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
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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