Kishin Heidan

Volume 1 sleeve Volume 2 sleeve Volume 3 sleeve Volume 4 sleeve

Official Blurb:

"In the tradition of great Japanese Science Fiction Robot stories comes KISHIN HEIDAN - a series made using the latest in digital and electronic animation techniques for a truly mind blowing experience. Based on the novel by Masaki Yamada, this seven part OAV series mixes historial evidence with fictional weaponary to make for a spectacular, dramatic world and boasts some of the major talents woking in "anime" today. Director Takashi Ishiyama ("Dominion", "Karura- Mau") lends experience and broad perspective while character designer Masayuki Goto ("Tomoe-Ga-Yuku", "Gundam F91") creates fully rounded individual and memorable characters. Top conceptualist and mecha designer Kenji ("Silent Mobius") Yamazaki lends a hand and to top off the Kishin Heidan feel, musical director Kororu Wada ("Silent Mobius") scores a electrifying sountrack."

"Jam packed with shoot 'em up adventure, more hi-tech weaponary than you could shake an Usi at and non-stop action, KISHIN HEIDAN is the ultimate in sci-fi animation and destined to become an "anime" classic. Good against evil with a twist, catch the entire series to discover who will reign victorious in the fight for the planet."

Original Story:   Masaki Yamada
Director:         Takaaki Ishiyama
Character Design: Masayuki Goto
Copyright:        Masaki Yamada/Chuokoronsha/Pioneer LDC, inc.

VHS version:
Language:         English
Label:            Pioneer

Volume:           1              2              3              4
Running time:     60 mins        60 mins        60 mins        60 mins
Certificate:      12             PG             PG             PG
Catalogue no:     PIO 10009      PIO 10010      PIO 10013      PIO 10014
Price:            £12.99         £12.99         £12.99         £12.99
Release Date:     22nd May 1995  22nd May 1995  25th Sep 1995  25th Sep 1995


An astonishing SF anime series from Pioneer, set in an alternative 1940's period world where hostile power blocs face each other AND an alien invasion is in progress! The alien invaders are mostly androids, and with some difficulty several rival groups from Japan, Nazi Germany, etc (one of these being the KISHIN Corps) capture a few of the control components or 'modules' with which they can animate their own fighting robots; crude, gigantic, but still, in a 1940's world, highly effective war machines. At the outset, the hero, young Taishi Takamura has one of the modules, but it is soon seized from him and the Kishin Corps fights to get it back. There is a fascinating cast of characters ranging through children, Nazi spies, soldiers, inventors, heroes and villains, and the 'mecha', the robots and the special trains also have to be seen to be believed. There are elements of real history, and real issues such as the responsibility of scientists. The fast-paced action never lets up and, coupled with some well-scripted dubbing, makes for riveting viewing. Do watch this, and if you do, you may not want to return to mental chewing gum like Star-Trek. [Geoff Cowie]

This is Pioneer's entry into the giant robot genre. The setting is an alternate 1941 in which the Kishin Corps have been created to fight aliens who are attacking earth. The Kishin Corps have constructed giant machines to fight the alien attacks using modules retrieved from the aliens.

Unfortunately, only certain machine designs appear to work with the modules, and it comes as no surprise to any seasoned anime fan to find them resembling the traditional anime giant robot. The novelty here is that these machines may be controled by the advanced alien modules, but the robots themselves are constructed with 1940's technology. These are the first mecha I've ever come across that have to be crank started!

The story is that the Kishin Corps are busy defending the earth, but the Kanto army, in league with Nazi Germany are attempting to construct their own Kishin robot to assist their plans for world domination.

The animation and character and mecha design are all top notch, and the plot is entertainingly over the top. Mention must also be made of the excellent symphonic soundtrack, which complements the grandiose feel of the story nicely. Highly recommended. [Jonathan Weeks]