Written by Katsumi Hasegawa
Directed by Hideki Tonokatsu
- Art gallery
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Mild language
- Some violence
- Mild nudity (not in sexual situations)
- Lots of PINK!
Released by: Central Park Media
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: At least rent it–it’s fun.
Hyper Speed Grandoll opens with a kind of Kal-El feel: a child in a traveling spacecraft and a voiceover of male and female adult voices, presumably the parents, saying that she must live. Next we meet a mad scientist and his main squeeze, whose date is interrupted when the aforementioned spacecraft crashes onto the seaside boardwalk where they were romancing. Hikaru considers herself a normal schoolgirl and has a kind of fixation on hero TV shows, but when she finds out that she’s in fact a superpowered alien and that evil aliens are set to invade, she decides that she can become a superhero. Then the bad guys send a noble girl of their own to duel with the princess Hikaru. Hijinks ensue.
The plot-line of the show won’t surprise you much; it’s a typical science fiction/comedy anime with the usual characters and plot points–like hostage friends, turning bad people to good, and lost princesses and heirloom armor. Luckily, that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the show. It’s still funny and fun. If you like this kind of show, then you can be sure this one will be no different.
The audio is solid with no fuzzing or other muted dialogue. The voice of Haruna is a bit old-sounding for a freshman in high school. In a nice touch, the subtitles provide the Japanese words when the English translation is in spirit and not literal. The translators chose to go for meaning and not a literal translation; this is sure to annoy some more pedantic fans, but most fans won’t even notice, nor should they. The feeling and meaning have been maintained, and literal translations can at times actually get in the way of that.
The visuals are also solid, typical shoujo, with bright colors, lots of pink, and attractive artwork. The character designs are fun; I love Hikaru’s hot pink hair and glasses. The mecha design of Hikaru’s armor suit, GranKnight, is also interesting and should please any mecha fan.
This release has limited features, only the original trailer and an art gallery. Fans of the show’s look will appreciate the art gallery, and many of the images would look great gracing any otaku’s desktop. The DVD case has a quasi-reversible cover with a black and white image of the GranKnight and lists all the English voice actors–a nice touch, but it would have been just as well to have had the Japanese cast listed, too, since they’re as likely to be heard as the English actors and worked just as hard to make this release a success.
In short, Hyper Speed Grandoll may not be totally creative, but it is the result of a tried and true formula. It’s funny where it’s supposed to be funny and overall very charming. If you like comedy science fiction shows, then you should enjoy this one. Fans of shows like El-Hazard or even the various Tenchi incarnations will appreciate this one especially. Despite the rather prurient cover image of naked teens, there is very little to alarm parents on this release. No heavy social themes here–just a lot of wacky fun and some good action sequences. The moral of the story is simple: don’t endanger the crush of a space heiress or your evil plans of conquest will come to naught.