This is it. The big one. If your Bad Anime Night has to have one show, let it be this one.
What Is It?
Garzey’s Wing is a three-episode OVA by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. The series revolves around Chris, a spoiled slacker ronin that’s failed his college entrance exams twice over. In this situation, some would knuckle down and study for the third go, or at the very least seek a living in the working world. Instead, though, Chris’s top concern is a big class reunion pool party in his hometown. As he’s driving home on his bitchin’ Kawasaki motorcycle, Chris’s necklace begins to rattle. Like any person grounded in reality, he assumes the rattling is due to the shrine he’s driving by.
Yep. Totally sensible.
Anyway, Chris’s moment of deep contemplation is abruptly interrupted with a gigantic duck swoops down from the heavens and scoops him up! On top of that, he’s ass-naked and looking down at himself on the motorcycle!
Again. Totally sensible. Not the ravings of a madman at all. But I digress.
Chris, who is still stark naked at this point, lands in the middle of a raging battlefield in a mysterious world. The scene is one of chaos, where citizens are battling against imperial troops. These aren’t normal soldiers, though, because that would just be boring! Instead, this flavor of warrior attacks with bows and arrows, while mounted atop a freaking dinosaur!
In the middle of this wonderfully sensical battle, it become apparent that Chris’s feet sprouted wings. I think there’s a cream to clear that up, but Chris’s new-found allies call it “Garzey’s Wing”, and insist that it’s the sign of a great warrior. Apparently, legends foretold that party boy Chris would eventually descend into this crazy world of dinosaur knights and horned horses, to help the citizens overthrow the despotic government and restore freedom across the land… or something.
Chris, being a spoiled brat from the city, has other plans, and seems to have trouble adjusting to his new reality. He whines, bitches, and moans about the lack of convenience stores before learning that he can use his funky necklace to communicate with the Chris in the real world.
Other Chris, who wakes up covered in bruises, since he apparently shares a body with his counterpart in the LSD-fueled horror land. And, while he is quite horrified about what his trapped counterpart is telling him, Other Chris’s priority is to get his lazy ass to the pool party. Nevermind that the two spirits must unite, or that Chris’s spirit is trapped in the fantasy land. Nevermind that he faces mortal danger with each passing second. Chris knows the score! He knows that partying with former high school friends is the key to saving civilization!
…I think that’s the moral, at least.
No, really. What the hell is it?
Garzey’s Wing is a 1996 OVA series that was animated by J.C. Staff. At the time of its release, Tomino’s reputation was riding high. He had two successful franchises in Gundam and Aura Battler Dunbine, and he was still glowing with the commercial success of Victory Gundam. His mecha shows were consistently popular, and the world hadn’t yet been subjected to the horrors of Brain Powerd. It was the first real time that the greater market saw the horrors of a Tomino failure.
Garzey’s Wing, for lack of a better term, is a freaking mess. The story is silly to a fault, the characters are dim-witted and unlikable, and the dialogue often borders on incomprehensible. The last part is particularly notable, as much of the plot is delivered via expository dialogue. This means that those who do have an interest in following things would be retrieving their information from conversations about Florians, Gabujuju, and other bullshit terms that nobody cares about. Not that this matters, as the OVA ends abruptly with no real resolution.
On top of this, the show’s art style is inconsistent, with several instances of wandering perspective and characters that don’t even look like they belong in the same feature. The animation, while passable, is nothing notable.
And you want me to watch this WHY?
Garzey’s Wing is a magnificent train wreck of a show, that somehow manages to pull in fans of all sorts. The combination of the nonsense plot and hilariously bad dialogue are enough to get most viewers giggling, especially when the nonsense terminology and made-up words start flying.
What makes the show particularly special, though, is the dub. Central Park Media’s dub for the show, which was directed by Kip Kaplan, is a thing of horrific beauty. The acting is hammy and lacks any form of direction, and the dub script was little more than a rough draft of the subtitle script. Character reactions are often hilariously incongruous with the tone of the scene, and the entire production feels like it was done in one take. Justin Sevakis likened the English dub to an Ed Wood production, due to how hastily produced and poorly acted it is. And, in may ways, this can be seen as the Plan 9 of anime dubs, due to the unintentional hilarity.
When and how long should I screen this for?
There’s no bad time to screen Garzey’s Wing. It’s a show that can, and does always get a crowd to bust out in laughter. However, it’s probably best saved as either an opener to the night, to get the crowd warmed up, or as a back-up for a show in the lineup that falls flat. In either case, the combination of the nonsense plot and laughably bad dub can set a mood for the rest of the night.
Note: Instead of a gallery, we’ve instead gathered a number of clips showing off the show’s legendary dub