Chrono Trigger OVA
You wouldn't expect a console role-playing game from 1995 to be very popular any more, but Chrono Trigger is an exception. A recent search on Altavista found over 100,000 weblinks under the title, showing its continued popularity. Similar in style to the immensely popular Final Fantasy series, fans can't appear to get enough of the game. All sorts of web shrines, walk-throughs, and rings dedicated to the subject are a moment's grasp away. A short 15-minute OVA was created a while back as a "thank you" to the fans, and while it's never been officially released anywhere, it has played at various anime conventions and has made the rounds through Bit Torrent, the latest craze in downloading anime fansubs. Though Chrono Trigger is too short to qualify as anything but a blip on the radar for typical anime connoisseurs, it's cute and funny enough that the game's fans should enjoy it. Surprisingly enough, those of us who know nothing about this phenomenon can at least be amused by the hijinks in this little OVA.
Guardia's millennial fair is about to start, and the humans have put everything together for a spectacular festival. But when it gets late, the monsters from the game come out to party! We meet the rotund, goofy Nuu and his furry little friend Mamo as they try to get people to sign up to join their club, the Time and Space Adventurers. Not having much luck, they decide to take in the sites of the carnival, getting involved with drinking contests and talent competitions. But when they run into a robot that sings to advertise the number of points he's worth to defeat, they are in for more than they bargained for!
Although there's not much to this short film, it's cute in a way that it's a basic amusement for those unfamiliar with the game. The characters are fun, the gags simple but effective, and the plot...well, there is no plot, but it moves along quickly! The folks who put together this OVA made a wise decision, I believe, in focusing not on the main characters from the game but these silly monsters the heroes wind up defeating throughout. It puts everyone on a more level playing field. Meanwhile, fans should love some of the in-jokes that abound here. Certain events mirror side quests in the original video game, and a boss or two shows up in amusing ways. Some of the gamers who've seen it are disappointed that it isn't a more thorough title, but that's life. It's rather like watching the featurettes Pixar creates with their films like Monsters, Inc.; they aren't much, but they are entertaining.
If you've never heard of Chrono Trigger, then there's very little reason to catch this one. The animation is just sufficient, the music much the same. It's fun, but only in passing. If the game was part of your life in 1995 and beyond, then it might be worth finding just to get a laugh out of a milestone in your gaming career.
Chrono Trigger OVA -- very brief bathroom humor -- B