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Adventures with Iczer-3

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Toshihiro Hirano
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 Manga Entertainment present another classic OVA from director Toshihiro Hirano: this time, it's the sequel to "Fight! Iczer-One" -- a six episode series, presented over two discs. "Fight! Iczer-One" was a dark, apocalyptic tale, (Very) vaguely based on the work of H.P. Lovecraft, in which a race of cloned warrior women called the Cthuwolf, led by Big Gold, attempted to invade Earth leading the elf-like Iczer-One to team-up with the Earth girl, Nagisa in order to stop them with the aid of the giant Robo-Iczer! Instead of the usual callow male heroes, this series featured nude, doe-eyed girls as the pilots of the mechanised robot battle machines! There was also the little matter of Iczer-One's evil sister, Iczer-2 to deal with!
This sequel takes a slightly cutesy approach to the material: at the beginning, Iczer-One is seen fighting the last of Big Gold's followers: Neos Gold, the self-proclaimed Mistress of the Universe. At the end of the battle, both fighters have been totally drained of energy; but Neos sends the surviving Cthuwolf warriors to Earth in order to destroy it as revenge on her young opponent, who has come to develop a special attachment to the planet thanks to her relationship with Nagisa. The Cthuwolf wreak havoc and destroy all of the Earth's defensive military bases, wiping-out 2/5s of the Earth's population in the process; only one battleship survives the onslaught. The besieged crew includes the descendent of Iczer-One's partner, who is also called Nagisa! Viewing the destruction from beyond the Milky Way as she recuperates with the help of Sister Grey, Iczer-One decides to send the newly created child, Iczer-3 to defend the Earth. This is a risky strategy since the youngster has no previous experience of battle and still has an imature personality. This is the only option available though, considering Iczer-One's enfeebled condition.
And so, the purple-haired whippersnapper, Iczer-3 joins Nagisa and the crew of the last remaining Earth battleship to do battle against a variety of super-powered opponents, sent to Earth by Neos in order to wipe-out the remaining survivors on the planet! The young elfin warrior approaches these dangerous battles as just a big game at first -- she is too young and inexperienced to appreciate the seriousness of the task in hand. Gradually, her relationship with Nagisa develops as they face all sorts of dangers over the episodes: including giant insects and a lightning-fast metallic hound dog! She begins to mature as a fighter and develop feelings for her new friends. The whole story gets more fraught when Neos sends her own, cloned, evil Iczer called Atlos to Earth in order to beat Iczer-3 at her own game! The final episode sees Iczer-One's evil sister, Iczer-2, also exploiting the battle for Earth in order to continue her grudge with her sibling.
"Adventures With Iczer-3" is quite an entertaining sci-fi/fantasy blast from anime's past. Taking a slightly less dark, almost screwball approach to the material, there is still plenty of imaginative flair on display although the emphasis is on lots of zappy action sequences. Of course, the series is very dated: the incidental music consists of a ropey euro-rock soundtrack which begins to grate on the nerves after a while. The English dub-track is also very annoying; unfortunately, we do not get a Japanese audio track with this release -- just English Stereo, 5.1 and DTS. Besides a few trailers, there are no extras, but you are getting three hours worth of cute, action-packed, classic apocalyptic adventure for a very reasonable price. Otaku will be delighted!

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