Oh God help.
Pronounced “ik-zah”. For some reason, I kept reading it as “Ice-ser”. Odd.
After Amazons, I go way back into that evil 80s department of darkness. Where you bend your arm, rip the flesh, and the bones sticks out with a splatter of blood?
So when animation was mostly cels, OVA releases were popular, especially for an original work or following the popularity of a comic or tv series. Thus, production cost aid and promotion, going right into the 90s. That’s just to put it in digest. I saw someone ask if this was the “first gore anime”, which was a little odd. It might be his/her first, but you’ll see some pretty creepy stuff in the classics. If there’s no gore/blood, there’s physical/mental abuse and sexual themes.
BEAST KING Golion (Americanized into VOLTRON) comes to mind, a brutal 81 show with violence and gore, and I think there’s also Ganba’s Adventure (ガンバの冒険).
What’s surprising is that my curiosity became roused thanks to someone on Twitter, who is writing an original novel based on this series.
“Oh, you’re writing about Iczer-1? That’s cool! What is Cthulhu in this plot? You recommend the work? Okay cool I’ll check it out. ..EH?!?!?!”. Something like that. I get inspired too easily. It’s a weakness and a strength.
I heard of the title and series but never looked into it. If I’ve picked up the tape, I can’t remember at all, and in most cases, OVAs are stacked into one product when they’re Western localized.
This is Hirano Toshiki’s (平野 俊貴) debut leading work. He is the character designer, producer, animator, etc. He also did picture direction for Macross. Is it a coincidence to see Min May within Nagisa?
He’s also in charge of Demon Fighter Hagane no Oni.
I think classic animation is considerate. There is a lot of tone and even eye ridges look like delicate lines carefully placed by the artist. That is quite important for older characters. The characters don’t look stiff. Sure, there may be a little too much shadow, some slow-motion and skipped frames. Less overlapping action at times, plus the bream attacks may look like a child painted it. Nothing I like more that mechanical designs.
It’s cool to note is that the person in charge of the soundtrack, Watanabe Chuumei (渡辺 宙明) has took part in various shows, including tokusatsu. Goranger, Denjiman, Goggle Five, Kikaider, and the metal heroes, such as Space Police Gavan (including the latest movie reboot) and Shaider. He is currently 91 years old!
So, that’s why you hear some familiar tunes in here and DANGAIOH! Why you hear a similarly in the Laser sword theme in Metal Heroes and the Psycho Wave/Zan theme in Dangaioh. It’s a great combo, especially when Iczer-1 is similar to Kikaider and uses a finger/hand blast and laser blade. Dangaioh will be next weekend.
To the product. “FIGHT! Iczer-1” is a three episode series and a homage to Kikaider. Alien group Cthulhu (first problem) invades Earth, and a rebel member fights back, but she needs the help of an earthling partner. Now because Cthulhu is involved, you are faced with Japan’s long-time fetish with tentacles. If there’s a squid or any mollusk involved, and 80s, there’s going to be trouble. I’m suddenly reminded of C.V Yamamoto Yuriko (Saint Seiya’s Eagle Marian, Dancouga’s Sara) and her “dirty sounds”. Does it fit this situation? Her voice is sharp and fits the fight scenes.
Like I said above, an 80s work can be quite disgusting. Gore is horror genre itself; we have splitting faces, saliva-dripping maws, disfigured parents, popped out eyeballs, and everything being ripped or melted. Tatakae Iczer-1 is a total shock, and Nagisa gets to suffer with the watchers as her hometown is secretly invaded by Cthulhu. Since it’s sci-fi, the aliens can propagate in the body and take control. Not much chill in this product as Iczer-1 desires Nagisa’s strength.
Cobalt and Sepia were a female couple, and I think it was cool to see the latter’s change in speech and character after she lost what was important to her. She went from adorable to frigid.
I think Izcer-2 is awesome. I was considering putting her in my 8 Great Rivals from the Robot Japanese anime genre, but she may end up as a notable mention since there’s more emphasis on Iczer’s motif being Kikaider (androids fighting against evil organization that made them), rather than the “driving of a robot”. Plus, the OVA is short. In this case, Iczer-2 is based on Hakaider, the rival of Kikaider. Plus, C.V Toda Keiko is a total plus. I am a fan of hers. You’re probably thinking, “Doggie, she’s cruel!” Exactly. Yes, the contrast and the equal strength (and her pride) as 1 and 2 face off is what makes it interesting. Plus, there is the struggle against Sigma Robo and the ending. She’s plain disgusting and a person you want to defeat. Matter of fact, doesn’t she feel much like an android? Lacking a heart?
I nearly had a heart attack when I saw a girl get stepped on, or so it seemed. The show was messed up and cruel as it is? I think that explains well that I was effected and the misery was serious. To quote someone on Sakuhin, “I am depressed” (鬱になる)
C.V Shiozawa Kaneto’s dark voice once again takes my heart. I wish he was still with us; he was considerably active in a popular animation.
I have to say though, it’s difficult to place in my heart. It’s done well, it has a shock factor (a good point and bad point), but it feels indeed conceptual. A “sit on the couch” (and hold on to dear life) show, and it promotes the original work. It feels like an OVA. In many classic OVAs, however, the endings are left vague or just plain rushed. I don’t think the origins of Cthulhu and Violet are completely clear either.
The original novel writer somewhat explained it to me though.