"Watch out for that monkey, man. He knows how to fight!"
iansomniak | USA, Planet Earth | 11/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's the year 2755. More than five hundred years ago, Earth technology succeeded in breaking the lightspeed barrier, creating a glittering particle ring in space. The pitch black center of this giant golden hoop now serves as a warp gate, providing easy access to every corner of the galaxy. In a busy space station resembling an enormous top, the crew of the cargo ship XeBeC awaits the arrival of their Captain. Just as the vessel's young pilot, Jay, is about to depart without him, the corpulent Captain bursts though the door and into the roomy cockpit. "Hi everyone," he jovially exclaims, "Sorry I'm late!" Much to his dismay, the portly spacer's crewmembers seem completely oblivious to his presence.
As the XeBeC sails toward the donut-shaped warp gate at a blistering velocity of 880 kilometers per second, a thundering explosion of unknown origin rocks the craft, startling the Captain and crew! The violent jolt alters the expansive vehicle's entry angle and the ship careens unstoppably into the nothingness of the gate's center, where it is at once enveloped in a ripple of blue spirals and a cloud of purple smoke. Instantaneously, the XeBeC emerges on the opposite side of the circle, in the midst of the starry unknown.
Because the explosion occurred near the XeBeC's fuel cells, the quick-thinking crewmembers are forced to board the small white shuttle attached to the front of the massive ship and make a hasty escape before everything around them is engulfed in flames. The shuttle plummets toward an Earth-like planet and soars through the dense foliage of an alien jungle, sending broken tree limbs and countless leaves scattering in a billowing trail of dust and debris. As the broken vessel splashes noisily into a murky swamp, a mysterious yellow-haired woman dressed in flowing pink and blue fabric watches from a safe distance.
Eventually, the Captain, Jay, and the rest of the XeBeC's hapless personnel venture out of their waterlogged escape vehicle and begin exploring their strange new surroundings. Jay asks his loyal little robot pal, Onbu, to display the peculiar planet's 3D orbital mapping data--which the droid happily does--and as everyone is studying the colorful hologram, an ominous shadow appears behind it. Suddenly, a ferocious ape-like creature in military garb rushes at the castaways like a runaway freight train! Roaring and slobbering, the fang-faced beast grabs the orange jacket of Rin and lifts him off the ground. The terrified man groans in agony as the red-eyed ape punches at his face before mercilessly flinging him through the air and into the arms of his fellow crewman, Kisarl, where he slumps, bleeding and moaning. Outraged, Kisarl lowers Rin to the earth and charges impetuously at the monstrous animal, slugging the thing in the gut with all of his might. Unfazed, the gargantuan gorilla grasps Kisarl's shirt collar and holds his second victim helplessly suspended above the jungle floor. Behind the indomitable drooling primate, Jay has retrieved a long pipe from the space shuttle's wreckage. The intrepid pilot in crimson and black calls out a challenge to Kisarl's captor and the furry behemoth is obliged to answer by quickly dropping his human prey like a discarded toy. The angry ape pulls a broadsword from the sheath at his hip and turns to face the fearless Jay, who stands ready, with pipe in hand, to fight the snarling sinewy simian to the death.....
Despite the occasionally intense action scenes, a few attractively designed characters, and some unique mecha--like the sky-bike, a two-tone cross between a jet and a motorcycle with an engine that sounds exactly like a Return of the Jedi speeder bike--Garaga (not to be confused with the classic arcade game, Galaga) ultimately fails to live up to its potential. The story is hampered by superfluous characters, sloppy editing and abrupt scene transitions that make it unnecessarily difficult to follow. The English dub is awful, featuring lots of humorously clunky dialogue and often wooden acting with unnatural hesitations. However, the movie does have a vibrant color palate and a nice jazzy score with a good ending song (although CPM forgot to include onscreen lyric translations). And a lot of it is unintentionally hilarious and MST3K-worthy. (For added fun, pause your DVD player and read the type on the animated computer screens.) Garaga's cover art is pretty spiffy, but the only extra included is the usual `Meet the Characters' selection. This film is rated 13 and up for some blood and mild swearing, and, of course, the so-called "countless spectacular death scenes."
Now, for your enjoyment, here's a list of the top twenty quotable Garaga quotes, in random order:
- "As far as I'm concerned, this is the only way in."
- "What in the love of nature planet is this?"
- "Your face says west."
- "Something evil is descending on us!"
- "What's the matter with you, haven't you seen people wake up before?"
- "She looks remarkably human!"
- "Food heightens my beauty."
- "Hey, what are you gonna do with that torch? I'm not a marshmallow ya know!"
- "I take my responsibility for the safety of my passengers seriously; I'm not interested in young girls."
- "The Umlangans are revolting!"
- "Did ya get the big ugly guy, Jay? Did ya?"
- "Alf killed my father!"
- "You pathetic organic worm!"
- "I don't give a snail's tip about you!"
- "Hold on to your socks everyone!"
- "You can't kick me around; I'm not a soccer ball!"
- "Oh Father, what has become of your leg?"
- "Prepare to brace yourselves!"
- "Do you think he's attached directly to the Director?"
- "They speak our language; that somehow seems amazing.""
Garaga is Great
Justin A. Swartz | 10/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Garaga is just an above average anime. There are sme times were it can be spectacualar, but otherwise theres nothing special.If you're just looking for something to buy you should probably rent this instead."
Garaga - An Overlooked, Yet Cheesy Piece of Anime
Justin A. Swartz | 09/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"GARAGA was released in the late 80's when, according to Project A-Ko staffer Yuji Moriyama, a lot of newcomers were getting a crack at movies and OVAs. Garaga seems to fall into this category, because I can't seem to find any information about it online, not even at Bestanime.com. Oh, well, on with the review.
Garaga's story centers around the crew of the XeBec spacecraft, who go horribly off-course and land on the planet called (duh) Garaga. Apparently, through some abberation in the ship's computer, they were SUPPOSED to go off-course and warp here, because they have precious cargo: Heran Yun, the daughter of dignitary General Yun, who is currently trying to take over Garaga with an army of augmented ape-men (who remarkably speak good English) and his android companion, Alf Dolf (why the heck would you name your subcommander after a muppet?).
It's this kind of backward and cheese-filled storytelling that only gets Garaga a three-star rating. I've watched a lot of cheesy 80's anime in my time, but this one REALLY takes the cake. The animation and music are pretty good, including the mechanical designs and the one character's "battle gear" is wicked cool, but it seems as though Garaga was meant to be a TV series and got condensed into a movie. That happened a lot back in those days, especially with science fiction/adventure anime.
Just as an added warning, neither language of this film is really all that good, although if you want some giggles, watch the English dub for lines like "Is Jay directly attached to the director?" and similar fare. If you want something to tide you over while you wait for the next volume of Air to come out, then by all means, grab this--you can't beat it at its low price point. Just be warned that you're in for one long, cheesy ride.
I would rate this anime 13+, due to some blood and thematic elements.
BTW, be on the lookout for some "spectacular death scenes" by Tom Wayland, one of the employees at Central Park Media, as he plays countless soldiers getting wasted by combat robots."