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Iria: Zeiram the Animation
Episode 4: Hahakigi
(Broom Tree)

Copyright: © 1994 Crowd/Bandai Visual/Mitsubishi Corporation/Banpreto (Japan), © 1995 US Manga Corps.
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, contains graphic violence. Parental discretion advised.
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Screenplay: Arakawa Naruhisa Director: Amino Tetsuro Visual Concept: Amemiya Keita Original Character Design: Katsura Masakazu Character Design: Otonashi Ryunosuke Music: Yoshikawa Yoichiro

English Version Producer: John O'Donnell Translation by: Neil Nadelman

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

In an attempt to rid the planet of 'Shadow Zone' (slum areas), the government of Taowajan continues its campaign of 'urban renewal.' Unwilling to put up with the constant struggle to survive, Komimasa and Kei decide to stow away on the next available ship to Myce. Unbeknownst to the two young travellers, the ship's primary passenger happens to be Dr. Touka, the foremost expert on Zeiram, who is on his way to Myce to investigate reported sightings of Zeiram on the planet. And to make things even worse, the ship become the target of some very desparate hijackers... Iria, having just received her accreditation, lands her first job as a full-fledged bounty hunter.

[ capsule review ]

I just can't seem to get into the mood of watching this series. The animation is of pretty decent quality, character designs fresh and the overall technology designs are very unique. But it continues to miss on what holds the elements together: the story. You can pretty much pick just about any "B-grade" thriller in any genre, in which our hero (or in our case, heroine) is confronted with some terrifying, powerfully malevolent being, waiting for her chance to avenge the loss of a loved one, all the while having to deal with a hostile and bureaucratic government. I have a real problem with shows which overtly try to manipulate emotions; this episode is a classic example -- the screenwriters try to generate a feeling of grief, as well as set up an impetus for both Kei and Iria in the upcoming episodes, in what must be one of the most unconvincing (and protracted) death scenes I've had endure. To add insult to injury, the drawing of Komimasa's eyes during the final moments are so comic-like, it's laughable. About the only bright spot in this episode is the application of the technology in the Iria universe -- specifically, the local shield generators, which seems to have a multitude of uses, from ship viewports to weaponry. - AN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 1 star N/A
Direction: N/A 2 stars
Acting: N/A 2 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 3 stars N/A
Music: N/A 3 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/R
Overall Rating: N/A 1 star N/A

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