The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Garzey’s Wing

Title: Garzey’s Wing aka Garzey no Tsubasa
Genre: Action
Companies: J.C. Staff
Format: 3 OVA
Dates: 21 Sep 1996 – 9 Apr 1997

Synopsis: Earlier that day Chris was just another high school graduate. However, his life is abruptly flipped on its side when he is forcefully taken from Earth to mystical world of the Byston Well. In mere moments he is thrown into battle at the trust of a runaway tribe of slaves. Chris’s destiny has been sealed, and now he must lead a pilgrimage for freedom, aided by the mystical wings of light, the Garzey’s Wing.

The Highlights
Plot: Can’t hold its own weight.
Pacing: Things fly by without much explanation.
Characters: Flat.
Violence: A nice distraction from an otherwise pitiful anime.

If there is one thing director Tomino Yoshiyuki can do, it’s telling a good story. Though, if there is one thing he can’t do, it’s telling the said story in a neat and concise manner. His best works are long, slowly paced, and thoroughly developed. Movies like Char’s Counterattack and Be Invoked work so well because they are tied into much larger, and greater worlds. Now, considering Garzey’s Wing’s short length of three episodes, it is pretty easy to guess what it turns out to be. Like other short, isolated works by Tomino (say Gundam F-91) this OVA is a rushed, underdeveloped half-story on crutches. However, unlike Gundam F-91, it is also an incoherent mess that falls apart at the seams.

If one simply read a synopsis of Garzey’s Wing, it doesn’t seem half bad. It’s a tad unoriginal, but it’s a rather solid entry into the fantasy genre… which it would have been, had it not been for some of the worst pacing in any anime. The first five minutes throws the audience right into the action with not much more than a mention of what’s going on. While an abrupt beginning was also characteristic of Dunbine (an earlier show to feature Byston Well), it managed to slow down quickly enough to mold a unique world. In the case of this OVA, the speed is so fast that I could swear anywhere between 3 and 7 episodes were jammed into one. Worse, for all that is going on, there is no room for anything, so there’s no reflection, no development, and no resolution.

With the story going at breakneck speeds, plot and character development is left unable to catch up with a runaway tale. It is hard to understand any of the characters. No time is used to develop them since so much is needed to advance the plot forward. This makes the motives and the resulting decisions feel jarring almost all over.

Besides the inclusion of Feraio, the world presented in this OVA bears little resemblance to the Byston Well of the original ‘80s series. The lack of similarities just makes the incompleteness of the story a real pain. There is no safety net of knowledge, which ultimately leaves the details of the titular “Wings,” the mystical “Bahju Tree,” and that giant duck unexplained. The whole 90-minute experience ends up being as if it were all for nothing. However, in all the time wasted, there is no shortage of, well, good action and violence, which is intricate and bloody enough to make Garzey’s Wing, at the very least, watchable for the intense action junky.

With a story that cannot be told in a mere hour and a half, Garzey’s Wing would have benefited from being a 26 episode TV series or simply a longer OVA. Heck, in and of itself, the world of Byston Well would make a pretty kick ass RPG. Given a little more time, the show could have formed at least some sense of coherence. But alas, what’s done is done. Leave this anime alone; it’s something best left to be forgotten in a sea of lost memories.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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