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Kori's Saber Marionette Ova Review

Saber Marionette Saber Marionette Screenshot Bloodberry, Lime & Cherry Saber Marionette Screenshot Mamiya Otaru Saber Marionette Screenshot Marine Saber Marionette Screenshot Luchs isn't too happy about Cherry's actions

Saber Marionette ova Review

In a world populated only by men, Terra II, the surviving men have fashioned curvaceous androids in the female form. They are called Marionettes, and are built for one purpose--to obey man's every whim...except one.

While these beautiful mechanical beings are modeled after women in every way, to fall in love with them is taboo. So what is the poor boy Otaru Mamiya to do when he develops a massive crush on a Marionette named Lime, a unique Saber model with a special circuit that gives her emotions? When Otaru awakens two more mysterious Saber Marionettes, his life as an average man quickly becomes as extraordinary as the circuitry under the flesh of his busty new friends.

Credit: sarisasenshi

Story & Playability

This is a review of the six OAV episode series of Saber Marionette J, called Saber Marionette J Again. It is the sequel to the TV series so be warned that the story synopsis will contain spoilers to the TV show and possibly to the OAV as well, and I will also jump directly into the story. For a review of the first TV series, have a look at the only review of Saber Marionette J so far in Minitokyo, written by sarisasenshi.

Like mentioned, the OAV series takes place where the TV show left us. The only human female, Lorelei, has been rescued and the three marionettes, Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry have returned to Otaru and so their lives continue like it has always been, minus the battle with Faust, leader of Gartland. What they didn't expect was that Faust would send his three saber dolls, Tiger, Luchs and Panther to him for an etiquette training and so he would have six marionettes under his roof, all with maiden circuits. If you've seen the TV show, you're bound to sense that there will be some trouble, although not serious. As if that wasn't enough, they meet a mysterious marionette, whom they later name Marine, who also has a maiden circuit. Who is Marine, why is she here, for what purpose was she created? Not even she knows the answer to those questions.

For six episodes, you can't expect the story to have a lot of depth, nor much character development but since this is a sequel, this isn't needed. All of that has been taken care of in the TV show. Instead, the OAV focuses more on the mysterious marionette, Marine, who is a lot more different from the other marionettes with maiden circuits than usual. Like the TV show, the OAV show speaks of friendship, loyalty, love and that you should always try your best and never give up, even when it seems hopeless.

Rating: 7

Graphics

I find the art in the OAV just a little better than the TV show. It's a bit cleaner and the colours are more vibrant.

In spite of that the OAV is about 9 years old (came out 1997), the art is still good enough to compete with many anime series made today. The characters flow naturally, from movements when fighting to the hair fluttering in the wind. In the TV show I could sometimes notice that certain scenes didn't have the same quality as it usually had. In the OAV, however, I noticed nothing of this, which, of course, is a good thing.

Character design has been changed slightly, almost unnoticeable. Most of the changes are done to the clothing; most noticeable on the saber dolls, as their battle clothes from their time working in Gartland aren't needed anymore.

Like the TV series, you can easily tell the difference between the marionettes and humans (if you don't count the fact that every female except for Lorelei is a marionette). Every marionette without a Maiden Circuit are portrayed stiff, and their eyes are drawn soulless. As for our heroines, their bodies have "edges" from where you can open and repair them if needed. In that sense, the style used in Saber Marionette J matches the concept perfectly.

Rating: 8

Sound

The voice actors from the TV show have been kept for the OAV. Stars like Megumi Hayashibara (Lime) and Hikaru Midorikawa (Faust) do a fantastic job portraying their characters personalities, although I have to admit that it felt a bit awkward hearing Faust speak so much in the OAV when he hardly had any lines in the TV show. I also want to take the opportunity to say that Takehito Koyasu does a wonderful job voicing the crazy Hanagata. It really can't be easy, especially when he seems to often get very calm and serious roles such as Hotohori from Fushigi Yuugi and Sir Isaac from Meine Liebe.

Comparing the voice acting between Japanese and English, the Japanese voice acting is far superior. Not only do they successfully portray the characters, but in doing so, they add personality to the characters. In the English version, the voice actors sound monotone, everyone sounding almost like the other, and that in turn makes the characters dull and uninteresting.

There are many songs found in OAV, most often as opening or ending theme. Often they're matched with how the episode has been; funky, happy or sad, and so they enhance the mood of the episode.

Rating: 8

Fun

Throughout the 6 episodes, Saber Marionette J Again tries to keep up the humour in various ways, like raising the level of fan-service (the ecchiness, that is) and taking advantage of the fact that Otaru, being quite a shy guy, is living with seven girls, after all.

If you loved the first series you will most likely like this one as well, but if you thought the first series was mediocre then there's a slight chance that you will think this one is dull. The OAV is supposed to be like a bridge between the first series and J to X, but in spite of that, it can be skipped. It doesn't add to anything particular so you won't miss much, except for some minor character development of the old characters, mostly Lime.

Saber Marionette J Again is a nice addition to the series, although no necessary. It has some very great moments, and if you have seen the first series, I would warmly recommend this OAV.

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by Kori, Jun 24, 2006

Comments

  1. shoujoboy Jun 26, 2006

    First I want to say thank you. Thank you for posting a good and well written review. All too often some horrible material is submitted to this site and praised by mindless drones. All the while a review of this calibur is ignored and the writer is not given proper respect. Kudos to you.

    I overall enjoyed the SMJ series, but I think that this OVA was the beginning of the end for the franchise as a whole. At this point it was starting to get redundant and just wasn't that funny anymore. I can see it getting a 7.3 overall, but I wouldn't give it that myself.

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