HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  Heavy Metal L-Gaim Rock on, oh, mighty mechaBuy this film here.
Year: 1984
Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino
Stars: Hirokazu Hiramatsu, Chieko Honda, Hochu Otsuka, Maria Kawamura, Sho Hayami, Yumi Kinoshita, Saeko Shimazu, Ryuichi Horibe, Harumi Takeuchi
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: On planet Koam in the Pentagonia Star System, young hero Daba Myroad (voiced by Hirokazu Hiramatsu) and his bequiffed buddy Kyao (Hochu Otsuka) are ambushed by space pirates after their awesome giant super-robot, L-Gaim. Smitten space babe Amu Fannellia (Chieko Honda) helps Dabu outwit her former pirate allies, whereupon a dying man urges the three teenagers to return a valuable credit card to billionaire arms dealer Amandara Kamandara (Ryuichi Horibe). This deceptively simple errand leads to Daba discovering he is the last heir of Camon, hidden away on a backward world when the cosmic entity Poseidal (Saeko Shimazu) killed his family and conquered the galaxy. On his adventures, Daba forms a mystical bond with Lilith (Maria Kawamura), a pink-haired little fairy with magical powers, sparks a semi-affable rivalry with ambitious space warrior Gavlet Gablae (Sho Hayami) and joins the crew of a starship captained by gutsy girl pilot Gaw Ha Leccee (Maria Kawamura, in a second role) using the formidable L-Gaim to save the universe.

After scoring tremendous success with the epochal Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), anime auteur Yoshiyuki Tomino dominated the giant robot genre throughout the ensuing decade. Among his innovations, Aura Battler Dunbine (1983) combined giant robots with Dungeons & Dragons style-fantasy, a high concept he continued to develop in Heavy Metal L-Gaim bringing on board Mamoru Nagano as chara designer and creative consultant. A former J-rock drummer turned manga artist, Nagano went on to create The Five Star Stories (1989), arguably the most mind-bogglingly complex anime science fiction epic of them all. Heavy Metal L-Gaim establishes so many of Nagano’s reoccurring motifs throughout its sprawling narrative (baroque chara designs, densely detailed alien cultures, a melange of medieval and futuristic visuals, an abundance of arcane techno terminology and characters with wacky names) that he most probably qualifies as joint auteur of the piece. Nevertheless, the serial features several of Tomino's favourite themes, notably the alternately antagonistic and friendly rivalry that develops between Daba and Gavlet Gablae, who emerges a more complex, even amusing semi-villain than is first apparent.

Narrated in semi-satirical fashion by comically clueless sidekick Kyao, the set-up is undeniably reminiscent of Star Wars (1977): young boy with big dreams stuck on a dismal planet discovers his greater destiny fighting an intergalactic conflict. However, the plot grows increasingly, pleasingly complex and grander in scale as Tomino once again uses a deceptively simple sci-fi shoot ’em to cloak his philosophical inclinations. The story develops into an intriguing debate on the nature of free will as character embark on their individual goals only to discover they are pawns in a greater galactic scheme. Tomino dallies somewhat detailing hijinks on planet Koam before launching his heroes into outer space but this maintains a fast pace with plenty of exciting action scenes.

While Nagano’s robot designs are somewhat primitive by today’s standards, the characters remain faceted and engaging. It is an anime with elements appealing to youngsters of both genders, with fetchingly feisty heroines as courageous and capable as the boys. Tinkerbell-like fairy Lilith adds an intriguingly offbeat note of Disney-esque whimsy and also eroticism, dressed in her Eighties leotard and leg-warmers. Like Marina the mermaid in Stingray, Lilith says very little or else nothing at all yet has a seemingly significant role to play in the broader scheme of things. Rocking soundtrack by Kei Wakakusa complete with Cylon sound-alike chorus.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 997 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: