Anime Reviews:


(Go Seki/Makoto Moriwaki, 1995, Pioneer)

This two-volume OAV dubbed release probably most closely resembles Pioneer's earlier Moldiver series in that it is lightweight entertainment and little more. As such it works well enough. It is funny, slightly insane, well-designed and colourful. "Mew & Mica The Easy Fighters" is the subtitle to the two 25-minute episodes. Mew and Mica are cute alien superheronies sent to defend Earth against attacks by strange, huge and destructive creatures. In Act 1 ("The Earth is, the Earth is in a Big Bind!") the baddies are Kurage-man (a giant jellyfish) and Inago-man (a giant locust); in Act 2 ("Peace on Earth, Love Humans") it is Mimizu-man (a giant earthworm). Of the two tapes, I found volume two the most entertaining. Mimizu-man has a great voice (part of another great dub by Pioneer) and gets all the best lines. The second tape also has some swearing 'bleeped' out to earn a PG-rating.

If that was the extent of these tapes then I'd say don't bother to buy them - watch a friend's copy - but there is more. At the end of each tape is the "Live Action Clip" mentioned on the sleeves. These are 10 minute mini-film skits based upon the anime you've just watched. On Vol. 1 this clip goes under the great title "Scary Monster! Subterranean Monster 'Upagon' Emerges". In it an anime fanboy and his girlfriend are driving in their car when they are attacked and chased by a giant (rubber) monster. Their call for help is met by Mew and Mica the Hyperdolls who come to their rescue. In Vol. 2 the live action clip is called "The Fatal Trap" and shows how Mew and Mica have impoverished themselves by spending all their money on food and stylish outfits! The two are left sitting in a flat devoid of all furniture and fittings and their frustration turns to anger and the two start fighting. Although only brief, these two live action sequences are worth buying the whole tapes for. They are complete with opening and closing credit sequences, in the original Japanese language with clear subtitles, feature the original 'monster' songs sung by a selection of cute idols in even cuter outfits. The closing credits of each also include interesting behind-the-scenes footage. Stylistically the two are very different and they are both very funny. Top marks to Pioneer for including these sequences which were not included in the American release of the series. Let's hope that UK labels see fit to include more of these extras in future or indeed are brave enough to release subbed live action tapes of similar Japanese TV shows in their own right.

Rob Dyer