Type: OVA (4 episodes)
Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page
Birdy the Mighty - OVA
Tsutomu is a fairly average (although under achieving) school student. During an incident one night, he's caught up in a conflict between an alien outlaw and a galaxy federation officer, resulting in his death. Birdy's job was to investigate aliens on the planet, but as her recklessness led to a civilian casualty, her supervisor decides it's her responsibility to rectify the situation, using her humanoid body to save Tsutomu.
The two now share the same body, which can swap between either form; although they can communicate between each other as well. Birdy and Tsutomu have many complications between school life and extra terrestrial investigations. While inconvenient for both, it's also true that they compensate for the weaknesses of the other and work well together. Teamwork may be the only hope for stopping the plot unfolding on the unsuspecting Earth.
This is an anime I recall hearing about in the 90s, but never got around to watching. Having seen the mediocre remake Birdy the Mighty: Decode, I didn't think much about the series. Picking this up years later, I was astonished how much I enjoyed the OVA. It's good enough on its own that I wondered why they bothered with a remake (considering how well that turned out).
Birdy the Mighty is typical for 1990s sci-fi anime. Mysterious aliens in some secret plot which is bad news, etc. The twist is the average guy who sharing a body with a curvy humanoid alien bounty hunter tasked with stopping them. It thankfully doesn't overplay the gender bending aspect. This of course leads to humorous encounters, with the added danger of revealing to your girlfriend that you can turn into a girl hotter than her. While neither Birdy nor Tsutomu are especially strong characters, the chemistry between them works very well. Birdy is strong and hot headed, but otherwise reasonably logical. Tsutomu is hesitant to fight, but helps Birdy out in his own way. He also doesn't spend episode after episode whining about his situation which is a pet peeve of mine.
With the two combined, Birdy the Mighty is basically a gender bending sci-fi buddy cop show. The story isn't complicated, but balanced in a well paced 4 part OVA. Birdy's story is covered just enough to understand what drives her.
Where Birdy the Mighty excels is in the action sequences, backed by an very cool soundtrack. Modern anime fight scenes quickly become simplistic and conclude with "Hulk Smash", but this OVA is exceptionally well choreographed with kick ass fights. Birdy doesn't just throw lame punches, she goes all out in a martial arts fury. Based on this content alone I think this anime is worth watching. That aside there's also a touch of fan service occasionally, although it's nowhere near the blatant pandering of modern anime.
Birdy the Mighty impressed me. I find it odd that this anime isn't talked about more among the "classics". Doubtful it will blow you away, but it's well balanced in all areas, with high quality production. A good show I'd put up there with many of the other 1990s OVA greats.
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