• The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor
  • The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor

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  1. #1
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    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor

    When people talk about older, classical anime you always hear the usual suspect. Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Ghost in The Shell, Tenchi Muyo and the like but there's always one anime that I'm bummed never gets mentioned and that's The Guyver! It's an anime that's always been dear to my heart because it was the show that really got me into anime along with Gunsmith Cats (Another great show I'd love to talk about but that's another topic for another day). I remember my parents bought me the VHS for this way back when I was little after seeing an ad for the model kits for this show in an issue of Starlog magazine. I remember loving the live action movie it was based on at the time and thought the anime was some saturday morning adaptation of the movie. At the time, I didn't know much about anime aside from stuff like Voltron and Mazinger Z (Which at the time was released in the US as Tranzor Z). So I popped the video into the VHS tape in the living room and began to watch it. I was expecting typical all ages fun. I mean, it's a cartoon so it's bound to be harmless

    Right?

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor-tumblr_m4es9yrcvt1rv0q63o4_1280-jpg

    ...Right?

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor-tumblr_m4es9yrcvt1rv0q63o8_1280-jpg

    Needless to say, my mind was blown. Oh sure, I've played plenty of gory video games but I never thought at that time that there would be a cartoon that had the balls to have this amount of brutality. I'm sure there were other anime out there at the time that were much more extreme but for me at that age, I never saw anything like it. It got me hooked and recalled got the other episodes on VHS which I just watched again and again. As violent as it was though, it had a story that I felt was well done.

    The show itself is basically a mix of tokusatsu superhero shenanigans, corporate conspiracy paranoia and mutant body horror. It centers around a kid named Sho who, while going on a jolly jaunt with his buddy Tetsuo, comes across a weird bio-mechanical device that he accidentally activates which ends up getting him clad in a living battle armor called the guyver (naturally). Unfortunately for him, the Cronos Corporation was trying to get their hands on this device as soon as Sho found it. This wouldn't be a problem for Sho except for the fact that 1. It's employees transform into hideous monsters called Zoanoids and 2. Cronos has it's mits in everything and can send it's agents anywhere so even lowly janitor could turn out to be a zoanoid in disguise. As a result, he ends up fighting them only for Cronos to drag his friends and loved ones into this mess and forcing them to go on the run.

    What makes the show so compelling to me is how tragic it is. You have a kid who gets this power that he never asked for and his whole world falls apart because of it. He goes through self-loathing and despair which might make some people groan in this post Neon Genesis Evangelion world but when you see the shit that he goes through, having his friends be in danger because of him not to mention that he has an organization after him that will stop at nothing to take him down including sinking so low as to use his loved ones against him, I'd say it's justified. Sure, it's melodramatic but it's still very compelling to watch. Sadly, the show is only 12 episodes long and it just ends with no conclusion at all which is a massive cockblock. Regardless, the benefit to the show being as short as it is is that there's no filler and and it doesn't really waste anytime with the story.

    Plus, the animation is nicely done. With it being an OVA, it has a higher budget and it shows. It's not perfect (There's clearly animation that gets recycled and there are times where certain characters look cockeyed) but it's still rock solid. This is classical Late 80s/early 90s style animation so we get some gorgeous cell animation with some great shading and shadow effects that still hold up, not to mention we get certain moments where the animation just looks smooth.

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor-main-qimg-9fd747c461bd977f7c593e4362673f62-gif

    Sadly, aside from the two live action movies, it never really seemed to gain much traction as a franchise. There was an anime TV series that came out back in 2005-ish. It was alright but it lacked the grit of the original. It's a pity because there's a lot to like here. The story is compelling, the monster designs look great, and the action is brutal and visceral. Plus, I absolutely love the design of the guyver suit itself. It's one of the coolest looking anime armors ever. So much so that I was thrilled when my dad got me a model it for my birthday that I kept for a long time.

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor-5406078-guyver1-jpg

    I think I've waxed enough philosophical about this show. If you want some good classical anime with some juicy gore then this show is right up your alley.

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor-main-qimg-ea9c183d2ad2cdf51e4d4bb99808b3ba-gif

  2. #2
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    I remember enjoying it when you showed me it. I did briefly look into the 2005 anime but haven't got around to watching it yet. On average it's rated more highly than the OVA so maybe I'll check it out sometime and draw my own conclusions.

  3. #3
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    jimhawking
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    You know come to think of it, we never actually got around to finishing it. We got to like episode 5 or so. We ought to look into finishing that, maybe see if Zem wants to check it out sometime.

    The 2005 anime is decent. One of the cooler things about that adaptation is that we spend more time with certain characters compared to the OVA and even goes into storylines that was expanded in the manga like the ancient aliens angle, something that was only briefly touched upon in the OVA. Like I said, that it lacks the more brutal aspects of the OVA. It gets bloody sure but at the same time, it feels like it's pulling it's punches. The violence is fairly tame especially when you compare it to seven some of the more modern anime like Re:Zero. This has probably to do with the fact that it aired on TV so there were restrictions that were put in place. Still, there's some good stuff to be had with it. It has a pretty sweet theme song anyway.



    And while you're at it, there was actually another OVA that came out before the 1989 one called Guyver: Out of Control. It's more or less it's own story only taking elements of the manga and doing it's own thing and we even get a female guyver. The whole thing is on youtube so I'd say it's worth checking out as well.

  4. #4
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    It's not my genre of choice, but this does look rather cool. As long as there's some meat to the story and it's not just fun to look at I'd give it a try. Now that you mentioned watching it on VHS I somehow feel that's the ideal way to watch a show like this, haha. There's something to that graphical fidelity that I think would add to the experience for me.
    "Out of the ground, raze all greenery with flame! Fire2!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Starwind55 View Post
    It deals with a demon virus that transforms people into freaky looking fuckers

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