Spoilers Below When looking back on media from a bygone era it can sometimes be more helpful to look atrather than the cream of the crop or the absolute worstsort of the middle pickings the stuff thats either just soso or good but not great. That last category is where the OVA adaptation of Birdy The Mighty sits. Quite comfortably even. Across four episodes of slightly varying length the first is 44 minutes all subsequent episodes closer to half an hour Birdy The Mighty spins the kind of goofy scifi action tale that was common to the point of glut in 80s and 90s anime. There areas alwaysa few twists on the usual formulas. Rather than having its two leads be physically separate people circumstances conspire at the start of the series to have absurdly normal and of course meek high school student Tsutomu and the titular space cop / electricitypowered super soldier Birdy Altera share the same body giving the series a sort of pseudo genderbender angle that wasnt uncommon at the time though many of those shows skewed far more ecchi than Birdy ever gets. Combined with the protagonists hotheadedness and delightfully weird hair and a running teen romance subplot to give Tsutomu some depth and youve essentially got two decently fleshedout coprotagonists in one. Economic Birdy has more going for it than many of the more forgettable entries into its genre. The animation is quite good not rare for OVAs though whether the visual style is charmingly retro or hopelessly dated will largely depend on your preferences. The action sequences which cap each episode and take up a majority of the fourth are really the main draw here being wellchoreographed and backed by the same funky upbeat soundtrack that propels the rest of the anime provided by Ko Otani who also did Outaw Star and more recently the OP for Jojos Bizarre Adventure its hard to fault them in any major way and the shows general quick pace prevents them from falling into the same slog that wasnt uncommon in shonen at the time. The villains in particular are an interesting trio with main baddie Revi primarily delegating evildoer responsibilities to the enigmatic Gomez and a former Imperial Army scientist who is preoccupied with turning himself and all of Japan into mutant supersoldiers how I long for the days when Nazis and their east asian allies were easy villains a mutated civilian in the second episode and a robot girl in the third round out the villain court and for a series this small theyre more than enough. There is more to Birdy of course: theres a subplot about a police inspector some comedy that sometimes works Tsutomus dad is the kind of complete idiot that works pretty well as the comic relief in these sorts of series and sometimes does not there is a weird recurring gag about a kid bringing porn magazines to school. Surely this happened to someone at some point but its ubiquity in anime makes it seem like an epidemic the aforementioned romance subplot Tsutomus crush is cute and she becomes supportive more quickly than most superhero girlfriends but the entire bit is a tad unnecessary an incredible amount of deeply nonsensical technobabble and of course fanservice for Otakusan it is here worth mentioning that while the show doesnt delve too much into fanservice for most of its runtime there is a bath scene that leads to Birdy pursuing a villain while straightup naked something that is much funnier than a good half of the intentional comedy here. Finally it is worth mentioning that the last episode has some of the best cheesing for the camera Ive ever seen in the medium both from Birdy and from the aforementioned Imperial Army science goon. And thats really all there is to Birdy The Mighty. The series leaves some plot points unresolvedmaybe they were hoping to make more OVAsbut for what it is its an enjoyable romp. If you like this sort of thing its probably right up your alley if not you can safely skip it. Still I had a good time with it and its hard to say anything truly negative about something that almost exactly meets your expectationsno more no less.
75 /100
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