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Dragon's Heaven

Entry updated 21 November 2022. Tagged: Film.

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1988). Anime International Company (AIC), Artmic. Based on the Manga by Makoto Kobayashi. Directed by Makoto Kobayashi. Written by Ikuyo Koukami. Voice cast includes Iemasa Kayumi, Yuko Minaguchi and Kei Tomiyama. 43 minutes. Colour.

A War that began in 3195 between mankind and the Robot rebels finally ends with a big win for humanity. The victorious forces return to their mothership – all save the giant AI Mecha, Shaian (Kayumi), whose human operator died in battle: it chooses to sleep amongst the battlefield's ruins. A thousand years later, Earth has recovered (see Post-Holocaust) and the Brazilian Emperor, angry at the confiscation of his treasures by the City of Kerutoria, sends his forces to conquer it. Ikuru (Minaguchi) of Kerutoria is wandering the nearby desert when her presence awakens Shaian, who gives her its operating manual – so when the Emperor's forces arrive they are easily defeated, but Shaian is recognized. The leader of Brazil's military is Elmedain (Tomiyama), a robot who survived the war, now goes by the name Sir Elmedain, and is delighted at the opportunity to fight their old rival. The confrontation is surprisingly short: after the exchange "If you use your weapon now, you'll risk the girl's life." "The girl's got luck on her side, she can take it." "I'm grateful to have an opponent who uses such logical reasoning." ... Shaian fires his weapon. Ikuru indeed survives (she is wearing Powered Armour) and Elmedain is destroyed. Ikuru gives Shaian a kiss and they return to Kerutoria.

With an extended opening credits scene featuring models of the robots and a long afterward showing its making, the actual animated section is only 25 minutes. Though there is considerable backstory implied and the relationship between Ikuru and Shaian has some charm and Humour, the plot itself is straightforward. What makes this Anime memorable is the remarkable look of the animation, which must be considered a tribute to Moebius (Jean Giraud) since – though he had no involvement – it is very much in his style. [SP]


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