|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Yuka Takeuchi is a waitress with a habit of being late for work. Her manager tolerates this, because she's also a first-class VG contestant! VG is all the rage in Japan, to the extent that high-tech VG rings can be activated outside of restaraunts at the flick of a switch. Where the sport got it's name, and how it became connected to the occupation of waitress, is never explained (apparently VG is based on a video game that I'd never heard of). Anyway, Yuka's pal Satomi is in desperate need of some serious money to pay for an operation needed by her hospitalized brother. She becomes entangled in a secret scheme to employ a new drug on VG contestants, a drug which will "make steroids seem like vitamins". Unfortunately, one of it's side effects is placing the user in a state resembling demonic possesion! It's up to Yuka and a couple of fellow VG waitresses to rescue her.|
Definitely one of my favorite "guilty pleasures"! My first impression of Variable Geo was that it's makers had done a very good job of making an average anime. The idea of the country being fascinated by fights between waitresses was amusing--who would have thought such an awesome reserve of martial arts talent existed in such a place? And this is awesome talent, even superhuman or supernatural. Somehow this new drug cooperates with the fantastic powers which only a handful of VG contestants (including Yuka and Satomi) possess. The opening sequence had a nice style to it and the first episode left me grinning most of the time. The second one saw a kind of a lull in the show's quality--a particular scene left me doubting if there was really enough justification for the girls getting their waitress uniforms torn to ribbons, or even worse, stripped off entirely if they lost a match (that was why I introduced "fan service" as a new keyword). Fortunately, things looked up in the final episode, as Yuka and friends were now operating outside the system to track down the missing Satomi. The way they finally recovered her, including Yuka having to duke it out with her strangely possessed friend, was more complicated and clever than I had been expecting. I never felt bored by repetitive or unimaginitive fight scenes. On the other hand, I can't claim to completely understand exactly what happened (as is often the case...) I wonder if this OVA was originally a pilot for a series that never took off. Satomi is rescued, but it's unclear if her brother has completely recovered, and she might still need to score the $10 million VG grand prize. If you like martial arts action and beautiful female anime charachters (both wildly exaggerated), Variable Geo is certainly worth a "Rent", and even if you don't, a "Watch".
P.S.: I just watched VG yet again, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Though it gets a little creepy at times, what with the effects of the secret drug, for the most part the show doesn't take itself all that seriously, which was a good idea. Everything comes together neatly, with no plot strands (aside from Satomi's brother) left hanging. Another neat touch--by the end, the "bad guys", instead of being depicted as purely evil persons who only deserve to get their asses kicked, have been developed into tragic characters that you can feel sorry for. I can't guarantee that a lot of people would agree with me, but personally I'm impressed with this highly enjoyable, neatly packaged and somewhat underappreciated bit of anime. I wish the same crew had made more episodes...
My favorite line: "Join me in trust and let's share the joy of combat!" --Yuka
Last updated Tuesday, September 08 2009. Created Friday, September 19 2003.