What They Say
For centuries, there have been legends of “devils” walking the Earth, feeding off the blood of humans. However, the truth behind these vampiric legends has remained a mystery until now.
Strange “lifepods” have crashed in the western mountains, bringing with them supernatural beings previously found only in the realm of folk-lore and fantasy. Vampires walk the Earth, at war with Humanity an each other, driven by the most terrifying of genetic imperatives! Like wasps seeking a spider, they have come to this planet for only one purpose: to perpetuate their species.
To save Mankind, Kimera must die.
The audio presentation for this OVA brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with an English language dub, both of which are encoded at 224kbps. Considering its age and time, this is a decent track for both the dialogue and the music and sound effects. Dialogue is mostly through the center channel and comes across without any noticeable distortions or dropouts. There’s some decent placement here and there for it and while there’s not a lot when it comes to depth the project has a good flow and feel to it overall. The action has some nice moments where it stands out a bit more and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 1996, the transfer for this single episode OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Animated by Toho, and considering its age overall, the encoding here is pretty decent with what we get and the source materials are in pretty solid shape. Colors are nice and solid with no noticeable bleeding, cross coloration is non-existent and there’s only a few instances of aliasing during some panning sequences. The material itself looks good, though it doesn’t stand out too strongly against other OVA’s of its time but will appeal to those that prefer this style of animation from this era with it being all traditional animation.
The release comes in a standard sized DVD case where the front cover presents a great looking collage of images of various characters and themes in the background. The colors and detail are all great here, that spending some time I spent some time just admiring it. The back cover provides several animation shots and a decent summary of what to expect. Production information and basic technical features are all clear and easy to read. The insert provides another look at the front cover while the reverse side lists the discs chapters and what previews are on the discs.
The main menu uses a rather interesting part of the shows animation in the middle of a static image to provide a rather creepy piece of an eye staring out at the viewer, tied with some good music from it. There’s nothing on this disc outside of the feature and trailers, so almost everything is from the main menu and quick to access and load.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the two-volume manga series that was created alongside the anime from Kazuma Kodaka, the story of Kimera is one that will appeal to fans of vampires, especially those who like the tales to be something a bit more different than the classic tale. Of course, fans of those kinds of stories will likely have seen the science fiction movie Lifeforce, of which this one shares more than just a few similarities.
Woe to the poor hunter and his dog who stumbled across the impact area of a spaceship, where some nasty creature has escaped. Said creature is also quite shy, and decides that nobody should see what’s happened here, and promptly turns the dog into a husk. The hunter is probably next. To keep things interesting, the show then shifts to two cereal salesman, Jay and Osamu, as they travel across America selling their cereal.
Their trek is interrupted though, as they come across a large scale accident on the highway. Jay’s a bit brash with the military that’s cordoned off the area, but manages to avoid a major scuffle when cloaked humanoid figures swoop in and start exploding vehicles. While Jay is knocked across the ground, Osamu gets tumbled into a trailer where he gets to discover a very androgynous woman who he instantly falls in love with. The two have a link after they kiss through the glass case she’s stuck inside of, only to have everything go bad when the mysterious figures begin to fight over her.
As luck would have it, Jay’s dad is a top level scientist at a local facility where the woman is likely being kept, and he gets Jay and Osamu out of the trouble they’re in pretty quickly. He refuses to talk about what’s going on, so that lets our two boys go exploring through the base. After avoiding some rather amusing low-tech security measures, they come across the woman again, and learn that her name is Kimera. Osamu’s all set to free her, except that one of the original combatants arrives and tells him that if he sets her free, it will be the downfall of the planet.
Apparently all these creatures and the woman are space vampires who’ve been betrayed once again by humanity. Kimera’s a rarity among the species in that she’s able to breed more of their race, one that’s dwindling. But if she breeds, and she’s chosen a partner in Osamu, it’ll cause utter chaos in the future as they’ll probably be unlike anything seen before.
And so the show sets the stage for the battle over what’s going to happen and who will win. Thankfully, since this is an OVA, it’s never clear which side will win, so that adds a bit of spice to things. But so much of the show feels like a retread of already done ideas (granted, ideas that I don’t think were ever executed all that well) that this feels like it’s just going through the motions. The animation is rather nice at times, the designs are interesting, especially Kimera, but there’s not much really setting this apart from other shows in its genre. It wasn’t a bad way to pass an hour, but reflections upon the show invariably have me thinking of Lifeforce before this show itself.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: C
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: ADV Films
Release Date: September 10th, 2002
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.