Garzey’s Wing – Episode 1

Why. Why would you have me watch this. What are you trying to prove.

I sit down after having watched the first episode of Garzey’s Wing and think “how should I write about this, in a tactical sense?” Not in the sense that I’m having difficulty thinking of an angle to take it from – in the sense that I want to write a piece that is just funny enough so that you people feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth, while not funny enough to tempt any of you assholes to pay for another one. This show is terrible.

It is so bad. It is so bad. Not at all in the Strike Witches “I feel like this show is a mark on my soul” sense, but just in that it cannot tell a fucking story. Nothing makes sense. Things just happen. Why is this happening to me.

Garzey's Wing

Incidentally, you might be wondering why that first image there is such a piece of shit. Well, in the spirit of Garzey’s Wing itself, my attempts to find a watchable copy of this show mainly involved googling “Garzey’s Wing” and clicking on the youtube link that promised a full episode. It doesn’t seem like anyone cares enough about this show to sweep it off youtube, and you guys certainly don’t care enough about this show to mind the giant leech-site branding in the corner, so that’s what we’re going with. My non-apologies.

Anyway. Garzey’s Wing is bad. It’s apparently known as one of the worst anime of all time, with a particularly famously bad dub, but you really don’t have to get to the dub itself to see how terrible this show is. It’s about Chris, a guy with a motorcycle who’s abducted by a giant swan and teleports to a fantasy world where a fairy gets caught on his nice necklace and then he has to help some slaves escape but they’re chased by pterodactyls and then there’s a river and explosions and he fights a guy in a cave. If that description sounded breathless and incoherent, that’s intentional – that’s pretty much how the show itself tells its story. Shit just happens, and scenes just run past each other, and characters yell things and swords happen and then some giant beetle-thing attacks.

Garzey's Wing

Garzey’s Wing alternately gives the impression that it’s either a very simple story being told very badly or twelve episodes of story being rushed into three episodes of content. Characters shout motivations or proper nouns or worldbuilding at each other as dinosaurs roar and fairies make shrill noises. Garzey’s Wing is the cliche of what all anime is like. Garzey’s Wing is like a story being recounted from a dream, where there’s no narrative arc beyond “and then this happened.” Garzey’s Wing is Axe Cop Storytelling. “I MUST SOMEHOW MAKE SENSE OF OUR CONVOLUTED SITUATION” shouts the hero Chris as one point, and I’m not sure I agree. Though I did appreciate his spirit-telepathy explanation of the entire plot to his other self (don’t ask). “I’m bruised all over my body because I had to fight naked,” he says. “There’s a war going on. Even dinosaurs are here. My sword is unbelievably dull.” If that doesn’t explain the plot to you, I don’t know what will.

The villain who paid for this writeup specifically asked for a review of the dubbed episode, so I suppose I should get into that. Because yes, holy shit is this dub terrible. Both the script and the acting deserve equal credit here – one early, characteristic exchange goes “that’s the holy warrior!” “Oh My Gosh, That Skill? Is He The Holy Warrior?” I capitalize all the words in that second quote because that’s how most characters talk – like Every Single Word Is A Proper Noun That Needs Clear Emphasis, instead of the words in a sentence that is coming out of their mouth. Other characters simply speak through groaning noises, or in a variety of exciting randomized accents. Everybody hates the fairy for some reason, and at one point a character falls down and says “What’s happening? AAAAaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh h h h h.” This was almost certainly my favorite scene of the episode.

Garzey's Wing

To be utterly fair, I imagine that what Garzey’s Wing sounds like to most people is what basically every dub sounds like to me. The problems apparent here are general ones – over-enunciated lines, emotional emphasis that doesn’t seem appropriate or human, canned affectations that sound nothing like normal people, an utter lack of naturalistic/conversational vocal phrasing, etc. And that’s before we even get into the fact that dubs both generally (and somewhat necessarily) imply far more drastic changes to the script, and that dubs are replacing the original vocal casts, which are actually chosen by the anime staff, and which are drawn from a far larger industrial pool of talent.

I am not a dub fan in the slightest – but yeah, even if I were a dub fan, Garzey’s Wing would really be something. The show seems to simultaneously present the most cynical possible arguments both for and against dubbing. On the one hand, this dub is atrocious – on the other, it is clear “chosen warrior fends off pterodactyls with sword that is unbelievably dull” would not be great art in any language, so who the hell cares. Either way, you got me to watch an episode of this utterly ridiculous production. You win this round, capitalism.

This article was made possible by my readers, who are total jerks.

8 thoughts on “Garzey’s Wing – Episode 1

  1. ahhh ahh ahh ahha ahhh ahh ahha ahhh

    I swear it’s still the same voice actors doing all the dubs or they all sounds alike, like they are reading a text for the first time.

  2. “it’s either a very simple story being told very badly or twelve episodes of story being rushed into three episodes of content”

    As someone who has watched most of Tomino’s anime, I can safely say it’s the later. Tomino is infamous for being unable to tell a story with less than 40 episodes. Every single anime of his with less than that number is horribly rushed. In the recent G-Reco, the show end with TWELVE factions fighting each other, most of them were introduced in the last 10 or so episode. It’s the equivalent of compressing all 5 Game of Throne seasons into a single anime cour. It’s as incoherent and ridiculous as it sound.

    Back to Garzeys Wing, it’s part of Tomino’s Byston Well universe. Aura Battler Dunbine is the better part of the franchise, having 49 episode to tell a relatively coherent story. I have watched part of Dunbine, but I still have no idea what’s going on in Garzey’s Wing.

  3. This is like the anime equivalent of The Eye of Argon–I think you have to make it a social experience or you get nothing out of it…it defies snark even. It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed that hard at a show.

  4. Hah, I actually own this anime on DVD if you want it Bobduh…
    It’s quite ironic how I came to own it. I was at a Suncoast Entertainment store a long time ago, before they all closed because they sucked so much.
    My friends and I were looking through the anime section for stuff we hadn’t heard of and found it. Reading the synopsis on the box we quickly decided it was crap and I thought put it back on the counter.
    However when we got home I discovered it in the bag. It wasn’t on the receipt. I didn’t pay for it. I just had it. Apparently it was to shitty for Suncoast Entertainment, a shitty store that went out of business like a year later.
    And thus is the only acceptable excuse for owning Garzey’s Wing.. It was free.

  5. Read Justin Sevakis’ article in ANN (the buried garbage column) after this and yeah… looks like it really sucked. If all people can say about it is “it sucks”, then I guess it falls to writers like you to do the dirty work and tell us just how wonderfully terrible it is. That’s entertainment for you.

  6. I’m actually really enjoying Garzey’s Wing so far. Which is actually odd, since I have never enjoyed anything in a “so bad it’s good” sense. Well, this is the exception to the rule.

    Garzey’s Wing is really incompetently made. But in such a glorious, divine way. As I read in a MAL review once, a good writer could try to make it worse and fail. That’s how amazing it is.

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