Well, it happened. I returned to talk about a series that is connected to something that I watched previously yet again! Pretty much the same thing that I did with the attachments of Bubblegum Crisis. It’s the same thing. I could have watched Garzey’s Wing myself a long time ago, but I was waiting to watch it with a group of people to embrace that insanity. One Friday night in January, Jon Spencer held a group watch of Garzey’s Wing on his discord server. Group watches don’t happen that often, but there is always a lot of fun going on. Please click this link to find Jon Spencer’s discord if you are interested: Link!
Garzey’s Wing is an isekai anime ova from the mid 90’s and comes from the very unique mind of a certain Yoshiyuki Tomino. You could possibly know this guy from very small things like Mobile Suit Gundam. With the lack of bug robots and flying ships all over the place, it’s a prequel to Tomino’s Aura Battler Dunbine. The story starts one day when Chris, who failed his college exam yet again, is passing by a shrine and immediately has his spirit taken from him leaving his physical body there. His spirit was summoned to the land of Byston Well and he happens to be the infamous Garzey’s Wing who is destined to save the Metomeus slaves from the Ashigaba army.
So that is the story of Garzey’s Wing. In some ways, it is a classic fantasy story. There are lots of fantasy creatures, the location itself is very medieval like in nature, Chris is the typical fantasy savior of the Byston Well people (mainly the Metomeus tribe) with some kind of fantastical ability and his body suffering from his exploits on Earth. There are also lots of mountains, lots of castles, and so many complicated, political things going on as well. Yoshiyuki Tomino has always been an idea person. Mobile Suit Gundam and the shows he made after it are examples of his nearly limit less ideas. There was a possibility of something great here. I think most people what went on afterward.
With that explanation, why is Garzey’s Wing remembered as being as bad and hilarious as it is? Well, compressed Tomino dialogue for one thing. It’s one thing to hear it in Japanese with subtitles over time, but hearing Tomino dialogue in English with bad dub actors is special. Especially when at least one voice actress is three different people in one scene. So yeah, special in a really bad way. Some Tomino dialogue is simply exposition that characters give about the world, themselves, or both to other people and they try to play it off as natural. There is good dialogue in his shows, but when its time is compressed and there is a lot of Tomino talk overlapping each other. Good lord.
There is also the fact that Tomino names are not normal. Well, for the most part. There is a meme around Tomino and Gundam names that goes around social media all the time and its true. Char Aznable, Cazval Diekun, Edouard Mass, and Qautro Bajenna are not normal names. Yes, all of these belong to one specific person. In the original gundam series, Sunrise didn’t care about names and nothing has stopped Tomino and his name schemes since. When you have the combination of all the weird creature, location, and people names with Tomino dialogue with a bad English dub that won’t stop, then all of that combines into the most WTF thing there is. That is Garzey’s Wing.
In thinking about Garzey’s Wings production, I thought was something wrong with the production to make it the way it was, because it’s obvious to me that something happened. Or, it could be that F91 brain of mine telling me something happened, but I didn’t find anything online. Was it supposed to be like this? I’m just going to say it; Garzey’s Wing moves like trash. I think there is a lot of good art design, character designs, setting designs, and creature designs, but the way it moves sucks. There is a lot of badly directed scenes, lack of movement here and there, and that one frame in the river raft where it was shaking up and down. Just bad in the most interesting ways possible.
That all being said about how awful Garzey’s Wing is, it’s a lot of fun to watch because of the nonsense of it all. Especially in group watches where the experience can be enjoyed in what is none as group madness. It’s a community experience in 90-minute ova that would have been great normal film if it was three hours long? There is also a very human factor of it all too because even if Tomino’s weirdness, he does capture the strange thing known as the human experience. This leaves me in another position of not knowing how to score this, so I will go with the very rare question mark. Despite defining it, it’s still completely undefinable.