Gall Force Collection

Distributed By Central Park Media
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: Not rated, but due to violence and brief nudity
Running Time: 260 minutes

Reviewed by Jon Minners

War rages in deep space between a race of female warriors known as the Solonoids and a ruthless bio-mechanical civilization called the Paranoids.  The reason for the war really is not divulged, but they have been fighting for years and are actually on the verge of destroying each other with the invention of a System Destroyer that can wipe our entire civilizations.  However, unbeknownst to the military of both sides, an agreement has been reached between the two races that will result in a third being and a possible end to the war. 

What looks like eventual peace is anything but that and caught in the middle of this secret agreement is a small force of Solonoid fighters who have been separated from their main fleet in battle.  Their ship, known as the Star Leaf, begins to search for Chaos, a planet paradise, but on their way, they discover that a creature has stowed away on their ship and a hybrid life form begins to develop in the body of a woman attacked by the alien being.  Now, the group must overcome the odds stacked against them and keep themselves safe from the Paranoids, their own race and the unknown before them. 

Gall Force, which on paper looks like it could be a cheap excuse to show naked animated babes on the screen, is actually a very interesting trilogy of original movies that are not really original at all.  Right from the beginning, viewers well versed in their science fiction will note that the film is very similar to Battlestar Galactica in that the Star Leaf is separated from their fleet and in search of a planet they can call home.  Suddenly, the story shifts gears and becomes more like the Alien saga, not just because of the stowed away alien, but also because of another being discovered amongst them and the conspiracy that is also uncovered.  There are also nods to Star Wars' Endor chase scene and such anime fare as Robotech just to name a few.  Yet, for some strange reason, with all that seems unoriginal, this series comes together to form a very unique tale that also sends a message about war and its consequences, as many Japanese anime do. 

The obvious similarities with other titles is evident throughout the series.  A trained eye can tell these things, but will also note that it is less evident as the series moves on, creating a unique identity for itself.  After the events of Gall Force: Eternal War, the titles decrease in its running time, but increase in its complexity. 

Gall Force 2: Destruction follows one of the more interesting characters from the first series, Lufy, who appeared to be on the verge of dying early on in the film, but is revived, only to learn that the Planet Destroyer has been used to wipe out her home world.  Before it can be used again on the last remaining outpost of her people, Lufy must lead a rag-tag group of women into battle, including one familiar face that gets more exposure in the third entry. 

Gall Force 3: Stardust War follows one of the cyborg creatures, Catty, who has finally achieved her mission of creating a new race of beings and now must help the Solonoid friends she has made defeat the Paranoids in one last battle with everything hanging in the balance. 

This all continues in a fourth entry called Rhea Gall Force which is set in the future and is set on Earth.  Humans discover technology from the first trilogy and use it, both the good and bad aspects, resulting in a very Terminator-like future with the resurrected Paranoids taking over and a group of very familiar warriors sprouting up to fight back and save Earth.  Put together, this anime series becomes one epic tale of war and self-preservation.

Created some time ago, viewers might be turned off a little by the animation, which does improve slightly in each disc, more so in Rhea Gall Force, but like Voltron and other titles from back in the day, somehow Gall Force still stands the test of time.  Its release as a box set is a testament to its staying power.  The characters are very interesting, some cooler than others.  The storyline as a whole, despite combining so much material fro the vaults of science fiction past, is rather inspired and will keep viewers guessing and sitting at the edge of their seats.  However, the driving force behind Gall Force, besides well-placed shower scenes and interesting dream sequences, is its action sequences.  Dog fights in space and battles on the ground; explosions, somewhat surprising deaths, aliens, mecha and more; there is literally something for every science fiction fan. 

Guns, robots, babes and war; Gall Force: The Boxed Set is certainly money well spent. 

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