Uoodo coffee: suddenly less bitter.
Case;Irvine is a new VOTOMS one-shot, set in the Astragius Galaxy but otherwise unconnected to the rest of the franchise. You can come in cold and it should make sense.
When Banagher threw up in the second episode of Unicorn, I thought it was natural. Marida just punched him in the belly, after all.
But that’s ridiculous. The Kshatriya, not Marida, punched the Unicorn, not Banagher, in the belly. He succumbs, I suppose, to the amount of force applied to the cockpit as a whole (and the NT-D’s demands?), rather than to any particular part of his body. And yet part of my mind still thinks these are human-scale bodies or suits of armour.
(Compare that scene in Votoms where Chirico’s wounded in the leg, and his blood, escaping from a bullet-hole, runs down his Scopedog’s leg. Though, re-reading what I just wrote, we could probably do other things with that.)
I heard a lot about Votoms in 2010. Shining Heresy, the defrosted-Chirico-vs-Space-Catholics OVA, was (finally) translated, and there was a sudden flood of new material produced or announced: Alone Again, Phantom Arc, Case;Irvine and Votoms Finder.
I’m cautiously optimistic about this. The CGI action in Pailsen Files was tolerable more often than it was great, and one wonders how much more interest can be wrung from the life story of Chirico Cuvie. But Case;Irvine and Votoms Finder aren’t about Chirico (from what I can gather, Takahashi isn’t even involved in them). This could make for some interesting uses of the Astragius Galaxy, which is a very nice real robot setting. Okay, it probably won’t, but it could, right?
Also it’s sort of heartening that someone, somewhere, reckons money can still be made out of this franchise.
Armour Hunter Mellowlink arranges lots of fighting around a simple, sturdy story, leavened with drama and mystery in just the right (minimal) amounts. I owe it a certain debt for being my introduction to the VOTOMS franchise. It has, therefore, always pained me that the only available subtitled version is a set of rips from some kind of well-worn VHS fansub. Recently, however, I discovered that some inspired /m/en had got together to release Armour Hunter Mellowlink in higher quality. It’s still the old, amusingly unreliable translation but — well, I did say this was mostly fighting, didn’t I?
Anyway, to celebrate, I thought I’d write another post about it. Continue reading
The first three minutes of the eleventh episode of the Pailsen Files portray an assault, but they also are an assault – on the viewer. Vast troopships (VOTOMS‘s spaceships are essentially brick-shaped) loom over the machine planet Monad. (Incidentally(?), ‘monad’ may or may not have been a Pythagorean name for God.) The transports which aren’t blown up (in suitably massive explosions) by the defenders disgorge swarms of Armoured Troopers. Continue reading
Armoured Trooper VOTOMS is a simple show. I should swiftly add that by ‘simple’ I don’t mean to imply ‘bad’ (it was good) or ‘stupid’ (it wasn’t stupid), simply ‘simple’, in its denotation but not any of its connotations. Armoured Troopers are simple mecha, tin cans with machine guns, the characters are simple people, the dialogue is frequently sparse (and better for it) and some of the show’s best images, such as Chirico carrying a sick Fyana across Sunsa’s airless desert with Zophie following behind him, are its simplest ones.
(Contains spoilers; if you wish to avoid them, the same stretch of anime is reviewed here. I think I may finally have learned how to spell ‘Ogiue’ now.)
We see a small boat putt-putt-puttering its way in midstream, while the men onboard lie about, sweating in the sun. They heft guns, looking bored; one man casually applies the burning end of his cigarette to a leech. Complaints about the boat’s progress bounce back and forth, though the external heat seems to have taken any fire out of the complaints themselves. Someone stands up, leans back, stretches – and is promptly hit by a swarm of bullets from the bank.
Even the pushiest estate agent would have trouble selling me a house in Uoodo City. It’s an entirely metallic environment. We never seem to see the sky. The buildings are unreasonably tall, and instead of solid ground under your feet, you’re more likely to find cavernous metal spaces full of more unreasonably tall buildings. The police chief is corrupt and power-hungry, and his men are only really distinguished from thugs by their heavier armament. If you don’t fall foul of the police, perhaps you’ll be captured and put to work as a miner by the local gang of biking vikings. You could turn to religious consolation, but sadly the only priest we see is a conspirator in cahoots with the police chief. Oh yeah, and the rain can kill you – so listen out for those weather sirens.
Why do we need to know about Uoodo? Well . . .