Lurkers' Retreat
USMC/CPM
US Manga Corps
USM 1368

Cert:   US Import

Ariel

Consider the number of mecha in anime. A lot of them. Most of them look pretty neutral sexually. Well, Ariel is one exception, but then when you consider the builder of said giant mecha, you shouldn't be too surprised. The generic dirty old pervert, he built the thing to resemble... well, I won't say, but he also built it so that only his three granddaughters could pilot it. Mia doesn't like this, but as an easily manipulated student, she is easily fooled into doing missions. Aya doesn't like this, because it all interferes with her studies as she prepares for exams. Kazumi... well, she doesn't mind it. In fact she thinks that it is all fun.

But why does Earth need yet another mecha? Well, in this case, it is because they are being threatened with invasion from a group of aliens. Or course, threats are all they seem to get as Houser, the alien leader, is constantly thwarted. Usually by his company auditor, Simone. Being an ex-council worker myself, I am very familiar with the cries of "where is the budget for doing this" which seem to echo around the alien ship bridge whenever an attack is launched. Oh yes, and there is some bozo with a sword who is after the aliens too, though he has nothing to do with the mecha.

OK, so the whole thing is a little tongue in cheek, but I get the feeling that this was all a pilot (sic) that never got picked up for further work. Some of the plot is very contrived, other parts feel too derivative, overall it doesn't seem to be able to make its mind up if it is a comedy, a sci-fi drama or a love story, and it fails to deliver in all three departments anyhow. A shame.

Review: 27-Jan-2003 Chika

[2 stars]

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