The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Hades Project Zeorymer

Title: Hades Project Zeorymer aka Meioh Project Zeorymer
Genre: Action
Company: AIC/ARTMIC Studios
Format: 4 OVA
Dates: 26 Nov 1988 – 21 Feb 1992

Synopsis: The Tekkoryu is a secret organization bent on world domination through the use of eight powerful robots. However, their plan is set back 15 years when designer Masaki Kihara steals Zeorymer of the Heavens and gives it to the Japanese government. This by no means stops Tekkoryu, who have nearly completed the other seven machines. As this menace of the underworld approaches, a boy named Masato Akitsu is “sold by his parents” and forced into the cockpit of Zeorymer as its chosen pilot.

The Highlights
‘80s OVA staples: Don’t push the envelope far enough.
Cast: Some interesting albeit one-dimensional villains.
Setup: Tries nothing and executes it poorly.
Mecha fights: Slow and boring.

The ‘80s OVA is a strange animal. At its height, it was responsible for titles like Megazone 23 and Aim For the Top! Gunbuster that pushed the limits of anime. Yet this edginess acts as an unpredictable two-edged sword that is the cause of such travesties as M.D. Geist and Angel Cop. Overdoing anything is a recipe for disaster, but without it, the style of anime wouldn’t have been as unique as it was. Case and point, Zeorymer, which doesn’t test its boundaries, and just ends up insipid on all sides.

I never thought I would chastise an ‘80s OVA for having too little carnage or porn. The animation is good enough that it wouldn’t come off as disgusting. Besides, as movies like Fist of the North Star have shown, the extra mile can go a long way when there is little else to play on. Granted Zeorymer could have always gone the preferred route and play to the ideas it leaves on the table. The series brings up some pretty interesting concepts having to do with abuse, exploitation, and even predestined servitude. Personally, I don’t really care for how they went about it. But that aside, the real issue is that it deals with these issues with very little follow-through. Let’s face it, that premise isn’t so creative that it can stand on its own, so the OVA really needed something beyond the same one note it had for every character to be meaningful.

I wish I could have recommended this title on action. I’m sorry I cannot. The animation quality and artwork are not bad at all, as stated above. However, there is no point to good looking animation if nothing is done with it. The fights mostly involve the robots slowly charging up some kind or energy blast while the other dodges it with no visible sense of urgency. And it was all done with no real choreography and no semblance of tension. Even something as incoherent and mind-numbing as M.D. Geist had movement in it.

Unlike most anime, I came into this one with no preconceived notions about its quality. With a clean slate, I really tried to, at the very least, enjoy Zeorymer. Unfortunately, with characters that were only interesting for the first five seconds of their importance, there was nothing to take a liking to. And the fight scenes didn’t help either. It was certainly two hours of mediocrity best spent elsewhere.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Kavik Ryx

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