Area 88 TV Series 2: A Lonely Crossing of Paths (ep.4-6)
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As the airborne drama Area 88 continues, the filmmakers begin to develop the main characters more fully. Ace fighter pilot Shin Kazama, who has "eyes like a wounded wolf," is shot down in battle and parachutes into a sandstorm. Wandering through the desert, he recalls how his friend Kanzaki had him shanghaied into the mercenary corps. Shin rarely communicates beyond flashing a thumbs-up sign, so flashbacks are the only way to learn anything about him. Photographer Makoto Shinjou remains at the base, taking pictures of Shin. They're joined by Kitri Parvaneh, a daredevil female pilot who asks such improbable questions as, "Do all Asian men have such mysterious eyes?" Kaoru Shintani's original manga was written decades ago, and his cold war-era story of a taciturn hero battling an unnamed foe feels dated. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, tobacco and alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
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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.