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Five episode series. UFOs and Nazis.
In the summer of 1943, Nazis in Europe uncover a crashed spaceship that allows them to manipulate time and change the course of the war-a hackneyed concept in science fiction, but one that achieved new prominence in Asia with the release of the Korean-Japanese alternate history movie 2009: Lost Memories (2002). Hitler sets up the URDA project to exploit the technology, and the Allies send in spy Erna Kurtz. Ex-commando Erna uncovers the plot and finds that she is already closely linked to it through her relationship to project commander Glimhild Kurtz. She tries to rescue the young girl who is the subject of the URDA tests-and claims to be from the future. This one-man show with an almost entirely unknown cast is a prime example of how the Internet is changing the way we get our entertainment. Made in CGI but intended to look like full cel animation, its only link with the anime establishment is the presence of designer, producer, and director Watanabe, who also has a background in CGI, but is here credited with the design of the vehicles. The short format works well for streaming and new platforms like mobile phones, but it takes a very skillful director to do anything other than make eye candy in such a restricted timeslot. A generation with its attention span attuned to MTV is unlikely to worry about such details as depth of character and plot development, but those who love anime for the freedom it gives the writer have legitimate cause for concern and may be reassured by this confident debut, which packs a lot into its tiny parcels. The URDA series was also cut together and shown as a "movie" at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2005. Compare to Voices of a Distant Star and Legend of Duo, both of which also showcase potential new directions for the anime world in the early 21st century.