Panzer Dragoon OVA, Reviewed by Neil

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A review of the Panzer Dragoon OVA.

(Update - I just want to let everyone know that this is an update to my old Panzer Dragoon OVA review and not the original. Also, I want everyone to know that my original score was a 6.5 and not a 7.0.)

Contents

About

Here is a review for the Panzer Dragoon movie released in 1998 by ADV Films, published by Sega, and edited by Team Andromeda. While searching for Panzer Dragoon Saga on eBay (I have yet to play it) I came across this “jewel”. I jumped out of my seat and nearly crapped my pants with happiness, thinking “Wow, a Panzer Dragoon movie. What a treat!” so I nabbed it for about 5 bucks.

First Impressions

A week later I got it in the mail and popped it in the VCR. Here’s what I think. First of all, the first ten minutes or so of the movie is nothing but previews for other anime movies, which you have got to be crazy to have heard of. When the actual movie starts you realize that most of it was computer-animated. However, the computer-animations clearly look their age, and could have easily been done on the Saturn!

Story

The story is based on the story of the first game. It starts with a group of Imperial ships surrounding the Tower, when all of a sudden the final program is initiated and the ships are destroyed in an instant. Then it cuts to the main character Kyle (Yes, if you thought the protagonist in the first game was known as Kyle, the movie confirms it) and his friend Devidok chasing one of the burrower creatures. The funny thing is, in the game Kyle was chasing it alone because it killed his friend, and in the movie they are chasing it for sport. Also, a new character is introduced! It is a blind girl named Alita, who is actually as beautiful as Azel (as I’ve seen her in pictures). I certainly wish Alita was in the game, though, for she would of given the first game more meaning. Then two dragons (one blue, the other black) come out of nowhere and frighten the three heroes. Devidok suggests that they hide in a nearby cave, which they do. The rider of the blue dragon is then gunned down, leaving the dragon, who later reveals his name as “Blau”, rider-less. The black dragon enters the cave and snatches Alita. Kyle confronts him and shoots it with his handgun, doing scarce damage. The dragon shoots an ‘arrow of light’ at Kyle, but Devidok pushes him out of the way and is killed instead. The dragon then flies towards the Tower, with Alita still with him, and Kyle meets up with the blue dragon outside, where the former rider (Sky Rider) dissolves (Yes, he dissolves into thin air) taking the former rider’s weapon, and prepares to ride off. I fear that telling any more of the story will give it away so I won’t say anymore.

Music/Sound

Anyway, as far as the music and sound goes, it turns out that most of it was straight from the game (kewl) and if you really listen during Devidok’s death scene, you can hear the music from the official Azel teaser trailer, which is sort of foreshadowing for Panzer Dragoon Saga! Also, as far as the voice acting in the movie goes, it sucks. Totally sucks. The only character that did a good job was Alita, which I liked. The captain on the airship did a fair job as well, but Kyle has got the ugliest voice that I have ever heard, which not only sounds bad, but also makes you think that he is slow.

Major Flaws

One of the last things I’m going to discuss is the movie’s biggest flaw. It’s length. It’s way too short. The developers must of been asleep at the wheel because get this - it’s barely twenty minutes long. The first Panzer Dragoon game was an epic adventure and making a 20-minute piece after it is somewhat of an insult. If it were longer, I would have enjoyed it more. Another thing that I disliked is that if you want to see your favourite features or creatures (Hey, that rhymes) from the first Panzer Dragoon game, your best bet will be to play the game. I mean, the coolias and larvae creatures are very cool, and they are in the movie, but you have to really look to see them, and they don’t have much of a role. It just doesn’t cut it for me. Also, there are so many things in this 20 minutes of garbage that go unexplained that you may get lost in knowledge of plot (Like you’ll read in the next section). It isn’t much to ask, and it could of added so much more to the movie, including length! And the only other thing that was bad about the movie is that you never really figure out the relationship between Kyle and Alita. I’m going to assume that they are lovers because they keep calling her Kyle’s ‘lady’, but it could of been a little clearer.

The Shape of Destiny?

Now I know that I said that I didn’t want to give away the movie’s story, but something must be said, so I’m going to. If you don’t want to hear it, don’t read on, although it won’t be much of a spoiler, whether you have or have not played the game. At the very end of the film, after the destruction of the Tower, Kyle and Alita wash up on the shore of a beach (for some strange reason) and it turns out that Alita is no longer blind (I think. It was poorly explained). She points to a shape in the sky, that is shaped like a dragon and she asks Kyle what it is. He says that it is the shape of destiny… WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN! It is the last line in the film and it makes no sense whatsoever. I don’t even think the makers knew what it meant. One of the reasons the movie is unexplained.

The Deal

So here’s the deal. I’m giving it a 7.0 and that’s me being generous, because I like Panzer Dragoon. If there is ever a sequel, let it be a good one, please. If you’re a fan who has played all 3 games and is impatiently awaiting the release of Orta, I suggest you buy a cheap-ass copy off eBay. It is worth the money.

Visuals
8.0/10 (Not too shabby, although it could of been better.)
Storyline
7.5/10 (Loosely follows the first game. I really like Alita, as well.)
First Impressions
9.0/10 (I guess I got my hopes up.)
Music
9.0/10 (The movie’s best feature. Straight from the game!)
Voice Casting
4.5/10 (Yuck! Kyle, did you lose your voice box?)
Longevity
2.5/10 (20 minutes? You’ve gotta be kidding me!)
Price
10/10 (I’ve bought toilet paper for more than what you can get this lot for!)
Overall
7.0/10 (Would of been good with just a little more work. Damn you, Sega!)

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