Iria Zeiram the Animation

Title:Iria Zeiram the Animation
イ・リ・ア ゼイラム The Animation
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HISAKAWA Aya
TACHIKI Fumihiko
Iria, an apprentice bounty hunter, has her life turned upside down when she is sent on a mission against the invulnerable Zeiram. When everyone else on her team is killed by Zeiram, she hunts down those responsible for sending them to it.

[OVA, 1994, 6 episodes, 28 min]
1:30min Series Opening - YouTube Video
1:48min English Language Trailer - ANN (high res) Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 8 7 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:132#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

This anime's memorable enough for me in the fact it's the very first anime I seen way back in the mid-1990s when Sci-Fi Channel frequently would air anime movies and OAVs. It is a pretty straight-forward anime with Iria battling the alien menace Zeiram where you get a good number of futuristic gadgets and crazy weaponry to check out from Iria, bounty hunters, soldiers and assassins as they either try taking down Zeiram or each other. Iria makes for a decent strong-willed heroine considering she is eventually forced on her own from her comrades as she continues to deal with Zeiram. The visuals to the series feature well-detailed and polished scenery and character designs for a mid-1990s OAV plus decent choreography with the many action scenes that occur throughout Iria involving various weapons and dealing with Zeiram. The soundtrack to the series is also kind of catchy as it did do well at hooking me to the series with its gritty and upbeat music.

However being a pure action title, Iria is devoid of much in the way of fleshing out for plot and characters. There's not much you get to know of the world of the series as information is limited to what is necessary to advancing the OAV's formulaic plot. If action is all you want in an anime, then Iria: Zeiram the Animation does deliver decently for a mid-1990s anime. But if you want a bit more depth to your action anime coming from later offerings like Black Lagoon and Trigun, then you might not enjoy the series so much.

Last updated Friday, December 03 2010. Created Friday, December 03 2010.
Watch 8 8 4 5 5 7 Devil Doll [series:132#752]
[Score: 55%]
  • Drama: Low/Med
  • Comedy: None/Low
  • Action: High
  • SciFi: High
  • Ecchi: None/Low
Stupid brats doing silly things while battling an invincible enemy (whom they of course defeat in the end). Full stop.

Apart from the obvious "Alien" theme (of which the novel is much better than the movie, by the way) I didn't find a lot of value in this series. Some of the battle scenes actually were cool, but not because of the characters but rather about the ever changing gadgets they happened to use as weaponry. Of course Iria surviving each and every attack, be that by the Zeiram or by hundreds of other enemies (while hundreds of other characters are slaughtered by the Zeiram at the same time) becomes boring very soon, so I didn't even feel a lot of suspense.

The art & animation are well done, considering the age of this OVA series. Then again I rather dislike the music, especially the horrible vocals of the unharmonious intro song.
But what disappoints me the most is the way all these characters cope with matters of life and death. There must have been several hundred casualties up to now but no one even cares about them in the least. Even Iria, the brave heroine of this story, slaughters hundreds of (probably) innocent people by sending the Zeiram into their headquarter!
But the heroine fails in other categories as well. Did Iria even ask what happened to Bob? No. Did anyone try and coordinate the actions of the good guys? Not really. Everyone is doing everything on their own, be that because of revenge or despair. I can accept that from little Kei, but having all other characters acting on the same low level is what made me write the first line of my review. This mindless behavior of Iria is the reason why I don't accept her worries about her brother - she's just not the character for that. The characters who actually worked best were the kids, although having them as major players in this deadly war makes the whole setting even more ridiculous.
What's more, the battles are absolutely unrealistic. On one hand the Zeiram defeats hundreds of enemies using long-range firearms, and then we see any number of in-fights between the Zeiram and Iria which the girl would have no realistic chance to survive for more then a couple of seconds... maybe Zeiram intentionally didn't use his full strength here (there would be a reason for that) but it is still awkward.

Don't get me wrong: If you want a super hero action show in a fantastic futuristic scenario then this one might be for you. It is just that I demand more of a reasonable story (now what was this blossom that Iria detected?). The cool weaponry devices kept me watching this OVA to the end and prevented me from rating this show "Avoid", but that's about it.

Last updated Monday, June 02 2008. Created Sunday, November 07 2004.
Buy 9 9 10 9 9 [series:132#802]
Iria has long been one of my favorite animes. The characters, locations, weapons, vehicles, and just about everything else are so uniquely designed it's incredible. They really put in the effort to create a truly unique sci-fi universe.
The anime revolves around mystery and action. When things start to get too slow, a heavy dose of Iria's fighting abilities come into play. Iria's right up there with Armitage, Faye, and Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell. Between her incredibly designed armor, Bond like gadgets, and fighting style, there's plenty to keep things fresh.
I absolutely love how they designed Iria. The hair, the weapons, the blue and white armor... it's all very cool. If you're not an Iria fan just by watching the opening then we've got different tastes. She has moves that would make Batman jealous and a good sense of humor to boot.
The story itself is well told and will keep you guessing. There's plenty of twists and turns to keep things moving and interesting. All in all this is a great anime that has been a favorite of mine for many years now. Give it a shot if you like bounty hunters, female fighters, alien monster sci-fi, and/or mysteries.
Reviews & Fan Art

Last updated Tuesday, June 24 2003. Created Tuesday, June 24 2003.
Rent Stretch [series:132#628]
I just finished watching the final episode ("Shangri-La"), and I have come away with the impression that Iria is a pretty good series, just a little rough around the edges. I think I find it easier to identify the things that I do NOT like about shows than the things I do, so before I give you the impression that I'm trying to rip this Anime a new -------, let me state that all things considered, you will probably enjoy viewing Iria. That said and done, one thing I didn't like came from scenes where Iria was fighting with either robots or assasins employed by the corrupt corporation. I couldn't help getting the feeling that either A) Iria is the world's luckiest person, B) Her opponents are the world's most incompetent morons, or C) Both of the above. Whichever answer is correct, the effect is the same--She cannot possibly get hurt, which spoils the drama and excitement. To her credit, Iria didn't seem at all stuck-up about her awesome martial skills, and was a likeable charachter--she is only trying to track down her missing brother, after all. Still, when it came to fighting, she was a little bit too good--the Zeiram itself was the only opponent that stood a chance against her, and I never really doubted that sooner or later she would find a way to finish it off. Maybe that's why Fujikuro was my favorite charachter. A long time passed between my viewing volume 1 and watching volumes 2 and 3, and when I did I was operating under the assumption that he would be a major villain, trying to stab Iria in the back whenever he got the chance (in fact, they wind up as allies!). Another thing I liked was the bizarre technology that is in use in Iria's world. Anyway, as a reviewer, I guess I should make my overall recommendation based on what I think would be best for the average Otaku, not myself. I say rent it, and if you like it more than I did you can always buy later.

My favorite line: "Hurry up! I have to go too!"


Last updated Sunday, February 17 2008. Created Monday, June 23 2003.
Rent 8 8 7 7 7 Courtney [series:132#80]
I think IRIA would have been a much better role-playing set up than an anime, but its still not too bad, its just not all that good either. I found myself to be a lot more interested in the social schema of the world rather than much of the plot (Which just didnt grab me all that much). Iria herself is an interesting character thats easy to cheer along but she never moves beyond a 2-D feel as the series goes along, meaning I never see her as much more than a character rather than a person. The best description of can give of IRIA is it bares a strong likeness of the ALIEN movies so people who adore that franchise will probably either really like or really be offended by this.
Other tough ladies:

Last updated Thursday, November 22 2001. Created Tuesday, October 16 2001.
Buy 9 9 11 7 Black Panther [series:132#142]
Well done in art and in animation, also in story line/character devlopment. However, I have a confession...I have not finished watching IRIA. I am not one for sad story lines... I know someday I will finish the rest, but until then... Its a great anime and one that you have to buy (as far as I have seen). Normally I would not give an anime an evaluation with out seeing the whole thing, but in this case I really would suggest buying this one.

Last updated Thursday, February 28 2002. Created Thursday, March 08 2001.
Buy 9 9 9 10 9 9 Lickylick [series:132#133]
This was one of the first animes I ever saw, and it still is one of my favorites. The characters are really cool, the bounty hunter apprentice Iria, her older brother Gren, their friends Bob and Fujikoro, and others Iria meets along the. The artwork is really good. I am in love with the opening song and on the whole the music is good.
One of my favorite aspects of Iria is the outstanding storyline. It is high-quality and very enjoyable. The brother-sister-bond is a nice touch to the story, as is the bond between Iria and Kei.
It is fairly bloody and vulgar so cautious parents might not want to show it to children. There is also some quick nudity in video 3 (rear and chest).

Last updated Monday, February 05 2001. Created Monday, February 05 2001.
Buy 8 8 10 7 10 CatWoman [series:132#65]
I have found anouther fav. girl character! Iria is such a good series! I would have to put it right up there with Bubblegum 2040! The story line was...well touching to say the least! I supose it hit me a little close to home, having a brother (The Coyote) that I am very close to and love very much. The relationship between Iria and her brother is a lot like The Coyote and mine, and yes I did cry. The character Iria is one that any loving sister can relate to! Warning: There is some nudity, and this is not one I would sugest for kids.

Last updated Friday, February 09 2001. Created Friday, July 28 2000.
Buy 9 9 10 7 9 The Coyote [series:132#64]
This is a very good series I was impressed with the art and animation. But the real kicker for me was the story line. As a big brother this was a very touching story (My little sister Cat Woman actually cried.) So if you are touched by that family stuff it's a great series. There is a little bit of nudity, the stuff in the last episode is the worst but it's short the last episode is to much for kids in my opinion. A great series otherwise

Last updated Monday, August 07 2000. Created Thursday, July 27 2000.
Buy 7 8 9 5 7 6 skyknyt [series:132#29]
The first episode has a pretty straightforward "Alien" theme. A ship has an unknown alien intelligence on it, and 3 Hunters (basically a catchall bounty hunter/hired police force). They are Hunter in Training Iria, her Brother, and Bob. All hell breaks loose on the ship and the creature kills Bob and her brother goes missing. The ship explodes, and Iria escapes to a nearby planet. Trouble is, Zeiram escaped to the same planet. I love the characters in this series, Iria is perfect in the role of bounty hunter, and the memorable characters she runs into make this series worth watching. There's a gadget for every circumstance, and not all of them are high-tech. There's also a very brilliant conclusion to this episode.

Last updated Saturday, April 22 2000. Created Saturday, April 22 2000.

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