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Gall Force: Eternal Story

Entry updated 13 September 2021. Tagged: Film.

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1986). Artmic, AIC. Directed by Katsuhito Akiyama. Written by Sukehiro Tomita. Voice cast includes Eriko Hara, Maria Kawamura, Naoko Matsui, Hiromi Tsuru, Naoko Watanabe and Yuriko Yamamoto. 85 minutes. Colour.

The all-female Solnoids have Terraformed the planet Chaos; but their ancient enemy, the Paranoid – an amorphous species that inhabit mechanical bodies – want it for themselves. During a battle the Solnoid Spaceship Star Leaf is damaged, with only seven survivors (plus two Robots). Undertaking repairs, they are attacked by Paranoid forces, but Lufy (Tsuru) and Rabby (Matsui) fend them off with fighters and Powered Armour, Lufy sacrificing herself so the Star Leaf can Space Warp to Chaos. An empty capsule is found embedded in the hull: it contains a Shapeshifting Monster which is expelled into space when Rabby blasts a hole in the ship's wall – but only after it has temporarily absorbed Patty (Hara) and Eluza (Kawamura), the latter dying. Two more crew members perish before the ship reaches Chaos – one, Catty (Watanabe), was an Android who had been colluding with the ship's Computer. The three survivors land: the Paranoid also arrive, but seem only interested in the sick Patty. She now gives birth to a baby boy, who in minutes grows into a teenager ... he and young Rumy (Yamamoto) promptly fall in love.

Rabby is told by the computer that both the Solnoids and the Paranoids have developed Weapons that can destroy solar systems; realizing this can only lead to mutual genocide, the leaders – behind the backs of their War-loving militaries – have devised the Species Unification Plan. Patty's child is the first successful fusion of the two species after thousands of failures – Eluza being one of the latter. Angrily, Rabby destroys the computer. Solnoid and Paranoid forces are now on the planet, fighting for the child: so Rabby and Patty restart the terraforming machinery, which kills everyone except Rumy and the boy ... the film now cuts to the future, present day Earth (see Adam and Eve).

Given this Anime is essentially a spin-off of a photo-comic for model kits, it is surprisingly good – particularly the animation, above average for its time. It does however suffer from some blandness: though it is good that an action film's cast should be all female, they are largely one-dimensional characters with more thought given to cute designs than personalities – and sometimes a gal just has to walk around a spaceship naked after showering (see Fan Service). Similarly, the central section is clearly inspired by Alien (1979), but has little tension. The ending, though a Cliché in the Shaggy God Story tradition, is well done, but would have been more effective if Rabby had not earlier renamed Chaos as "Terra".

This film had several OVA sequels, with a cyclic storyline implied. First came two films, Gall Force 2: Destruction (1987) and Gall Force 3: Stardust War (1988), which form a trilogy with Eternal Story. Here Lufy is found alive, becoming the main protagonist as she tries to prevent the Solnoids and the Paranoids destroying Terra and each other; another android called Catty also appears. Ten Little Gall Force (1988) is a joky documentary about the making of these first two films.

Rhea Gall Force (1989) is set on Earth in 2085, where the discovery and use of a Solnoid Technology nearly wipes out the human race, most fleeing to Mars. Earth Chapter (1989-1990) is a 3-episode sequel, with Mars sending forces to Earth to help the remaining humans against the previous film's Cyborg antagonists. New Era (1991-1992), with 2 episodes, takes place in 2291: humanity is living alongside the cyborgs, now called Yumans, but conflict arises between the two groups, with both in danger of being wiped out – fortunately Catty (who, being an android, is still alive) has plans to save the day. The Revolution (1996-1997), with 4 episodes, is set back in the time of the original trilogy and involves a civil war between Solnoid factions. Scramble Wars (1992, original title Sukuranburu Uōzu Tsuppashire! Genom Torofī Rarī) is a Wacky Races (1968-1970) Parody (see Hanna-Barbera), with competitors from various anime franchises, including Gall Force: it was released in the USA with Ten Little Gall Force as Super-Deformed Double Feature (1988), the title referring to the characters' cute but compressed chibi designs. There were also three Videogames. [SP]

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