Sunday, November 20, 2011

Teknoman Anime Review

Teknoman
Anime Works-Media Blasters
Complete Collection - 6 discs
1075 mins. - 43 episodes
$19.99 (2008)
$16.98 (2009) Thinpak
ISBN 631595082074
English Audio only - No subs
Director - Hiroshi Negishi
Studio - Tatsunoko Production/Satsu Agency

Synopsis: The year is 2087 when the Venomoids invade Earth.  Though human technology has built an orbital ring around the planet, they are no match for the hordes of Spider-Crabs besieging them.  Incredibly powerful Teknomen lead the monstrosities and soon the orbital ring has fallen into enemy hands.  Death rains down upon human cities and the military is hopelessly ineffective.  Only the Space Knights, an autonomous military think-tank, are Earth's final hope with their advanced weaponry and cool heads.
Blade as human and Teknoman

Blade, a renegade Teknoman, appears and battles the Venomoid hordes and their lieutenant, Dagger.  He bears an all-consuming hatred for the Venomoids and their leader Darkon.  After crash landing on Earth he is taken in by the Space Knights.  Blade's single-minded mission of revenge makes him a difficult ally and he regards the Space Knights with cold indifference despite his obvious need for human companionship. 

Now humanity has a chance against the Venomoids with Blade and the Space Knights on their side.  Too bad Blade isn't the only Teknoman and soon a group of them show up to kick him and the other Space Knights around.  Why are the Teknomen human and how did they gain their terrible powers?  We learn all of the chilling secrets of Darkon and the Venomoids as Blade travels his road to vengeance.  Can he save the Earth, but at what cost to himself?

Pros: Uncut version with a few very minor bits of nudity (during transformation sequences), dramatic plot with family-centric theme, cool mecha designs, fantastic low price for the whole series

Cons: Opening/ending theme songs are lackluster (they're the only parts in Japanese) plus they only use one for each (the Japanese version changed opening/ending theme songs halfway through the show), includes two recap episodes (they cut six episodes from the Japanese series and left the two recap episodes? - bah!), no extras - nothing, box set packaging is flimsy, some sets have episode skips on the first disc (fortunately my set did not), voice-acting and dialogue are weak, original Japanese plot is butchered by American producers, Venomoids? - lamest villain name evah!

Mike Tells It Straight: I never saw Teknoman when it originally aired in the US and am missing any nostalgic recollections to offset the overall marginal quality of this show.  The animation looks dated (produced in 1992), soundtrack was weak (I heard the American version had a catchy theme song, but it's abandoned for the original Japanese theme), voice-acting/dialogue was stiff, worst villain name I have ever heard (Venomoids), and zero extras.  

Teknoman Blade in front of the Earth w/orbital ring
This set is strictly quantity over quality for the price.  Despite having a satisfyingly epic finale there are only a few truly good episodes.  It literally felt like Blade was getting the crap kicked out of him every episode up through the ending.  The nostalgia factor and price/quantity ratio are the two biggest positives going for this set.  Beware of box sets with episode skips on the first disc - it's a widespread production flaw.  I don't think the thinpak version (from 2009) has the same issue.  

I've heard the original Japanese version is pretty good and would recommend checking out the Tekkaman Blade series if you don't mind reading subtitles.

"Tekno-Power!"  Kinda says it all.

TO BUY and Recommendations: