In my many years of watching anime, I’ve seen some pretty weird and disturbing sci-fi action series. From hits such as The Guyver and its many series and OVAs, to lesser known cult-fare such as Bio Hunter. One of the latest from Maiden Japan seems to combine a few of these shows I’ve seen in the Kissdum R – Engage Planet Complete Collection. Featuring four discs containing all 26 episodes and a bonus OVA, this is the perfect anime series for fans of sci-fantasy as only Japan could bring us.
Taking place in the year 2031, some freaky, monster-like beings called the Hadeans have begun to appear around the world and seem intent on taking out mankind. To fight back against this menace, the N.I.D.F. (Neo International Defense Force) is formed to kill off the Hadeans and save humanity from extinction. Our main hero Shu Aiba is a cocky pilot for the N.I.D.F., but is rightly so as he’s one of the best fighters they have. He also happens to fall in love with Yuno Rurika, a brilliant scientist that works alongside the agency in finding new ways to combat the Hadeans. This leads her to discover ancient artifacts that contain untold power, starting with one they name “The Book of Life” (I’m not sure why seeing that it’s a sword). When Shu is terribly wounded in the fight and dies, Yuno takes a chance by stabbing him with “the book”, which in turn brings him back to life with strange new abilities such as transforming his arms into any weapon he touches, and having access to three female spirits who act as guides to his newfound powers. What comes next is Shu doing his best to learn about his powers and gain new ones in the process, and keeping those close to him safe as enemies both new and familiar confront him and try to take his powers for their own.
This series really reminded me of quite a few different anime series I’ve seen, such Eat-Man (who could transform his arms into weapons after he’s eaten them), and ones such as Guyver and Bio Hunter that I mentioned earlier. I have to admit I had a hard time getting into this series at first, as it’s throws you into the middle of things as you’re left scratching your head until it explains later what’s going on. Once I got past that hump, it turned out to be a pretty cool series as long as you go in without high expectations. I also loved the fact that famous mecha designer Shoji Kawamori (who single-handedly made every transformable mech/toy that’s ever existed) lent some of his talent in designing the transforming planes in this series (which look a lot like the VF-19s from Macross 7). Given this series was released in 2007, it looks pretty good on Blu-ray for the most part, but has a slight blurry look as though someone just made copies of a DVD set. Despite this, it still looks and sounds as good as you’re going to get, as the Japanese only audio rings through nice and clear as well. There’s also a few nice extras included such as clean animations for the intros and outros, original Japanese commercials and promos videos, and some trailers for other anime titles.
If you’re looking for a nice sci-fi fantasy anime and don’t need anything too fancy, the Kissdum R – Engage Planet Complete Collection should be one set to check out. It takes a bit to get past the “what am I watching?” hump at the start, but things begin to pick up fairly quickly afterwards as it becomes a fun anime romp. Paying homage to series such as Guvyer, Eat-Man, and Bio Hunter, and featuring the famed Shoji Kawamori on the plane/mecha designs, anyone who checks this out is bound to have a good time.