Sunday, August 12, 2018

Greed

No, not the famous, and famously butchered, 1924 Erich von Stroheim film, but an hour-long OVA from 1985. Greed is kind of a swordfighting fantasy and sci-fi hybrid. It was released on video tape and laserdisc and then never seen again. I don't know why it ended up on Orphan's list of projects; I think it was discussed in BakaBT's topic on "Old Anime for Subbing" and caught my eye.

Greed tells the story of Lid Kyle, a young man living in dank jungle forest inhabited by ferocious monsters. His dying father tells him to undertake a journey north in order to fix the "distortion" that has twisted reality. Lid leaves the jungle and immediately encounters a desert area. There he meets a young woman, Kii Mi, and her small sentient pets, known as Weakies. They're attacked by mechanical monsters and saved by a large man called Baguda, who can transform, briefly, into a dragon. After fighting off giants, they encounter a mute warrior named Rongun. They journey through the land of the Innocents, fairy-like creatures, and end up in a kingdom dominated by machines that have gone mad. Its ruler, Mimau, completes their company. Together, they go to confront the ultimate evil in the universe, the reality-twisting demon Vailly.


It's all rather weird. Lid fights with a sword, which doesn't do much good against mechanical monsters. The longest section, in Mimua's kingdom, is full of rambling explanations that make little sense. (They reminds me of the pseudo-scientific explanations that used to show up in sci-fi movies.) And the ending seems to come out of left field. Well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it just rains.

The voice cast includes many familiar actors:
  • Horiuchi Kenyuu (Lid) has an extensive resume, including the title role in Guin Saga, as well as Jin Akira in Wolf Guy and Nest in Eien no Filena (both Orphan releases). He is currently appearing in Sirius the Jaeger.
  • Minaguchi Yuko (Kii), with her unmistakable nasal delivery, starred as the eponymous heroine in Yawara!, among numerous other roles. She also played Felicia in Oz, an Orphan release.
  • Baguda (Gendo Tesshou) played Colonel Muto in Joker Game, Moloch in Yondemasu Azazel-san, Rei in the Urusei Yatsura franchise, Moguro Fukuzou in New Laughing Salesman,  and "Oyaji" in this year's Mitsuboshi Colors, as well as Dog McCoy in Dallos and Galbreath in Next Senki Ehrgeiz, both Orphan releases.
  • Tanaka Hideyuki (Rongun) has had a long career, including featured roles as Terryman in the Kinnikuman franchise and Rayearth in Magic Knight Rayearth, as well as Sammy in Bavi Stock, Sawamura in Nozomi Witches, and Katze in Ai no Kusabi, all Orphan releases.
  • Sakakibara Yoshiko (Mimau) played Sir Integral Hellsing in both versions of Hellsing, as well as Melinda in Dallos and Paula in Condition Green, both Orphan releases.
The director, Tomonori Kogawa, also wrote the story outline and co-authored the screenplay. He must have known what everything was supposed to mean. The rest of us are kind of in the dark.

Moho translated the show. In checking the script, laalg noted that many of the lines didn't make sense in Japanese, so it's not surprising that the English doesn't either. ninjacloud timed. I edited and typeset (very little to do there). Nemesis and VigorousJammer QCed. M74 encoded from a laserdisc rip donated by an anonymous source. As with the rip of Twinkle Twinkle Nora Rock Me, which came from the same source, the last minute or so of the disc is irretrievably damaged. I've used order chapters to stop the end credits before things get out of hand and provided a complete version of the ending song from a VHS source (at lower resolution, unfortunately).

So here's Greed. It's not the best OVA I've ever seen, and it goes a long way towards explaining why sword-and-scifi hybrids are rare. You can get it from the usual torrent sites or from IRC bot Orphan|Arutha in channels #nibl or #news in irc.rizon.net.

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