January 20, 2010
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this anime. It was hard to get a good read on what exactly the writers were trying to accomplish with the story and the style of animation. For the most part this short OVA was not too bad. It combined a lot of the elements that are present in Ghost in the Shell with using cybernetic body parts to replace damaged or missing human parts. An interesting element was that not all parts could be replaced. In this case, spines were the part of the body that were highly sought after by black market criminals because they could not be reproduced. There was a lot going on in this anime, which made it a little difficult to determine when things were winding up and down. They had a coliseum, bounty hunter kills, a love story, and a desire to venture to a forbidden land. There was a little too much going on. It became difficult to follow exactly what element the writers wanted us to focus on. Much of the bounty hunter plot was very well developed relative to the other components. It seemed like the coliseum idea, the love story and the venture were all not fully developed which left some questions unanswered during the course of the show.
It is very possible that some of the unanswered questions are addressed in the Manga, as the OVA is an adaptation to the Manga. Often it tends to be the case where the ideas are a little further drawn out and developed in the printed versions of many series. Once I have a chance to take a look at the Manga, I will post a comparative review between the animated and printed version of the series.
This OVA is still worth the hour of view time to see some intense fights with some interesting effects. If you are a fan of the mid-90s style animation schemes, then this is also something that will be of interest to you simply for the fact that it tends to follow that same style of raw and detailed violence in the graphics.