Welcome, my friends. To horror anime month. We begin the festivities with a look at an OVA based on a video game. Galerians: Rion is a three episode OVA based on a Playstation survival horror game from Crave Entertainment, ASCII Entertainment and Polygon Magic. The OVA was handled by Enterbrain and Polygon Magic, coming out a full three years after the game’s release. Probably to coincide with the sequel for the Playstation 2. I have never played the game, nor had I heard of it before looking up information about the OVA, so I’m going into this one blind.
The narrative opens with a young man with super powers named Rion breaking out of a laboratory. Continuing the trend of totally original and not at all common plot points, he has amnesia. During his escape he manages to learn about his parents and goes to find them. Their house is devoid of life and he finds out that his father was a scientist working on a project to make a super powerful computer, which they called Dorothy. But Dorothy went rogue and the only way to stop it is for him to find a girl named Lilia. Rion has a program hidden in his mind that, when combined with a similar program in Lilia’s, will destroy Dorothy.
That brings me to the first issue with the OVA. It’s incredibly cliché, and I do apologise to anyone who didn’t detect the earlier sarcasm and find this a bit confusing. There’s nothing done in it that’s original or even executed in a somewhat unique way. To make matters even worse, there’s a massive plot hole that opens up when Rion actually encounters Dorothy. It’s a spoiler so I can’t really extrapolate on it, although if you don’t mind spoilers and you want to know, send me a message and I’ll tell you. There are also some moments that are just head scratching. Like Rion instantly realising what a particular drug he finds on the ground will do with no reasonable explanation for how he knows that. Another shows up when Rion encounters a drug dealer who says he looks like he does drugs even though there’s nothing about Rion’s appearance or what he’s doing that indicates that. This dealer proceeds to give him drugs, that are supposedly fatal, for no reason. It would be one thing if he had sold them to Rion, but giving them away just makes no sense. It’s not like he’s trying to get Rion addicted so he’ll come back for further fixes since the drugs are reportedly lethal. Then we have the pacing. It’s pretty easy to tell that this was based on a video game since the story runs from boss battle to boss battle with very little setup for them or happening between. The horror elements, at least in the OVA, are pretty much non-existent. Truth be told, I’m not even sure what parts were supposed to be scary.
There isn’t much to say about the characters. Most of them get very little screen time. None of them are well developed or complex. A big part of it is just that the OVA is trying to cover so much ground, the original game is three discs. Still, the consequence is that the characters never move past the superficial and there’s no reason to care about them unless, possibly, you have investment from playing the game.
The art in this looks awful. The movements are incredibly stiff. Character expressions are just bizarre. It doesn’t help that these people have no lips so that you can see their top and bottom teeth whenever they open their mouths to scream or to just have their mouths open like slack-jawed morons, which happens a few times. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that there were multiple Playstation games with better CG than this. Final Fantasy IX being a major example and it came out two years before this OVA.
In spite of everything that Galerians does horribly, it does have some great actors. Ishida Akira gives a powerful performance as Rion. Koyasu Takehito gives a very hammy, but glorious performance as Birdman. Almost like he looked at the script combined with the fact that his character was named Birdman and decided that the only way it could be salvaged was to go for so over the top that it would be hilarious. Which is actually kind of effective. The music is neither good nor memorable.
There is no ho-yay in this OVA. So a 1/10 there.
Galerians: Rion is a terrible OVA with horrendous art, an idiotic story and dull characters. However, it is kind of amusing in the same vein as Spider-man & his Amazing Friends or The Room. It’s bad in such a way that it can be kind of hilarious. If you’re into that kind of thing, check it out. Although I do suggest viewing it with a couple friends for snark purposes. That being said, it is still pretty egregiously terrible so the final rating is a 2/10. Horror anime month continues next week with Yami no Matsuei.