In 2167, Mars has already been colonized by humans. This has brought a new kind of discrimination: Earthlings now see the Martians, who are naturally weaker because of Mars’ gravity, as inferior beings to be oppressed. To change this, the Mars military is conducting top-secret research to create Idolo, a mecha with unbelievable power derived from the mysterious material Metatron used in its construction. When 2nd Lieutenant Radium Lavans starts testing, however, the project’s danger becomes apparent as both pilot and machine show a worrying symbiosis.
summary by Griveton
Highs: Animation; entertaining fights; interesting plot elements
Lows: Feels somewhat rushed; mecha designs; uninspired
Set four years before the events of the Zone of the Enders Playstation 2 game, this OVA works both as a prequel and publicity for the game. However, unlike most game-related anime, Zone of the Enders 2167: I Dolo is a quite good, high on entertainment feature.
Despite being a mere fifty minutes long, this OVA manages to include a decent amount of character development, as well as introduce conflicts and problems that feel relevant; it’s hard not to share the Martians’ hatred and feelings of impotence against the Earthlings, as well as the mix of excitement and fear over the project. The plot, although not brilliant, is good enough and handles the themes in a way that shows their importance. That said, all these aspects sometimes feel a little rushed, not surprisingly considering the length. Not one character is really annoying or detrimental to the anime, but then again none are particularly memorable, either.
The animation is clean and smooth, and the fight scenes are very well animated and just plain fun to watch. The character designs, although not groundbreaking by any means, are pleasant to look at. The mecha designs, on the other side, are uninspired, with the exception of Idolo; Idolo has its own share of problems: from the waist up it’s great, but the waist down is downright ugly to look at, totaling up to just average. The music blends in with the unfolding scenes and doesn’t distract at any time.
Zone of the Enders 2167: I Dolo is an enjoyable and solid, if not particularly inspired, anime. Fans of the Playstation 2 game will probably enjoy the glimpse into Viola’s past, and people who haven’t played the game will find a feature that won’t aspire to be the next best thing, but will fulfill its mission to entertain.