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Get this one only if you are a fan of Tatsunoko anime characters, or a dedicated student of old school anime
Review by Matthew Anderson
2 episode OVA
Company: U.S. Manga Corps
Running Time: 60 minutes (2 episodes)
Rated: PG-13 (Partial Nudity, Language, sexual situations)
Many years ago, there was a group of heroes called Time Bokan. Year after year, they fought against the various forces of evil and darkness in their giant robots. After all the enemies were defeated, both heroes and villains went their separate ways.
That is until the writers of "Time Bokan" decided to hold a race to see which super villain team will win the chance to appear in the next episode of the "Time Bokan" OVA's.
That's not all! The evil Dokurobe also wants the Dorombo Gang to steal the eye of the Tatsunoko Kingdom. Unfortunately for the Dorombo's, the kingdom is protected by some of the greatest heroes of all time, and we are not talking about those two airheads from "Yataman"! It's Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, Tekkaman, and a host of others to the rescue....if they don't get bored first.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: The quality is very well done. There are no pixels or errors noted. The colors are solid, and the motion, fluid.
AUDIO: The Japanese 2.0 soundtrack is crisp and clean, with no mono hiss. The English 2.0 is quite loud, especially when the music plays. The dialogue is center speaker based, with limited sound effects from the sides.
EDITS: 100% uncut baby!
EXTRAS: The CPM trailer for the Time Bokan OVA's and an "art gallery". That's it.
STORY: Time Bokan has almost no real plot. The first episode plays out like an episode of Hanna-Barbera's "Wacky Races", with plenty of broad physical shtick, and over the top reactions. For the second installment, the writers serve up more of the same, only this time, they have a bunch of heroes from Tatsunoko Pro. shows to make things even funnier.
ACTING: The Japanese cast does a really great job, but no one really stands out. Unfortunately, the English dub is down right awful. Full of forced, disinterested performances, it's been a while since I heard a dub this bad.
FAN SERVICE: The whole OVA is fan service incarnate, that is if you are a huge fan of "Time Bokan" or Tatsunoko Pro. There is some nudity, sexy pose and panty shots too, but nothing too risqué.
"Time Bokan" has nothing to distinguish itself from the multitude of anime titles out there. Yes, it is an anime classic, and it does have guest staring characters from great shows like "Gatchaman" and "Casshan". Unfortunately, with the "Time Bokan" TV series never having been aired in the US, and because of it's dated animation style, most fans won't give this release any attention.
This two part OVA is as simple as they come. Both episodes consists of physical comedy, wacky mecha designs, and situations that give minor chuckles. The plot, if you can call it that, serves merely as the framework for the crazy events that follow. There are some decent laughs, and lots of fan service, but nothing really meaty in the writing department.
Along with the threadbare plot, the animation is horribly dated. It also lacks many of the fine details we have come to expect from anime of the late 80's, early 90's. The mechanical designs, while interesting, lack the spit and polish of shows like Tatsunoko's own "Macross" series. Plus, as "Time Bokan" was notorious for recycling the same character designs, it gets to the point where all the villains blur together.
The biggest thing that hobbles this anime is the fact that most US anime fans have never heard of "Time Bokan". While it may be one of the most popular series in Japan, "Time Bokan" has never had any kind of legal release in the US, until now. Problem is, this OVA was made years after the original TV series had ceased, making many of the in jokes and references too obscure for the average anime fan to get. Even those who remember shows like "Gatchaman" ("G-Force" for some, "Battle of the Planets" for others) or "Speed Racer" may not get all the references to other Tatsunoko characters, or even exactly who "Tatsunoko Productions" is.
If "Time Bokan" had been released 10 or so years ago, I think it would have been very popular. Releasing it in 2005 is a case of too little to late. Get this one only if you are a fan of Tatsunoko anime characters, or a dedicated student of old school anime like myself.
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