Iria: The Zeiram Animation

October 2, 2015 at 12:26 am (5 Heads, Iria: Zeiram the Animation) (, , , , )

Iria: The Zeiram Animation – 1994 – Japan

In a futuristic spacefaring society, Iria is a brash bounty hunter with a heart of gold. After her bounty hunter brother is killed by a humanoid creature named Zeiram, Iria seeks vengeance. It is too bad that Zeiram can spawn an army of monsters and survive a nuclear blast. Iria teams up with a punk squatter kid to defeat the creature. Along the way, she uncovers a conspiracy by the self-serving aristocratic and bureaucratic elite.

Iria: The Zeiram Animation is a 6 episode animated remake of the live action film Zeiram (1991). Iria’s unique aesthetic mixes science fiction and traditional Japanese motifs. Technology, fashion, and architecture borrow ornaments and symbols from feudal-era Japan. Many weapons, vehicles, and buildings have a paper umbrella-like shape. Also, the monster Zeiram is derived from a cloaked man in a straw hat, with a face like a mutant Noh mask.

Iria’s 6 episodes total 3 hours, but the plot is uncomplicated. Time is spent developing Iria’s likable personality. However, mostly Iria is about battles between Iria and Zeiram, with a focus on Iria’s arsenal of weapons and gadgets. She wields guns, bombs, swords, boomerangs, caltrops, and other increasingly impractical implements of violence. She deploys force fields, homing beacons, teleporters, holographic projectors, and wings. Plus she uses a grappling hook to go just about everywhere.

Iria will please undemanding anime fans. The animation is attractive. The characters are endearing. And the action is nonstop. But without a detailed plot or setting, it remains unremarkable.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. Like many apparently invulnerable monsters, Zeiram’s only weakness is decapitation.

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