Tape Test: The Awful Truth

I haven’t done much with Tape Test. With this week’s installment, I’ve put up only three entries in as many years. There’s a reason for that: everything is awful.

I should explain further. When I started Tape Test, I looked forward to writing about the various VHS anime that’s not yet available on DVD; I even had a stockpile of cheaply acquired tapes for starters. Of course, I knew that most of them would be mediocre, as the overwhelming majority of anime is, but I was convinced that I could find something interesting to say about each and every one of them.

I was wrong. There are indeed a few notable anime creations only released on VHS in the West, but the majority I’ve found are awful in the worst way: they’re hackneyed, boring, and completely devoid of valid entertainment. I realized a while ago that I didn't need to write thousand-word pro bono excoriations of DNA Sights 999.9, Explorer Woman Ray, Ehrgeiz, Ogre Slayer, Genesis Surviver/Survivor Gaiarth, Dragon Century, Raven Tengu Kabuto, Blue Sonnet, Luna Varga, Akai Hayate, AWOL, Grey: Digital Target, The Legend of Kotetsu, Roots Search, or the 1996 remake of Hurricane Polymar. Many of these I remembered all too well from that unfortunate time in my life when I was willing to watch just about any remotely promising anime the local Blockbuster or comic store had up for rental. I sat through Dragoon ten years ago, and I’m not doing it again. Not for free, anyway.

And that's what happened to Tape Test. As any critic could tell you, it’s not the worst of it that gets you. It’s the banal and unremarkably terrible.


  1. Ogre Slayer wasn't that bad...
    well, yeah it was.

  2. I do love me some old school anime but I haven't seen all of those.
    I want to remember Kotetsu as pretty ok, albeit short. But I found enjoyment in the animation and style used, not so much from the storyline.

    On the other hand, Explorer Woman Ray is a pretty forgettable experience across the board, not to mention quite different from the manga (both in story and character design).