Kai Nagisa was a typical high school girl who dreamt of being a pro-wrestler...right up to the moment that she ran into the sentient armor suit Iczel, who chose her to be one of the defenders of Earth ... an Iczelion. With the help of the other Iczelion warrior girls, she must find the courage to save Earth from the menace of Chaos and Cross, android beings from deep space, who would destroy Earth just for sheer sport if the Iczer Girls weren't in the way. Can Nagisa and the Iczelions succeed in protecting their planet? (And why does "Nagisa and the Iczelions" sound like the name of a rock group?)
Pretty, without any real substance, lots of fan service, lots of fighting ... this is the type of anime serious fans really would object to...if it weren't so dang fun! Iczelion has many reasons to be considered a turkey anime ... but it revels so much in its tackiness that, in the right crowd, a good time can be had by all.
Still, there are a few very bad points in this anime.
For example, Iczelion has quite possibly the worst character personality in anime in (gasp! it can't be!) Nagisa. C'mon, this IS an Iczer series. I mean, a wannabe pro-wrestler who is ... well ... completely whiny and cry-babyish? Come on now! Add in your stereotypes, like Iijima Kiiro, a rather obvious send-up of Minmay, and very Kasumi-like Kawai Kawai (not even gonna go there), and you've got the downright dopiest team of Iczer heroes to date, complete with nudie transformation sequences that'll send adolescents into a frenzy.
And the story ... well, it's there, but it's really secondary to watching all those cute anime chicks in armor, blowing away countless minions of the baddies (who seem to be equal parts mecha and Cthulhu ... just like Iczer-One).
Despite all this ... or maybe because of the blatant cheese factor ... I found myself laughing most of the way through this rather strange look at the Iczer universe. The Iczel armor suits themselves (what enables normal human girls to become the superpowered Iczelion warrior girls) are utterly ridiculous-looking (until you get them on the girls in said nudie transformation sequences). The directing is suspect, at best, going from scene to scene in not-quite-logical fashion, and characterization being quite shallow. As much as I enjoyed it, I don't really consider Nami's dancing to that (admittedly damn catchy but really simplistic) techno music to be "character development".
And the anime simply isn't complete, as the fighting scenes after the end credits (which, ironically, are shown in the ADV previews for Iczelion) indicate. The art and character *designs*, at least, are pretty, but you come to expect that for any release in the 1990s. The music is as well-done as a silly two-shot OAV series like this truly deserves (a better phrase here may be "reheated" as this soundtrack may very likely have been produced in a microwave).
Overall, Iczelion is one of those beer (or Jolt if you're underage) and rice-crackers anime that, while not exactly taxing on the brain like the Patlabor movies, is definitely a fun hour or so, if you can forgive the fact that it's completely ridiculous.
I love watching this show, because it's humorously bad! Nagisa, however, is simply too irritating for me to give this an average rating. Fans of fan service or the Iczer franchise can safely add a star here. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: College students at frat parties would LOVE this anime. Definitely not for children, as there's some blood and, yes, again, the nudie transformation sequences. (I want to hum the Cutey Honey theme song now for some reason.)
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Iczelion © 1994 Toshihiro Hirano / Jimusho / KSS
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