Byston Well Monogatari: Garzey no Tsubasa is a notoriously bad OVA. It was brought to us by J.C. Staff and the creator of Gundam, Tomino Yoshiyuki. Is it as bad as people make it out to be? Is it, at least, entertainingly bad? Let’s have a look.
We open with our protagonist, Chris, riding off on his motorcycle. While on his way home, the bell necklace he wears starts ringing and he finds himself being whisked away leaving his clothes and bike behind. He winds up in a fantasy world just in time to assist a slave revolt. With the assistance of magic wings he has to help lead the slaves to freedom while consulting with his real world self.
There are a lot of problems with the story from a narrative perspective. The principal one being that it’s terrible of explaining anything. Why was Chris whisked away? Why is he in two places at once? What do his little ankle wings do besides letting him fly and better cosplay as Prince Namor? I know that flight would be a handy power, but given that some of his opponents are on flying mounts you wouldn't think it would be all that useful. Why is the summoning magic a strictly one-way trip? All of these details were apparently deemed unimportant. Incidentally, Chris existing in two places at once doesn’t really contribute anything to the story. Although it is hilarious and leads to some funny dialogue. Which does bring me to another narrative issue. The dialogue is frequently complete gibberish. Which is pretty funny, but it’s also not intended to be. The ending is completely nonsensical too. Funny nonsense, but still nonsense.
The characters in this aren’t that bad. The big issue with them is that they have nothing to them. But, unlike a lot of the truly wretched anime I’ve reviewed, they aren’t obnoxious in their shallowness. They’re just cardboard. The character interaction scenes are the least interesting to watch in the OVA, not because they're terrible, just because the big story moments and action sequences are full of so much that’s just off the wall stupid and unintentionally hilarious but the scenes that are purely interaction are just people droning on about nonsense.
The art in this series is probably the most unintentionally funny part of it. The sense of perspective is wonky. There are points where the art doesn’t convey what’s happening in the narrative. To give an example, various characters keep bringing up Chris’ supposedly nasty bruises but we only ever see one and even that one disappears after a moment. The big villain for most of the series also has the most uproariously funny way of dismounting. He hops off of whatever his stead is while it's rolling over onto its back. It makes no sense, it’s incredibly stupid but it’s also a really funny sight that needs to be seen. I kind of recommend watching the OVA if only for those scenes. The action scenes are a complete, barely decipherable mess. Which, oddly enough, can also be really funny.
This is one of those series where the actors just don’t seem to care. Iwanaga Tetsuya, Okamoto Maya, Hisakawa Aya Touma Yumi, they all deliver their lines like they’re tired and just want to get it over with. To be fair, if I was handed this script, I wouldn’t bother putting in an effort either and they aren’t painfully bad. They’re just weak performances. The music is the best part of the series, in terms of doing what it’s actually supposed to. It was composed by Sagisu Shiro, who also worked on the score for Bleach. It’s not anything special, but it’s perfectly passable.
There really isn’t any.
That’s Byston Well Monogatari: Garzey no Tsubasa. I can understand why it’s as notorious as it is. The story is complete rubbish. The characters are weak. The acting is weak. The artwork is quite dreadful. However, it really isn’t one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Even ignoring the entertainment factor that can be derived from its unintentional hilarity. And I do kind of recommend watching it for the same reason I’d suggest watching Galerians or Corpse Party. While it is completely incompetent, it’s incompetent in a way that’s oh so amusing. My final rating is still going to be a 2/10, since it still does fail pretty heavily at what it’s trying to do.
Published by Mischa A