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AKA: インタールード
Genre: Sci-fi horror drama
Length: OAV series, 3 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Geneon out of print.
Content Rating: 13+ (fanservice)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Animatrix, Please Save My Earth
Notes: None
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Interlude

Synopsis

Our hero, a nameless male, leads a very normal life. Too normal. However, he keeps having strange dreams and visions. One day, he met a strange girl by the name of Aya and sets forth with her to find out the truth.


Review

To all those who absolutely feels that they must for some reason, pick up this title: Stop reading this review now. Because I'm going to reveal the plot so that nobody has to sit through one and a half hours of boredom that even Kuwashima Houko could not save.

It takes fifteen minutes of the final episode to reveal everything and find out that all the characters are dying and/or dead. Some catastrophe happened and humans were almost wiped out and so to preserve themselves, they shut themselves in these cylinders and goes to sleep and continue live a normal live in a dream world with their loved ones. Along came our nameless main character who noticed that his life is too normal and he keeps having strange dreams and visions. He mets Mystery Figure A, Watsuji Aya and together they decide to wake from dream and say hello to reality!

Err ... doesn't this reek of Please Save My Earth and I would have to say, the latter was far, far more interesting and a classic.

And that's the problem with Interlude. There is nothing original about the series. A nameless male (haha, this would be a first but then Planescape beat them to it) who has strange dreams and visions, leads a very normal life with childhood friends and younger sister with an-agenda-of-his-own elder brother, meets up with Mystery Figure A. All hell breaks loose and he finds out there are more than meets the eye.

Tons of anime have this overused-formula and the anime made it worse by the pacing of the show. It takes the first two episodes to slowly build up and keeps trying to add to the mystery which they quickly explain and wrap up in the last fifteen minutes of the series. The seriousness and the settings are disrupted, as the anime is sprinkled with inappropriate comic relief that comes off as meaningless distraction. The truly main characters could have been developed more if they removed all those comic relief bit that do not add value to the anime.

Then there's the use of monologue in the beginning of each episode. In The Vision of Escaflowne, we had Hitomi earnestly and immediately engaging the audience by giving the low-down on what has been happening to her. Interlude has various characters giving the monologue and talking in riddles such that we have no idea what happened in the previous episode and no idea of what is coming next. It may be just my shallow nature but I'm of the opinion that creators should not try to confuse their audience too much!

The music does not make much of an impact, only that they have chosen to sing the main ending theme in a super-kawaii childish voice that was grating on my nerves.

To be extremely honest, I waited too long between each episode. By the time I saw episode two, I had to watch the first episode again to recap. And when I finally got down to episode three, I had to watch episode two to recap and then watch episode one to recap episode two, all the while thinking, "What is going on here?" Alarm bells should have started to go off about this totally forgettable OVA.

The lesson learnt for this title is: don't let the interlude between each episode grow too long. Else you may end up watching episode one three times - and don't emulate the little girls singing the main theme, for they can be truly annoying.

Watchable for Kuwashima Houko only, because I absolutely love those yellow slitty eyes and the reasonable eye-candy. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: There are ecchi moments with rear end groping and chests that threaten to burst free from their (ahem!) garments, shall we say. But nothing out of the ordinary.

Best for teens and up, and generally anyone else who is bored and have one-and-a-half hours to kill.



Version(s) Viewed: R2 DVD (Singapore)
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Interlude © 2004 GungHo Online Entertainment / Toei Animation
 
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