I’m going to go ahead and guess that you haven’t seen Maze the Megaburst Space, and if you have, you are probably very excited that someone is actually talking about it. It’s one of those shows that aired in the 90s and got licensed long ago, but largely forgotten to the point that it’s scarce fans don’t even bring it up anymore, even if they probably really enjoyed it. No Name hasn’t even seen it – that’s how you know it’s fallen under the radar. And I wouldn’t have seen in either, were it not for some folks in the Amazon marketplace trying to get rid of some stock.
Recently, I came into a large amount of money thanks to graduating high school, and I put a bit of this money into buying a bunch of old 90s OVAs. In one order, I bought Assemble Insert and Twilight of the Dark Master, but when the package arrived there was a third, more peculiar DVD included. It’s called ‘Anime Test Drive’. Evidently, long ago, the now-defunct Central Park Media (producer of all the weird-ass OVAs you may find in the used DVD store) had created a system based around the ‘Anime Test Drive’. The idea is that you buy a test drive DVD for 8 bucks, and it gives you the first two episodes of the show as well as over 45 minutes of previews (yes, they are all there) and if you buy the box set, you can get a $10 rebate for having bought the test drive. The box sets were all in the 70-100 dollar price range, so being able to see the first 2 eps is prolly a good thing, though 8 bucks seems like 2-3 bucks too much.
No Name and I gave the disk a spin, and as is my custom with DVDs, we started with the previews. There were definitely 45 minutes of previews there, though I watched most of them in x1.5. All of them were dubbed, which lead to some of the most hilariously bad dialog you’ll ever hear. Oh man, Virgin Fleet. Rofl. CPM has a funny way of putting sex and violence at top priority, because I guess they thought that’s all anyone wants (not that they were ever the best at choosing good shows, seeing as they’re the M.D.Geist guys.) The very first 2 previews were for the two OVAs of the shit-tacular panty shot anime Agent Aika, legendary for it’s constant panty shots, which the previews were sure to accentuate. However there was also a fucking awesome preview for Adolescence Apocalypse, so that was nice. But enough about the previews.
Maze the Megaburst Space is everything that I love about 90s action-comedy anime. First of all, it kicks off with a rockin’ opening song full of arena rock glory and passionate guitars. The hilarious engrish strewn through the chorus exclaims ‘MAZE OF THE HAZE!’ and ‘MAZE IN YOUR FACE!’ with such excitedness that it catches into your head instantly.
The first episode begins with an obvious Wizard of Oz reference in that the lead female Maze wakes up in her room which has somehow fallen from the sky into a strange land and on top of a couple of demon people. Maze has no memories except that she is named Maze and had been on her way to college before she woke up (though it’s possible CPM changed ‘high school’ to ‘college’ as used to happen to a lot of ecchi and all hentai shows.) Maze is voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi (Misato Katsuragi in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Jury Arisugawa in Revolutionary Girl Utena) and is as awesome as ever.
Maze is immediately greeted by “Mill”, an insanely moe girl voiced by Sakura Tange (Sakura Kinomoto in Card Captors Sakura) who had been under chase from the demon things that were crushed by the house, and is extremely grateful to Maze for saving her. She makes ‘ugyuu’ noises and ends her sentences with ‘desu~’. Honestly, I think she does a better moe voice than just about any of the current actors who try the role. My nutbladder exploded like 17 times over the course of the disk.
Anyway, Mill turns out to be a princess, she’s being chased by demons who turn into mechs or something, and every once in a while the show randomly cuts to this really weird villain who keeps transforming from a beautiful woman to an ugly old man and being menacing for no reason. By the end of the episode, we learn Maze has special powers which she is to use to help the princess, and the princess has a rally badass mech which they pilot together to fight enemies. When Maze gets really into the fight, she also turns into a man. The man version wants to band Mill very bad, and is voiced by none other than the most badass male voice actor ever, second only to Wakamoto, Tomokazu Fucking Seki (Domon Kasshu in G Gundam, Anime Tenchou in Lucky Star, Sousuke Sagara in Full Metal Panic, Touji Suzuhara in Neon Genesis Evangelion, Soichiro Tanaka in Genshiken, Nobu in Nana, Sasuke in Ninja Nonsense where he stars alongside Wakamoto, the list seriously goes on and on and on.)
The first two episodes do a great job of setting up this fantasy comedy with just the right amount of action and plot mixed in with plenty of hilarious jokes. The second episode introduces a raging lesbian character (we’re talking worthy of Baka-raptor‘s appreciation), as well as features Mill pretty much telling both of the Maze’s that she is in love with them, so from the looks of things, lesbian jokes will be a pretty common deal in this show, which I of course am not complaining about. All of the characters seem really fun, and Mill is just so fucking moe that it feels like a vice around my dick. Plus the show has the great 90s budget and animation quality, even getting a full 26 episode run, and an all-star voice cast.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find CPM’s DVDs on Amazon, though I don’t imagine they’ll be totally impossible to find. With CPM out of business, though, I guess people are trying to get rid of their weird DVDs like this one, since I got it for free. Luckily, the show was fansubbed by ILA and the torrents are still easily findable and well seeded, plus ILA has them on their IRC channel. Personally, I was just interested enough that I’m willing to give the whole show a try, which I guess means the test drive did it’s job!