Chris had one worry: getting into college. But that was before he was taken by a magical goose and thrown into Byston Well to serve as their warrior of light by token of Garzey's Wing, a pair of magical wings attached to the side of his feet.
So.... Garzey's Wing.
Those of you who have been anime fans for a while probably know that Garzey's Wing is one of the most reviled, known-to-be-awful anime titles of all time, and, quite frankly, I don't intend to change that opinion. I think that, if you need a reason to watch Garzey's Wing, that's gonna have to be your reason going into it. But you have to be ready for it, because even preparing yourself mentally might not be enough. And that's because Garzey's Wing is so unrepentantly terrible that it goes from being awful to hilarious and then onwards to a spot most uncomfortable.
01:05 - "MY NECKLACE IS RATTLING! COULD IT BE THAT I'M GOING INTO EXPOSITION OVERDRIVE?!"
In fact, the dub will immediately let you in on what you're in for. I've had my shares of bad dubs up through the ages, most of which usually make me switch to Japanese. Not so with Garzey's Wing, though. The dub is so utterly wooden, most of the characters sound like they've never set foot in a dubbing studio before, only starring in this OAV because they're literally forced to at gunpoint. "You are so easygoing", the female love interest chides as our hero drives off on his motorcycle to attend a class reunion pool party. "My necklace is rattling. I wonder, could it be the shiratori shrine?" Chris muses as he drives by during the night. "This must be where Yamato-Takeru-no-Mikoto came down from the sky." And the exposition goes on and on and on. It humorously reminds me of what Carlos said about the dialogue in his Escaflowne movie review, where people would uncharacteristically throw monologues about the land, the mythology or the people to aid those who walk into this OAV not knowing what the hell is going on.
08:00 - Apparently, the leap year is very, very important.
And it's not helping. The dialogue only serves to make the video feed redundant, but doesn't really do a whole lot making things clear. Fellow reviewer Jason Huff was the one who made me aware that Garzey's Wing is actually related to another show called Aura Battler Dunbine, which only serves to bring even more questions into the equation. Would I understand this show better if I had watched Aura Battler Dunbine? Or would that only make this one worse by comparison. Would switching to Japanese help? Somehow, I doubt that.
21:00 - "FOLLOW ME, SLIDING ANIMATION CELL!"
If there's one positive thing that can be gleaned from this, then the show is at least visually interesting. Character designs are actually pretty good for the most part, and the backgrounds are also nice. If you've seen screenshots from Garzey's Wing, you might actually wonder why people complain about it. The animation is just terrible, though. I know I complained about the animation in Record of Lodoss War, but Garzey's Wing has animation more on the level of Crying Freeman. Hell, Garzey's Wing might actually beat said show when it comes to animation cel pans.
39:40 - "At Gabujuju, there is just one Bunzudo left in our party because we were bothered by Gabygas." "Well, have you taken something for it?"
The story plays out like a fairly typical fantasy story. Our main hero is summoned to an alien world, and has to save an enslaved race of people from their oppressors. The angles, if you can call them that, is that Chris is apparently separated into two identical entities through the summoning, and the two of... him... can communicate with each other through... well, interdimensional telepathy, I guess. Garzey's Wing sounds fine... on paper. And that's kind of the problem, because the execution is just terrible. It's almost like Amon Saga; Chris might have more of a personality compared to Amon, but both stories are hilarious, confusing messes with vaguely impressive fantasy elements and terrible, Zero Wing level dialogue..
44:50 - THE DURAGARO COMBINED INTO A.... MEGA-DURAGARO!
For instance, the first hurdle you'll face is exposition that doesn't teach you anything. Mostly, it's namedropping, and you're left asking "What the hell is a Gabujuju?" "What the hell is a Bunzudo?" "What the hell is Gabygas, and is that related to the Gabujuju?", but more importantly: "Why are all these names so darn goofy?!" And Jesus Christ, the aforementioned terrible dub just makes the whole thing so much more difficult to digest, which is only made worse by the many ways this show doesn't make any damn sense.
52:40 - And he just slides down the hill. I guess that saves them from having to ANIMATE HIM WALKING!
For instance, what's the importance of the leap year? Who are all these people, and what's their history? Why are all of Chris's friends in the present time taking everything that goes on at face value? It would help to know these things, but Garzey's Wing just throws its main protagonist straight into the whole thing, and I swear; he goes through most of the whole show sounding as confused as I was when I watched it. There was also the whole subplot thing centered around Falan, the small fairy-like girl of a race called Fellati...er, I mean Fellarian, and for some reason, they're ostracised in Byston Well for largely unexplained reasons. Seriously, Garzey's Wing proceeds to literally smash us over the head with it somewhere in the middle of its runtime. Apparently, they're a race not to be trusted, at least according to the Bystonians. But, if this show is anything to go by, they have a strong sense of community, and Falan herself is quite loyal to Chris, even if more by necessity than desire. She might be annoying at times, but she's hardly malevolent. The show proceeds to give a half-baked explanation to this; that Falan was pulled with Chris, and that somehow purified her in the process. The rest of them just curse and mess with people according to the priestesses, which sounds more like an excuse. And so -- I write, sighing heavily -- she's also one of the more developed characters in this show. Which isn't saying a lot, granted, but her basic personality means she actually has one compared to the hundreds of nobodies running around. Even the villains are almost comically villainous, all going "We enslave them all and force them to do our bidding, and they rebel against us? The nerve of them all. I will make them pay."
64:50 - "You.. you fairy-lovers."
Unfortunately, the only other Yoshiyuki Tomino show I've seen is the almost equally infamous Ideon. Not being a mecha fan, I haven't really experienced the man at his best, and as much as could be said about Ideon, it doesn't reach the level of absurdity and sheer badness of Garzey's Wing. The maddening thing is that Garzey's Wing is so terrible, so bizarre, that it will influence how you look at other fantasy shows. It's more or less like certain scenes in the Lord of the Rings movies once you've seen a certain remixed song -- they bleed through and lessen the impact of said scenes, inspiring humorous smirks instead of grim pursing of lips. And much as I love watching a really bad show, Garzey's Wing does things to me. Bad, bad things. Things that may never heal properly.
How do you outdo a show in being terrible? By being a terrible show made by someone who really should be able to do a whole lot better, that's how. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Garzey's Wing can get fairly violent at times, especially at the beginning, where Chris is thrown into a raging battle with severed limbs flying in all directions. It's not excessively gory, but takes no prisoners either.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD, bilingual
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Garzey's Wing © 1996 JC Staff / Sanctuary
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