Iria: Zeiram the Animation
Iria is an apprentice bounty hunter who joins her mentor and his partner Bob on a mission to rescue hostages stranded on a space station. The situation is far worse than they imagined. Most of the crew is dead; apparently killed by their cargo: Zeiram, an unstoppable alien killing machine. IF it could be controlled, Zeiram would be the perfect weapon, which is why it was being transported. Obviously that didn't work. Iria escapes the space station, but her brother and Bob are killed. Zeiram also survives and leaves destruction wherever it appears. Iria doesn't just want to stop it, she wants vengeance.
I heard about Iria many moons ago, but never got around to watching it. Picking it up recently, I noted that these days you don't hear anything about Iria. You don't hear much about the truly great anime classics either, but you never hear anyone reminiscing about Iria. That says a lot about how this show was forgotten.
Iria runs along the old school (like 1950s old school) formula of unstoppable monster chasing people trying to survive. This works ok for a movie or a short OVA. The problem is that Iria is about 3 episodes too long. It's basically 6 episodes of Zeiram killing people. No one has any clue how to stop it or comes close to killing it. Zeiram is blown up on a space station, survives entry through a planet's atmosphere, and crashes from orbit. It survives countless attacks from people shooting guns, lasers, and exploding high tech thingers at it (yet Iria still decides to try punching and kicking it in multiple episodes). It's like a perpetual disaster movie with no resolution in sight. How Zeiram is eventually defeated turns out to be really stupid.
It's not all bad though. While the high budget isn't utilized for inventive sequences, the animation is good quality. Iria's best feature is its imaginative futuristic environment. There are tons of really cool gizmos, and the designs of the tech is pretty cool. There isn't much else to say about it unfortunately. The characters simply exist. I had almost forgotten how sci-fi anime titles used to have obnoxious kids in them... thanks for reminding me Iria. Ugh. The dubbing is weak but not completely terrible.
Probably the only reason you'd want to check into this anime is on merits of being a dated sci-fi anime with good animation and cool designs. For some I think this is enough to watch Iria, but the story is a total dud.
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