BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Virus Buster Serge Review

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A review on an oldie from the 90’s for you on this lazy sunday evening 🙂

Virus Buster Serge

Genre: Cyberpunk Action Adventure
Director: Masami Obari
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
Duration: 25 minutes approx. per episode with 12 episodes total
Production Creation: 1997

Plot Synopsis

In 2097, man and machine are one. The result of technological advancement has meant that mankind can now surf the Internet, not with a personal computer but instead with his very mind. However with every technological advancement comes the balance of error and exploitation. In this case, the problem lies with an entity known as the ‘virus’. The virus is sent down from orbit by a facility known as the Incubator, and it can infect systems attached to their human hosts, take them over and mutate them into terrible abominations.

Led by a mysterious man known as Raven, S.T.A.N.D (the acronym is never explained, so don’t ask), is the force whose mission it is to track down and destroy all traces of the virus with their ultimate goal being the destruction of the Incubator itself. Everything however is disturbed and turned into chaos when an enigmatic stranger called Serge appears on the scene and demands revenge against Raven himself, a man whom he has a dark connection with.

The Review

I hate things that are half finished. Virus feels like that – a half hearted job, but not only that, the show has a bad identity problem, since it does not know what it is meant to be or what it’s attempting to do.

Does it try to be an action show along the lines of Bubblegum Crisis (of which no doubt the biggest comparisons will be drawn), or does it try to be a thoughtful and complex work like Evangelion? Well, it falls directly between the two stools so to speak and will disappoint fans of either show. The action scenes although watchable, are nowhere near as intense or as excitable as those seen in BGC, and the plot and characters are so laughably weak and unfinished that a comparison to Hideaki Anno’s opus is simply a joke.

One of the biggest problems with Virus Buster Serge is it just reeks of an unfinished show. It’s almost as if the show was booked to run at twenty-six episodes, but they had to cut the show in half and forget y’know the little things, like plot and character development. To say that there are many loose ends in Virus that are never tied up would be an understatement.

I mean take Raven for example, the leader of STAND, has a connection with Serge and Serge with him because apparently Raven ‘killed’ Serge sometime ago. Okay, a dubious plot no doubt, but it’s made all the more unbearable by the fact the relationship between the two is never really explained, and this happens a lot with other aspects of the storyline too. The characters also have vague backgrounds that are sparsely detailed and as a result of this, I found myself just not giving a damn about them or the plot that revolved around them.

As far as Masami Obari goes, I’ve never really been impressed with his directorial work, much preferring his character designs instead, only to be let down by those here too. The designs themselves are a nasty mixed bag with the males looking like ultra-effeminate catwalk models (Serge in particular looking like an ad for famine victims) and the supposedly sexy women sporting the nastiest of snaggletooth mouths and ever-changing chest sizes.

The animation and art in general tend to be around average but suffer from unremarkable backgrounds and spotty character movements. That said, while some of the variable gear battles aren’t up to the standards of say BGC or Spriggan, they are still good to watch, it’s just shame they are few and far between. The music which is certainly Virus’ high point can be quite catchy and features a good use of instrumentals that provide much atmosphere to the show, but besides the seldom Variable Gear battles, it’s quality certainly isn’t matched by any other aspect of Virus.

If only the creators had decided just what they wanted Virus to be and stuck with it, we would no doubt be looking at a better show, as it is, Virus is a deeply flawed anime that often appears half-finished and sub-mediocre.

Ratings Summary

Animation: C-
Art: D
Music: B
Content: D-

Overall: D-

Review by: JP Jones

Suitability for children

There are a few instances of blood and the odd ‘scary’ moment but really nothing that isn’t suitable for those aged 12+.

If you liked this why not try…

Original Bubblegum Crisis – AnimEigo

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Written by bitsnark

February 19, 2006 at 7:38 pm

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