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Review Listings - Display Review[ # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]


Name: The Venus Wars
Type: ANIME
Platform: VHS/VCD
Company: US Manga Corps.
Release date: 1992
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku

From what I understand, a lot of people have overlooked this movie. In similar style to the studio who originally animated Mobile Suit Gundam, the story even plays an uncannily similar plot formula relative to Gundam. It's not your typical teen bopper, big eye-ed, I'm an underaged sex object Anime. It's a story about war, heroism, and a kind of twist on stereotypical Anime characters. It's not very new either, nor is the animation ultra impressive. However, if you're a fan of war and heroism dashed with tragedy, then this movie will be for you.

Venus has been hit by a blazing comet and the surface has been filled with acid cursed oceans. With what you might called "half-baked water", Earth has sent terraformers to Venus to neutralize the acid and create a habitable atmosphere. Years have past and people have migrated to the planet to start a new life. However, due to government conflicts, the small planet has broken into a civil war between two primary factions. Caught inbetween are the innocent inhabitants of Venus who take no particular side in the political struggle. One of them happens to be a young kid named Hiro; a spunky, arrogant, but impressively skilled bike rider. He strains for survival as he's nearly minced, blown up, exiled, and forced to fight for a cause he believes to have died many years ago. The character seems to be quite generic as you might see in other Animes, but I found him to be much more entertaining as the movie showed he was mortal rather than a super being. He didn't have super powers which made him a billion times stronger than any other characters, but rather they gave him survival skills; rather persistent survival skills, which always end up getting him into more trouble. All the more entertaining, he doesn't talk very much in the movie, but instead the rest of the characters talk more than he does in some cases. He seemed more vunerable and made the movie overall seem more realistic.

As for the other characters, you got your bunch of tardos who bring the comedy relief in their clown buggy, your strong willed but sexy female counter role, a wimpy ass but likeable girlfriend for Hiro, a mentor-like teacher who carries the cast through the first part of the movie, the wise but arrogant guy that tells everybody else to do, and who can miss the seemingly humble dictator who gives into a psychotic complex at the end of most stories. Venus Wars seems to fit every inch of a cast you can probably want; excluding your sexy fan service, underaged girls in skirts shorter than a SD Gundam. Aside from this horrid fault of the movie (yeah right), Venus Wars has a strong cast. Like heck I can't say that enough times.

The series of events is played extremely well and is an impressive mixture of mellow comedy, action, lots of explosions (and I mean A LOT of explosions), good character development, and a pretty good closing act. However, in terms of personality development, I would have wanted more for each of the characters. There was enough depth to explain each of the characters, but I still yearned for more because they were built in such an entertaining way.

Since it's an older film, I can't really bash how the animation looks. It's not technically impressive, nor does it have billions of CG frames to massage your eyes. Though it's one of the better animated older films which has consistent animation all the way through the movie. There's is a ton of stuff going on in each scene as well. The director tries to keep something else other than the characters moving in the backgrounds or foregrounds. It's animated in a very similar style compared to the original Gundam series, and Project A-ko. Just imagine that and you'll get the drift. Everything of course as you can see in the screenshots, is very dismal and drab looking. Nothing is colorful, and if it is; it's covered by dirt. This is good as no one would expect war to be a rainbow of colors.

Sound is of course a good factor in terms of cinema. Because it's an older movie, I'll give it some more slack. However, it's nothing to laugh about either. It doesn't have as much depth as one might expect from something like Tenchi Muyo In Love, but there's always a "kaboom" or "vrrmm" sound going on in the background at one time or another. It's all good.

On the side of translation, it's quite well done. You won't notice it if you don't watch both the Japanese and the English versions one after another. In some cases, you'll like the English dialogue better because it seems to bring out more in each of the characters. In other cases, you'll like the Japanese dialogue because it fits more. However, you'll notice that there are clear instances where the dialogue between the two are totally inconsistent. To be more specific, the subtitles and the actual English dubbing sometimes don't match with what the original Japanese dialogue was. However, I have to admit that some of the scripted lines in the English version are a lot better than the actual Japanese dialogue. My personal opinion.

So if you don't like heroism or war (well no one really likes war), then this movie is not for you. If it isn't and you do pick up this movie, you'll probably just pass it over as a rental. You probably won't even give it a second glance. For me, I really liked this movie a lot. There's tons of explosions all over the movie, which is probably equal to the amount of destruction caused by a single nuclear warheard; if you're a fan of pyrotechnics, then get this movie. But the larger reason I liked the film, is because of the utter depth of character development, and the equal balance of action. Otherwise, rent it, watch it, return it.

Artwork (technical) - 4.5/5
Artwork (creative) - 4.5/5

Animation (technical) - 4/5
Animation (creative) - 4/5

Audio (technical) - 4/5
Audio (creative) - 4/5

Implementation - 4.5/5
Ambience - 4.5/5

Continuity - n/a
Plot - 4.5/5

Fun Factor - 4.5/5

Overall Value - 4.5/5
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