Story = B
Video = A-
Audio = B-
Ace pilot Trava and his personal mechanic buddy Shinkai, on their way to mark an out-of-the-way planet, pick up Mikuru, a girl with no memory. The three are about to discover that the planet is more than it seems. (Source: ANN)Trava Fist Planet is a short series made up of four 10 to 15 minute episodes about two "markers" — people who go to new planets and mark them for later exploration. They are trying to earn money to enter the "Fist Planet," a fighting/racing event whose grand prize ranges in the billions. While on their way to their next mark, they stumble upon a woman who has lost her memory, taking her with them to survey the strange and dangerous planet.
The only reason I watched this series was because it's the prequel to Redline, the long-in-the-making movie that looks mind-blowingly awesome but which I still have yet to watch. Trava Fist Planet is not nearly as action-oriented as Redline promises to be, but it is still has plenty of entertainment value due to its clever writing, off-kilter characters and setting, and awesome animation.
What this series lacks in action, it makes up for in snappy dialogue. The two main characters who are made up of the dog-eared Trava and the "lobster man" Shinkai are constantly bantering back and forth in a way that reminds me of Jet and Spike in Cowboy Bebop. The confident Trava is always jibing Shinkai who in turn is hopelessly trying to defend himself. It's the quick, constantly unexpected wit that gives this show tons of personality and a fun, casual tone even when things are at their craziest. The only issue is that at times it can get quiet and a bit boring to the point where I really just wished that something — anything — would happen. But for the most part it is very cool.
Of course, I'm not saying that there is no action in this show or that it is not visually stunning. The designs are done by the same guy who did Dead Leaves and the best episode in the Animatrix, World Record. The character designs have that Aeon Flux elongated-limbs look, and I'm not sure how to describe everything else other than to say that it is extremely unique and awesome. As the story progresses there are some action scenes that get really crazy, especially in the finale and the animation never disappoints throughout. The only major issue I had was with the last fight scene, which ended before we see any real action. Whether that was due to budgetary constraints or was an intentional storytelling device, I'm not sure. But for the most part the animation is phenomenal.
As for the story itself, I would simply describe it as strange but entertaining. The characters are spontaneous, and the planet that the story takes place on is incredibly strange, but even so, all of the concepts in the story are explained well enough that I always understood what was going on.
So overall I'll say that this a very strange show with fun dialogue, unique designs, and a decent amount of crazy action that is well worth watching. Now on to Redline!
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