Entry updated 28 June 2021. Tagged: Film.
Japanese Original Video Animation (1989; vt Hyper Psychic Geo Garaga). Based on the Manga by Satomi Mikuriya. Directed and written by Hidemi Kubo. Voice cast includes Toshio Furukawa, Keiko Han, Osamu Kobayashi, Michie Tomizawa and Norio Wakamoto. 100 minutes. Colour.
By 2755 humanity has spread across the galaxy by harnessing Black Holes to create Warp Gates (see Stargates). As it passes through one of these the cargo ship XeBeC is sabotaged; the crew abandon ship and their shuttle crashlands in the jungles of the planet Garaga. The castaways are the eight crew members, a Robot and two passengers, the latter awoken from their cold-sleep capsules (see Suspended Animation). A giant uniformed Alien ape appears, murdering a crew member before being killed. Upon examination the corpse proves to have been given a primitive Uplift involving steroids and brain implants. Later they are attacked by a Monster which kills the saboteur; as they fight, the heroic Jay (Furukawa) gets a Telepathic message telling him how to defeat it. The sender is Farah (Han), a member of the Psi-Powered Ra people.
One of the passengers is Heran (Tomizawa), the daughter of General Yang (Kobayashi) of the Federation Government's military: he was originally planning to settle the planet (see Colonization of Other Worlds) until learning of the indigenous Ra. However, his assistant, the Android Alf Dorf (Wakamoto), brainwashes him into taking over the planet by using the apes to wipe out the Ra (so they take the blame). Dorf, who intends to wipe out all organic life so robots can rule the galaxy, goes to the orbiting Space Station to destroy Garaga: Jay, his robot and Farah follow, defeating him but not before he has set off the station's Weapons – fortunately Farah telepathically focuses the power of her people and is able to destroy it.
The Anime's plot is kept busy by the number of factions involved: aside from the captain and Heran, nobody on board the XeBeC is who they say they are, and there are four different military groups present. The Ra are split too: Farah is betrayed by her father, their ruler. The dialogue, in the English dub at least, is poor: there are suggestions that the original might have attempted something a little more thoughtful. Over a third of the main cast are women (see Women in SF), and though Heran is very much a damsel in distress, the others have stronger characters, even if two of them – Farah and her sister – are competing for Jay's affections. [SP]
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