Friday, November 4, 2016

Downhill (Twinkle Nora Rock Me!)

There's no way to soften this. Twinkle Nora Rock Me! (Nora 2) is to the original Nora as Bavi Stock II is to Bavi Stock I: a descent from the barely passable into the laughable. It's so bad that...

Audience: How bad is it, Collectr?

Collectr: It's so bad that Mike Toole, of Anime News Network, used it as a prime example in his panel, The Worst Anime of All Time.  He noted the almost total lack of in-between animation, the awkward jerkings that pass for dancing, and other failings. I could point to the absurd plot and the misspelled Engrish signs - DEPURTURE and AERIVAL - in the spaceport, but this just scratches the surface.

To start, the Nora Scholar of the sequel is a totally different character, even though she looks the same and is played by the same voice actress. In the original, Nora was an air-headed teenage space tourist who outsmarts an out-of-control AI by treating him as a naughty teenage boy. In the sequel, Nora is an interstellar bounty hunter with strong psychic powers. The universe is different too. In the original, the setting was the near-Earth planets and moons. In the sequel, the canvas is much broader.

Second, the plot is absurd. After defusing a hostage situation, bounty hunter Nora sets out for the "desolate mining planet" Dazzle. There she enters a rowdy bar and draws the unwanted attention of a huge bruiser named Touchino. She's actually after his older brother, Fuuchino, who has psychic powers too. In order to find Fuuchino, she must convince Max, a wannabe dancer, to disclose the brothers' hideaway. (She does this by playing air drums and convincing him to dance with her.) She then has a "wizards battle" with Fuuchino, defeats him, and joins Max in a concluding dance number at the same rowdy bar as before.

But above all, the animation is wretched. The first major scene - a hostage situation in a spaceport - has no in-between animation whatsoever. Nora's air drumming is completely out of sync with the background music. And the critical dancing scene between Nora and Max is animated at four frames per second. The dancing is awkwardly drawn and not very imaginative, but the jerky animation destroys any credibility.

With Bavi Stock II, at least, there's an explanation for the drastic changes between the first and second episodes: it was made by a totally different staff at a different company than Bavi Stock I. Twinkle Nora Rock Me!, on the other hand, is drawn from the same source material as the original and has the same director, character designer, voice cast, and production company. What happened?

Budget might be one explanation. It definitely looks as though money ran out at some point along the way, and the producers were unable to pay for in-between animation in many scenes. Lack of time - some sort of schedule crunch - might be another factor. Then again, perhaps the staff realized how bad this OVA was going to be and just threw in the towel.

Twinkle Nora Rock Me! has the same voice cast as Nora; see my blog entry on Nora for comments on the principal actors. The music is by a rock group called Vigilante and is entirely in English, most of which is incomprehensible. Fortunately, the soundtrack album has printed lyrics for the ending song.

gamnark translated the show, his first for Orphan, and Iri checked the translation. ninjacloud timed, I edited and styled, Calyrica and Nemesis did QC, and M74 encoded from a Laserdisc ISO provided by an anonymous donor. The ISO is missing the last thirty seconds due to uncorrectable damage on the original Laserdisc. Despite that, it is  better than the only other raw, which is from a VHS tape. To provide a complete version of the ending song, I've cut out the ending from the VHS raw and added the song lyrics. It's available as a separate file.

So here's the sequel to Nora. Don't all rush to thank us at once.


  1. Tx for a interesting piece of anime work

  2. thank you i want Movie Hoshizora no Violin 1994 thank you

    1. As I've said before, the answer is probably no.

      Please see this blog entry ( for information on how Orphan chooses projects.