Gall Force 3: Stardust War
After sitting through the agonizing boredom of Gall Force: Eternal Story and its sequel, Gall Force 2: Destruction, you'd think I'd have learned better than to grab the final installment in the trilogy. But through some momentary lapse in rational thinking, I rented and watched Gall Force 3: Stardust War. Oops.
This movie picks up shorty after the events in Gall Force 2, with the war between the Solnoids and Paranoids escalating to the point of no return. It seems the Planet Destroyers, as featured in Gall Force 2, are going to be used full tilt by both sides of the conflict and annihilate everything. Lufy, Catty, and the other survivors of the previous movie realize the futility of the absolute destruction of both sides, and after meeting up with the Intelligence Captain of the Paranoid forces, decide to try and avert the impending destruction.
The problem with this movie, as with the prior installments, is the complete and utter lack of character development. The characters are so unbelievably anemic they must have made a fortune at the blood bank. I mean, really, would it kill them to show a bit of personality now and then? Okay, I'm probably being a bit too harsh, as Captain Nebulart does display some emotion and also more sense than the entire collective of the Solnoid and Paranoid races (not a huge feat, mind you). But for the most part the characters regulate themselves to a somber, downcast attitude with the same identical, vapid expressions that remain mostly unchanged for the duration of the video. And the Paranoid villains are so devoid of depth, I'm wondering why they even give them any screen time. Given the severe lack of character development, I didn't give two hoots about the conflict.
Gall Force 3, like its predecessors, is an older, 80's style anime with visuals and audio to match. The character and background artwork was decent, but the animation was fairly minimal for the most part, and the sound effects weren't particularly impressive.
The one highlight for myself all of this, is that there is a brief revelation as to why events in Gall Force: Eternal Story and Gall Force 2: Destruction occurred. Without giving too much away, it turns the whole series into a sci-fi creationist story line, and makes the series a lot deeper than I initially thought. When you begin to apply any logic to the overall story line of the series, however, it completely falls apart, and still leaves me wondering exactly why the Solnoid and Paranoid races are waging such a destructive war. And, unfortunately, that nagging question just never gets answered.
The old axiom "third time's the charm" definitely does not apply in this case. Gall Force 3: Stardust War is a most disappointing conclusion to a very sub-par trilogy. If you want epic tales of intergalactic warfare, grab the original Gundam or Macross sagas and leave this series be.
The Verdict: * 1/2 (very poor)
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