Monday, August 23, 2010

New Policy: I Only Post About Series Beginning With U

So we all know Makoto Shinkai, right? Well, think of Kazuhiro "Romanov" Higa as his evil twin. They both have a rep as one-man anime studios, but Higa's muse leads him to ridiculous, rip-roaring pulp action instead of emo teenagers. His output may look like a PS2 cutscene (which is in no way an exaggeration; he worked on the two Gungrave games), but you can't fault him for sheer, demented charm.

I first heard of him from his unbelievably random English-language magical catgirl '70s gun-fu epic Catblue Dynamite, and he also did some kind of Dominion Tank Police reboot called TANK SWAT that I can't find ANYWHERE, but today let's chat about his earlier time travel adventure Urda.
The plot is insane. I'll just say it involves a bioroid space loli from NASA's warp drive project falling through a wormhole back to WWII, as long as you understand that this is just BEGINNING to scratch the surface of the awesome/dumb here. This is basically one plot twist after another, sandwiched by random ludicrous action scenes. It's only about half an hour long, and circumstantial evidence on the DVD leads me to believe it was originally webcast in five minute chunks, which does the already scrambled narrative no favors.

But if you're going to watch this, it's not going to be for the plot, it's going to be to see someone have a hand-to-hand rocket launcher fight with a Nazi cyclops on top of a speeding Jeep. Urda is not "good" in the conventional sense that refers to quality, originality, or cleverness, but it is "good" in a WHOO HA HA DID YOU SEE THAT way. The fun is in the actual animation, so it doesn't screencap too well, but if you liked any of the other stupid things I've posted about here, I recommend tossing this one on your Netflix queue.

1 comment:

  1. URDA was a nifty little project, nice to see it get a nod. I actually tracked Tank SWAT 01 down at some point (subbed, even) and could make it, err, available, if so desired. It was surprisingly faithful to Shirow's designs despite the transition to Higa's cel-shaded models.