Written by: Atsuhiro Tomioka
Produced by: Katsuji Nagata
Art Direction by: Jun’ichi Higashi
- English and Japanese language tracks
- English subtitles
- Contains first four episodes of 13-part series
- Design gallery
- Textless openings
Doc’s Anime Warnings:
- Rampant silliness
- Annoying giggling
- Incidental groping
- Massive explosions
Released by: Pioneer
Anamorphic: Widescreen letterbox only.
My Advice: Rent it.
To even begin to understand Vandread, a little of the story’s background is in order. In the future, for reasons that aren’t thoroughly explained, men and women have segregated themselves onto two different planets, with completely different cultures, and are perpetually at war. Nevermind the whole issue of species continuation and reproduction (the creators of the series certainly did).
Into this perhaps ill-conceived world enters young Hibiki, a third-class citizen of the male empire. On a sort of dare, he sneaks aboard a battleship to steal a prototype mecha, and gets trapped on board when the ferocious women attack. The ship is over-run by females, and while Hibiki hides inside the mecha, the men’s admiral decides it is better to destroy the ship (and the prototypes) than let them fall into the hands of the women. Some sort of bizarre (and never explained) accident or reaction takes place, and the ship, women, and several male captives are catapulted to a remote region of the galaxy. Then come some really hostile aliens, and the two genders must co-operate to survive this fresh onslaught.
In essence, Vandread is an action/comedy. Obviously aimed at the “horny pubescent male” demographic, the plot is thin, all the women jiggle, and the explosions keep coming at a solid enough pace to prevent boredom. This is not to say the show isn’t enjoyable. The individual characters are for the most part interesting (though a few of the female characters are a little too hyperactive and shrieky to be tolerable in large doses). The animation is top-notch, and utilizes a decent blend of traditional cel animation and computer graphics to create a fairly stunning visual experience. The voice-acting (shriekers excepted) is quite good, and the humor, while occasionally juvenille, is actually reasonably funny.