Julien Neaves, Editor
I first discovered the Guyver franchise with the 1991 live action movie. Based on the long running manga Bio Booster Armor Guyver by Yoshiki Takaya, the film followed a young man being transformed into the the titular armoured hero and fighting the evil Chronos Corporation populated by humans that turn into monsters called Zoanoids. It was neither well written, acted nor produced but the practical effects were cool, there was decent action and it had a campy charm. And Mark Hamill was in it, and who doesn’t love Mark Hamill? And Good Times’ JJ “Dyno-mite” Walker plays a rapping monster in it. Don’t ask.
This film was followed by the vastly superior Guyver 2: Dark Hero in 1994, which I love. Craving some more bio boosting, last year I tracked down the 12-episode OVA (1989-1992), which was solid but the animation wasn’t the best and some of the voice acting was rough. The 26-episode series (2005-2006) improved in every area except the smooth bloody action of its predecessor. And unfortunately, like the first series, the 2000s version also ends with the story incomplete.
But before the two anime series, and long before the two Americanised films there was the 1986 OVA Guyver: Out of Control. And yeah, the franchise did not get off to the most auspicious start. Where even to begin?
Firstly, the title is dumb because “guyver” means “out of control”, making the OVA’s name Out of Control: Out of Control. Secondly, the animation is terrible. If the first anime’s visuals were rough, this is cat’s-tongue-licking-sandpaper rough. Everything looks washed out, overly dark and lacking in detail. The voice acting is also uninspired. The character development is non-existent. And the plot very loosely adapts the first volume of the manga, stripping away almost all of the rich story and leaving the barest of bones.
But my biggest issue with the OVA is the main villain Valkyria Frosberg Lisker, a Chronos agent who becomes Guyver II. Now 80s anime had a reputation for excessive nudity but what we get here is gratuitous to be silly. And when her Guyver transformation involved her being sexually assaulted tentacle-hentai style I was like, “yeah, this is too much.”
So is there any reason to watch Out of Control? Well, the action is decent and there are buckets and buckets of gore. But everything else is a low effort mess.
If you’re a completionist like me you can knock it off your list, but for all other anime fans I really cannot recommend Out of Control: Out of Control.
Score: 3 out of 10
Are you a Guyver fan? What’s your favourite adaptation? And you can check out more great anime content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.