Prefectural Earth Defense Force
Three high school students - loud blonde Hiroaki Morita, the muscular Takei Suketobo, and female Akiko Ifukube - are chosen to protect their prefecture from the attacks of the Telephone Pole Group, who includes the pink-haired Baradaki, her lackey Tsukrusaki, and their gaggle of minions. Hiroaki and co. also find an unlikely ally in the Indian cyborg boy Karmi Santin, who seems to want revenge on the Telephone Pole Group.
You have to give credit to ADV Films when they were still around; not many other companies would have released an OAV based off a manga series never released outside of Japan 20 years after its debut.
Prefectural Earth Defense Force, like many one-shot OAVs of the 1980's, looks nice, though the character designs and music are extremely dated, and it feels less like a complete work than a colorful, long ad for the manga. It's also more than little reminiscent at times to the humor of Urusei Yatsura (especially the very end of the OAV with Karmi), which isn't a bad thing at all, but it could give one a case of déjå vu.
Also, despite the synopsis, not a lot of the series is actually revolved about Hiroaki, Takei, and Akiko. Heck, after the first mini-episode Akiko is almost entirely absent from the rest of the series. If anything, it's Baradaki who steals the show, mainly for a few reasons:
1.) She's the only character in the series with distinctive colored hair with her hot pink 80's hair.
Also stealing the thunder is Karmi, the Indian cyborg from earlier, whose tendency to blow steam with his array of built-in weapons brings about some mild laughs.
Although only one OAV of the series was made, it's actually divided into 4 small episodes. Episode 1 is mainly an intro episode that showcases most of the cast. Episode 2 has Hiroaki and Sukekubo trying to rescue the governor's assistant from one of the higher-ups from the Telephone Pole Group, only to be caught and thrown in the river to be left for dead. (Several times, mind you.) Baradagi tries to seduce at this time also Roberi, the one who appointed Hiroaki and his friends as the Prefectural Earth Defense Force in the first place in an attempt to weaken them, but a wacky chase scene with Karmi stops that cold.
Episode 3 is where the series really feels like Urusei Yatsura. This one introduces us to Yuko, a female cyborg who, like Karmi, was tested around because some bored scientist wanted to play around with them. (And yes, that's seriously the reason he gives.) The Telephone Pole Group tries to catch her, but she escapes. Her father is later used as leverage, but it turns out the "father" used is fake and that her real father is very much alive and well. You can probably guess the conclusion of what happens, but let's just say Karmi and Yuko have more in common than they think. At the end of the day Hiroaki and Baradagi hang out as the credits roll, with the two heading off to eat, with the cheapskate Baradagi saying she'll pay for half the food she eats. Episode 4 is pretty much her eating and reminding Hiroaki of this, much to his regret.
And that's pretty much Prefectural Earth Defense Force in a nutshell. It's not groundbreaking, but it looks nice and can be quite funny at times. One episode, for example, features Hiroaki literally getting fired up; Sukekubo takes off his shirt to dry it by said fire. Hiromi Tsuru is also quite good as Baradagi, just weeks after she starting voicing Bulma in Dragon Ball. It's still pretty forgettable, though' you'll probably forget you ever watched it in a few weeks. Unless you're a fan of the manga or really like 80's anime comedies, you won't find much more than an amusing rental tops in Prefectural Earth Defense Force.
A fairly amusing OAV that, while offering about 50 minutes of entertainment, will leave no lasting impact on you. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Slapstick violence, mainly. Even Baradagi's "underwear dress" later on shows nothing, though there is very brief nudity near the end of the OAV.
Version(s) Viewed: Anime Network stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Prefectural Earth Defense Force © 1986 ???
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