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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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01/09/2006 Archived Entry: "Anime Review: Fafner - (V.3) Human Force"

Fafner - (V.3) Human Force (DVD)

Review by Tom Good

Though the plot of Volume 2 had some dramatic twists and emotional moments, the script in Volume 3 falls short of that mark. Because of this, it is the artwork that takes charge of this disc. The gorgeous backgrounds, colors and glow effects kept me spellbound even as I lost interest in the dialogue. Color supervisor Hitomi Okura, along with "team Triple A" (credited with ink and paint), deserve a lot of credit for creating scenes with beautiful color balance. Everything from the giant mecha to the island's scenery looked great, and I could have watched some of these scenes over and over.

But if I had not liked the art so much, I might not have kept watching. The English voice acting was about as good as in the previous volume, but the actors struggled with a weak script. Much of the dialogue sounded unnatural in English. I had a hard time believing that young military personnel would speak to others of equal rank with such formality.

In addition to problems with the style of speech, a lot of the conversations were just plain boring, except for a few bizarre moments. One character, in the midst of a mech battle, delivers the following proclamation: "You know what they say -- a beast with 10 horns hates all women. It'll strip her naked . . . eat her flesh. Then it'll burn her down." This is quite a weird thing to say, and it makes the character seems a bit unhinged. I believe this is actually supposed to be a Biblical quote from Revelation 17:16, "And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." The passage was probably translated into Japanese and then back into English, which jumbled the wording a bit.

One thing I really liked in this DVD was a short scene of rock climbing that surprised me with its realism. Rock climbing is rarely shown very accurately in movies or TV shows, but here the character moves with convincing climbing technique and even wears a chalk bag and climbing shoes. I would guess that someone with climbing experience was probably involved in this production. I also love Fafner's ending theme song. Over all, Volume 3 was a mixed bag. If you watch anime primarily for the plot, this one does not measure up, but if you want to see an action series with very nice art, it is certainly a feast for the eyes.

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