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Iria: Zeiram the Animation
Episode 5: Kowaburi
(Wind Song)

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: Matsumoto Hajime 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

Iria visits her home province of Batabitajira, only to be attacked by a Zeiram-produced clone. Yet Iria senses that somehow, this encounter with the Zeiramoid being was no accident, and somehow, it was waiting for her...

Meanwhile, citizens of the Capital City of Myce are disappearing at an alarming rate. Worse still, it seems that more and more hideous creatures are being unleashed upon the city. And at the epicenter of all the activity stands Zeiram, who can not only produce genetically cloned beings to do his bidding, but also call more Zeirams from beyond the Mycean planetary system...

[ capsule review ]

For all the effort and writing that has gone into this series, I just can't seem to get very excited about it. The primary reason is the animation direction: it's very conventional, and takes little or no advantage of building suspense, or even trying to tease the audience with a hint of mystery. Iria's great discovery in this episode about the fate of her brother was all but spelled out to the audience in episode 2; making this piece of information the central plot device for the remaining four episodes really causes you to lose interest. We know that Zeiram has already assimilated Gren, and we know that when Zeiram assimilates a biologic, he also absorbs their knowledge and experiences. Somehow, her inner struggle upon facing this realization just didn't seem very convincing. That pretty well means that Iria should be scheduled to have final showdown with Zeiram in Episode 6 (since there are only 6 episodes. There. How's that for a spoiler?) How bad does it get? Well, let's just say that the entire Myce Central Administration can't seem to add two and two together to get four... which is about right, since the same writers seem to hold the viewer's level of intelligence at about the same level...

Two items are worth mentioning: First, the character designs continue to be above average. Iria is drawn with a look of strong, exotic beauty -- a far cry from some of the unbearably cute characters we see in so many other series. The other notable item is the revelation that Kei is a girl. Not particularily ground-shattering, but it did catch me off guard. Score one there for the writers. But in the end, uninspired writing, directing and a so-so lead voice actress fail to generate any substantial amount of interest. - AN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 2 stars N/A
Direction: N/A 2 stars
Acting: N/A 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/A 4 stars N/A
Music: N/A 2 stars N/A
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/R
Overall Rating: N/A 2 stars N/A

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