Adventures With Iczer 3 Review
Adventures With Iczer 3 is a six-part (three episodes per disc) anime series from 1990. As the title suggests its heroine is Iczer 3, a specially created omnipotent being sent to Earth to prevent it from imminent destruction courtesy of the evil Lady Neos. With two fifths of the population dead and the remainder underground she hooks up with the five man crew of a spaceship to help her on her quest. Yet being essentially a newborn she also displays a juvenile edge (“What’s silly?”) which threatens to jeopardise the lives of those around her.
During series’ early stages it is this latter element which takes control and infuses Adventures With Iczer 3 as a whole with a childish tone. Indeed, take away the bad language (an addition of the English dubbing?) and the animators’ bizarre penchant for their creations’ thighs and this is essentially a kids cartoon. The gnomic dialogue deals only in explanations or moral messages; the crux of the series being that these various intergalactic beings wish to create “a new universe in which there is no fighting”.
Yet such morals can’t help but feel tagged on, especially in the case of this belated non-stance as Iczer 3 is essentially wall-to-wall fight scenes. Where the series truly falls down is in taking its structure from that of the standard ‘beat ’em up’ computer game. Episode one deals with the exposition and from then on each half hour segment is dedicated to a single foe, each increasingly powerful until the final showdown. There’s even a barely veiled nod to this plot device when one of the characters turns to our heroine and proclaims “you’ve done well to get this far”.
With perhaps an eye towards the inherent simplicity and repetitious nature of this structure, the makers of Iczer 3 do provide some added plot dynamics during the latter two episodes. Various familial problems are encountered as Iczer 3 learns of a sister and meets her mother, yet such twists never seem more than simple afterthoughts, a means of making the next flying-shouting-exploding battle sequence just that little bit more perilous. Indeed, they never appear to be an attempt at adding any depth of characterisation and as such emerge as mere filler. Certainly, the animators seem to take greater pleasure in the bouts of destruction than they do in the lulls, though it’s unlikely that anime fans will do likewise. The pre-digital animation may provoke slight glimmers of nostalgia in a select few, but otherwise this is a crude, forgettable effort.
Though watchable, Adventures With Iczer 3’s presentation is far from perfect. The prints used demonstrate intermittent dirt and damage whilst there are also instances of ghosting and edge enhancement throughout. That said, the original 4:3 aspect ratio has been adhered to and, as said, the various defects never truly encroach whatever level of enjoyment the series is likely to give you.
As for the soundtrack, Manga offer three choices: DD2.0, DD5.1 and DTS. Each is of the English voice dub and whilst the inclusion of the original Japanese would have been welcome, none of these options demonstrates any major technical flaws. Indeed, all three are as crisp as could be expected, though there is little to differentiate the latter two offerings.
With regards to extras, these amount to a handful of promos for other Manga titles which run consecutively.