Released Year : July 21, 1984 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Action,Adventure,Comedy,Fantasy,Psychological,Sci-Fi
Plot : Aqualoid was a prosperous planet, but an attack from a mysterious life force, the Inorganics, transforms it into a post-apocalyptic shell of its former self. When Nam finds a mysterious sword, he is suddenly the object of a planet-wide chase. With the Inorganics closing in, will Nam and his friends discover the secret of the sword and save their world? Or will they destroy Aqualoid in favor of a new Birth? (Source: AniDB)
Our Review : Referenced and revered by such modern animators as Seiya Numata (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roNIB248mco) and Hiroyuki Imaishi (Dead Leaves, Gurren Lagann, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt), Birth is considered by some to be master animator Yoshinori Kanada's magnum opus. This might initially come off as a little weird... considering it was directed by the relatively unknown Shinya Sadamitsu. Mere minutes in, however, the reason for this becomes apparent: Birth is, quite unashamedly, a total animators' OVA. With Kanada (creator of his very own unique, frantic and cartoony animation style back in the 70s that still influences many young animators to this day) at the helm, the animators are the real stars that make this silly little OVA work.
I guess it's time to point out once and for all that THIS IS NOT A MOVIE YOU SHOULD WATCH FOR THE STORY AND WRITING. The script has a few funny lines from the characters, and Bao's introduction is an enjoyable little skit, but the visuals are clearly the main event here. If you find the idea of watching a cartoon to appreciate its visual creativity alone unappealing, trust me; this is not your cup of tea by any means. Assuming you're into fast-paced, cartoony animation and can get past the not-obscenely-high-budget production which results in a somewhat messy, unpolished look during a handful of less important scenes, this OVA is a great visual treat with a lot of nonsensical and silly yet brilliantly joyful action. At its best it's like looking at the drawings of a ten year old kid who's grown up on a steady stream of sugar, Looney Tunes and 70s anime, only the kid is actually a very skilled animator.
Some of my gripes would have to be the sound direction (sometimes a sound will come too early and a characters' mouth will start moving BEFORE the lines come out which can be pretty grating) and the fact that the second half of the movie honestly drags for a bit too long. There are some talky bits where the art & animation quality take a serious hit which the movie really could have done without, and most of these are during the final chase scene (which, by the way, could have used a slightly better choice for a 'final boss' enemy). Lastly, despite its overall cartoony, Kanada-style look, this is still an 80s anime made by 80s animators and occasionally some odd glimpses of a more standard, less cartoony anime style will randomly pop up in the middle of otherwise loose and undetailed scenes and you will wonder if you've just accidentally switched channels to an episode of a different show.
But these are all minor gripes with a film that generally succeeds at being precisely what it intends to be: a fun, visually creative ride. All in all, this is an OVA you should definitely watch if you enjoy fast paced cartoony action and can deal with some minor yet undeniable flaws. It's not for everyone, and it certainly shows its age, but I feel that even in this day and age it's a very impressive and enjoyable example of auteur animation. A more cynical viewer might expect something so old and rough around the edges to come off as a decrepit relic of the past compared to the modern works that its influence led to... but despite all odds, it still manages to give the young whippersnappers a run for their money and stands as not merely an interesting old-school example of Kanada-style animation, but also as a genuinely enjoyable experience.