a.k.a. The New Submarine Battleship
a.k.a. Shin Kaitei Gunkan
Sent to investigate a strange cylinder-like artifact literally growing out of the south pole, Arisaka discovers a part of history that remained hidden since the Second World War. As things take a turn for the worse, Arisaka ends up aboard the Ra, a powerful drill-nosed submarine once commanded by his grandfather and seems to be the only effective weapon against the new threat. His past and future will unravel at the same time as he and the Ra have a long history together.
summary by Kjeldoran
Highs: Great pacing; fascinating designs
Lows: Ends at the wrong moment; ill-fitting WWII references
After getting over the fact this 2-part OVA seems like a pilot to a series that never came through, I realized Super Atragon was still a very decent piece of work. The tempo juggles action and story in perfect balance, making it involving and interesting. Perhaps because it kept such a smooth pace, the biggest downer of this OVA series is how it ends prematurely. There’s nothing more frustrating than an anime pulling a Berserk after only a hundred minutes, just when things were heating up. This anime still has a conclusion, but the sequel possibilities are endless.
My only other real gripe is that I believe Super Atragon, being science fiction, would have benefited from fewer references to World War II. All the high-tech weaponry would have been much easier to accept if the storyline did not insist on tying in with our actual history. The aforementioned weaponry is not just about laser beams and plasma shields; they have some very interesting designs in there that did not look influenced by anything I know of. This originality alone made sitting through Super Atragon an exciting experience.
I have no real complaints on the technical part aside from the reprocessing of a few cels. The graphics are fairly smooth and fluid. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the opening credits announcing a soundtrack by the Giant Robo combo of Amano Masamichi and the Poland Warsaw Symphonic Orchestra; but while the orchestral music complemented the action well, no track really stood out during this anime, bringing in a slight disappointment.
The dramatic aspect is nothing you have not seen before but is played out well. It includes a Shinji/Gendo type of relationship and fated love, so everyone can find his own. This is not an unforgettable anime by a long shot because of its lack of development in the storyline, but as far as time-killers go, it is one of the best.