Sokyuu no Fafner is one of the animes I have very fond memories of, I almost dropped it because it started out as a very boring. However, it completely caught me off guard and turned itself into something truly spectacular. Now, I finally got to se the prequel called Right of Left.
I feel that the story i the ova’s most strongest part. When you are watching it you will feel how the tension rise with every new situation. I particularly liked the number of plot twists they had. Not only was the main plot important but the love interest played a very important role and further improved the plot. Even though the entire ova wasn’t very long it felt almost like a full length film. I also belive that this ova tries to walk on the same ground as the TV series did with regard to it’s plot and drama, the way that the writers manage to pull this off is in such a way that you will not feel like it is “all too convenient.” at any time. The only thing that i belive it this ova did not manage was to have smooth flow between scene transitions, Some scenes are also very choppy, and poorly planned, wich in turn made them quite hard to follow.
You will be glad to se that several of the characters that appeared in original series will be in this ova but will not be playing out to much around them. They spend a great deal of time developing both main characters making them look both real and loveable. Throughout the series you learn more and more of there individual situations and also the one around them. The gradual but perfect pacing leads to a dramatic and rather unexpected ending since they spent much time on the main characters the minor characters did lack. Although in this case it helped the ova more then it took away from it. If anymore time was spent on other characters most of the important moments would have been lost.
The animation is really good, movies and ovas tend to have better animation then the original so i am not suprised at all. All the mechas and battles looked greatand was full of suspense, except for the little choppynes i mentioned erlier. You also never find any repeat frames in all the battles or distorted/out of place backgrounds. The character designs are also consistent and more realistic then most animes. Although I have always found that Fafner characters look a bit like gundam seed characters which isn’t a bad thing just a bit weird. The scenes themselves were well planned out. Every background fit the exact emotions and moments you found your characters in. A more cliched example would be when the lead female returns home to find all the flowers have lost there petals and…. you can guess what happened. Not only are the backgrounds fitting but they use a vast variety of them to keep the viewer interested.
Right of Left will deliver what you expect from Fafner, much angst melodrama. however, that is no reason for mecha fans to not give it a chance. You should also give it a chance if you want to se a short good story about people in a hopeless situations and want to se how they solve it. I find it amazing that the writers got the nerve to put all focus on three characters. Two of them, Yumi and Ryou, are force to watch their friends die in each battle, each one a in slow and unusual way. You will not se then wallowing in sorrow after each death, they instead choose to accept their most certain fate.
The story however will not end here as we now we just have to wait for the next movie in the series of Fafner called Heaven and Earth that will have it’s DVD release later this month.