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Area 88 (Episode 1) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Sunday, 28 March 2004 00:00
Area 88 - Episode 1One of a few of this season's shows where I didn't manage to get through even the first episode, here's a few brief thoughts on Area 88 TV

Spin-off from a now rather old OVA series, Area 88 TV seems at heart to be an aerial combat anime, with a few other bits & pieces thrown in for good measure. The original OVA was apparently a romance, so there's a change of pace for a start...

The first episode sees photographer Makoto Shinjou arrive at Area 88, an airbase in the middle of the desert that's currently seeing a fair bit of action as a result of a local war. His main interest is Shin Kazama, the only Japanese pilot on the base - the reason for his interest (apart from them both being Japanese) isn't made immediately clear. Kazama's something of an ace pilot (the opening sequence shows him taking on 4 enemy aircraft on his own, and winning - very Top Gun...) - problem is he knows he's good, and has an attitude problem as a result...

A few years ago I would probably have lapped this up - I was still in my "Wow! Fighter planes!" stage & just back from applying for the Royal Air Force. Now, my tastes have changed and this did nothing for me. The CGI in the combat scenes was iffy (the planes look obviously overlaid & the frame rate of the combat animation is noticeably lower than in other parts of the episode), and arrogant males duking it out stopped interesting me a long time ago (which is why you'll never see a Gundam review 'round here).

Your mileage may vary - I readily admit it's my own tastes that rule Area 88 out, rather than any real fault with the show itself - but I won't be bothering with it further.