So I've been a big fan of Area 88 ever since the original anime came out in the 80's. It had a gripping plotline, superb character development, and great combat scenes. Too bad they made only one of the three volumes into a DVD.
I was extremely elated at the news that ADV films was going to remake Area 88. After I watched the entire series, I must admit that I was a little disappointed, but found it still very entertaining to watch, and that's the reason why I still give it a 4.
There were a couple of things about the new series that I did not like. First of all, the original series was rated MA, meaning it was meant for the mature viewers. The blood, violence, nudity, and language all added to the dark, desperate tone of the original series. However, with the new Area 88 series, the rating was a TVPG. Not even a TV PG-13. Wow, this change took a lot out from what I believe the original creator had intended. I felt like it was a watered-down version of the original series.
Secondly, the new series had new characters and left out some of the old characters from the original series. I actually liked the new characters a lot. They added a lot to the plot and discreetly revealed some key elements about the main character, Shin Kazama. However, the mere fact that some of the original characters were taken out infuriated me. They had contributed so much in terms of character development and unfolding of some of the mysteries in the story.
Having said that, I do not want to judge this series in comparison to the original series. Instead, I rate it on its own at 4.
I still recommend watching this anime. It's a great series.