Posted by psgels on 19 June 2010 with categories: Armored Trooper Votoms - Phantom Arc



Well… that turned out to be different than I expected.

In any case, I’m very glad to see another series of Ryousuke Takahashi, but this episode was far more light-hearted than I ever expected. I can fully see the idea behind it, though, and this is a great one. The Phantom Arc is all about nostalgia. It plays twenty five years after the original series played, at a time in which it has been twenty-seven years after the original series ended. This episode was all about the side-characters who have all built up their own lives after Chirico left them, and this series shows them as they decide to go back to some of the locations of the TV-series out of nostalgia.

Like the Pailsen Files, these are very interesting and creative ideas as continuations that were produced decades after their original series. It’s a great way to add to your franchise. The disadvantage of course is that there is no way you can watch this OVA without having watched the TV-series. This one is entirely meant for the fans.

As for the actual content, this episode did well in mimicking the light moments of the TV-series, so there’s not much to say about the serious parts. All we saw of Chirico was a bunch of shady silhouettes, and he ended up stealing a mobile armour in order to fight Shaka in a battle to the death. No reasons were given of why he was there, what he was doing there, and why he picked that day of all possible days to do this, that’s left to the rest of the episodes.

I also wonder how everything is supposed to fall into canon, especially with the Brilliant Heretic. This could become a bit strange for the people who haven’t seen that one, as there is a crucial plot twist at the end of Brilliant Heretic that will cause you to really wonder what’s going on in the next number of episodes as soon as Chirico really shows himself.

On the production side of things, I was a bit surprised: this really goes back to the original series. Most of Ryousuke Takahashi’s series are animated with a great attention to detail, but this brings us back to the inconsistency of the 1980s.

Also, the character-development. I really like how down to earth the creators have portrayed them. Through the past twenty five years, the characters have changed subtly. You can really see that Vanilla and Cocona are a married couple now. In the TV series they insulted each other, but to balance that out they were also nice to each other. Here the insults feel harder, and instead of balancing these out with nice comments, they instead just are themselves without any pretension. I wish I could have seen a bit more about their six children, but on the other hand they were just made to show how the two of them spent their past twenty-five years.

At first I thought that this was a bit cheap compared to Ryousuke Takahashi’s other series, but a surprising amount of attention has gotten into these characters right now.

And really, the entire cast of this series is now in their forties or above. When was the last time we got an anime like that?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

3 Responses

  1. Fact says:

    32 years after the TV series.
    You’re not the first one to make the mistake, but you can be the first one to correct it. Please, forget the 26 years shit written everywhere on US boards, 26 years is only the time between PRODUCTION of the TV series (1983) and these OVA (2009), but the story is set 32 years after the TV series and several months after Shining Heresy. To conclude, a future OVA, Alone Again, will take place between Shining Heresy and present Phantom Arc, which is the definitive ending of the Chirico saga.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, that makes sense. The mistake I made was that I assumed that Vanilla and Cocona got married right after the end of the series, but it turns out that they took seven years to do so. Makes much more sense indeed.

  3. Matheus says:

    When you say that the animation keeps the inconsistency of the 80’s do you mean that the quality of animation (movimentation and etc.) its like an anime of the 80’s?
    With all the reduction-costs plans?

    or its like Gundam Unicorn or Tytania that just remind the style of the animations make in that period (but with a high-budget quality in the production)?

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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