September 25, 2011

Metal Skin Panic Madox-01

Here's another 80s mecha anime for you to check out. Metal Skin Panic Madox-01 is a one episode 42 minute OVA that follows Sugimoto Kouji, an engineering student who happens to have an odd combination of good and bad luck. The plot of this OVA is fairly simple in that Kouji happens to come across the Madox-01 military exo-skeleton after it is lost in a transportation accident. As Kouji is reading the manual on how to operate the Madox, he inadvertently gets locked into the suit. While all of this is happening with the Madox, Kouji is expected to meet his girlfriend (Shiori) at the NSR building to discuss their future as he has found out that she is expected to leave later that week to study abroad for three years.

Kouji ends up attempting to meet with Shiori at the NSR building, in the Madox suit. While he is traveling to the NSR building he is continually attacked by military helicopters and the Madox-00 suit in an attempt to reclaim the missing suit. Kouji ends up making it to the NSR building and faces off in a final battle against Lt. Kilgore, a war mongering tank pilot.

I won't ruin the ending by telling you the outcome of the fight and whether or not Kouji ends up making it in time to meet Shiori.

There were a lot of really strong elements in this OVA that made it great to watch. First and foremost, it's old school anime, and second to that it has mecha suits and tanks. Those two alone made this a winning combination in my books. Another strong point was that the story didn't have too much going on. It was easy enough to follow, while still stimulating enough to continue watching without going into boredom shock. The animation style was very much what you would expect from the time period as was the music (very much in line with Patlabor or Dominion Tank Police).

I have to say that I also enjoyed the creativity that the writers had in developing the concept of exo-skeleton suits. While this is a technology that by today's standards seems less than science-fiction, consider that this OVA was produced in 1987. Back then (and yes I was only two years old at that time), the concepts being touched on by the writers seemed almost out of reach. One of the enticing factors for me in selecting to watch this was the fact that it really focused on the Madox exo-skeleton. I have always been fascinated by the ability to combine human functionality with robotics in a manner similar to what is expressed in Metal Skin Panic Madox-01 (I'm not referring to the war component by the way, just the ability to enhance human abilities with robotics). This specific element really allowed me as a viewer to make more of a personal connection with the show.

Overall, I think it goes without saying that I advocate checking out Metal Skin Panic Madox-01. If you are a fan of such films as Ghost in the Shell, then this one will resonate with you as well.

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