Surprisingly and strangely fun.
Ryk E. Spoor | Troy, NY USA | 05/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Metal Fighter Miku begins from a ridiculous premise: assume that sometime in the future (one that looks rather like our own, yet has some amazingly advanced tech tucked away in odd corners) one of the most popular sports in the world is ... female pro wrestling, with the females in question wearing powered armor to make the combats more interesting.Add to this the standard stable of characters in fighting-anime -- the plucky main hero/heroine, the "handsome/beautiful one", the "tough one", and the "cute one", and a nemesis bent on forcing a final confrontation, and you seem set for some pretty stupid, and pedestrian, fare.Somehow, with all this going against it, Miku (like its eponymous heroine) triumphs against the odds. There's something endearing rather than cloying about the characters. Yes, we know their general type, but the writers manage to make them separate, if not tremendously original, characters. Miku keeps the spotlight most of the time, but the other characters -- even adversaries -- often get enough screen time to make us feel that they're not just cardboard props for Miku's journey. As time goes on, you get the feeling that "something else" -- you can't quite define what -- is going ON in this series, and that feeling gets stronger. Eventually, you find out, and while the "something else" isn't at all unheard-of in anime, in THIS anime it comes as quite a gratifying surprise. I was stunned to enjoy this one -- cynical as I was about it -- and having come to appreciate it as the simple but worthy entertainment it is, am glad to recommend it to others here."
Before there was Oni, there was Miku
ravenchan | Cleveland, OH USA | 07/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What do you get when you put four pretty girls in mech suits and send them into a glamorous world of tag team wrestling? A sport to gain a huge following in Earth's fictional future; and some great fight scenes to mix in with the sweet story and spunky laughs. Not quite the caliber of Ranma 1/2, but if you like that series, you'll probably enjoy this one, too."
An amazing series despite its age
Porcupine | 06/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this show was awesome from the moment I first saw it, back when it first came out in VHS tapes long ago. To this day it remains in my Top 5 favorite anime of all time, but to most people this show is all but unknown.
Being made in 1994, this show is pretty old now, so don't expect something visually on par with the best anime of today. Yet, when I compare it to other well-known anime of its time, such as Neon Genesis Evangelion made in 1995, this show is actually ahead of them in terms of how well it was made and the quality of the drawings. As others have said previously, the story sounds a bit corny, but the show isn't what it seems to be about at first glance. It's more a show about a girl who is seriously training hard to be a real fighter, rather than being a show about fake wrestling.
The show is just well-made from an objective standpoint, despite a storyline that some might consider impossible to pull off. I think that's why some of the previous reviewers found themselves enjoying this show in the end, despite low expectations.
Directing: 5 out of 5 stars. One of Akiyuki Shinbo's oldest works. He is now a famous anime director who has done many of Japan's most popular recent top anime, including Moonphase and Negima?! (the better remade version).
Story: 5 out of 5 stars. However, this is just my take on it. I like the idea of a story about a girl seriously training to be a real fighter. Some others might find that idea ridiculous or stupid, and I can totally understand.
Drawing style: 5 out of 5 stars. The character designer for Metal Fighter Miku was Takeshi Honda, who was also the lead keyframe animator for the entire Neon Genesis Evangelion series, a very little-known fact. The drawing style for this show is thus very similar to Evangelion and other Yoshiyuki Sadamoto works, something most people fail to notice, but the resemblance is obvious to me.
Drawing quality: 3 out of 5 stars. Normally pretty good quality, however episodes 3 and 8 have ultra degenerated, terrible drawings, where they indeed look like goonies just as a previous reviewer said!
Animation quality: 3 out of 5 stars. Nothing special either, but not overly cheap with the frame-saving. Considering how old this show is, it's easily up to standard.
Music: 5 out of 5 stars. BGM composed by well-known Japanese composer Kenji Kawai, who has composed music for countless anime series. The intro and ending songs, composed by someone else as is usually the case for anime, are amazing as well (it's rare for anime to have both good BGM and good OP/ED songs).
Unfortunately, I do have some complaints regarding the quality of the DVD authoring. The opening and ending sequences weren't done correctly and play at half-resolution (weird interlacing). The Japanese track of the show is low-quality mono of the typical 90's Japanese broadcast standard. The English track is in stereo but the DVD authoring is messed up and the sound often clips when characters speak, which can really mess up your ears and speakers (don't play the audio too loud if you listen to the English track).
Although this DVD set was released many years ago it's still not that hard to find for some reason. Metal Fighter Miku was a great buy 6 years ago. Nowdays though a lot of good anime come out as cheap boxsets...so I wouldn't pay $40 for this if I'd never seen the show before. But I think it's not hard to find this DVD set for $25 to $30 because it was over-printed....so if you can find it at that price and believe in my review and don't mind "old anime from the 90's" I strongly recommend this show."