Linebarrels of Iron OVA Anime DVD Review

Like a number of series, after the twenty-four episode action sci-fi series ended, the creators went on to add a couple of standalone OVAs that are all about the fun. A lot of them tend to place these specials within the past of the series and Linebarrels is no exception, at least for part of it. While they get labeled as episodes twenty-five and twenty-six, they're light enough that it doesn't really matter for the first one at least. The second one takes place after the series ends and shows an amusing way things changed for everyone in light of events that played out.

 The first OVA gives us a lot of time spent with Rachel, which I would initially believe would be a drag but turns out to be a lot of fun. She wasn't exactly the most used character in the series and when she did play a role, it was either as someone who wasn't being taken seriously because of her looks or she was dropping some fascinating little piece of gear that saved the day. For this, the bulk of the episode focuses on her arrival in Japan and the way it took her an age to actually find her way to the Juda building. Since she's so lost there, we get to see Japan through her eyes and all the little quirks that would be strange to someone from America (who has never watched anime, that is). Rachel's story has a lot of cute moments to it and they do drag it out a bit in a way as it eventually focuses on Rachel digging into the dirt of everyone else after she'd been there for a bit and we get lots of heavy fanservice moments as she digs into their lives. And underwear. The second episode is a bit more of a split about things as it focuses on Juda's future after the events of the main series. While a good portion of it deals with a mild attack and combat situation with some Linebarrels getting involved, it's really not the main focus that really works for it. It's definitely nicely done with a lot of very well done CG action, but the character material that comes before it is better. With the Chief now a part of what Juda is, he's decided to give back to the town that has suffered a fair bit since they built there and he's turned the bulk of the company into a resort spa. So that means lots of bikinis, skin and innuendo going on throughout it. It's simple fun that turns into the action, which while well done feels forced, or perhaps I just wanted more of the fanservice. I think I can admit to that at this point. Thankfully, the quality of the show is on par with the TV show for the most part and sometimes a bit better, though mostly when it comes to the CG action material. The character designs, something that I loved from the start, definitely takes on more of a sexualized aspect since it's all about the fanservice here, but it works well and feels like just a fun way of doing things. With the whole point of much of it being about the fun and taking us out of the norm, but not the karaoke aspect we saw happen in the TV series at inappropriate times, what we get here fits in well either at the start of the larger storyline or at the end.

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