The year is 2043 (or something like that), and colonized Mars is under attack by a race of aliens who simply call themselves "The Gods" (boy, talk about pretentious). Humankind's greatest threat from The Gods comes not from their advanced war technology or their sheer numbers, but from their paranoia-inducing ability to infiltrate and subvert the minds of human citizens. Anyone could be a target of The Gods' mind control and find themselves acting as a terrorist working on behalf of the enemy.
Captain Akuh has just returned from rehabilitation from a recent war injury to be sent to the front line in the war against The Gods. The target: the cloaked enemy carrier known simply as "Hell." But the location of Hell is heavily concealed and fortified, and Akuh will have to resist the seductive power of The Gods every step of the way -- both inside of Hell and out. Have The Gods sealed man's fate?
Let me first begin by saying that Big Wars probably has the least catchiest title I have ever seen. Say it with me, slowly. Biiiiig Waaaaaaarrrrrsss. Doesn't that just make you want to rush out and pop it into the VCR?
Well, with that out of the way, let me say that Big Wars is of surprising quality -- but not overly so. It's a solid effort of an anime that stops just short of being good, deciding to quit just when the going starts to get a bit interesting.
The first thing that surprised me about Big Wars was the quality of the art and animation. There's lot of great eye-candy in this title, with cool aerial battle sequences, interesting mecha and war craft design, and even some slick computer effects to boot. Right from the beginning the viewer is treated to a delicious shot of an enemy aircraft being downed by Martian ground forces. The technical execution is impressive, even spectacular at times.
The plot, however, is where Big Wars gets sort of confused about what it's trying to do. The first half of Big Wars is brooding, almost philosophical as the characters toss around a lot of philosophical bunk about fighting The Gods and whether mankind has the right to rebel against divinity (or aliens who consider themselves as such) and all that. However, the second half of Big Wars all but forgets about the philosophical groundwork laid out in the first half, deciding to focus its entire attention on the action. What results is a dual, almost schizophrenic effect. It's as if two separate teams produced the production, each with a different idea of what the title should be about. Of course, neither half is done quite right, with a plodding slowness that makes the anime seem a lot longer than it really is. At least the action is good, though.
Big Wars shoots high -- and almost makes it. Its non-cerebral slowness, however, should caution the viewer to pause a moment before choosing this one and make sure there's nothing else on that's good.
Recommended Audience: Not for kiddies. Big Wars features graphic violence, gore, and sex (did I mention that one of the first signs of alien subversions was nymphomaniacal behavior?), not to mention rather disturbing imagery in the second half of the flick.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Big Wars © 1993 Aramaki Yoshio / Tokuma Shoten Co Ltd
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