Review – Garzey’s Wing

An anime that puts most others released since 1996 to shame. I am here to talk about Tsui no Sora Garzey’s Wing.

"Show me the ancient Japanese man's spirit!"

“Show me the ancient Japanese man’s spirit!”

Garzey’s Wing is a three episode OVA from 1996, taking place in both our world and the fictional land of “Byston Well,” which is apparently a world between heaven and hell (but not our Earth).  This anime was written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, the man behind the Gundam franchise – he also used the Byston Well world in the 1983 anime Aura Battler Dunbine.

The story follows Chris Chiaki, a high school graduate who just wants to go to his class reunion pool party. But alas, when the supernatural swan flies down and rips a part of your soul out of your body while driving by a shrine –

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– and somehow transports it to an alternate world, a damper may be put in your plans. Or at least it would if anything in this anime made sense. After having one instance of himself swept away to Byston Well, his other self continues to live on normally, and they can somehow communicate with each other as well. Byston Well Chris shows up in the middle of a slave uprising, complete with dinosaurs, a fairy, glowing wings magically attached to his feet, and countless people asking things along the lines of “Is that Garzey’s Wing?” or “Oh my gosh, that skill! Is he the holy warrior?” Chris finds out that the bells one of the women used somehow resonated with the necklace he wore and he was somehow called from Earth… yeah, it doesn’t make much sense. It is also stated that his appearance somehow helps them to escape even though he barely does anything once he arrives.

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No, there is not a good reason for him to be naked in this scene.

The story continues with Chris aiding the Maetomius* tribe in their Oregon Trail-esque trek to find the Baraju Tree for some unexplained reason. It is also stated several times that they made their move because it was a leap year. BUT THEY NEVER SAY WHY IT ACTUALLY MATTERS THAT IT’S A LEAP YEAR. There are also several terms and names thrown around with no actual explained relevance to what is going on – the worst is the repeated mention of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, a ninth century Japanese prince, whose mention over and over again would not be so bad if his name was shorter or if he was actually a character or relevant to the story.

*Quick note – I’m guessing on the spelling of most of these names. Most of them also sound like something a five year old would come up with.

For some nitpicking – the Maetomius tribe’s entire battle strategy seems to rely on Chris’ unreliable flying abilities, an explosive powder, and some giant who shows up halfway through – more on him later.There is also a point where someone from Byston Well mentions gunpowder even though there are no guns. Not to mention that Byston Well is never actually explained to Chris or the viewer, so it seems like he just ended up somewhere. Somehow.

All in all, the story is beyond terrible and is utterly pathetic. If you try to keep track of everything that is going on or being said, you will merely get a headache. It isn’t worth the effort.

Character-wise, Garzey’s Wing is a joke. Byston Well Chris is a crybaby who uses plot weapons to take down foes with mere kendo skill and plot armor to remain alive in the middle of a war. Earth Chris feeds him information via telepathy (even though they both talk out loud) on how to make things such as timed fuses and other things, while also going to the class reunion pool party that Byston Well Chris complains about missing.

"You certainly got sexy."

“You certainly got sexy.”

Besides Chris, not many of the other characters actually matter. In fact, none of them feel important for anything besides advancing the plot. One example is Sata Urod, a giant who shows up halfway through the anime, can fly, and sounds like a poor attempt to impersonate Tom Hardy’s version of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. He literally says that he wants to watch the Maetomius tribe more than assist them, yet continues to fly around and blow up their enemies for no particular reason.

“Let’s not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne.”

“Let’s not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne Chiaki.”

The side characters basically include a large cast of characters that will do one of five things:

  1. Complain about Byston Well Chris not helping them enough (Leelince)
  2. Thank Byston Well Chris for helping them (most of the Maetomius tribe)
  3. Talk in the background about the war in terms that make no sense  (Keras Keita)
  4. Sort of help Byston Well Chris/apologize to him (Falan Fa and Hassan)
  5. Do nothing of value (everyone Earth Chris talks to)

The main antagonist is some guy named Zaguso who’s trying to stop Chris because he was commanded to, and he also seems to have a thing for Hassan.  So basically, there is barely anything even worth mentioning about characters. There is no character development, there is no logic to character actions, and they are not even remotely interesting. 

Visually, the anime is certainly not atrocious, but it’s not any good either – of course, you do need to take into account that this anime is from 1996. The backgrounds and character animation is normally fine, but frequently suffers from poorly animated battle sequences and… this:

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There are also some laughable points where a static character is moved across the screen without actually being animated. Besides scenes like those, there are not any massive quality drops in animation – but then again, it wasn’t anything amazing to begin with.

On to a big visual problem, plenty of the design options make no sense. While the use of dinosaurs is excusable to some extent, all of the horses seem to be unicorns – not your typical shining white horse with a silver horn, but they look just like regular horses with horns. Why? Who knows. There was also some pseudo-hydra formed by these things that were cannibalizing each other. For some reason.

"Why can't you do something for us, Mr. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto?"

“Why can’t you do something for us, Mr. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto?”

But now, let me talk about what makes this anime so special – the combination of the script and voice acting. It’s quite difficult to sum up the nature of the voice acting, so let me give an analogy; it’s like laughing at someone who trips on nothing and falls flat on their face.

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“That means if I act like I was in my world, I may die immediately.”

The combination of the writing and vocal delivery makes for some hilarious dialogue – let me give you a few examples.

“Did the maidens of the Maetomius tribe also escape?”
“Ah, but if they didn’t… *takes a swig of wine* then how did Garzey’s Wing appear?”
“Indeed, yes.”

“I hear myself calling to me!”
“Oh yeah, morning practice?”

“I am being chased by a real army!”
“Huh? I know. I will do that here.”

“Who are you talking to?”
“Myself, in my own world.”
“Is there another you in your world, Lord Chris?”
“It seems like it.”

“Sorry, but the injured will have to act as a decoy for the enemy, it will buy us some time.”
“Are we using those people as a decoy?”

And these don’t even include the brilliant one-liners, such as “I have bruises all over my body because I had to fight naked.” or “I must somehow make sense of our convoluted situations.” or “There is a war going on; even dinosaurs are here, and they use bows and arrows. My sword is unbelievably dull.” or “Oh my god it felt like I was having a dream!” or… okay, you get the idea.

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“What? Everybody’s being more open with you?”

Altogether, Garzey’s Wing is a complete disaster that still manages to be enjoyable because of a hilariously bad dub, which is frankly the only redeeming factor of the entire anime. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to watch the subbed version of this – of course, that’s assuming that the Japanese dub is at least marginally better. In summation, Garzey’s Wing sucks but you should still watch it.

Story – 1
Characters – 1
Visuals – 3
Sound – 1
Enjoyment – 8

Overall – ? (Objectively, a 1, but the dub makes the whole thing worthwhile)
Recommendation: Watch (conditionally)
If you enjoy B-movies or other things that are so bad they’re hilarious, then watch this. Otherwise, at least try to watch the first episode – it’s on Youtube, so you’d lose nothing but a half an hour of your time at the worst.

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7 thoughts on “Review – Garzey’s Wing

    • While I may have exaggerated a bit, Garzey’s Wing is at least more enjoyable because of the dub and script. Arata was just generic, predictable, and uninteresting.

  1. Rai says:

    “I have bruises all over my body because I had to fight naked” and the various references to Mr. Yamato Takeru no Mikoto are some of the greatest moments in anime. So bad it’s good.

  2. My mother got this on DVD in a bargain bin around the time I was in second or third grade, so I guess around 2004 or 2005. Seeing Chris run around naked with wings coming out of his feet as a child was “surreal,” to say the least.

    Interestingly enough this series was based on about five Tomino penned light novels. There is a drama CD, which is where the cover of Central Park Media’s 2005 reprints is from. There was also a 1995 PC game using primitive CG graphics. It looked kinda like a Fire Embelm styled game. I found a Japanese review of it but well,its Japanese…

    Last but not least, the Japanese DVD for it comtains a 30 minute interview with Yoshiyuki Tomino. I can’ speak Japanese, but based on the video itself it’s, well, Tomino being Tomino.

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