|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Armored Trooper Votoms 1: Uoodo City
Having bought the entire 52-episode series of Armored Trooper Votoms nearly a year ago for my Rainy Day Pile, I suppose it was inevitable that I would get to watching the show at some point. The first saga of the series, Uoodo City, does a solid job in setting up its premise and the start of Chirico's adventure as he tries looking into a military conspiracy that he becomes entangled in, particularly a mysterious woman he comes across during his infiltration of an ally base. The plot to this saga is fairly well laid out as Uoodo City slowly unveils the corrupt workings of the city that Chirico gets entangled in and befriends some of the locals as he tries locating the whereabouts of the mystery woman and a secret organization that she is now a part of. Characterization is clearly not Uoodo's major area of focus as Chirico's new friends don't get very much in the way of depth and a number of the prominent characters in this arc are your typical villain archetypes like hot shot soldiers, a biker gang and crooked cops. It would appear that only Chirico would get prominent focus in the characterization department considering his occasional narrations that allow the viewer to know what he is thinking about in each of the major situations he faces throughout this arc. Obviously since this is only one fourth of a bigger series, Uoodo City is left incomplete as the arc ends with a major cliffhanger and has a number of unresolved plot developments.
The animation to Votoms thus far is quite dated with its style of drawing for character and scenery designs, drab colors, rough details and reused animation frames. The mecha that are used in this series appear to be inspired by the mook Zaku units used by Zeon forces in the Gundam series considering the similarities in design. The music for Votoms was perhaps the weakest area of the series for me having repetitive choices in musical tracks and the early 80s synthesized music not having much in the way of mood for it.
Overall, it would seem the major hook for Armored Trooper Votoms for me would be its ongoing developments with Chirico's search for answers into the conspiracy he is entangled with and trying to find the mystery woman who is in the grasp of the mystery organization. I'll likely see the later arcs at some other point whenever I can't think of any anime I wish to see from my Rainy Day Pile. This doesn't have anything that sticks out of the norm particularly for an 80s mecha anime, but the major plot to the series is engaging enough where it could be worth checking out.
Last updated Friday, October 19 2012. Created Friday, October 19 2012.
Armored Trooper Votoms 1: Uoodo City
Yep, just like the other websites had warned, this series contains some really old animation--those were my first thoughts as I watched Uoodo City. I noticed that the DVD case didn't show a single frame anywhere, as if the distributors had realised that doing so would do their sales more harm than good. The simple DVD menu animation (you seem to be in the cockpit of a Votom) was nearly as good as the animation of the show itself! Still, the opening sequence and theme song seemed kind of cool ("When you see the face of hell / it will squeeze your heart dry"). I was startled by Chirico's blue-gray hair--he's supposed to be 18, but looked more like 50 to me (yeah, I know, who am I to criticise the hairstyles of another galaxy?). For some reason I like the way Chirico personally narrates each episode (an expert critic would say that this is how the makers of Votoms got around the problem of Chirico's "loner" personality interfering with the unveiling of the plot; I say it's "cool"). It was clear from the start that there was going to be plenty of gunplay, explosions, violence, etcetera. What with the modest early-80's animation this could quickly become tedious, as it drags you away from one of this series' saving graces--a fairly complex plot, with genuinely intriguing and plausible twists. Of course the main question so far is who was that beautiful woman (with yet another unusual hairstyle) and why is she so important? I also quickly took a liking to the supporting charachters. Gotho, Vanilla, and Coconna are three outwardly cynical, selfish people, yet somehow clearly good at heart. Initially, they hope to exploit Chirico for their own benefits, but they have no idea of the web of conspiracy they have gotten themselves into! Their irreverant banter can be laugh-out-loud funny at times. I think the one factor which most affects my estimation of the quality of anime is the number of memorable lines of dialogue that come up--good jokes, and comments that make you think. Votoms definitely has more than you'd expect. Fans of Mecha anime will be delighted by the DVD extras, namely the detailed information about the Votoms, vehicles, weapons, etc, that appear in the show. I am hooked--this series is more fun than you'd think it had any right to be. Be warned, though, that I've read that the four Stages of the entire series are not exactly self-contained, with cliffhangers and plot threads left unresolved until the very end. Indeed, the only thing that was clear at the end of this stage was that the charachters were finally leaving Uoodo City and the story would continue somewhere else. Votoms as a whole is a long series, indeed, a sub-genre, with OVAs, the spinoff Kikou Ryohei Mellowlink (OVA), and the recent prequel, Soukou Kihei Votoms - Pailsen Files (OVA), so be prepared for quite a commitment.|
My favorite line: "(at) times like this, I wish I really was a heartless bastard" --Vanilla
Last updated Monday, February 04 2008. Created Monday, February 09 2004.