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Sho and his friend Tetsurou stumble upon an odd alien artifact while walking through the woods. Then, the alien artifact breaks free of its metallic bonds and enters Sho's body, turning him into the Guyver. With this new power, Sho must do battle with the evil Chronos corporation and their genetically enhanced Zoanoids, who seek to get the Guyver back into their labs. No one close to Sho is safe from Chronos. He must fight.
Based on the mildly popular cult manga series of the same name, this Guyver OVA is the 2nd attempt to bring Guyver into animated form following the bloody but brain-dead "Guyver: Out of Control".
The basic plot seems to be quite a faithful adaptation of the first 2 books of the guyver manga series. Sho and his friend Tetsurou come across an alien artifact in the forest which bonds to Sho and grants him powers of the bio-booster armour known as the Guyver. Along with his girlfriend Mizuki, the trio soon gets swept up in a larger than life thickening plot involving the evil Chronos coporation and their genetically enhanced soldiers known as Zoanoids.
Not bad, but not entirely good either as the plot premise seems more on the juvenile side compared to other anime.
There are some interesting character development and a good fleshing out of Sho's reluctance over the responsibilities of his power. However once past the first 2 episodes, the series descends into predictable territory and starts to follow a "monster of the episode" formula commonly seen in the kid friendly tokusatsu shows like Masked Rider. The characters also fall strictly into your typical anime stereotype roles like the damsel-in-distress girlfriend, reluctant angst-ridden teen hero, hero's helpful best friend, deep voiced devious villain etc.
The violence would be what makes this otherwise mildly scripted show so appealing with the older teenage crowd and it is careful not to go overboard like the previous OVA. Sadly, the animation is quite mediocre for a 1989 OVA production. On the technical side, the animation is stiff, the art is inconsistent and the character designs are nothing special. To top things off, we are greeted with one of the cheesiest synthesizer score that sounds like a reject from the 60s Ultraman series. The theme songs are firmly stuck in the 1980s with campy lyrics and a slightly juvenile melody that does not fit with the violent and sometimes darker nature of the Guyver mythos. Thank goodness you can just turn off the subtitles and just giggle at the silly childish sounding melody. The English theme song starts with a nice alternative-rock styled electric guitar riff but soon goes down the drain hole a painfully slow tempo coupled with a horrendously messy feel.
On the plus side the monsters and the guyver designs look great and the fight scenes are a real treat as more time and effort seems to have gone into animating them. The art style has a dark moody feel to it with heavy blacks and thick shadows that lend itself well to the feel of the show.
Sadly, compared to other anime of its time, Guyver falls short on many levels. Fans of the manga would definitely want to pick this one up just to see their beloved characters and stories in animated form.
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