Tenkuu Danzato Skelter Heaven/Skelter+Heaven Review

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Rating: 0/10

Plot: The world has been visited by a giant flying squid (It’s not a hentai, I promise) and it’s up to some NERV-like organization and a group of girls in mechs as well as one guy in an airplane to take it down.

Breakdown: This OVA….is……..ew.

First of all, this OVA is a mere 18 minutes long including opening and ending credits complete with their own themes, so we’re REALLY pressed for time here. A good anime could come up with something at least decent to show in such a short amount of time, but no…..just no.

A rule of thumb when it comes to series that are so short is that, if the cast is large or hell even moderately sized, it’s best to flesh out one character or at most two to at least get some characterization in there to make us care. Skelter+Heaven decided to tackle this problem by fleshing out absolutely no one.

We have a group of five girls none of whom I can remember the name of offhand. The only info we get on any of them is given in short blurbs in the character descriptions during the theme song. Oh and that the main girl, brown haired chick, is in love with some airmen/captain/whatever guy who also gets no real characterization besides, I guess, that he’s serious about his job.

The girls in question are artificially created humans meant for the sole purpose of piloting the mechs and fighting, I guess. Why do they need to be created for this? What are they really? Never explained!

Since this OVA is so short, I can easily give you the play by play.

We spend the first minute of the OVA watching the sun over earth. Because when every minute counts, waste one.

The military is responding to some disturbance over the radio before we get our OP. Because wasting yet another nearly two minutes on an OP is also smart. That’s three minutes out of this 18 minute OVA that have been completely pointless.

About the OP itself, the song, Naked Heart, is bearable, but terribly generic. However, it loses that title during the final line where the singer seems to huff helium and then stub their toe. The backgrounds for the song are some of the worst I’ve ever seen. We basically just get visual novel cut out pictures of the girls, and most of the shots look like they’re in poor quality for some reason. Not only is this annoying, but it puts you in the wrong mood. It makes you feel like you’re getting ready to play a visual novel, not watch an anime.

We get the aforementioned blubs, which don’t really explain much outside of their names, blood types, height, weight and birthday. You know, the important information.

For those wondering, the girls are Misaki, the kinda pushy one who also seems to like main guy and wants to prove herself, Rin, our main girl whom I already explained, Konomi, our glasses girl, Midori who…..does archery once, and Ayaka whom……You know…I don’t think she does a damn thing during this entire OVA now that I think about it….

After the OP is over, we see a news reporter talking about the strange object appearing in the sky and for some reason, he keeps repeating his two lines about it over and over and over.

Cut to NERV headquarters…..it might as well be that, where we meet main guy, main girl and Gendo Ikari. He’s never given a name and acts pretty much exactly like Gendo Ikari, so he’s Gendo Ikari.

It’s also here where we get our first glimpse of the squid monster. And boy…it is….something.

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Look at that…..thing…..that exists…..That is…..a thing of some sort…….yup.

The weirdest part about this squid thing is that it is insanely still. It never moves unless prompted by attack. Even then, it doesn’t really move. Things on it move, but it never moves. It also never makes any noise whatsoever. It’s such an awkward enemy. And how Gendo reacts to the squid, it’s like it’s a common occurrence for this to happen anyway…..so……the squid is basically an angel from Evangelion….Hm.

They want to call out the girls to fight the squid, so let’s see what they’re up to. Ayaka answers a message, Midori’s shooting a bow that shoots insanely slow arrows and Misaki and Konomi are having the most boring mech duel I’ve ever seen. Not only are they moving way too slow to even justify being practice, but the sound effects during the scene don’t match what they’re doing. She smacks Konomi’s mech’s arms with her mech’s arms and it makes a sound like she’s punching a pillow.

This scene perfectly encapsulates everything that is wrong with the art in this show. The character designs are passable, but the animation is incredibly stilted and seems like it’s missing a lot of inbetweens. You can easily tell this when Konomi turns her head when she’s lying on the ground. It practically jump cuts from looking ahead to looking to the side. The animations in the mouths are most notably awful because the mouths are way too big, oddly shaped and always seem to be missing inbetweens.

The CGI on its own isn’t the worst that I’ve ever seen, if you can believe that. However, when it’s put in scenes with traditional 2D animation, it looks like complete garbage. It’s like someone took the graphics for Reboot and tried to shove them in an anime. Believe it or not, we get even worse art and animation when the girls are piloting the mechs. See, the girls pilot the mechs externally, meaning the traditionally animated girls have to be forcibly merged into the CGI by making them in that awkward cel shaded CGI in mid shots and clashing regular animation on closeups.

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Some shots during this fight aren’t even finished because we see Konomi, or at least who I think is her, in full CGI with blank eyes and pink hair when she pins Misaki.

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That’s not the only shot like that either, because Misaki is fully CGI in a couple of quick shots too, but at least it mostly looks like her.

For reference, here’s how Konomi looked a few seconds earlier.

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Cut to Rin taking a shower and flashing back to five years ago when I guess the girls were first going through the training program. Their training in this specific flashback is to sit on a seat that is propelled up and down while the girls moan and contort their faces.

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But their careers as prostitutes didn’t work out, so they decided to be mech pilots instead.

At headquarters, the girls are briefed on the situation. They devise the brilliant plan of finding the enemy’s weak point and attacking it for massive damage and we cut to the squid….maybe doing something?…..It moved its tentacle! Maybe it’ll destroy something!……Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand….

Nope.

Moving on.

As everyone heads out, Misaki bitches to main guy about being the second attack line instead of the first, which is Rin. She also seems to hint that there is already something between Rin and main guy. When he refuses to change the order, claiming she’s too impulsive and acts too much on her own, she impulsively runs off to her mech to prove that she can do the job on her own.

The girls launch in their mechs and head towards the squid. Misaki disobeys orders and attacks first, so the others are forced to change their plans because of it. They make a slight bit of damage to the squid, but it soon starts slowly moving its tentacle back at the girls who apparently never thought that the damn thing might retaliate if it gets injured.

One of the girls is able to get away, but Misaki is swatted off the squid. They’re in even bigger trouble when the slow as hell tentacle starts coming towards Midori and Misaki. It smashes into Midori and kills her. Hey, maybe it was a bad friggin’ idea to have the girls pilot these mechs without a proper cockpit, eh?

The squid starts growing smaller tentacles from its bigger tentacles…I don’t know why. And main guy gets attacked by them in his plane. He’s thrown but I think he’s saved by Rin. I say that because I can’t see her actually doing it in the animation. We just see her mech on his plane in the next scene and main guy points out that she saved him.

The smaller tentacles rip off the leg on Rin’s mech, which somehow causes her immense pain and as she’s screaming we cut to black without a fade or anything and just as quickly cut to a flashback of Rin being created by Gendo. Apparently, whatever the girls are have intelligence and physical capabilities that far surpass humans. Would’ve been nice to have seen that being practiced because they all seem like they’re no smarter if not less so than your average human. However, he worries about them becoming too smart and strong and is cut off after he thinks about what would happen if they were to turn against them. Then we cut back to the present. Well, thanks for that.

Just a few seconds after cutting back to Rin, we cut immediately to black again to insert another flashback. Editing of this OVA is courtesy of a blind mentally challenged velociraptor.

The flashback is of Rin asking main guy how long her estimated life span is since it’s obviously different from that of a normal human. He doesn’t know. The end.

Back with Rin, her mech’s arm inexplicably comes off in mid-air. Am I watching Discount Mech Warriors?

After some awful lipsyncing where the lips don’t stop moving even after the speaking parts end, we see that Misaki is still alive, perfectly fine and still fighting somehow even though we were lead to believe that she died with Midori before. *shrug*

Now main guy is getting a poorly edited flashback to all the good times with the girls and goes in to attack the squid, but Rin stops him to tell him that she hasn’t been following orders because she has to. She does it because she loves him. Aw. If I cared about this, I would maybe feel an emotion right now.

The girls charge in to attack without main guy’s assistance. They make it past the small tentacles and cut into its head where we get the only time jarring editing actually seems to have a positive impact. The music and sound all cut out and the shot turns to the black and white when they cut into his head. I’ll just assume that was purely on accident.

To Gendo’s surprise and seeming horror, they make it into the ‘core’ of the squid. Seeing as how he’s been smiling at their losing battle this entire time….I’ll assume he actually wanted the girls to fail for some reason.

Rin says she’s going to attack the core. Not for humanity’s sake, but because she loves and wants to protect main guy. That seems like it’s supposed to be romantic or sweet, but it just comes off as dickish. Let me also remind you that Rin is technically five years old or so. Just because she has an adult body and supposedly higher intelligence doesn’t change that fact.

She readies her attack and we cut to black again. (Rrgh) This time it’s merely as an excuse to not show the attack as we cut straight from her preparing to attack to the squid to the squid….inking itself and I guess dying.

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After that, we cut to all of the mechs and everything covered in ketchup—Oh excuse me ‘blood’, and we’re left to assume that everyone died, expect Misaki, who is somehow just getting treatment at the medical bay, and main guy. However, it’s implied that because of the ‘failure’ of the girls (yeah, I don’t understand either) it’s fully main guy’s fault and Gendo deletes him from his phone, which I guess is supposed to imply something bad. Either that he got fired or will be killed. I really don’t know; deleting someone from your phone is more like an angry breakup act.

One year later, we see more news footage about the squid leading into sightings of multiple identical squids above Japan now. Then we cut to seeing hundreds of those squids flying over the city, zoom out on the earth….The end.

Oh no wait, we have to have more visual novel shots for the ED set to a song that is just awful and takes up another minute and half of runtime. The actual end.

So….what? Are we left to assume that the world is doomed now? If all the girls but Misaki died and main guy was let go or killed, doesn’t that mean the squids will take over the world now? Doesn’t that mean this entire OVA was completely pointless then?

Bottomline: This OVA in its entirety was a promotional OVA for the Skelter+Heaven Playstation game; a visual novel and battle simulator game where you play the main guy and get to pick which one of the girls is your romantic interest. I have no clue how good the game is or even if it’s an H-game, but if they thought this piece of crap would improve sales of the game, they must have squids for brains. If anything, I have never not wanted to play a game more in my entire life.

There’s only so many excuses you can get from the fact that this OVA is 18 minutes long, and you pretty much take most of the excuses away because they seem to want to waste time if anything. Four and half minutes were completely wasted just on pointless space shots and the OP and ED when they could’ve been used for at least a little focus on the characters themselves, the world, the organization they work for, these squid things etc.

They pretty much did every last thing wrong. No characterization whatsoever, plot points shot into our faces and backstory wedged into completely unrelated scenes, awful editing, poor organization, a ridiculous story that baffles me with how much it seemingly rips off of Evangelion, bad art and horrific animation, forgettable character and mech designs, poorly integrated CGI, awful textures on the CGI, boring and stupid battles, poorly made OP and ED, bad to passable music, sound effects that didn’t seem quite right a lot of the time, poor sound mixing with the sound effects and music commonly being too loud, lackluster to bad backgrounds, terrible lipsyncing and bored voice acting. I can’t think of one thing this OVA did right outside of being mercifully short.

Even if you did want to check this out, it’s really difficult to find a copy, especially one with English subs, so it’s just not worth it at all.

Recommended Audience: Mild nipple-less nudity, lots of blood but no gore, and that’s about it. 10+

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