Gall Force: Eternal Story
There's something to be said about a series that continues on over the course of several years...somebody must like it, or the company that produces it would quickly can it. Then again, one looks at some shows like "The Nanny" and wonders how they ever got off the ground. Gall Force: Eternal Story is rather like that. It's the start of a rather long-winded series of science-fiction OVAs, but it's hard to believe something as contently mediocre as this started it all.
Gall Force: Eternal Story introduces us to the race known as the Solinoids, made up entirely of women, who have fought for years (and perhaps centuries) against the Paranoid race, a bunch of not-quite-slimy aliens that resemble some bad Invid outtakes from Robotech. One ship and its crew are able to escape the midst of a great battle to attempt to reach Chaos, a new homeworld they plan to settle if the Paranoid don't get their hands on it first. From there, things go downhill, but it's a pretty interesting and vaguely entertaining ride.
I could discuss the characters with you, but there's not much to discuss. They are pretty much stereotypes who are there to get themselves killed off in "Alien" style...one by one (generally), and in various different ways. At first, the show seems like a comedy, but it quickly sobers up and tries to be an action flick. Then it fades into pseudo-horror like the previous mentioned "Alien", then tries to get back on track but just meanders in science-fiction territory. The reason that it stays somewhat on track is that it is about 90 minutes long, certainly long enough to establish a reasonable plot. Although some might consider it a spoiler to say that most of the crew winds up on the other side of eternity, it's not really, especially since their deaths consume most of the film. That is, except for the shower scenes. Yep, plenty of naked flesh to go around, and no point for it save for audience share, I guess. However, it was made in the early 80s, so what's there isn't particularly flattering, and that goes for the rest of the animation as well. For an OVA, it's suprising in that it strongly resembles television quality animation circa 1988 or so.
Despite my negative ramblings, the story is coherant, and it is stronger than most OVA plotlines in more recent anime offerings. Its primary disappoints lie in the questions left unanswered. Since the Solonoids are all women, are they clones? Hermafrodites? Could they have at one time been a part of the Paranoid race? None of these tangents even comes up; it's just as very basic science-fiction story that keeps itself going by letting the audience guess who's next to get offed. Its entertainment value would probably be best at the rental level--I can't imagine watching it again intentionally, but it's better than some of the anime alternatives out there at Hollywood Video on a Saturday night.
Gal Force: Eternal Story -- violence, nudity -- C+