Thursday, 22 August 2013

Anime Review - Diatron 5 (Korea, 1985)


During the late 70s and early 80s the South Korean animation industry regarded the Japanese animation industry with somewhat envious eyes. While the Japanese were pouring out success stories like the Gundam series, Mazinger-Z, Getta robo etc, the Koreans only managed to either do the animations for western cartoon companies, or create poor quality pseudo-anime features.

Diatron 5 is one of these attempts at doing an anime-esque film.

Released in South Korea in 1985, Diatron 5 made its way westward not once, but twice during the late 1980s, firstly under the name "Space Transformers" (a horribly dubbed version originating from Hong Kong which made an attempt to cash in on the craze for Transformer toys in the west) and then again in the same year under the more suitable and less suck ass name of "Micro commando Diatron 5" (another fairly badly dubbed US release, which has to be said is superior to "Space Transformers" simply by virtue of the fact that the animation doesnt look like it was taken from a copied VHS video tape)

Diatron 5 is the name of a "super robot", the character model of which is a direct rip off of the "Machine Buffalo" toy from Takaras "Diaclone" toy line, (which also gave use the ultra awesome "Transformers" toy line...yeah baby!) , in fact, all the mecha in this film are direct rip offs of Diaclone toys, which is something these Korean attempts at anime like to do, a lot.

The storyline is thus....*face/palms* at the ready....

In the future, the Earth defence space station (called "Space Station Star Wars" in Space Transformers...*sigh*) monitors the passage of Halleys Comet as it passes near Earth.
Meanwhile, a mysterious assassin breaks into the home of "Ivy" (referred to simply as "Girl Genius" in Micro Commando, and said to be "the most talented girl in the world" in Space Transformers...what is never explained though in the horrid hack job redubs, is that "Ivy" has an amazingly developed sense of precognitism, meaning that she can sense telepathically if the Earth is in danger from attack..etc etc etc *face/palm*) and shoots her several times, but fails to kill her.
Meanwhile in space, the Earth defence command comes under attack by a gang of bad guys (I dunno, space pirates or something, its never really made clear..*face/palm*), who demand Earths immediate and unconditional surrender, taken totally by surprise, the Earth defence command gets its backside thrashed royally by the bad guys super robots (basically, Diaclone "Waruder" combiner robots).

Enter our hero, I forget his name (yes, it really doesnt matter one bit what he is called, this film is that shit) who is exceptionally concerned about Ivy's well being (he wants to fuck her) , however conventional medical help will do no good, as "Professor Ting" states, the bullets she was shot with were filled with some sort of bacteria which is now invading her body and heading towards her heart, and that giving her a massive dose of anti biotics to combat the infection at this stage would actually kill her instead. (What i really dont get about this plot development is, why bother with the bacteriological infection?, why not just use normal bullets, after all, the assassin did shoot her like five times, more than enough to kill the silly bint!... *face/palm*)

HOWEVER!, all hope is not lost, as Professer Ting has a new invention, a shrinking machine!!. He says the best way to fight the infection would be to miniaturise the "Diatron3" (Diaclones "Big Powered" toy) combat robot and sent it in to destroy the infection directly!!!1!!11!one!!!!...(so...definitely NOT a rip off of 1966s "Fantastic Voyage", starring Donald Pleasence and Raquel Welch then?...*face/palm*)

Yeah, so anyways, this plan goes to shit because the robot pilot of Diatron 3 is inept as fuck, so our hero volunteers to have himself shrunk down to micro size and go in for another go himself.

This is where the story gets proper fucked up, because inside Ivy's body, or at least how it is shown on screen, looks NOTHING like the internal organs of the human body.
As it turns out, the "bacteria" are nothing of the sort, and instead our hero finds himself confronted by an army consisting of the main bad guys sister, backed  up, rather oddly by a load of their "not-waruder" robots, green skinned horned demons with spears and a guy who looks like a green skinned Mr. Spock.
Needless to say, hero guy manages to defeat the bad guys in Ivy's body using the Diatron 5 robot, before then re-enlarging himself and heading into space to blow up the main bad guys ship as they run away in terror (wow, what an asshole, nothing like shooting someone in the back eh?).

Seriously, this film is awful, in fact, it goes so beyond awful there quite simply arent enough words contained within the sum total of human language to adaquately describe just how fucking bad this film is, and thats saying something.

Firstly, the animation is just SHIT, with heavy reuses of animation its almost like they made about 15 minutes worth of footage and then just recycled it over and over to create the illusion they had made a full movie, hoping that folk wouldnt notice. Also, you get a hell of a lot of bizarre backdrops, for example Ivy seems to have some asteroid fields inside her, as well as cloudy blue skies... WTF?

Secondly, the story is ridiculous. the inside of Ivy's body contains stone castles, kingdoms and living people who live in a medieval type society. WTF?
, also, the numerous large explosions and battles that go off in her innards dont appear to affect her in the slightiest...double WTF??

Finally, Diatron 5s "hero theme" goes like this...

"Diaton 5....DIATRON 5!!....fighting for your life...Diatron 5...warrior of justice"...repeated over and over to the tune of some sort of early 80s attempt at synth pop, you know, the sort of attempt which consists of a teenager sitting in their bedroom attempting to play a cheap casio keyboard and thinking they are badass.

So, to sum up, Diatron 5, which incidentally I think sounds like the name of a product you would use to ease stomach related problems, is an absolute horror of an attempt to produce something resembling an anime film. If it were an animal, I would have shot it at birth, then cremated the body, then sealed the ashes in a lead box and tossed it into the deepest ocean trench I could find.

If you would like to torture yourself by watching this piece of HERE

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