Diving into the girls with guns idea that the Dirty Pair girls are very much apart of, I think it was time to do some discussion about Iria that does similar things except focusing on one specific action girl. I mean, they are given about the same job. Iria is a bounty hunter and the Lovely Angels are problem solvers. Both are handed jobs from an organization and are paid for accomplishing them. That’s close enough to me. The two series even came out one after another considering that the live action film this OVA is a prequel of came out a brief time after Flight 005 Conspiracy. In all honesty, this is just an excuse. I just want to talk about more girls with guns and Iria is really cool. The rest of this paragraph doesn’t matter.
So yeah, as mentioned before this is an OVA prequel series to a live action Japanese film called Zeiram. A film that I have not watched yet, so this is just a cool OVA to me. (Though I am interested in watching Zeiram at some point after this because it seems very cool). That is my reference point coming into this OVA because I know nothing about this small franchise. Just means that there is more to learn! This is the story of Iria, a young adult woman who is an apprentice bounty hunter and wants to follow her brother Gren’s footsteps in that job field. One that she has a lot of potential in considering that the first episode opens with her accomplishing a bounty job by herself.
The story of Iria is pretty simple in of itself. After stowing her way into a bounty mission with her brother Gren and Bob, a member of Ghomvak Security that disrupts jobs to people like Gren, everything goes wrong. From their very alien looking home planet through a portal that takes them to a spaceship through outer space, something has happened. The crew is mostly dead and the ship is invested with almost invincible aliens called Zeiram that no one has the capability of stopping. To stall them, Gren sacrifices his life while Bob and Iria escape to places unknown. That leads the story to being the pretty cliché stop the killer aliens from destroying everything. One that provides a lot of good opportunities.
Iria’s story isn’t complicated, but the characters in the story along with the world make it so much more interesting then one would think. For instance, the worlds that are attached to Iria look like nothing that we seen on Earth at the start. Well, a city will always be a city but the architecture is pretty unique in the way it is to Wings of Honneamise. Then it builds a bit further when people travel from one world to another through teleportation in little cars floating carts. One stop is to a vacation location for the rich which pushed against the poor while there is a massive bureaucracy in Iria’s home city regarding the bounty hunter business. I feel like there is a lot that I am missing out on that I want to see more of.
Following that aspect are the characters themselves. I like Iria a lot. She is the classic underdog character but is clearly skilled and is even promoted halfway through this OVA. Along her journey, she meets a younger child who has a lot of the wishes and ambitions that Iria has, so the two make a great duo. Especially since the child saves Iria’s life a lot of the time. Bob is a good character that I just learn to dig more as time goes on because he starts to trust Iria more. The one cowardly character with a heart of gold, the bounty hunter Fujikuro, who starts as a problem for Iria and eventually just helps her out even if he says he hates doing it. I do like seeing what he does on screen. Amazingly simple but particularly good characters.
On a visual level, Iria just looks good. I think these are some of my favorite character designs that I’ve seen in anime. A lot of good simplicity and detail work while looking really attractive as well. I mean, I have to admit that Iria’s own design is very good and has a lot of whatever Zeiram’s culture says about her while the rest of the character designs carry that image through them. A lot of good world construction and articulation as well because of how real it all feels. Like, I can see myself living in this world somewhere as well. Besides some moments where a character stays in place while gunshots ring out, the action scenes are great as well. Iria just has a lot of remarkable things to offer that I can’t help but love. Especially since this is a prequel to a live action movie. They didn’t have to go this hard, but they did.
Iria: The Animation was one of my favorite short ova watches from last year. Quite simple and to the point yet also highly effective and well thought out. Yeah, I can’t help but say that the experience of this OVA really drew me into it. An absolutely solid experience in it after all. Very beautifully written and crafted in the animation department. Its obvious to me that the animation and writing team behind this OVA loved putting it together because that energy radiates through out the whole thing. I can’t help but recommend that everyone check this one out. Its short and easy to watch for free on RetroCrush. With that, the look at Dirty Pair continues next week!