Friday, April 8, 2011

Guyver The Bioboosted Armor Anime Review

Guyver - The Bioboosted Armor
Kyoshoku Soko Gaiba
Funimation
Complete Collection - 26 episodes
600 minutes - 5 discs
$69.98 (2008) $49.98 (2009) $54.98 Blu-Ray (2010) $39.98 Viridian Collection (2010)
ISBN 704400097522
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Katsuhito Akiyama
Studio - Oriental Light & Magic

Synopsis: Two high school students, Sho and Tetsuro come across a strange item in the woods.  Sho accidentally triggers the item to open which causes an activation bond between him and what is later called the Guyver I.  Both students are plunged headlong into a secret world ruled by the Chronos Corporation.  They are desperately trying to retrieve the Guyver from Sho, but this involved killing him to get the Guyver Unit and he's not being very cooperative.  Chronos has discovered the secret origin of mankind and with it comes their potential for augmentation into Zoanoids (monstrously powerful creatures).
Sho is raised by only his father who works long hours to support them both
Soon the Chronos Corporation is sending all manner of monstrous Zoanoids after Sho and everyone he holds dear.  These include his classmate Tetsuro, Tetsuro's younger sister Mizuki, and Sho's father.  The Guyver gives its wearer an amazing array of powers including flight, hyper-senses, regeneration, super-vibrational blades, laser beams, gravity bombs, and the mega-smasher.  Sho is quickly ripping off limbs and vaporizing monsters with his fearsome powers.  Unfortunately he's not exactly at the top of the food chain and must battle fiercer opponents within the Chronos hierarchy, including:
An inexperienced Sho gets a beatdown from the Guyver II
  • Guyver II - Activated by Oswald Lisker, an agent of Chronos, the control metal of this unit was damaged and malfunctions sporadically to warp the user's features
  • Guyver III - Activated by Agito Makishima, one of Sho's classmates and adopted son of Chronos Japan's director.  His original parents had their lives destroyed by Chronos
  • Richard Guyot - The final and most powerful Zoalord created by Barcas, all Zoalords can control Zoanoids with their Zoacrystals (zowie!)
  • Hamilcar Barcas - Co-founder of Chronos and ruthless geneticist, responsible for creating the other Zoalords and many of the Zoanoid-types
  • Enzyme - Zoanoid designed specifically with enzymes to dissolve Guyver tissue
  • Masaki Murakami - Former test subject for the Zoalord conversion process, but with an inferior Zoacrystal.  He only has limited durability and potential compared to a full-fledged Zoalord
  • ZX-Tole - Most powerful Hyper-Zoanoid (non-mass produced) and leader of the "Hyper-Zoanoid Five"
  • Aptom - Former Lost Number (cannot be replicated - unique) enhanced by Barcas to absorb and mimic powers through cellular fusion, becomes an unprecedented threat to Sho and Chronos alike
  • Archanfel - The first and original Zoalord created by The Creators when they first visited Earth.  He's the most powerful known being on Earth and the founder of Chronos
Tetsuro and his sister Mizuki's lives are thrown into turmoil
Sho slowly discovers more secrets about the Guyver and even manages to command an evolved form called Guyver Gigantic.  All of his loved ones are thrown into turmoil and not all of them will survive.  How can Sho stand up to the all-powerful Zoalords and Archanfel to save humanity?
The Hyper-Zoanoid Five
Pros: Great opening theme song, excellent sci-fi storyline, nice drama/motivation for the characters, could easily continue into a second/third season
Sho transforms into the Guyver and goes wild against a group of Zoanoids
Cons: Ending felt more like a beginning with Chronos still in place (manga is 26 volumes while anime covers only 10), somewhat predictable plot devices (Enzyme II), toned down violence/nudity level from previous Guyver incarnations
The Guyver I makes short work of a less-powerful Zoanoid
Mike Tells It Straight: My first experience with Guyver was the cheesy '90s B-movie starring Mark Hamill.  The storyline is still the same, but this series is far superior in execution and cohesion.  All of the characters have clear motivations - whether it's Sho's need to protect his family/friends, Agito's thirst for revenge, or Guyot's bid for power. There's plenty of action and excitement as Sho gets put through his paces.  The ending of the series begs for a sequel and I'm hoping it's made someday.
Richard Guyot wants the Guyver I unit!
The show's only drawback is the obvious gearing toward a younger audience and constant use of some new secret technique to overcome each subsequent undefeatable foe (overused plot device of Dragonball ZNaruto, and Bleach).  If not for the blood and rending of limbs I could easily give this show to my nephew to watch.  Nevertheless it was still very enjoyable with some interesting characters/ideas.
Sho activates his Mega Smasher power
"Guyver!!" "Adapt!!" "Bioboost!!"

TO BUY and Recommendations: