Megazone 23. This OVA series is familiar to some, well the first OVA in any case, as part of the material used by Harmony Gold to make Robotech: The Movie. Although it’s classified as an OVA, each part is nearly like a film in length.
The series follows Shogo Yahagi, a teen living in 1980’s Japan. Afer bumping into Shinji, an old friend of his, the duo discover a prototype Garland motorcycle made by the military with the name Bahamut on it. After testing out its insane speed, the youths are chased down by the military. Fearing exposure of their secret, the military attempts to censor Shogo, even cutting out live TV broadcasts that he tries to spill the truth he gradually discovers. After a nifty red paint job and the discovery the bike can turn into a small mecha, events begin to unfold that shatters what people thought was real, and leads to a fantastic finale in the third part.
First off, the character designs and art direction do change over the OVAs, reflecting change in time and shift in tone over the OVAs. Regardless, the animation quality stays high, with much attention to detail in each shot. The voice acting in Japanese is good, and the English dub is quite solid. The music is also really good, as expected of a series that partially got put into the Robotech lore.
I’ll give this an 8/10. The series has a very Matrix-like feel at times, with a good soundtrack and nice battle sequences and other impressive visual shots. Sadly the third OVA is cut a bit short for the US release, combining the two parts of Part 3 into one consistent episode, but it seems to flow well.
The series has been released here in both individual releases and several complete sets. The current one is not hard to track down, and is a good price.