to when they’ve been arrested for noise pollution. The poster child for bad J-Pop.
Throw all of the above together, and you get an OVA that is, as Mary Poppins would put it, "practically terrible in every way". There were a few moments when the dialogue was so dumb, or the animation so bad, that I would just laugh. But frankly folks, this is NOT a funny OR enjoyable experience, and the few hilariously awful moments are not worth the brain damage the rest of this will give you. I really don't think I'm conveying to you how truly awful this anime is. Most of the time, you have no idea what's going on (and yet still hate it), and when you do know what's happening, you wish you didn't. I haven’t seen much horrible anime, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Spectral Force is one of the worst ever. Why, then, did I watch it? Hmmm...I really don't know.
To put it nicely, I didn't like Spectral Force very much.
A nonsensical collage of crap. — Connor McCarty
Recommended Audience: Hmmm...Well, there's some hilariously bloody violence, and when you see Hiro for the first time, she's nakey (haw haw), so I guess teens and up. But seriously, would anyone *want* to watch this?
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD, Japanese With English Subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Spectral Force © 1998 Koei/ADV
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