|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
This was surprisingly solid given its short length and simple personalities of its cast. Orguss 02 is set in a world where two kingdoms are at war with one another and both are unearthing ancient mecha to get the better of one another in the war. The plot and world building is where Orguss 02 excels. While only at six episodes, the OVA has enough time to explore its world and develop its plot with the major characters connected to it. The war between both kingdoms and the mecha they've acquired have clearly made the influential parties of each kingdom corrupt for power as there are political conspiracies and lack of regard for morality, while the citizens suffer from personal losses and get impoverished due to the costs of war campaigns among both sides. In addition, the plot focuses on Lean and Nataruma coming to grips with the inevitability of the war for as long as both sides rely on the mecha, with the former forced into military duty to get his close friend and her family out of debt and the latter being sought out so her psychic abilities are exploited for one of the warring mechas. The reveal on where the mecha came from is a bit out there for the kind of setting that Orguss has, but it didn't impact my enjoyment of the show's premise too badly.|
Characters are a bit on the simple side here in terms of personality and background. But this works rather well in the favor of Orguss 02 as you learn enough about the major characters to learn of their situations and care about them throughout the show. I can certainly see where folks would compare Lt. Manning to Roy Focker from Macross with both being hotshots that love to fight and being hopeless flirts. Only snag is that a number of the influential figures among both warring factions have rather limited depth and can usually get a bit over-the-top with their actions, especially in the case of who gets revealed to be the mastermind surrounding the political conspiracy in one of the warring kingdoms.
Visually, Orguss 02 is quite solid in quality for an early 90s anime title. There is a great amount of detail into the designs of mecha, scenery and characters and there are a nice number of fluid battle sequences between enemy mecha, especially during flight scenes. Music was the only average part of the series for me as nothing in the soundtrack stuck out for me, though the tracks do their part effectively at enhancing the OVA's tense moments.
Overall, Orguss 02 is a surprisingly solid "hidden gem" of a mecha anime with its solid plot buildup and decent amount of world exploration. If you're a fan of 90s mecha titles, it is certainly worth a look.
Last updated Saturday, March 09 2013. Created Saturday, March 09 2013.
Drama : Med|
Comedy : Low
Action : High
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Low / Med
I liked this! It looks like an Evil Macross. Manning is Roy Focker gone bad.
Just like Stretch, my favorite person is Lt Manning, he is so much like Rabat from Vandread that I took a shine to him immediately. The story is a bit farfetched but this is something from the 90's so I didn't expect that much of a story line. At least it isn't the drawn out soap opera that Macross is.
While I didn't give it a buy rating, it is worth a buy, I kept comparing it to Macross and Vandread and found both of those superior to this. So it's a high rent.
Last updated Thursday, September 29 2005. Created Thursday, September 29 2005.
Orguss 02 is quite possibly the most overlooked and underappreciated work of great anime ever. I'm surprised at how few Anime websites mention this 6 episode OAV at all, but then again it is based on a TV series which has never aired in America, and only half of which was ever released here on VHS tape. What also surprised me was how much I enjoyed it! Going into it, I was under the impression that this was going to be a sort of "poor man's Macross Plus", but I found it to have a unique story and a style of it's own. Seriously, it even gives that classic a run for it's money, and likewise you don't need to be well versed in the original TV series to enjoy it. It began with a snazzy opening sequence featuring the haunting theme song "The Dream I Had in the Cosmos". Initially the voice acting seemed a little hokey, and a common complaint is that the series as a whole is a little slow getting started, but these problems soon lost my attention. I was concentrating on all the neat little things about this series--things like the bogus language spoken by the Zafrins (definitely not Japanese!), the way that the architecture and landscapes would have me swear that this was all taking place in Eastern Europe, and best of all, the clever and amusing banter between the characters. The plot moves rapidly forward, in a way which, for the most part, really could take place. My only problems were a few incidents which neared the limits of believability--such as the scene in which Lean, completely untrained as a Decimator pilot, nevertheless jumps into one and promptly defeats another in a dogfight (Well, it WAS a life-or-death situation, and he finishes his opponent off in a cool way). One thing which became clear early on was that the makers of this series were not afraid to show blood getting splattered all over the place--kind of chilling, after seeing so much Anime in which you'd think everybody's circulatory system had completely dried up.|
The charachters are perhaps the best element of the series. My personal favorite is Lt. Manning, who is a skillful and shameless manipulator of other people, yet a guy you eventually can't help liking. This little recruiting spiel he gives Lean on the eve of war tells a lot about his opportunistic attitude: "Wanna get rich? 'Cause being a soldier's gonna be very lucrative. There's money in war, boy; join up and you'll be rolling in wealth". Nataruma is a young woman who is one of two people who possess a unique ability to control decimators effectively. She goes AWOL from the Zafrin military, which resorts to controlling it's best decimator with teams of psychics who have a habit of dropping dead with blood spurting from their noses. She happens to run into Lean, who she persuades--at gunpoint--to help her escape. Things don't exactly go as she had hoped--"Great rescue, Liar!" she exclaims at one point. The other person with the precious skill is the principal villain, whose identity isn't revealed until two-thirds of the way through the series--and unless you've paid close attention to every clue, it's the last person you would have expected. This charachter comes out on top in the Revilian political power struggle, and promptly cuts loose with the Kingdom's secret weapon, a super-decimator.
I don't expect you to believe one person's raving about how great an obscure OVA is, so how's about some other opinions?
"Orguss 02 is one the best robot related series I have ever come to watch. This OVA is very well crafted with an intricate story that combines love, war, intrigue, and insanity. The action scenes are very well animated, with some intricate flying and battles... I recommend Orguss 02 whole heartedly." --Andrew Tei, Anime on DVD
"Orguss 02 reminded me of why I love anime. Plot, action, characters, and drama are all well-developed. The series is tinged with that otherworldly patina that makes anime special. Orguss 02 develops quickly, ensnaring the viewers and taking them on a wild journey through war, love, adventure, and destruction. As the series rushed forward, I marveled at the creative nobility of the work." --Rob Lineberger, DVD Verdict Review
"Orguss 02 is a great title full of plot twists, and excitement. With original character designs by Haruhiko Mikimoto and an excellent plot-driven story, how can you go wrong?" --Rice Burner, GamePro.com
"Orguss 02 is one of those sci-fi shows from the mid-90s with a healthy budget that knows exactly how far to reach and does so with style. It's one of the most accessible giant robot shows: a character and politics driven story that follows just enough genre clichés to lull the viewer into a false sense of routine, then pulls the rug out from under them. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time." --Justin Sevakis, Anime News Network
"This is one of those great anime series that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. There is plenty of action, and the story line is rich & completely unpredictable. You never know which way things are going to go, or what characters are going to be eliminated next. Another great anime series that I very highly recommend. It gets better each time you watch it." --Robert's Anime Corner
I agree! Rewatching this old favorite yet again was what inspired me to overhaul this page. The first time I watched Orguss 02 I knew nothing about the TV series it was based on, but thoroughly enjoyed it nevertheless. Having seen some of the TV series since then, I would say that whereas the strong point of the original Orguss was it's comedy, Orguss 02 emphasizes drama and action. The climax comes about at a fast pace, amid fairly grisly violence, but in a pleasingly unpredictable way. Then the series comes to an end in a way that is both touching and complete--complete in the sense that, for once I think I actually completely understood what had just happened! (now that takes some skillful writing and directing!). I'm just in awe of the complex yet still fun and believable storyline which this series contains--truly a tragically underappreciated work of art!
This is my number one favorite Mecha series; I've rewatched it numerous times, and even bought the DVD version even though I already had the VHS tapes. I wanted to see the subtitled version, but I was heartbroken to find that the subtitles are nothing but a transcription of the lines spoken by the dub actors--there is no truly faithful translation, if there ever was one it has been lost somewhere over time. Still, the dub makes perfect sense and is probably just as enjoyable as the sub would have been. After seeing Orguss 02 awarded Buried Treasure status at ANN, I've just rewatched it yet again.
With my DVD player out of order, I rewatched the show yet again on VHS tapes. I was a little afraid that I would be so familiar with it that there wouldn't be any surprises, but was pleasantly surprised at how fresh it remains. This show is just chock full of quality material while most barely have enough to carry them along. The story moves steadily ahead without wasting any time. Orguss 02 is a thriller anime--that is, it repeatedly thrills me, while most action anime don't do so even once. I giggle with excitement while watching this show; 'Suspense' seems an appropriate keyword for it. This might just be my favorite anime of all time.
My favorite line: "So much for [the city of] Alu Natzaru, eh Manning? Within 2 or 3 years this place will house beautiful flowers and greenery. The bodies will make good fertilizer".
Last updated Sunday, September 06 2015. Created Friday, April 11 2003.