Anime DVD Review: The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA Series

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA Series box set is a four-disc set that includes all 20 of the OVA episodes. The first and fourth discs include two episodes and bonus features, while the second and third discs include three episodes and bonus features. The OVAs were released in Japan between 1994 and 1996.

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA Series
English Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: September 3, 2013

The first two episodes in the set are labeled as, “An Exceptional Episode,” but it’s actually a two-part OVA titled, “Tylor’s War.” At the beginning of these episodes, the crew of the Undefeated Soyokaze is seen as space heroes by the public. During these episodes, it becomes blatantly clear that Yamamoto is romantically interested in Yuriko. Tylor is summoned by Mifune, and is told that he and the Soyokaze are being sent on a secret mission. Even though there may be a cease-fire between the United Planets Space Force and the Raalgon Empire, it’s believe the Raalgons are using the opportunity to deploy a new weapon; Tylor’s mission is to find out what this new weapon is. Once the Soyokaze is in space, the hilarity and misadventures for the crew start up.

The remaining eight OVA episodes is set with the crew of the Soyokaze being temporarily reassigned to ground duty by the high command. The first of these OVAs is “The Rules of Being 16,” which focuses on the Raalgon empress, Azalyn. She learns from Captain Dom that he is going to Vishram, a territory controlled by the Holy Raalgon Empire. This is a place she went to when she was younger, and she had a friend named Ruu there. She insists on having Dom take her there, and what Azalyn discovers while she’s there surprises her.

“The Samurai’s Narrow Escape!” focuses on Kojiro. He is on a special assignment to serve as a test pilot for the force’s latest fighter design, the Gunryu. He’s approached by Chief Warrant Officer Musashi Kato, who will be flying with him on the test flight. This catches Kojiro by surprise, because apparently no one told him he would be flying with someone. Unfortunately, Kato doesn’t leave Kojiro with a good impression. And things don’t go much better on the actual test flight.

“The High-Tech Opposition” sees the Marines having to learn how to use a new battle suit called a Newtype, and having to pass a test in order to use it. There’s a big focus on Andressen, since it turns out that he knew the guy who invented the Newtype. Things get hilarious when the Newtype suddenly goes berserk.

“White Chritmas” is set on Christmas Eve, and Yuriko sets up a date with Tylor. Unfortunately, Tylor finds himself getting into various misadventures and being incredibly late for his date.

Next is a two-part OVA titled, “If Only the Skies Would Clear.” In the first half, Yuriko has been brought in to investigate what appears to be an accident out in the space frontier. During this episode, Yuriko is kidnapped by three strange men, and it ends up being up to Yamamoto to save her. In the second half, Yamamoto is in charge of escorting a transport, and they are caught up in the same type of event that affected the transport ship that Yuriko is investigating.

At this point, I was wondering what the point was of animating all of these various side stories was. The final disc includes the two-part OVA, “From Here to Eternity,” which ultimately ties the majority of the side stories together; the main exception is “White Christmas.” During these final two OVAs, you have to take what information is given and piece together where the previous episodes would fall in this story; there’s a lot of jumping around in time in these OVAs, and most of the previous OVAs fill in the gaps of time that are skipped. As a viewer, having to do this made the final two OVA episodes a bit of a frustrating viewing experience.

When it comes to the character designs and animation style, the “Tylor’s War” episodes have the exact same look at the 26 episode anime series; the tone of the storytelling is also the same as the anime series. For the remaining eight OVAs, it’s revealed in the liner notes that the characters were redesigned for them. For me, as I watched these eight episodes, I always felt like I was watching off-model characters rather than redesigned characters. And I couldn’t believe how white and pale some of the characters ended up looking; some of the worst in this regard were Yamamoto, Yuriko, and Andressen. I nearly wanted to yell at these characters to go get a suntan or something because they looked so pale. And not only did the characters look different, but the tone of the storytelling also changes with these eight episodes.

From reading the liner notes, it appears that when the anime series was produced, some liberties were taken in regards to the original light novel source material, which seemed to remain for the “Tylor’s War” OVAs. However, the remaining eight OVAs are supposed to fit into the light novel timeline, so when these OVAs were produced, they committed the “cardinal sin” of trying to shoehorn their alternate version of the story from the anime into the light novel timeline. Unfortunately, this does cause some problems with the storytelling, and I think this helps to contribute to the lesser quality of those eight OVA episodes.

After watching this set, I enjoyed the “Tylor’s War” OVA episodes, but really didn’t enjoy the remaining eight OVAs as much as I hoped I would. At this point, I’d be more than happy to rewatch the 26 episode series and the “Tylor’s War” OVAs, but I really have no desire to rewatch the remaining eight OVA episodes.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, each disc has liner notes as part of its bonus features. All of the episodes receive liner notes except for “If Only the Skies Would Clear – Part 1.” It should be pointed out that the liner notes on disc four contain some major spoilers for the light novel series.

The first disc also has a feature labeled as, “The Undefeated Soyokaze.” This is made up of two screens of schematics of the ship that show where everything is located.

The second and third discs also include some music videos, and the songs range anywhere from a minute-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minutes in length. The videos are for some vocal songs, as well as for some of the background music from the original anime series. Looking at the animation style for the videos, they appear to have been produced around the time of the original 26 episode anime series. Overall, these were enjoyable to watch; unfortunately, some of the videos for the background music leave the sound effects from the footage intact, which makes it harder to appreciate the music in those clips.

The fourth disc also includes the U.S. trailer for the OVA box set, and discs two through four also include trailers for properties that Nozomi was promoting at the time this DVD box set was released.

After watching this DVD box set, I can only truly recommend it to fans of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor who want to own everything related to the franchise in their anime home video collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor OVA Series box set that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

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One comment

  1. Hanes · December 18, 2016

    I hate the OVAs especially the character Ru Baraba Dom and the whole how Tylor handle situation. Even though Raalgon and Lonawer assume Dom was a tactical genius but I think he was a common commander with strategy and skill just like disgusting Admiral Donan. To me, Captain Dom was unreasonable . I did love soundtrack from remaining 8 ova but hate the storyline. Yes, exceptional episode was wonderful but it can be edited or casted better than that. Tylor should not hide from crew as it cause misunderstanding. Azalyn sulked and get angry was a chalky one and illogical. And the whole Dom stuff.

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