Fight! Iczer One DVD (Hyb)
Lawrence M. Wise - Nov 4 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: Pretty good!
If "THE MYSTERIANS" was an 'All-Female-Cast Anime"....
One of the most fantastic memories of my youth was catching "THE MYSTERIANS" on TV. TOHO literally pulled out all the stops on this early classic, only 3 years removed from "GODZILLA".
Evidently, Toshiro (Toshiki) Hirano must've also been a fan, because he pulled the same slam-bang "aliens-invade-the-world" theme with "FIGHT! ICZER-1". Only difference is, it's an all-female-cast anime OAV done over a 3-year-period (the tail-end of the SHOWA Era, 1985-1986-1987, to be exact). Beginning only 8 1/2 months after the release of "SUPER DIMENSIONAL FORTRESS MACROSS: Do You Remember Love?", "ICZER-1" is.......
"ICZER-1" is so campy/late-night-6-pack party good, that I'm surprised that Mr. Hirano (and his tag-team partner, Masano Obari--yup, Mr. "GRAVITON" hisself) wasn't 'arrested' by the 'entertainment police' for creating a "so off-beat that you'll love it" classic.
I mean, you've got your malevolent alien race the Cthulhu (or, to avaid a possible copyright war in the US, "Cutho-Wulf!") bent on conquering Earth at all costs (and arriving with the Giant Robot hardware to back it up, thank you very much!), your very reluctant (and realistically whiny)teen heroine Nagissa Kano, your all-powerful super entity Big Gold, and your amazing super-android heroine herself, Iczer-1. And, Iczer-1 (provided she can get the assistance of a terrified/angry Nagissa) is more than a match for the relentless Cutho-Wulf (oh, they are ALL Female, by-the-by---how humiliating is it for all the armies in the world to be wiped-out by a space-race of super women!!! OUCH!!!).
The thing that won me over the FIRST TIME I brought "FIGHT! ICZER-1" (wayyyyy back in the days of VHS--when it was released by US Renditions)was the spectacular voice-acting of the cast whom we would all come to know and love as "Animaze", now "BANG!ZOOM Entertainment"/"New Generation Pictures". This 1990/1991 dub is STILL (yup, even to this date)WENDEE LEE's magnum opus. She voices Iczer-1 not as some stiff-sounding butch, but as a normal girl (for an android). As a matter of fact, all the voices are straight forward and the dialog itself is delightfully campy-good (just like the Japanese original).
Of course, what really UPs the 'camp factor' way over 1000% is the 2nd Episode introduction of Iczer-1's arch-rival, her 'younger sister' Iczer-2 (if you're a fan of those trashy Andy Sidaris/Jim Wynorski/Roger Corman Butt-Kicking Mean-Ass Sista movies, then you will LOVE the fights between Iczers-1 and 2). Plus, Iczer-2's infamous 'stripper-strut' music cue will get your hormones pumping.
Speaking of magnum-opus, the "ICZER Series" (there are 3 OAV entries, of which "FIGHT! ICZER-1" is the first)is Mr. Hirano's magnum-opus. In the 1990's he kinda 'ended' the series with (the 'semi-unrelated')"Battle Girl! ICZILION", and even had a 'tribute' to it with Episode 4 of his "GALAXY FRAULIEN YUNA 2: Fairy Of The Darkness" OAV (no, I'm NOT kidding--the climatic battle in that episode is pure "ICZER"!). He also produced a manga of "FIGHT! ICZER-1" during this OAV back in '86/'87, but that was a prequel to all the events in the OAV--shame he didn't decide to animated THIS during the 2000's, because it would've been a great companion OAV to this one.
All-in-all, watching "FIGHT! ICZER-1" (in all of it's '80s Big-Hair campiness)is a trip everyone should experience. It literally sends the Showa-Era out with a BANG!, while at the same time giving us a eostrogen-fueled sci-fi smackdown that would predate every "UNDERWORLD"/"RESIDENT EVIL", and their 'wanna-B's'.
My ONLY Complaint:
TOHO should've brought the RIGHTS from ARTMIC/AIC, and made a Live-Action Theatrical version of "FIGHT! ICZER-1". I mean, c'mon, it even PLAYS like a TOHO Super Flick (a'la Tsuburaya/Honda/Ifukube!). "FIGHT! ICZER-1" literally calls for the 'TOHO'-treatment, and in this Anime-Addict's opinion, should get it. (Well, we CAN Dream, can we?!)
Final Verdict: 4 'Ryo-Ohki's out of 5; It's campy, it's non-stop action, it's loud, it's (kinda)sexy, it's campy(twice!), it's BALLSIER than any Stallone and/or Swarzenegger 'action-glamour' flick during that same day. (Uhhh, can I say "BALLSY" when describing an 100% Eostrogen-Fuel All-Female Sci-Fi Action Anime?!)
Nerv ClaX - Sep 9 2008
Rating: Pretty good!
Classic Sci-fi Anime. Chicken Soup for the Anime Soul.
Fight! Iczer One (and the sequel Iczer Reborn)is a lot of fun, especially for older anime fans who remember the cliches before they became cliche.
Fight! Iczer One is filled with giant robots, cute girls, big hair, huge eyes, pointy ears, battle armor, color-coded villains, and shoulders that must be protected AT ALL COSTS!!!
The animation looks and feels like a production of the Macross era, but with a higher budget and more fluid animation. Let the missiles and lasers fly! The plot is as bare-bones as Sailor Moon. The action is top-notch. Fans of Project A-ko will enjoy this very much.