Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt is a somewhat obscure two episode OVA produced by TV Tokyo. It’s based on an eight volume manga by Kouga Yun. What is it about and why has it been largely overlooked by people? Is it a forgotten gem or should it be left in a refuse bin somewhere? Let’s delve in and see if we can find out.
We open with a dark elf named Suzu, who incidentally looks nothing like the traditional jet black skinned, silver haired dark elf, talking to a priest. He tells her that Father Olivier has left the order on a journey to the forbidden land of “G” in order to find the truth about their religion and the world and needs to be returned because religious orders frown on truth finding excursions. Plus there’s the whole forbidden thing. We transition to a scene of Father Olivier performing a blessing for some townspeople at the urging of the innkeeper. She’s so grateful that she gives him a woman named Ouri who can only communicate in video game style text boxes. Having a moral compass, he doesn’t approve of slavery but he reluctantly takes her just so that she won’t be sold to an establishment of ill repute where terrible things will happen to her. They encounter Suzu but they’re saved when Olivier dispels the silence spell that’s sealing Ouri’s magic. The OVA covers their first stop on their way to the cursed island and what happens with that.
Let’s start with the first really noticeable problem with the OVA. The spontaneous romance. Being a decent person, Olivier offers Ouri her freedom pretty much the instant they leave the town where they met, but she needs a reason to stick with him because otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. So, they use the most cliched, and one of the most contrived, excuse they can think of. She instantly falls in love with him. The climax also has a deus ex moment but, in all fairness, it’s kind of a light offender since it’s clearly establishing something for later in the narrative. The OVA just doesn’t get far enough into the story to have the payoff.
The comedic elements in this are kind of weak too. The whole thing with Ouri communicating with text boxes for a while is clearly meant to be funny, but it really isn’t and there are a lot of jokes like that. You can tell what they’re going for but it’s either just not funny or the execution isn’t good so it ends up not working. It’s not cringe-worthily bad or offensive, it’s just lacking actual humour value.
The cast is pretty basic. Olivier’s the generic nice guy. He has convictions but isn’t strong enough to do anything about them. So he ends up in situations where he’s completely inadequate. Ouri is the action girl love interest. Suzu is… a romantic rival for Ouri, I think. Her character is so bland it’s hard to tell. I suppose that they might be decent enough for a comedy if there were really good jokes surrounding them, but that isn’t the case so they just come across as dull and rather listless.
The artwork is pretty good. The character designs are nicely done and the action sequences are quite good. The only real problem is that the backgrounds can be kind of stock and lazy.
The acting is fine. They got some really talented actors like Koyasu Takehito and Araki Kae. But, there’s not a lot for them to work with. Koyasu doesn’t get to show much emotion and Araki doesn’t get to employ any subtlety, with a lot of her dialogue being exaggerated. They’re still passable performances, just not ones that leave much impact. The music is pretty mediocre.
This one doesn’t have any homo-eroticism. Of course, it’s bad at romance so that’s probably a good thing.
Choujuu Densetsu Gestalt doesn’t really do much. As a comedy it’s largely unfunny. As a fantasy work it’s just banal. I don’t particularly dislike it and I wouldn’t call it bad per se. It’s easy to see why it’s largely forgotten since it really doesn’t have much impact whatsoever, positive or negative. My final rating is going to be a 4/10. It’s a sub-par piece. Next week I’ll look at Glass no Kamen, which was requested quite a while ago but I had the Gintama request to finish first. So look forward to that next week. I’ll try to make it worth the wait.