Dunbine, Aura Battler

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“Aura Battler Dunbine” is a 49 episode TV series from 1983.

Hotshot misunderstood Motocross geek, Show Zama, is suddenly transported to a world of monsters, castles, fairies, and anachronistically, giant robots, known as Byston Well (Super Nerd Dream World). Before Show’s arrival, two other travelers from “Upper-Earth” (the Byston Well term for our world) made their way to Byston Well. These men are mechanical engineers, Shot Weapon and Zet Light. King Drake of Laas Wau gained the services of these men and used their skill to create giant robots (Aura Battlers). Drake then built up his army into the most powerful military force in Byston Well. But he needs to impress pilots from Upper-Earth for his Aura Battlers to reach their full fighting potential (some mumbo-jumbo about “life energy”) .

The Kingdom of “Given” peremptorily attacks Laas Wau. Drake uses this attack as an excuse to mobilize his army. Instead of just attacking Given with his battle ready army, as planned Drake takes over all of the land of Ah. Show discovers Drake’s diabolical plot, steals the prototype Aura Battler, Dunbine, and joins the survivors of the Kingdom of Given, who seek to stop Drake from taking over all of Byston Well.

"Aura Battler Dunbine’s" plot is too complicated for an Anime to sustain. After Drake takes over Ah, he goes to battle with the lands of Raoh and Nah; and Bishott’s Kingdom. Raoh is controlled by Elle. The daughter of the princess of Raoh who eloped into Ah with one of the Kings who was defeated by… YyyyEeeeeAAaarggghhh! You get the idea? Watch the show. It’s a seminal series of the convoluted soap opera, Medieval Mecha World, such as would be later used in the Shojo anime "Escaflowne".

"Dunbine" is an enjoyable but uneven series that has a Role Playing Game quality. While the plot and the interpersonal relationships between the characters are complex, the characters themselves are stock archetypes. When the series ends, these complex relationships between characters, which have been laboriously defined and refined, are callously rendered ultimately unimportant.

I don’t usually pay too much attention to the quality of a DVD release, unless it’s really bad, but I really like ADV’s 2003 DVD release of "Aura Battler Dunbine". The English language track is vastly superior to, and matches the mouth flaps better than, the original Japanese (usually it’s the opposite). The colors are bright and the picture is sharp. The DVD extras include settings (usually you don’t see pre-production art from two decades old shows). The only problems are, sometimes the image shakes, and it looks like the original animators had problems keeping registration. Still, I wish more 1970s and ’80s Anime had similar DVD releases.

 Dunbine 01

 Dunbine 02

 Dunbine 03

 Dunbine 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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