Dennou Sentai Voogie’s Angel is an anime, like Elfen Lied, that I’ve heard a lot of negative things about. The OVA came out in the late 90s from JC Staff. That’s right, the studio behind Azumanga Daioh, Yami no Matsuei, Shakugan no Shana & Toradora to name just a few. They’ve had some true classics but they’ve also come out with shite like Shakugan no Shana, so I can believe that the things I’ve heard about this are true. But, let’s look at it and decide for ourselves, shall we?
Our tale takes place in the far off future where Space Emigrants (or SE) have come to take all of our jobs, or as an invading force. Humanity has been forced to take refuge in underwater bases. In order to fight back against the invading SE, cyborg women are developed. Can they thwart the SE’s plans to make humanity extinct for our crime of exacerbating climate change? Seriously, they’re mad because of our polluting ways. Clearly, dialogue is impossible in that situation. Dammit, Timothy, I told you not to throw your candy wrapper on the ground. Now we’re all going to die.
There are a lot of issues with the story here. First off, we’re told that all of humanity has been forced underwater but the SE starts their attack against the remnants by striking at their supply lines that, I guess, are run by chinchillas. But let’s allow for some hyperbole and say that some select few were left behind to run supply lines. This just brings up a mess of questions. First off, what are they supplying exactly? We should be able to get food, drinkable water, various metals and such from underwater. Especially if we have the technology to build massive underwater bases to house all of humanity. What exactly do we need from the surface? Is it the spice? Do we just really need the spice to flow? Furthermore, how did the SE not notice the moment humanity started constructing the facilities to give us… spice? You’d think if they were controlling absolutely everything on the surface they’d have noticed and put a stop to the supply lines before they even got finished. This is a big part of the lore too. There’s a big fuss made about how they have something like two years left before the spice withdrawal does them all in.
That’s not the only issue. Our cyborg heroines had their memories erased for no adequately explored reason. I guess the people behind their construction thought that their memories of why they got the surgery would only give them a sense of purpose. Why would you want your soldiers to have that? Then we have the comedic scenes to consider. This OVA likes to break the tension by giving us funny little scenes of our heroines being incompetent dumbasses. They’ll destroy things by engaging in horseplay and comedically fall out of the sky because they don’t account for the power drain of firing their super laser. Because that’s the best way to add a bit of comedy, destroy any credibility your protagonists might have had. Then we get a scene of someone protesting including them in the military stuff. Which, you’d think would be because they’re totally inept but it’s actually because he doesn’t trust robots or anyone with robotics. I also have a question about their AI, Myer. Who thought it was a good idea to make an AI vehicle that could force its pilots to go down with it in the event that things go wrong? Because we find out he can do that in the first episode. That seems like almost, but not quite, as dumb of a design decision as making a mecha that causes its users pain whenever it takes damage.
So, what’s wrong with the characters? Besides them being one note tropes. Well, there are the stilted reactions. For example, we’ve got this guy who’s a robot racist acting like a dick to our cyborg heroines. Things go badly for him and Voogie gets really upset about it because… I have no idea. There’s literally no realistic reason for her to care about this guy. He’s been nothing but terrible to her and her friends. There’s also the aforementioned loss of memory solely for the purpose of giving us a bunch of boring flashbacks at the end. What motivated them to do that?
This isn’t a good looking OVA. You get some OVAs like 3×3 Eyes that put a lot of effort into the aesthetic. Then you’ve got ones like this that seem to be made by temp animators with bad attitudes. The designs are built around fan-service. The action is janky. It’s far from the worst I’ve seen but it’s pretty bad.
This anime did get some strong actors. Hisakawa Aya, Hiyama Nobuyuki & Inoue Kikuko among them. Their performances in this are pretty sub-par, though. The music is all right. Probably not anything you’ll listen to on its own but it’s decent enough.
The characters in this don’t have well enough developed relationships to provide any les-yay. So, there’s that.
Dennou Sentai Voogie’s Angel is a pretty shit anime. It’s full of narrative issues, the characters don’t have anything going for them, the animation is quite bad, & the acting is sub-par. That being said, I’ve certainly seen worse. It’s never infuriatingly bad. My final rating is going to be a 2/10. Next week I’ll go back to looking at requested anime for a bit with Warau Salesman New.