Area 88: Complete Collection
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes there's enough of a story here to keep the plot moving smoothly along but at its core, Area 88 is an action show that borrows some from some of the more memorable moments in big budget films such as Top Gun and Behind Enemy Lines.
As a bit of a fighter aircraft buff myself, I was quite enthralled with the accurate aircraft specs/ renditions featured in the program but make no mistake, fighter plane knowledge isn't a requisite for enjoying the viewing experience.
The story is technically told through the eyes of a photographer who arrives to the mercenary Middle Eastern air base on a bit of an ulterior motive mission again involving the betrayal mentioned above. I'll refrain from diving too deeply into the plot as most of the fun in the series is following along as the story-layers are unraveled like a proverbial onion.
If you've read along this far in the review, hopefully the reason for revisiting this franchise as often as has been done is becoming clearer. The core of the show involves aerial combat scenes and a near constant dose of sheer dog fighting goodness. While advances in animation technology/ computer generated imaging benefit the industry as a whole, there is certainly ample opportunity to show off just how far things have come in Area 88.Read more ›
Shin Kazama, an orphan, was on track to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a commercial pilot. As the story starts, he is serving a three-year contract as a mercenary fighter pilot at Area 88, an air base in the middle of the desert. How he wound up there is revealed over the course of the series.
Each dangerous mission brings him closer to the $1.5 million required to terminate the contract and buy his freedom, but also changes his soul. The series does a very good job of covering that ground. It excels at (you could say wallows in) the angst-y, emotional drama that made Area 88 a favorite of mine back when the manga was being released in the U.S. The over the top melodrama could be too much for some (check out the poems used as previews for the next episode), but I loved it.
The animation is nicely done and I liked the story selection. The planes and air battles are all CG rendered and they look good, but I think they lose some of the character that the earlier, hand animated series had.
The characters are mostly true to their presentations in the manga and earlier series. As a plus to viewers watching the series in English, ADV used the same voice actors in the earlier series as they did in this one. If you watch both, the characters maintain their voices.
They've taken a minor character from the manga, Shinjo `Rocky' Makoto (a photographer) and used him as the focus of this series. I can see why they did, as it helps introduce viewers to the base and characters. But it also makes Shin sort of a supporting actor in his own story.Read more ›
The military fighter jets were kick azz, let me state that right away. The air combat was well done. The characters? A bit stiff. The storyline? Can't go wrong with the lost love plot, but it's nothing viewers haven't seen before.
Area 88 isn't something I'm interested in watching again -- a bit boring all around, and not something that would entice me to watch again. I also wouldn't pay the $40 price for the set; the pricing should be more towards $30.
The DVD's are an okay anime offering, with a classic storyline and modern military fighters. Again, the characters are a bit stiff, so be warned.
with purpose and definition and have a taste for technically accurate (if
slightly over-the-top) aerial combat, Area 88 is the show for you.
It might be a bit brief and get a tad maudlin in places, but it will keep
you entertained from beginning to end, with all questions answered and all
plot threads neatly wrapped up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's not to love?! This was in great condition, and the anime is just amazing.Published 6 months ago by CaptainMeri
A dated cartoon movie series that has yet to fail to entertain me. If you like imaginative Japanese cartoons about aircraft, mostly jets being used in war, this is one series you... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Tsavah
Its Awesome! I wish they can continue the show with the same actors!Published 22 months ago by TimE
I did enjoy this series quite a bit. It is missing a lot of the angst of the manga and 80's OVA, but it's an interesting interpretation with great visuals. Read morePublished on March 2, 2011 by LastCubScout
Area 88 is a 12-episode anime series about a Japanese pilot, Shin Kazama, who is forced to fly warplanes as a mercenary. Read morePublished on January 17, 2011 by mcsidious
Why anyone wouldn't like this is beyond me! This is a really well made anime about a pilot flying for a mercenary unit in the kingdom of Aslan(Turkish for Lion). Read morePublished on August 28, 2010 by J. R. Casey
I saw the second version first, to avoid being prejudiced by the first version. (Spoilers ahead.) The original version gives a stern warning, already alluded to in ALL QUIET ON THE... Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Serval