Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven
There are many questions you can ask me regarding Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven (TDSH):
- How come?
- What were you thinking?
- Are you insane?
- Did you know what you were getting into?
All valid quandaries, but let us not forget the most crucial question for those who don’t know what is happening: What is TDSH?
Well, in every sense, TDSH is the literal, absolute, you-can-go-no-further, bottom of the barrel. Many consider this one-shot OVA the worst thing to ever come out of the anime medium. And as of this post going live (August 2021), TDSH is the lowest-rated thing on MyAnimeList.com, sitting at an impossible not to notice 1.85 out of 10.
We can discuss the technicalities of whether TDSH constitutes being the worst anime ever – since, you know, it is only a single episode rather than a whole series (2021’s own Ex-Arm and its 2.97 out of 10 is pretty damning). But doing that would mean missing the more pressing point:
TDSH is infamously not good.
However, the notion of such utter horribleness is what makes TDSH such a curiosity. After all, what does the label “Worst Ever” truly mean?
The following are my impressions of TDSH.
In its entirety, here is the plot of TDSH:
A unit of female android mech pilots scrambles to defeat a giant alien that has come to Earth.
If you think I am skimping on the details, I assure you, I am not. TDSH was never going to concern itself with such things as plot, character development, or narrative flow. This type of production is intended for a specific kind of audience – fans of the source material. Plenty of far more reputable franchises have released stand-alone OVAs as extra content.
And speaking of source material, to the best of my understanding, TDSH is a visual novel for the PlayStation 2 that only came out in Japan. If I am wrong on this matter, please correct me in the comments. And if you have played the game, congratulations, then this OVA was made for you.
As for the rest of you – a.k.a., the majority of you – if you’re going into TDSH expecting a fully-fledged narrative, even a laughably broken one, you’re asking for something that does not exist. This single episode was precisely that, a single episode. This “story” could never contain the amount of context necessary to explain what was going on or who was who.
So if you thought the plot would be one area where I would tear into TDSH, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
But don’t worry. Me saying there was no narrative to make fun of is not the same as me saying there is nothing to make fun of.
Yeah, TDSH was tremendously bad.
I’m not sure what I found to be more cringy, the animation or the voice acting.
This is an unfortunate circumstance. I highly respect animators and voice actors. Their work literally brings stories to life, and I always feel a pang of hurt whenever I criticize either.
Nevertheless, in TDSH, both were awful – like, so horrifically awful.
I know this OVA came out in 2004. Thus, normally, we should grant some leniency to the CGI. Except, I’m sorry, no. What TDSH had was – there is no other word for it – unacceptable. It’s pretty telling when a still image from an animated product tells you everything you need to know. I have seen countless shows with terrible visuals that look somewhat decent as long as nothing is moving. Can’t say the same for this.
Then there was the voice acting. First off, just saying it like that makes it seem as though the whole cast was the problem, and that is simply not the case. From the looks of it, many of the actors and actresses in TDSH either had long careers prior to this show or went on to build stellar portfolios. And you can hear it, too.
The same is not true for Mr. Kouji Miyoshi, who played the protagonist, Otsuya Funagai. TDSH appears to be his only anime credit, and to say he left an impression is an understatement – and for all the wrong reasons. If nothing else, Mr. Miyoshi’s performance is proof that voice acting is something not just anyone can do. It requires lots of practice, and only the best voice actors make it look easy.
Hell, it’s not often when I hear a protagonist whisper-scream during the climax of a story.
So, yeah, TDSH was trash, and I didn’t expect anything different. However, if I am being frank, I feel disappointed.
I remember the first time I watched Mars of Destruction – another “worst anime of all time” (made by many of the same people who did TDSH, incidentally). That OVA was utter incompetence, hence, it made sitting through it incredibly entertaining. Mars of Destruction is something you put on to roast when you have your friends around for a night of drinking; you can make a game out of it.
TDSH is another matter entirely. Not only was it bad, but it was also dull; there was no fun value whatsoever. That I did not see coming.
I went into TDSH ready for a beautiful trainwreck. Sure, it was one of the worst, if not the worst, anime I have ever seen. But give it a month, and I am positive it will become nothing more than a mere footnote in my memory.
TDSH is trash not only because of all its mistakes. No, TDSH is trash because even with all its mistakes, it fails to leave an impression.
It is a little weird to express disappointment for the “worst anime of all time” not being bad enough. I mean, if a show is going to be this awful, at least be memorable.
Then again, maybe that is why this legendary OVA is so notorious. Not only does it fail at being an anime, but it also fails at being a spectacularly broken, poorly animated, terribly acted, pompously written anime.
Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven was well and truly, crap.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? What are your impressions of Tenkuu Danzai Skelter Heaven? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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