Plot: Seven ex-cons have been released from death row on the grounds that they become an elite crime fighting squadron, the Wild 7. They have no limits, and no laws apply to them. The only thing that they need to do is follow orders. However, when the world around them become increasingly corrupt, the line between criminal and officer gets blurred beyond recognition. Are the Wild 7 nothing more than brutes needed to weed out the worst criminals, or are they truly the only ones who care about true justice?
Breakdown: By all intents and purposes, this is a mindless 80’s action flick plain and simple, even though it was made in the mid-nineties. However, I will gladly give it more credit than that.
Granted, many 80’s action heroes never seem to have laws or rules applying to them (Most of the time it just seems like a “You got the job done? Well, let’s forgot those 67 felonies that you just committed then!”) but these guys actually are criminals from drug runners to murderers, and they do anything possible to get the job done. This includes blowing the heads off of numerous people and bombing the living hell out of a building.
Despite their harsh manner of crime fighting, they do everything that they can to ensure that innocent bystanders don’t get hurt.
The plot is interesting, but the delivery falls flat in several areas. Also, there are several instances where I was very confused. For instance, one character puts a gun to his head and insinuates that he’s going to kill himself, but we cut away to the villain getting away and it’s never shown or mentioned again. He appears shortly afterward perfectly fine.
Another part that bothered me is that this is two OVAs split into two fifty minute volumes. So, about 80 minutes, not counting credits. This is barely enough time to get in-depth into one character, let alone seven or more. Because of this, none of the characters are really fleshed out beyond maybe Hiba, the leader.
In fact, I barely remember any of their names. I’d recognize a couple of their character designs (The big burly guy with red hair and the explosives expert) but mostly they’re complete strangers. The most insight we get into them specifically is an 80s-esque freezeframe and a small clip of what they did in the past with their name and a snippet of their criminal record at the bottom. They all seem to have a good sense of loyalty, though.
Art and Animation: Art and animation are certainly dated, but the art never looked particularly bad to me, and the animation was never jarring.
Music: The music’s actually pretty nice and definitely nostalgic for old 80s action movies.
Voice Acting: English – Being an old 90’s English dub, I wasn’t expecting miracles and I definitely didn’t get them. Not all of the acting was bad, but a good chunk of it was. Oh and Joshua Seth and Wendee Lee, who would later play Tai and TK respectively in Digimon, are in this. Wendee Lee only gets a very small part in the first volume, but it was still cool to hear them back in the day.
Bottom Line: There’s not much in terms of substance here. The plot is pretty original, and the story’s fairly good, but the characters never really get fleshed out much and it’s very much an old action flick. I love old action flicks, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
Additional Information and Notes: Wild 7 was directed by Kiyoshi Egami and produced by Animate and Studio Senkan. It was based on a 48 volume manga of the same name by Mikiya Mochizuki. A 13 episode series proceeded this in 2002 called Wild 7: Another, but I’ve never been able to find it anywhere, and a live-movie was released in 2011. Wild 7 is currently licensed on the US by Enoki Films.
Recommended Audience: No sex or nudity, but there is gore aplenty (including one laughable instance) and many instances of violence. Also, it might glorify ex-cons, if that bothers you. 15+
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