Z-Mind - Mania.com

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: C-
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: C-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 34.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Z-Mind


By James Maruyama     November 23, 2002
Release Date: March 19, 2002

The Review!
Supposedly set in the 1970's (mostly based on the fashion), "Z-Mind" begins much in the way of all other Japanese Giant Robot (or Super Robot) shows with an alien attack on Japan. Naturally, a lone scientist has created the ultimate weapon to fight off this invasion and it falls into the hands of his three young daughters (Ayame, Renge, and Sumire) who are recruited by an unnamed foreign government agency (the CIA?)to pilot the robot. Their only ally in this secret battle is a mysterious tall stranger who holds the key to the secret of Z-Mind.

The full title of this Japanese Anime OVA Series roughly translates into "The Beautiful Teenage Girl's Combining Robot - Z-Mind" and has the provacative english subtitle "The Battling Days of the 'Shitamachi' (Residential Suburb) Virgins". While promising retro anime action in the spirit of the "Big-O" or "Giant Robo" OVA series and the nostalgic bent of the "Nadesico" TV series, "Z-Mind" fails to deliver on both counts. While the character designs are unique (compliments of Kamo Hamaru), the robot designs recall too much Sunrise's kid oriented "Brave" Series of Robots. In fact the show is very much "kid oriented" and does not really have any dramatic "edge" to it. The show strives to capture the feel of 70's Japanese Animation by both referencing and "borrowing" from other shows of the time (Combattler V, Raideen and Getter Robo among the most notible) but the fun and spirit of these shows is not here. "Z-Mind" fails to entertain at even the most basic level.

Technical Specs:
The quality of this Bandai Entertainment/Sunrise is on the whole solid if not undistinguished. The Opening Animated Menu is quite mundane and is neither impressive nor interesting. The Dolby Digital Sound is quite good but seems wasted on this particular OVA series. Extras are also not very great as we are give only the standard Anime extra of "textless" OP and ED, an Art Gallery showing all the Japanese OVA DVD Covers, and a Reversable Cover (the reverse cover art is quite awful).

For those wanting good Super Robot action in the spirit of 70's animation, stick with "Big-O" and "Giant Robo".

Review Equipment
Pioneer DV-440 (Region Free)


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