"KO CENTURY BEAST WARRIORS was hailed on its release in Japan as "The first of a bright new wave of OAVs" and quickly won fans in the West for its blend of slapstick comedy, teen romance and eco-adventure. Now it's available in the UK from the ANIME UK COLLECTION, the first own-label release by the team behind ANIME UK MAGAZINE."
"The age-old battle between good and evil gets a new twist in KO CENTURY BEAST WARRIORS. Humans have exhausted their own planet with pollution and are looking for a new home. They come to the lands of the Beasts, genetically engineered part-human, part-animal creatures, in search of a mighty power source known as GAIA, which will enable them to conquer the Beasts and take over their world for human use. However, the Humans too have been genetically altered down the centuries and their technology is so arcane as top be almost like magic."
"Our heroes, teenage tiger Wan, mermaid princess Meima, future bird Tribe chief Badd Mint, and six-year old Yuni Charm Password, are pitted against two of the mightiest "sorcerers" of the Human fleet, the incredibly arrogant and cruel V-daan and his cold, calculating partner V-zhon, and their miniature demon sidekick Akumako."
"In the race to find GAIA, both sides are assisted by amazing mecha - giant robots, cybernetic creatures and vast computers of immense power. Yet, in the end, the traditional values of courage, loyalty and friendship win the day, and good triumphs over evil - or does it?"
Copyright: Project 84/Movic Language Format: English Language Running time: 90 mins Certificate: PG Label: Anime UK Catalogue no: PAR 50010 Price: £12.99 Release Date: 25th July 1994
Friends may think I'm over critical of what I watch, and even what I praise, but there's no escaping the fact that there's only a finite amount of anime in the world that I would deem worthy of watching. Fortunately, KO Century Beast Warriors is one of them....
Best described as anthropomorphic slapstick, sprinkled liberally with mecha-action (read: robots!) and a bizarre 'dance' soundtrack, KO Century Beast Warriors chronicles the adventures of a group of 'Beasts' (humans who have gained the ability to take on aspects of various animals) in their efforts to reach the mysterious Gaia before the non-Beast humans.
It always puzzled me why this never made it big on the fan circuit as Project-B4's character designs help contribute to the impeccable animation, with as much attention to design and detail (if not more) as you'd expect to find in any other high-grade OAV series.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I'm expecting the dub (this review is based on a fan sub a friend sent me) to be comparable with the majority of other titles currently available in the UK, but sincerely hope I'm proved wrong - which I will be if all the voice actors and actresses are up to the insane standards of gentleman Jim Swallow.
Whether the dub ends up being good or bad, this is one release I'd urge everyone to buy, as it's one of the few even I would consider buying if I had the money. [Kanji Bates]
The news that Helen McCarthy was going to release KO Beast Century was surprising. Helen was going to enter a very competitive market. Dubbing anime can be really expensive, so where was the money coming from? But at least Helen would do a good job.
Before the tape arrived, rumours were flying about. Stories about engineers making mistakes, comparisons to Nuku Nuku were made, so it was with a heavy heart that this tape was played. It was going to be the most difficult video I have had to review. I knew what the people were trying to achieve, but also I had to bear in mind that the fans really want to know what it is like. As Kanji Bates reviewed it above, I will only comment on Helen's dub.
It isn't as bad as the rumours stated, it's OK, but it isn't the best dub in the world. It looks amateurish, but then that is exactly what it is. I think that Helen must have recruited everyone she knew, into being voice actors. Some do very well, others don't do so well. Quality of the dub is very variable, some bits don't lip sync. Other characters sound flat with little inclination in their voices.
KO Beast is a wonderful piece of anime, but I am afraid that Helen's dub doesn't do it credit. Everyone who was involved with the UK dub deserves a big pat on the back.
However, I am afraid that the cards were stacked against them from the start, you can't dub on the cheap. Helen may not have to make a profit selling videos, but I really don't know if she will sell enough to cover her costs.
Personally I would have preferred a subtitled release, as it would have been easier to do and thus better quality, and would have pleased the fans. KO Beast is a strange title which I love, but I don't think the mass market is ready for such a title. And I can't see anime fans buying a dubbed tape.
Having been so negative, it does have some good points, Jim Swallow deserves a medal, has he really never been a voice actor before? The translation was also very good. The dub is really the only part that lets it down which is a pity. [Steve Whitcher]