Iria Zeiram is an anime prequel to the movie of the same name. It focuses on rookie bounty hunter Iria who works with her brother Gren who is a more experienced professional bounty hunter. Together, they hunt down and capture criminals for money. After Gren was killed, Iria finds herself working on her own taking on various different bounty hunting jobs. She can be very naïve and reckless and her actions cause a lot of harm. Iria skills as a bounty hunter improves as the story progresses.
Episodes are told through an overarching narrative where it connects to a much bigger plot in the later episodes. The plot is also very inconsistent in its storytelling as well as Iria can be on the governments bad side on one episode but in the next they would team up together like nothing much has happened. The government controls the bounty hunters and seems to be manipulating them for some nefarious purpose. The plot was generally faithful to some aspects of the film. It’s a prequel so you do not need to watch the film to understand the plot as it does its own thing for the most part.
Iria is the typical rookie type protagonist and is a tomboy and her notable thing about her appearance is the beads she wears and that is normally reserved for males in the world of Iria Zeiram. The beads represent her level of skill in bounty hunting and because of her wearing beads she is the eccentric. There is plenty of comedy and entertaining moments in the show.
The musical score was generally good and I also found the voice acting good but the dialogue was cheesy. The characters and plot concept wise were not the most original and they are not really complex either. The sci fi atmosphere does feel trippy and bizarre and the art design for characters, world and sci fi related scenery such as the aliens and bio weapons are generally good. The animation is sort of fuzzy looking and has not aged well. There was no CGI in the anime and it was entirely hand drawn animation.
The action is decent but nothing really special with the space fights being pretty good. It can be high stakes at certain parts of the episodes from fighting unknown aliens and mysterious bio weapons. The story can be predictable at times and you already know what the end result. The storytelling is secondary to the action.
The pacing of the story is generally fast with no filler or padding. There are plot discrepancies between the movie and the anime. Many things are left unexplained or glossed over but this is probably because of the short length of the anime version. It is not fully clear how Iria’s brother survived or where there any explanations for his absence.
It’s a decent watch if you can overlook the cheesy dialogue and inconsistent story telling.
It gets 3 stars out of 5.
If you like sci fi and want something to watch over the weekend off then this would be for you.
It would have been better if it was a separate series instead of a prequel.