Posted by psgels on 29 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



I was really hoping that the second Votoms OVA, Big Battle, would be just as good as the first. But meh, this one’s just as cheesy as the title makes you suspect.

It’s quite likely that this is the worst thing that Ryousuke Takahashi has worked on. His series usually are amazing, but I have no idea what he had in mind here. While the Last Red Shoulder did a great job of creating extra background, Big Battle instead is just a silly side-story that even goes against the continuity of the series.

The bad guy is just a joke. He’s a cheesy terminator with a formulaic back-story. This guy should be the villain of an action flick, not a series as complex as Votoms. I also loved how in the TV-series, Fyana (the lead female) was much, much more than a damsel in distress. Now guess what this OVA reduces her to.

Shako’s character is ruined to a personality-less one-dimensional side-character, going completely against his motives in the TV-series. The Balalant army does things in this movie that made no sense whatsoever considering their actions in later.

The Votoms franchise has always had a lot of action, but it was always meaningful. With such a terrible story and cheesy villain who can’t stop smiling, there’s nothing about this OVA that makes it worth watching. Do yourself a favour, watch the Last Red Shoulder, skip this one. Are the rest of the Votoms OVAs like this as well? I hope not.

Storytelling: 5/10 – Pathetic. Just a meaningless action story.
Characters: 4/10 – Destroys once beloved characters by reducing them to silly one-dimensional stereotypes.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Decent, although the main villain looks incredibly stupid.
Setting: 4/10 – Doesn’t care about continuity.

5 Responses

  1. BigFire says:

    Big Battle was kind of stupid. But do make an effort on getting Red Shoulder Document: The Roots of Ambition, which shows Chirico’s induction to the Red Shoulder (the characters you saw in Last of the Red Shoulder will also are here as well). In a way, Palsen’s Files is a direct sequel to Roots of Ambition.

  2. BigFire says:

    Thus far, NO one has taken up to translate Shining Heresy, the ONLY direct sequel to the television series itself.

  3. Camario says:

    Shining Heresy is supposedly incomplete and not entirely what the director/creator originally intended, or so say the rumors. Still, I’ll watch it someday once I get far enough into Votoms.

  4. Chiarissimo says:

    Have you ever considered that maybe that cyborg was an early experiment for the technology that would later create Teitania?

    And that this episode was intended to be pure fun and action, which it was to near perfection?

    • Chiarissimo says:

      And I don’t really understand how you can say that Votoms is a complex series ; I’d say that its main quality is its simplicity. Simplicity in its construction (it never goes in a million directions at a time like a Gundam series does), simplicity in its characters (Chirico, good lord, talk about a protagonist), simplicity in its messages, in its direction (remember that sequence when Zophie follows Chirico in the desert? and all that came out of it? it’s “The Gods Must be Crazy”-level simplicity-genius).

      And here you have a short little OVA called “big battle” which provides… a big battle…
      That battle was exciting, with the main fortress constantly moving and everybody attacking it from different directions. It’s pure 80s style and action, with smooth animation, great direction (sense of location and proportion, continuity in points of view, I dare anyone to have the same kind of headache watching this OVA than from watching The Dark Knight).

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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