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Arrmored Trooper VOTOMS eps 14-27 [message #393448] Mon, 20 April 2020 09:53 Go to previous message
Originally posted by: Jack Bohn

Diggin' into the cheap DVDs I bought but haven't watched yet. I watched this 2006 DVD two-pack from the 1983 anime.

This must have been from an anime store. It had a handwritten tag marking it down to $3.77, I'm guessing sales tax would bring it up to an even number.
So, four bucks for fourteen episodes, but from the middle of a series, what kind of a deal is that? The package promises -and I believe conversation at the time also said- that each VOTOMS set was an individual story arc. Well, there's an outdated concern! Even back when physical media ruled, they eventually went from selling one episode at a time to four or so episodes, (or, in this case, 14 episodes,) to selling the entire season or series as a box set. Of course, some shows with bad habits still left one with a worry about getting a complete story.

But yeah, it did have a pretty good beginning, middle, and end. The 14th episode opens with our protagonist, Chirico, the pilot of an Armored Trooper or AT, on a boat winding down an amazonian river (more likely inspired by southeast Asia) to join a mercenary group in the local war. Thus, as he gets introduced to new characters, they get to know him. He also meets some old friends who had also drifted towards this war as camp followers (a bartender, singer, and moneyman) from them he learns some of the situation, and he considers how it fits with his goals. And we get an ending on his current goals, although an open ending leaving room for "what now?".

And it took about six hours to get there. The series felt fine while watching, but looking back I wish there'd been more in the episodes. The AT squad; Chirico's superiors are delineated for their function in the plot, the other pilots, his buddies, not so much. There comes a point when they all have to decide which way to go; Chirico we know, another piolt -a local- has been set up so we know his decision, the other two could have gone either way for any reason, and no real indication if their decision was easy or gut-wrenching. Then there's this war. It's being fought against the government's push to industrialize by people who want to keep or return to the old ways. What are "the old ways" in the future? Both sides -of necessity- fight with ATs, helicopters, and beam weapons, but a civilian village which could be on either side is comfortable with motorized boats, jeeps, and radios. Their houses seem built of plank wood with thatch roofs, but off-base buildings near the "modernization" mercenaries look to be, too. Is it just they don't want to work on assembly lines and live in cities? It seems there could have been an echo of the main theme, which seems to be human augmentation, here driven by a military project developing the Perfect Soldier or PS.

Do I want to watch more? I wouldn't mind it, but I can wait. With what I picked up of the situation in this middle chapter, I'm afraid I might view episodes 1-13 as an unnecessary prequel, especial with episode 20 being a flashback to those times.

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