On a desolate Mars, mankind struggles to live inside of isolated domes. There’s a limited amount of food distributed to the populace, and it’s been 10 years since the last child was born. In place of children, people own Dolls, androids that merely look like children. In a dome called Serena City, Layla Ashley is the champion fighter of the town until another comes to challenge her. Layla defeats him easily and claims the fighter’s doll, Nei, as her own. Shortly afterwards, she leaves Serena City against the mayor’s wishes and begins traveling the outlands of Mars with Nei… while a Doll Breeder named Speedy tails them.
summary by Eek
Highs: Ali Project; beautifully animated action scenes
Lows: Excessive dramatic pauses are a drain; too many unanswered questions
… And coming in as the top anime of 2003 is not Avenger. I thought that director Mashimo Koichi (.hack//SIGN, Noir) would’ve been more than capable of making another good anime, but upon watching this series, it’s readily apparent that he does not have the Midas touch.
If there are two things you have to give Avenger, the first is the theme songs. Ali Project put together three great, fast-paced songs: Gesshoku Grandguignol, Mirai no Eveand Jigoku no Kisetsu. These songs make every episode more bearable to watch. The second thing is the animation used in each action scene. Characters move so fluidly and smoothly when performing their moves that you’ll know why Bee Train makes such beautiful looking anime.
Unfortunately, the characters usually just stare at each other during action scenes. And dramatic scenes. And almost all the time. Notice a trend? In anime, carefully timed pauses can add tension and quite a bit to character and plot development, but when overused, they become a poor excuse to utilize stills and waste precious time. What’s the point of slowly panning across or zooming into someone’s blank face at least a dozen times every episode if you’ve long since established that a character is hungry, mad or likes Vanilla Ice? Had all of this time not been wasted, there would’ve been more than plenty to devote to useful aspects like giving character background or answering the lengthy list of unanswered questions. What’s the back story behind the colonization of Mars and the destruction of Earth? What happened to the other eight people of the Original Dozen if they’re all supposed to be immortal? Why haven’t there been any children born on Mars in a decade? Those are just some of the more important non-character related questions that are left at the end.
One of the slogans here at Anime Academy is “we watch bad anime so you don’t have to.” Avenger is a bad anime. I’m sure you can figure out what comes next.
Avenger can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.