The Xebec is a space transport charged with a very important cargo: a general's daughter. The Xebec runs into trouble and the crew crash land on the planet Garaga. No one knows what lay in store for them on the surface, but after being attacked by cybernetically enhanced ape men, it's obviously not friendly. The crew ends up embroiled in a struggle between factions fighting for survival. Things aren't as they seem in this conflict, however things aren't what they seem with the crew either. Everyone has their own agenda.
"Garaga" sounds a lot like the sound you'd make choking on bad soup - which is appropriate for a title so hard to swallow. Bad anime is usually short, but not so for Garaga. At nearly two hours, this one becomes a test of endurance. Which is strange, considering not a whole lot happens. Well aside from fighting cyborg apes, psychic women love trangles, and androids with a diabolical plot to destroy humanity.
It's linear like a typical action flick, with occasional in depth dialog breaks explaining stuff which really isn't that complicated. Aside from being cheesy and a bit cliche, the story isn't particularly bad, it's just there. Through all this, the main character provides typical 80s anime fantasy wish fullfillment. He's good at everything, every woman (for some reason) falls head over heels for him, and he gets beaten up pretty bad, but when the chips are down he kicks ass to beat overwealming odds. The cast doesn't mesh well, but nothing else in Garaga meshes well either. Everything is weak, but at least it's evenly distributed without one particular glaring problem (or strength).
For a movie, the production quality isn't very good - more on par with a TV show. The dub is hilariously bad; which I'd recommend for the entertainment value. Some of the music is corny, with battles backed by elevator music. I have no idea who thought that was a good idea, but good ideas are in short supply with an anime featuring cyborg apes.
Garaga is bad, but in a campy kind of way. In fact I think the "camp" factor is enough to keep it from being terrible. I wouldn't say it's so bad it's good, but it's cheesy enough to be fun if you're into that. Everyone else (which is most of us) will want to avoid this one.
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