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Bounty Dog

The more one digs the more apparent it is that an incredible number of anime OVAs came out in the 80s and 90s. There are plenty that have become classic mainstays like Bubblegum Crisis and Dominion Tank Police, but then there are all the other ones that are largely forgotten and now considered quite obscure. Bounty Dog is one such example of this. Set in the not so distant future, it centers around a team of corporate spies investigating a company on the moon. Their intel suggests that the business may be secretly developing weapons, but what they discover is much worse.

Yoshiyuki Otomo is a member of this team and he’s more than a little distracted because he can’t stop thinking about his lover, Yayoi, who died a little while ago. It was in a mysterious fire where Yoshiyuki lost his arm trying to save her and now has a cybernetic limb to replace it. Now, as he tries to go about his mission, he is greeted by a clone of Yayoi, named Ines, and soon learns that what he’s investigating on the moon runs a lot deeper than he could have ever anticipated. There is actually an ancient being sleeping deep inside the moon and the corporation Yoshiyuki and his team are looking into want to control it. If the creature awakens, it will have the power to destroy the earth. So, with that, Yoshiyuki and his team have their work cut out for them.

Spanning two OVAs, Bounty Dog does a decent job of trying to balance between action and more cerebral elements. There are plenty of fun battles to watch as Yoshiyuki and his team fight against both the corporation’s private army and the moon’s ancient defenses. He even pilots an interesting mech-like contraption that is a combination of a mech and a motorcycle, agilely driving around while having a pair of massive mechanical arms for picking things up. It even has a launchable winch on the front of it that allows the machine to climb up the side of buildings. Seeing the mech-bike thingie in action is actually a lot of fun.

Adding a nice contrast to this is when the story takes time to slow down and explain the origins of Yayoi, the moon, and the destructive being inside of it. Most of this comes down to ancient aliens that want to keep an eye on other civilizations’ evolutionary progress, but it’s a lot of fun having a bit of lore like this. It adds a bit more gravitas to Yoshiyuki’s mission rather than it simply being an evil corporation behind everything.

Stylistically, Bounty Dog has a lot of sepia going on with its color scheme. This happens anytime a scene takes place on the surface of the moon or in space. It’s hard to tell if this was an artistic choice or if its supposed to represent unfiltered light from the sun. Whatever the case, it does take some getting used to but is also kind of reminiscent of some of the color palettes used in old PC-98 adventure games as a result. The rest of the show has darker, more subdued colors with lots of shadows and grey. On the whole, though, it’s very nice looking early 90s art direction with a fair amount of detail in character design as well as environments.

What viewers will find in Bounty Dog is a story with some fun action scenes and just enough lore about ancient civilizations to carry through the quiet stretches. It’s an OVA that few likely remember but it's enjoyable to watch, ideal for killing an hour after a busy day.

- IroIro
July 12, 2019

More Outer Space Anime We've Discussed:

- Cosmos Pink Shock Review
- Marian Successor Nadesico Review
- Sol Bianca Review

Directed by: Hiroshi Negishi
Studio: JC Staff
Released: 1994
Episodes: 2

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