Do you like the idea of bounty hunters in space but don’t want to commit to watching all of Cowboy Bebop? Well, this might suit your needs.

What is it?

Iria: Zeiram the Animation is a six-episode (roughly three hours long) story created as a direct-to-video prequel to a live-action movie.

What kind of story is it?

It’s your typical girl-meets-monster, monster-kills-nearly-everyone, girl-seeks-revenge-on-monster story, really. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen ’em all, am I right?

Zeiram can never rock a hat. In a way, his head IS his hat, though.

Why do you like it?

Part of Iria‘s appeal is that it’s straight-up sci-fi action fluff in a modest-sized format. It isn’t terribly deep and some things don’t make much sense if you stop to think about them, but it does have a plucky heroine shooting the heck out of monsters and there’s an interesting design aesthetic to the characters and the worlds they inhabit.

I mean, I’d like to visit that world some day. Minus the unstoppable killing-machine monsters, of course.

What might one not like about it?

The plot is not one of the show’s strong points. It’s not actually terrible, nor is it particularly strong. The plot’s function here is to get us from one set-piece to another.

Also, if you were hoping for a really strong female character, you might be somewhat disappointed. Iria is certainly capable and such, but her non-combat mode is basically “but what about my brother Gren?”

“Did you know that you’re my hero?”

Other thoughts about it?

My current copy is the oldest of the DVD releases, so I didn’t even bother trying to use it to source screencaps for this post. (Let’s be real: I only did that for a couple of posts all year long.) At one point, however, I used it to make a music video. (If you don’t want to have the ending spoiled, do not click that link.)

…yeah. That happened. Look, I was trying to learn video editing at the time. It was only my third attempt.

Late July of TWO THOUSAND TWO? Gods, I feel old now.

Anyway.

Speaking of music, I rather like some of the songs on the soundtrack. Again, like everything else about Iria, it’s not top-notch stuff but it’s solidly enjoyable.

I was going to write something about Kei, the spunky sidekick, the realized there’s not much to talk about. So.

Where can I watch it?

Nobody has it for streaming as of this writing, so shiny-platter version is your only recourse.  Look for the 2016 release, though. That seems to be the best of the bunch.