Friday, May 4, 2012

OBSCURE O.V.A.S, *Variable Geo

The 90s were a smorgasbord for anime based on fighting games. While the Street Fighter II movie is pretty much the Citizen Kane of that crop, one of the better attempts was Variable Geo. This was one of the first all-female fighting games ever, and to sweeten the fan service even further, all the characters are sexy waitresses. So, try to imagine Hooters girls battling Playboy bunnies!

Set in a version of Japan where one of the biggest spectator sports is weirdly not kids card games, a major series of fights called Variable Geo, or “VG” is all the rage. This is where waitresses from different restaurants compete for the major prize of ten million dollars, and whatever real estate they want. Yuka is one of the best in the nation, and is cited to be the next champ for the upcoming championship. However, Yuka’s fighter friend Satomi(who is basically the Ken to Yuka’s Ryu)is also eyeing the prize, mostly to get the funds to pay for her sick brother’s operation. While all this is going on, the main company sponsoring VG, the Jahana Group, is really secretly testing all their contestants as candidates for a body that the spirit of the company’s deceased female president can be placed in. There’s several subplots with rival factors, all of which have ninja girls, plus other contestants getting into VG fights, most of which would probably make sense to anyone who has played the actual video game would be familiar with. But ultimately, it all comes down to mind-controlled battle waitresses and bio-genetic test subjects meeting up in a large showdown at the end, which of course concludes with the two main heroines about to finally have their epic fight just before the closing credits.

Despite alot of the criticism that fighting game anime gets, Variable Geo actually managed to pull of a good story, at least for a ecchi-fueled action OVA. They show the characters fighting for more than just the prize, like Yuka’s wanting to fight because she feels an empathic connection through battle, and Satomi wanting to save her brother. Even the stereotypical bunnygirl Erina is trying to get the money soley to bring her grandmother home to Japan. The fight sequences aren’t cheap either though, and lots of ripped outfits throughout the series. There was a hentai “sequal” to this titled VG Neo, which probably delves alot more into nudity than your average prude could deal with. The original is worth at least watching. The only downside is that the video games that its based on have never been released in English.

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