- Armour Hunter Mellowlink (1988-1989: Sunrise, well actually a fuck ton of studios did it but I’m keeping it simple) 12/12 eps.
Staff and Background
Mellowlink is a spin-off of one of the 4 pillars of real robot: Armoured Troopers Votoms. The creator of Votoms, Ryosuke Takahashi, composed Mellowlink too. The head director of Mellowlink was Takeyuki Kanda who also directed Vifam, the first half of 08th MS Team, and co-directed Dougram with Takahashi. So we have strong source material being worked on by a really talented bunch.
Story and Characters
The story of Mellowlink is actually quite similar to Black Lion. Towards the end of a war our MC’s, Mellowlink, is ordered to hold off the enemy while the rest of the army escape. In reality they were being sacrificed while a group of higher-ups made off with some stolen goods. All of Mellowlink’s squad dies bar him and so after the war he starts his quest of revenge. The plot line is fairly simple here: every episode Mellowlink is hunting down a different conspirator and killing them in a different environment. It is a setup that works as each episode is quite different from the last with different fighting styles and environments for Mellowlink to deal with. It helps that the characters are good fun. Mellowlink isn’t all that interesting, as the stoic soldier type, but his girl buddy he picks up along the way, Lulucy, is good fun to watch. In addition, all of the bad guys have their own fun personalities which keeps things fresh. Admittedly, the formulaic structure of the story does dampen things a little bit, especially in the middle, but it never gets truly boring. Instead, the feeling was more ‘this episode was a load of fun but do I want to watch the next episode right now seeing as it will have the same plot?’ so I think it is the sort of show best watched slowly.
Audio and Visuals
The audio was pretty good with a nice OP and some really nice tracks. The voice acting was also on point for the most part, with Lulucy’s constant refrain of ‘boy’ being a highlight. The visuals are where this show really shines. The shows art style is fabulous as it just feels dirty, oily, and covered in blood. We so rarely get this sort of look in anime so it is a real treat when we do. On top of the wonderful art style the animation is on point with great action scenes and explosions.
Despite its formulaic nature Armour Hunter Mellowlink remains engaging and is just a really solid show. It has fun characters, great audio, and a rarely seen art style. If you like your revenge thrillers, your 80s action, or just want something a bit gritty then this is the show for you.
Final score: 7B