Kouichi dreams of being a hero, but in reality, he's a punching bag for every bully on the block. His life flatlines when the mysteriously naked Emi crash lands on his pitiful existence, thrusting Kouichi into the middle of an intergalactic showdown between rival races of self-regenerating Machinas. Through his death-bed partnership with the Linebarrel mecha, Kouichi gains the strength to stand up to his tormentors and crush the alien invasion force that's determined to conquer Earth. There's just one problem. All this newfound power and special attention from nearly-naked babes is turning Kouichi into a jerk. His friends can't stand him, he makes his dream girl sick, and those aliens want to kill him extra dead! Kouichi may have the mechanized muscle to save the world, but he has much to learn about being a true "Hero of Justice".
The sci-fi adventure Linebarrels of Iron
(2008) opens in 2019, as a gargantuan mecha
plummets from space, crashing into the woods in Japan. Designated junior high nerd Kouichi is taking a shortcut through those woods to fetch lunch for a clutch of bullies when the robot-suit crashes. He awakens next to naked babe Emi, who helps him establish a link with the mecha
Linebarrel. Kouichi discovers he is the Factor, the human destined to pilot the robot-suit--although Emi explains that the mecha
killed him when it crashed and has restored him to life. For the first time, Kouichi feels powerful: he declares himself a Champion of Justice and wreaks havoc in the nearby city as he tries to prove it. Before he can do too much damage, he's recruited by the Juda Corporation to join the fight against the evil leader of the Katou Organization, who's out to rule the world. Linebarrels of Iron
veers erratically between fan service slapstick and formula mecha
battles. The setup at the Juda Corporation suggests a harem comedy, but Kouichi is an arrogant jerk who lacks the good-natured charm of Tenchi in Tenchi Muyo!
or the hangdog appeal of Keitaro in Love, Hina
, and the gratuitous nudie shots interrupt the fumbling progress of the story. Masamitsu Hidaka's pedestrian direction keeps the battle scenes from generating much excitement as an apparently endless supply of weightless robots from the Katou Organization get cut in half by Kouichi and his understandably reluctant allies from Juda. Linebarrels of Iron
ranks among the least impressive offerings from the prestigious Gonzo studio. (Rated TV MA: nudity, violence, risqué humor, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
(1. The Iron and the Boy, 2. Justice Barreling Along, 3. Azure Terror, 4. The Price of Justice, 5. Guidepost to Tomorrow, 6. A Radiant Night, 7. The Worst After School Hours Ever, 8. Playful Devils, 9. The Black Chamber, 10. Overdrive, 11. Supernova, 12. From the Tropics with Love)