Yoshikazu Yasuhiko directed this 1989 feature based on his own manga. The new frontier of Venus has degenerated into a dystopia ravaged by the civil war between Ishtar and Aphrodia. Bubbly reporter Susan Sommers arrives ... more »in the capitol of Aphrodia just before it's captured by Ishtar. She falls in with a bunch of teen-agers who live for a sort of motorcycle version of Roller Derby. Daredevil rider Hiro and his friends reluctantly join the struggle to free Aphrodia from the invaders. Not surprisingly, Hiro proves an ace at piloting the mono-cyles that are the Aphrodians' secret weapon in the key battle. Venus Wars holds better than many early anime features. The American-influenced designs may annoy purists, but the characters are well developed and the battle scenes well staged, despite the limited technological resources available at the time. (Rated 13 and older: violence, profanity, alcohol use, risqué humor) --Charles Solomon« less
"This is a pretty good anime title (except for the live-action stuff, ew). The animation is great, the artwork is great, the voice acting is pretty good, and the plot is decent. The only problem I had with it (aside from the aforementioned live-action segments) was the DVD "extras." If you see the bonus materials listed on this site or on the back of the box, and think they sound interesting, don't get your hopes up. Its just the footage from the movie divided into sections for emphasis. There is no new material. For example, select Hiro from the characters section, and they just show you a scene from the movie that featured him strongly. I just figured people might want to know this..."
A feel modern anime hasn't given in a while
Kuroda Taiki | 06/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you go back to the 80s anime and early anime, you see less of the bouncy fanservice existent EVERYWHERE. You go back to the anime/manga back then, it had more of the violence and grit you would crave for. It had less of that feeling where it's quickly hashed out, or obviously influenced and tailored to the American viewers.
The only gripes is the views of back then, such as sexism against women (who usually play the extreme princess who can't fight), and music from that time (this is selective to some). Hiro isn't the usual gundam main character: why're we fighting? oh well, i'll fight to protect. Hiro is more of what you'd expect, a hotheaded teenager. Another, thing is that action sci-fi in general, is great at retelling lessons completely based on reality. This is no exception. Venus Wars resembles a lot of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (it only took a couple days to gain a surrender). The monobikes w/ railguns, chase scene, liberation, etc. Its all there. The rousing action, where the whole city gets pissed off and overthrows their occupiers!
After growing up on handpainted cels, you just don't feel the love and dedicated work presented in modern anime, which uses computer. It feels so impersonal and for the money. Don't get me wrong anime is great, no matter what era its from. Its just that, it's no longer as conceptual art in motion, you no longer see any of the stages, its too clean and straight lined that its like standing in a decontaminated room. Or eating a well-done steak. When you have an explosion, it's supposed to be messy, and this anime gives that to you."
The Best In The Post-AKIRA And Pre-Ghost In The Shell Era!
Datis Alaee | Milford, Ohio, USA | 02/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It took me only one viewing of this revolutionary feature to make me fall in love with Japanimation forever. One night after staying up until 2 am to see the Sci-Fi Channel's mutilated version of "VENUS WARS", I was totally blown away by the sheer realistic look of all the explosions in this movie. At first I had the original Jappanese version, which I have found recently, still was not totally complete. Just a couple of months ago I got a hold of a complete dubbed version which I can enjoy watching without missing all the action. And action is the name of the game here. A surprise attack on a Veusian settlement quickly turns into a victory for the invaders because of their superrior firepower. Their Octo Tanks seem to be invincible. All the fighting scenes with incredibly real animation will take your breath away. The characters are your typical restless youngsters caught between an occupationary force and their own politicians who are no better than cowardly collaborators. So the fight must be taken to the invaders and that's what these mono-cycle racers do. The bulk of the story revolves around The main character named "Hero" (hint, hint!), and an Earth journalist named "Suzane Sommers" (uh-huh!) and their various exploits and heartbreaks.This movie is revolutionary mainly because of the early attempt to integrate 3D cell animation into the 2D medium. These animators should be applauded for their efforts even if the end results do not look as seemless as in "Ghost In The Shell". Other than that this movie is one of the best in high octane action anime movies out there. DO NOT MISS IT. In fact, do yourself a big favor and buy it for your endless viewing pleasure."
Far Better Than I Expected
TrezKu13 | Norfolk, VA | 10/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If some one had told me this film would turn into a story of an actual war between nations, I would have watched it sooner. The reviews I had read for it made it sound like a rip-off of Akira, and the first hour or so makes you think it just might be it.
A group of friends who are in a sort of Xtreme motorcycle sport find themselves in the middle of their nation Aphrodia invaded by the nation of their enemy Ishtar. They quickly find themselves under military rule, and have to deal with life changing in such a time period. The group eventually decides to do some guerilla action and attack an enemy tank that is always in their stadium.
Then, just as the tank is destroyed and reinforcements are coming up, and the hero is about to be run over...a Free IO soldier fires a missile into the Octo and destroys it.
Then the movie becomes a story of a nation fighting for their freedom, as the group joins the free soldiers who are fighting Ishtar all the way back out of IO. Eventually the hero, at first sympathetic, is convinced to join forces. The final battle takes place in the capital of IO, and what a climax it is.
Overall, the film boasts fine animation and retro 80's anime design. The action is well done and the mecha designs even better, and the storyline is also exceptionally well done. You get a good sense of a population under foreign rule, and its good to see an anime exploring such depths. Also, the politics of a nation in exile fighting for their return is equally unique. Maybe its because I'm a political nut, but I found it all interesting.
If I had known I would have enjoyed this film, I would have watched it far sooner than I did. Oh well...I bought the DVD the minute I saw it. I'm proud to own it. And thats my word."
Not Your Typical Anime
TrezKu13 | 09/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Venus Wars bears no resemblance to the dogmeat that Japan is turning out in terms of anime lately. Venus Wars tells the story of a group of motorized uni-cycle racers (believe me, these uni-cycles aren't your typical uni-cycles) that get involved in the war between two factions fighting for control of Venus. The film deals with hope and the tragedy of war as seen from both the folks not directly involved in the fighting, and from a soldier's perspective. The animation is refreshing and very crisp, and it sounds as if some real thought went into the music as well. The added extras are a joke, but I bought this disc for the film, not for any sort of flashy extras. If you're a fan of old-school anime, then Venus Wars definitely belongs in your DVD collection."