Hades Project Zeorymer Toshiba EMI Video, 1989 U.S. Manga Corps, 1993; NuTech Digital, 2001 Directed by Toshihiro Hirano. Not rated. Contains violence, nudity and sexual situations. by areaseven (http://areaseven.net/) Tekkoryu (Hau Dragon) - a secret Chinese-based organization bent on world domination. After the rise of their new leader, Yuratei, the Tekkoryu come out of hiding and unleash the Hakkeshu - a band of giant robots with lethal weaponry and equally skilled pilots. Before their quest for domination, the Hakkeshu must recover one of their own mecha - Zeorymer of the Heavens, stolen from them along with the frozen embryo of a genetically engineered pilot 15 years ago by a turncoat member. Caught in the crossfire is Masato Akitsu, a teenager captured by a Japanese organization and forced to pilot Zeorymer. Teamed with a mysterious girl named Miku Himuro, Masato must use Zeorymer to battle each of the Hakkeshu's mecha; at the same time, he must figure out why he was chosen to pilot the mecha and why he is able to adapt to it so easily. Consisting of four episodes, Hades Project Zeorymer was animated by AIC (Tenchi Muyo!) and Artmic (Bubblegum Crisis), with character designs by Michitaka Kikuchi (Silent Mobius), mecha designs by Hideki Kakinuma (Detonator Orgun) and Kimitoshi Yamane (Cowboy Bebop), and direction by Toshihiro Hirano (Fight! Iczer-One). Story: C+ At first glance, it's your typical giant robot anime - boy gets robot, robot kills bad guys. But then there's a twist: Masato suffers from the "Shinji Ikari Syndrome", then suddenly undergoes a "Jekyll and Hyde" change of personality when he pilots Zeorymer. It's a great story to watch, but everything gets marred by an anti-climactic ending. Animation: A+ Wow. For an anime OAV done in the late '80s, Zeorymer has some of the most stylish mecha this side of The Five Star Stories. The animation is very stunning and the artwork is pure eye candy. For those mecha freaks out there, I've set up a poll for favorite mecha from Zeorymer. Right now, among the mecha, I can't choose between Zeorymer and Rose C'est La Vie. Soundtrack: B- The BGM is strictly background music that sounds good, but does not warrant a soundtrack CD to own. The ending theme reeks of Engrish. Sub vs. Dub The Japanese voice cast features Toshihiko Seki (Duo in Gundam Wing) as Masato, Chieko Honda (Azusa in Rurouni Kenshin) as Miku, Mayumi Sho (Mia Alice in Dangaioh) as Yuratei, Kaneto Shiozawa (Shin in Area 88) as Saiga, and Tessho Genda (Sanders in Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team) as Gisou. The good news is that there is no dub. The bad news (well, for most people) is that the DVD is hard-subbed. So much for supplying screenshots... DVD Extras: C+ NuTech Digital's DVD release has a well-designed menu. The two-disc boxed set features trailers of other titles released by the Taiwan-based company. BTW, this is not a bootleg. NuTech was commissioned by Central Park Media to release a handful of their titles on DVD. Pretty confusing, since there are at least three different companies (Image Entertainment, NuTech Digital and CPM themselves) producing DVD releases of CPM's titles. The Bottom Line Despite a lackluster story, Hades Project Zeorymer rocks! A must-own for mecha freaks.