Zone of the Enders: 2167 IDOLO Review
Released by: A.D. Vision
Length: 55 minutes
Hideo Kojima is mostly known for his Metal Gear series. Many fans would hear Kojima’s name and immediately think of the Metal Gear franchise with Solid Snake as the poster boy for it. But there is another series that Kojima created that has its own following. In fact the game was popular enough, among various social circles, to spawn anime spinoffs of the Zone of the Enders license. Zone of the Enders (Z.O.E.): IDOLO is a short OVA that centers on the franchise’s beginnings. Before Leo Stenbuck, from the first Z.O.E. title entered the scene, there was a man named Radium Lavans and his pursuit of wanting to free the Martians from oppression.
The story relays the background of the series with introducing the Orbital frames and the Metatron technology. Fans of the series will also notice a familiar character in the prequel, Viola, which explains why the character behaves the way she does in the first game of the series. Radium takes center stage of expressing his hatred for Earth’s oppressive nature toward the Martians and he eventually becomes recruited to take part in a secret military project. The project is the Martians last hope for becoming a dominant powerhouse against the Earth and Radium’s journey of piloting the Orbital Frame tests not only his will but sanity as well.
The OVA’s presentation of animation highlights the battle sequences that gamers know and love from the video game series. Radium’s use of the weapons in the Orbital Frame he pilots serves as a flashback and a treat for viewers familiar with the games. The bursts of Metatron energy from the mechanized machine show the effective visuals and vibrant colors compiled to complete the animated feature. The facial expressions of Radium’s change in mood help to draw viewers in to see the man shift from one extreme to the next.
The dubbing for the OVA is not bad, but not great. The dual audio DVD disc supports both Japanese and English language tracks and having seen the film in both languages viewers will become aware of minor differences. The English version tends to add in dialogue on silent parts whereas the Japanese counterpart does not. Overall, the voice actors and actresses perform well in allowing the characters to express their emotions.
Background music for the OVA fits the feature’s presentation, but does not intensify the viewing experience. The extras on the DVD disc does not add to the value of the feature like the music does, however, the Zone of the Enders Timeline extra helps to bridge the gap between the events of what occurred in the series as fans view the anime adaptations and play the games.
The recent release of the Zone of the Enders HD Collection on multiple systems adds to the experience when the fan of the franchise watches the OVA prequel first. Fans do not have to watch the prequel in order to get an understanding of the series, but the experience becomes value added as the gamer sees another side to the story’s overall arch. I would recommend fans of the game franchise to pick up Z.O.E: IDOLO as the story coincides with the game’s timeline. There is another anime adaptation also called Zone of the Enders: DOLORES, but I will not go into that nor review it as that TV series does not do the franchise justice. Z.O.E series is one of my personal favorites and with the Zone of the Enders HD Collection release, it serves as not only a trip down memory lane, but also the possibility for a sequel.