“Dragon’s Heaven” is a 45 minute OVA from 1988. The anime features the intricately detailed mechanical designs and custom made animatronic garage kits of its creator and director Makoto Kobayashi (“Gundam ZZ”, “Venus Wars”, “Super Atragon”, “Steamboy”, “Samurai 7”).
In the far distant future, 1000 years after the final battle between human nations, mankind has created sentient bio-mechanical robots. The machines build their own monarchial empire in Brazil, in Emperor Calendar year 2600. Almost 600 years after its founding, war erupts between humanity and the robot rebels. Mankind builds new machines, known as Dragons, that work in conjunction with a human pilot, in order to combat the machine empire’s generals. One of these robot “Dragons” is Cyroid SH06H, code name: Shaian. During the twilight of the great war between man and machine, Shaian’s pilot is killed in action, and the Cyroid deactivates itself, awaiting a new pilot.
1000 years pass and Shaian is finally discovered by a young girl, Ikuuru. Ikuuru lives outside the city of Kerutoria, and protects the city’s inhabitants from robot invaders. Shaian seeks to find his old battlefield rival, General El Medine, the robot who killed his original partner. Ikuuru and Shaian team-up to protect Kerutoria. But when they destroy a robot raiding force, they garner the attention of El Medine. It’s time to settle a Centuries old score!
“Return to scrap, Human Robot!”
With its live-action, mecha model kit opening; its sketchy, sand blasted, Indy Comic aesthetic; and its imaginative robotic designs, “Dragon’s Heaven” is visually very unique for anime. Unfortunately, its involved background explanations, and vengeance seeking, sentient machines, are squandered in the service of an anime that revolves around a proto-“Mecha Musume” lead, who is given only a scant two-line motivational backstory.
“The girl’s luck is strong. She’ll be OK.”