Video Girl Ai
All Video Girl Ai released episodes
Every once in a while, I get bored. Like, *really* bored. No matter what I do, I can't find anything that I want to sit down and watch through, which is saying something when you have a "Plan to Watch" list as lengthy as mine. It's during these times when I discover obscure stuff. I'll search through countless databases looking to find something I haven't already heard of or seen, something that sparks my interest. Video Girl Ai was the result of one of these "obscurity splurges." And so, without further ado, I bring to you extremely sexy people my review of Video Girl Ai, and the reason why it's a shame that most haven't, at the very least, tried it out. Let us begin. Video Girl Ai is about a video girl named Ai. No, really. It's the truth. One day, our protagonist, Yohta, suffering from a serious case of unrequited love, rents a seemingly normal erotic video tape from a rather odd movie rental shop. Specifically, a tape with Ai on it. When he plays the tape on his VCR, he is surprised to find that she comes out of the television to help him with his romance issues in real life. There's a bit of a problem, though; Yohta's got a broken VCR, which alters Ai's personality from a sweet, kind girl to more of a Tsundere-type. Of course, while trying to help Yohta with his relationship issues, she finds that she may have to save herself with falling in love with him on her own... By reading only that, I imagine you can already tell that this show's plot doesn't make a lick of sense. The thing is, it really doesn't need to. The show is a lighthearted romantic comedy, so it has absolutely no reason to try to explain everything to you. Stuff just kind of happens. This shouldn't hinder your enjoyment of this short little OVA, however. Remember how a couple of sentences ago that this show was lighthearted? I kind of lied. While it appears this way for the first half or so, it quickly escalates into an extremely dramatic love polygon story, with a twist; Ai's got a time limit. When her tape runs out, she's gone. Forever. The problem is, when the show gets serious like this, it loses much of it's fun. We have to give our painful farewells to the ecchi comedy and enter a world of despair in which everyone seems to be stuck with some sort of love-related problem. Other romantic comedy anime have been able to pull off this transition decently enough, of course. The reason it doesn't work with Video Girl Ai is that this show doesn't have nearly as much running time to transition properly, and it just feels like everyone at Production I.G. changed their minds about what they were making. It's trying to fit the story from a 15-volume manga into a 6-episode show, and it just doesn't work. The ending for the show is a little... let's just say... **overdone**. I won't spoil anything, but it doesn't completely work out how we want it to. The show had become serious before, but the ending took it to an extent where it just felt out of place for this kind of Anime. It may have technically concluded the story, but it didn't conclude the show emotionally. I was still wanting more. I wanted to see a happy ending for our characters, not what they gave us. Despite all the bad things I just said about Video Girl Ai's Story, don't take them like they completely kill the experience. While the serious bits weren't great, the fun bits were done extremely well. They're the parts you will remember in the long run, so they do make it worth the time you may or may not spend watching this. The cast of Video Girl Ai is quite charming. First, we have Ai. Ai is certainly the most well-developed character in the entire show, as we get to see her transform from a cold-hearted tsundere-ish character into a kinder, more... girly, girl. She starts as a likeable character and ends as a likeable character, but changes personality to a rather large extent. Most of you are probably predicting that I'm going to criticize this, and complain about how quickly the show's portrayal of her changed, but you are predicting wrong. This anime handled her transformation rather nicely, considering the time it had. She's a spectacular character, and she's fun to watch too. Unfortunately, the time that was given to develop her character may have taken away from the rest of the cast quite a bit... Yohta is, for the most part, a very generic male comedy protagonist. He's unpopular, wimpy, and has a medical issue that causes him to bleed profusely from the nostrils whenever he gets within 20 feet of any member of the female gender. He isn't much beyond that. My problem isn't necessarily with how generic he is, however. It's much more with how his personality fits in with the rest of the show. After the comedy bits, none of those elements can really influence how he acts anymore, so he becomes rather... bland. We can't really connect with him emotionally, so we just have to watch him from afar. Granted, he says some pretty quotable stuff later on, but it doesn't make up for all of his shortcomings. I'm not going to cover in detail the other two characters, as they suffer the same fate as Yohta. They have fine personalities at first, but they don't hold up later on. It's a shame, really. The background music doesn't particularly stand out on it's own. There are some tracks that stand out to some extent, but for the most part it feels very average. What this anime does really well is utilizing insert songs. It utilizes them at just the right times, so that you feel emotions when they are called for. In many scenes, where you normally wouldn't give two shits about what is going on, you still stay focused and care about it. Plus, they're just fucking catchy songs. That's the power of insert songs when used correctly. If you're wondering whether to watch the dub for this show or the subtitled version, I'm going to recommend the dubbed version (unless your were already inclined otherwise.) While it is an older dub, it is done rather well, with Brad Swaile nailing our somewhat bland protagonist's personality perfectly. The other voice actors, who I'm far too lazy to look up, do a fine job too, especially Ai's. She does it almost perfectly, as a matter of fact. That being said, if you're too used to near-perfect dubs, then stay away. It's far from a perfect dub, but it's also not bad. Production I.G. is a studio that knows what they're doing when it comes to animating, and Video Girl Ai is no exception to this. The show holds up surprisingly well visually, especially when you consider that it was made in 1992! Everything moves pretty smoothly, and there were very few visible shortcuts or flaws in the drawings. All of this is even better when you remember that this show is a romantic comedy, a genre that doesn't always have much need for good animation (and as such doesn't usually get it.) The art and character designs look pretty standard for a late 1980s/early 1990s production, so I suppose there's nothing too special there. Still, I can't say enough how awesome the animation in this show looks for it's time. Video Girl Ai, at it's core, is a flawed romantic comedy that probably shouldn't really be as fun as it is. Regardless, for a three-hour long watch, I cannot recommend it enough. Although it may have gotten a little odd toward the end, I still enjoyed the experience enough to write a positive review, and to tell you to check this show out when you're like me and have nothing better to watch in your spare time. Anyway, this has been Burst. Signing out. Adios. Aloha. etc.
Director, Storyboard, Animation Director
Director, Executive Producer
Theme Song Performance
Theme Song Arrangement, Music
Theme Song Performance