Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is a three-episode action OVA series animated by JC Staff and is based on the fighting video game made by SNK for their Neo Geo game system in 1995. The series was animated from September 1996 to January 1997 and directed by Masami Ohbari. Gowcaizer was licensed for VHS and DVD release in America by Central Park Media in the late 1990s up to the company’s closing in 2009. Both releases are currently out of print.
In a post-apocalyptic future, Shizuru Ozaki is hatching a plan to obtain immortality from a powerful force called Omni Exist that desires to wipe out humanity. To thwart Ozaki’s plans, teenager Isato Kaiza is given a powerful gem called the Caizer Stone by his best friend Kash that gives him the power to transform into the armored superhero known as Gowcaizer.
Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer’s biggest flaws stem from the typical issues that arise from anime adaptations of video games and Ohbari’s direction of the series.
As you would expect from a bad anime adaptation of a video game, Gowcaizer offers up a barebones plot with enough anime clichés laid out and pumping out as many characters from the video game as possible who either barely get fleshed out or serve little purpose for the anime’s main plot. The events of the anime breeze by at a fast pace, preventing any time to be devoted for proper buildup or depth on its characters and elements. The series quite often has some sloppy moments of consistency and focus in its narration. While action scenes are somewhat engaging at points, it does get silly seeing characters call out the names of their attacks from the video game and the animation is on the subpar side with still shots, speed stripes and other shortcuts employed throughout the title’s run.
What makes Gowcaizer stick out particularly as a bad anime comes from the direction of Masami Ohbari, an animator who is quite infamous for offerings of fan service in his works. Character designs are drawn in a way where portions of their bodies look anatomically incorrect in proportions and the clothes they wear are quite over-the-top, usually having you question the sexuality of the male characters with wearing midriff-exposing shirts and tight shorts/ pants. There is quite a bit of emphasis on getting as much T&A and scantily-clad shots of major female cast members as possible throughout the course of Gowcaizer. The series also sports infamy for two of its antagonists being siblings in an incestuous relationship with one another, shown quite blatantly in an implied sex scene with the two in an early scene in the series.
Central Park Media’s dub for the series is also worth mention for how bad it is with Gowcaizer, consisting of flat emotional delivery from the voice actors and awkward delivery of lines coming from moments of bad scriptwriting.