FIGHT!! ICZER-1 30th Anniversary celebration

A thirty years anniversary special time.

In 1983, the first chapter of Rei Aran’s Fight!! Iczer-1 was printed in adult comic magazine Lemon People. It ran two whole chapters and was a rather short and self-contained story. Despite the original Iczer-1 having so little time to get an audience, Aran kept illustrating the main characters Nyan and Nagisa in the magazine’s covers, despite them having no further adventures.

It can't get much more 80's than this
It can’t get much more 80’s than this

The two-chapter story follows a strange alien catgirl falling from sky and saving Nagisa from being violated. This catgirl takes liking to Nagisa, and when an alien presence begins to invade Earth, the catgirl takes Nagisa into a cover with a grim look on her face. The second chapter begins where the first one ends, with Iczer-1, the catgirl, teleporting her and Nagisa into a giant mecha called Iczer Robo. They proceed to fight the alien invader, defeating an opposing pilot called Sepia.

During the early to mid 80’s the Original Video Animation was getting wind under its wings, but was still relatively small. With Lemon People becoming a pop-cultural phenomena in Japan, an OVA based production was set into motion. Cream Lemon was that series, and much like the comic, its stories ranged from fantasy to science fiction, handling comedy and horror alike with good splash of erotic thrown in there. 1984 saw first three episodes; Be My Baby, Escalation and Superdimensional SF Legend Rall. Out of these three Be My Baby is remembered as part of the Ami series, and the titular character Ami would appear in many later episodes of the series. Escalation can be seen as good example of girls-in-catholic-boarding school stories, and a series like Maria Is Watching Over Us clearly have taken cues from Escalation.

In that same year Gekisatsu! Uchuuken was supposed to become a TV-series and it got even a radiodrama LP. This LP and various ads in the Lemon People magazine show how the series would’ve been toned back in sexual content, and that would’ve done only good. Not that the comic was overt with this content as it concentrated more on referential comedy. For whatever reason, the deal fell through and the series never came to be.

Gekisatsu! Uchuuken's animation model was used in this cover
Lien Yun, the protagonist of Gekisatsu! Uchuuken, had her animation model used on this cover

In 1985, Fight!! Iczer-1 OVA was released and it is this what Iczer-1 is remembered by. Toshihiro Hirano handled directing and writing, adapting Aran’s original two-chapter work into a normal length episode. While the basic structure is the same between the OVA and Aran’s work, all characters and their looks were revamped from ground up. Iczer-1 was no longer a space catgirl, but a space elf of sorts. Her hair was changed from green to blonde yellow, and her painfully 80’s outfit was replaced with a bit more sensible pink leotard with pieces of armour. She also got a new origin, and now she acted like a toughened up warrior rather than a catgirl that could only speak trough telepathy. Iczer Robo went through a complete redesign as well, thou Nagisa stayed mostly the same. Similar changes happened more or less all around.

A full composite shot of OVA Iczer-1
A full composite shot of OVA Iczer-1

Despite all this, Aran kept illustrating Iczer-1 covers for Lemon People and even illustrated a continuation comic in full colour for Lemon People Special – Fight!! Iczer-! in 1986 during the production of the second act. Aran’s Nya/Iczer-1 would later incorporate similar elements from Hirano’s version, making it a bit more timeless design than the leg warmer design from the original comic.

This blue and metal armour would be the definitive look for the Arai's original Iczer-1
This blue and metal armour would be the definitive look for the Aran’s original Iczer-1 until the retelling of THE ICZER ONE

The OVA was a success, and was essentially the first Lemon People derivative animation that wasn’t porn. It can be said that this greenlighted further similar animation productions, like Project A-ko, which was actually supposed to be a full on adult production, and ultimately paved way to Lemon Angel, one of the first semi-modern late night animation shows in Japan. All this, of course, was because the bubble economy allowed this to happen, and from 1985 to 1991 the OVA boom became larger than ever with incredibly amounts of LaserDiscs and VHS prints made for the Japanese market in relative numbers. Money, cocaine and mushrooms flowed rather freely and there is a very good reason some people automatically relate beautiful animation and shit story with the OVAs. This is because OVAs were free of television and theatrical restrictions. Megazone 23, released the same year as Fight!! Iczer-1, was supposed to be a television series first, but ended up being released as an OVA and so got few more adult themes and scenes included, thou they build some character and flow naturally with the story.

Arai's version of Iczer Robo being summoned to fight Iczer-0
Aran’s version of Iczer Robo being summoned to fight Iczer-0  Lemon People – Fight!! Iczer-One Special, also found in Minna Genki kai!!, a collection of other Aran’s works

The second episode of the OVA, Fight!! Iczer-1 Act II; Iczer Sigma’s Challenge was released a year later in 1986. Because the first act exhausted the little original material Rei Aran had done, Hirano wrote completely new continuation for the story and introducing Iczer-2 to oppose Iczer-1 in the same level. Iczer-2 is more or less a direct evil clone, having same skills and powers, but much like all evil clones, lacks the spiritual side of things. The animation quality changed a little bit, not enough to be noted outside scenes where Iczer Robo was introduced. This is due to presence of fan favourite Masami Obari, who is known to paint and animate mechanics with his more or less unique way. According to Obari, Hirano told him to paint Iczer Robo more like a hero robot, thou this results Iczer Robo looking nothing like in the first part. It could even be argued that Iczer Robo looks less a hero now, but that’s to individual opinion.

Iczer Robo from episode 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The design ultimately changed between all three episodes
Iczer Robo from episode 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The design ultimately changed between all three episodes. It starts with a sleek and feminine look, and then gradually changes into angular and masculine one. Original Iczer Robo is one if the first organic mechas to boot, and the first episode look is still relatively unique

The second episode explores further into the invading alien force, the Cthulhu, or  Cutowolf as the official romanisation by the Japanese goes, and how they terrorise humans by warping space and time, dimensional barriers and morphing humans into monsters. It can be argued that the second episode is a more balanced piece, allowing Nagisa to grow as a character rather than be dragged around by Iczer-1. The second part ends with a cliffhanger, Iczer-1 and determined Nagisa facing Iczer Sigma. That fight would have to wait until next year.

Lemon People Iczer-1 Special teasing Act II's Iczer-2 and Iczer Sigma
Lemon People Iczer-1 Special teasing Act II’s Iczer-2 and Iczer Sigma

The final and third part, simply subtitled Act III: Concluding Volume, was released in 1987. It begins with a recap of the previous two parts. Modern audience that watches all the acts back-to-back will find this a bit jarring. At the time, this was a good move to make, as by that time some of the staff had become relatively well known and more people could pick the third part up without seeing the previous two, that were not in production any more at the time. There would be new releases later down the line, of course.

The third chapter is more disjointed, as it tries to explain what happened to the Cthulhu, the origin of Iczer-1 and the main antagonist Big Gold. However, Hirano fails to deliver on these accounts, making it a more an open question what really happened rather than. In Iczer-1 Mediamix Special, the origin story was told far more clearly as follows;

ICZER-ONE is an embodiment of “conscience,” which is originated the two wills when CUTOWOLF made a contact with an alien. BIG GOLD is an embodiment of “desire” and dominates the center of CUTOWOLF fortress. As both are born from the mind of CUTOWOLF SIR VIOLET, they are destined to contradict each other. BIG GOLD has produced his man, ICZER-TWO in order to knock down ICZER-ONE who is much superior in his fighting ability.

-ICZER-ONE MEDIAMIX SPECIAL, p.2

Even thou the book claims Iczer-2 to be a man, she certainly is a woman. The third episode suffers somewhat from the pacing, as it tries to establish all this information, showing an army of modified Cthulhu who look similar to the other warriors as well as juggle between action and why Iczer-1 needs a partner to synchronise with. What happens during the ending is rather strange, as Big Gold seems to be defeated by merging with Iczer-1, who becomes an overpowered goddess, restoring Earth and reversing time, fixing the damage Big Gold had caused. No Earthling remembers anything, and the final scenes of the OVA ends with familiar scene where Nagisa saw Iczer-1 in the first part.

Hirano would continue to work with Iczer-1, producing a prequel comic Golden Warrior Iczer-1, produced a novelisation on the OVA and even illustrated a side-story comic Iczer Legend, that took place in a different timeline. A sequel OVA, Adventure! Iczer-3 was produced in 1990, which also got a cassette adaptation that continued from the novelisation of Iczer-1. The novelisation of Iczer-3 met the same demise as most of Hirano’s Iczer related productions, as in they never materialised or were finished. While Adventure! Iczer-3 has more time to go over with the characters and story, it stripped all the gore and horror elements the predecessor was known for. The animation wasn’t anything special and the overall deal had practically no impact on the popular culture. In 1994 another sequel was produced, Iczer Girl Iczelion. Here the two episode OVA had absolutely no impact as none of the characters returned, opting to use a new version of Nagisa and sentient robots that form power armours around their users.

1994 also saw Rei Aran’s return to the franchise, where he began to illustrate his take on the larger Iczer-1 mythos with THE ICZER-ONE. This remake comic was serialised in Lemon People much like the original one and incorporated many elements seen in the OVA, but sticking far more to the core of Aran’s original piece. The series stays as one of the more elusive entries in the series, as it has not been collected anywhere, most likely due to its unfinished nature. Lemon People folded in 1998, ending the pop culture defining magazine’s run in a relatively high note with an illustration collecting all the most important pieces it had brought forwards throughout the years. Both Aran’s and Hirano’s versions of Iczer-1 appears on it. As it is NSFW, you’ll have to use this link. A sharp eyed reader will also notice Lien Yun doing a kick there and Zeorymer looming in the background.

By 1994, Arai's style had come a long way
By 1994, Aran’s style had come a long way
Arai's reimagining is far more smoother than his original work, wearing an armour that uses elements from various incarnation thus far. If a future adaptation of Iczer-1 were to happen, I would definitively want to see this one animated
Aran’s reimagining is far more smoother than his original work, wearing an armour that uses elements from various incarnation thus far. If a future adaptation of Iczer-1 were to happen, I would definitively want to see this one animated. Scan from Lemon People #192, July 1995

So, what’s the deal? Why did it became a cult classic?

Iczer-1 OVA was a relatively high budget production for its time. The story it tells may be simple and rather clumsily told in the third act, yet it grabs you and keep you with it. This is thanks to  the detailed animation and heavy use of black accents. The music may not be Oscar worthy, but there are more than few tunes that you will hum to yourself. Iczer-2’s theme is one of those pieces I find myself whistling, outside singing the three vocal songs out loud. Iczer-1 is still relatively unique in series and being one of the few shows that toy with the idea of direct erotica, but ultimately decides to keep it with the bodily horror. Still, the first act is the shining example in the OVA series, as it keeps strings together the best and allows the latter parts to build on top of it. The atmosphere and presence has stark contrasts with each other, and if the viewer is swayed along the story, there are few moments that you will find slightly terrifying. The characters themselves are clear personas, and while the short runtime of the acts do not allow much character development, Nagisa’s character goes through a full cycle while Iczer-1 herself finds understanding rather than keeping with the single minded fighting she’s been doing.

From all this, it is not hard to see why Iczer-1 is remembered by its 1985 OVA. It’s the one that was the biggest hit. Rei  Aran hasn’t returned to the franchise afterwards, Hirano hasn’t attempted to revitalise the animation side either after his Iczer-4 series got cancelled very early in production. Some of the Iczer-4 elements were incorporated into Magic Knight Rayearth TV adaptation in form of Nova, which has overall met with criticism. Both Fight!! Iczer-1 and Adventure! Iczer-3 appeared in Super Robot Wars L for the Nintendo DS.

In the West, or more precisely in the US, Iczer-1 was a massive cult hit. Hirano’s Golden Warrior Iczer-1 got a translation with interviews and Iczer-3 got English language comic. When Evangelion was a new thing, a reviewer mentioned how it was certainly a good television series, but couldn’t hold up against a classic like Iczer-1.

My first set of Laserdiscs were Fight!! Iczer-1, and to some extent it was also my first real foray into OVAs and step into the deeper Japanese pop culture. Nowadays Iczer-1 is readily available on DVD from your Amazon store. The quality on the DVD is on par of the 1991 Laserdisc releases, which is actually pretty damn good, and the price hasn’t been going up too much.

Whether or not there will be another Iczer-1 production is an open question, but the chances are low. Iczer-1 is a product of its time and I’m saying that as a good thing. Most of the time it doesn’t really hold back, and early on it is rough and direct. Perhaps a digitally remastered Blu-Ray release would be in place, if possible.

For a short two-chapter comic, Iczer-1 has come a long way. I hope this little trek into the franchise has brought some new information to you as well as made you interested enough to check it out.

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10 thoughts on “FIGHT!! ICZER-1 30th Anniversary celebration

  1. Interesting read, thanks.
    I was aware of the Aran Rei’s version, but the images from the 1994 incarnation were unknown to me, same as other details in your writeup.

    BTW, maybe that was left out intentionally, but the released (I think in 1987) a movie cut of the OVA called “Special Compilation” if I remember clearly, which has some changed and added scenes. Nothing too significant, but it is nice to check out if one is interested in this story/OVA. It is included on the japanese DVD and has been fansubbed too.

    1. It was more or less a conscious omission due to entry getting too long. The OVA was more the in the spotlight, thou not mentioning the movie is a case of youforgetism.

  2. Aww man. This takes me back. I’m glad some people are able to document about the Iczer series. Hey man,I’m gonna prepare a 30th anniversary of Iczer-1 on deviantart: http://ryugassj3.deviantart.com/

    I might wanna spread the word of this and the 30th anniversary to Masami Obari even. He’s got a twitter account. 🙂

  3. I don’t really care about Obari. When he does his own thing rather than adapting someone else’s design, then is at his strongest. For example, Iczer Robo loses all its sleekness and organic look because Obarism.

  4. Hello, I just happened by you site because I looked up Hirano’s named. I just watched Iczer-1 last weekend. So I decided to revisit the series after almost 3 decades. This was the first time I actually sat down and watched the remastered copy I purchased some years ago. I have to admit that’s some extensive info on the series itself. I didn’t know that Arai was the original creator. That would explain why the artbooks had that one separate story. You mentioned how the series hasn’t been revisited. I myself just recently asked the question what would a remake look like? I noticed that you mentioned Magical Knight Rayearth as there is a design that takes a cue from Iczer-1. But you forgot to mention one more that not many people may not be familiar with. Are you familiar with a obscure TV series called “Kikou Sennyo Rouran (Mysterious Steel Fairy Rouran)”? It was directed by Hirano and if you look at the designs it pretty much screams Iczer-1. This could have been the last time a cue would be taken from the franchise even though the plotting is different.

    I was a long time fan of the series since I first discovered it in 86. It still holds a special place in my heart even after all these years.

    1. The reason why I decided to leave Kikou Sennyo Rouran out was for the same reason the movie version’s mention was dropped out; length of the post was already at its limits. For Rouran another reason is that while it is often compared to Iczer-1, it is ultimately a different entity thematically and in story. Design on the characters are more or less inspired from Iczers for sure, but they were never intended to be Iczers, as was the case with Rayearth’s Nova. Another reason is that the series is not all that good. I’m not sure if Hirano did Rouran to replace Iczer-4, or if it contains the story he wanted to tell, but perhaps it was better we never got it. I originally planned to cover Rouran at some point for sake of comparison, but that idea fell through when I just never got around rewatching the show. If I get to it sometime next year, I’d do it right and get the comic as well for full blown entry,

      As for what sort of remake Iczer-1 would have nowadays, it’s really a game what-ifs. A full blown TV-series doesn’t serve Iczer-1’s story whereas a movie or a miniseries would be the best. Modern sensibilities are different and midnight animation does similar things that OVAs were for back in the day. Point-by-Point remake would be more or less useless, but perhaps the best way would be to adapt Ren Arai’s THE ICZER ONE instead, as it introduces more characters with weight and larger roles to play. Both of Arai’s Iczer-1 lacks the horror element of the OVA, which I personally feel was is an important factor during the first two episodes. The third episode forgets most of that. That’s something Adventure! Iczer-3 lacked as well, but that’s least of its problems. Bloody violence, horror and seriously handled mature SF themes might make a new good Iczer-1 entry, but that’s just me amusing the thought.

      1. Thanks for answering the post. So you did know. Ah…I see. Yeah I watched it and I felt that it was pretty weak. Never finished and felt that Hirano had some issue with directing. I kind of felt that he was lacking in some aspect as a director. Especially after how he handled Dangaioh-G and Rouran. But after going back to the original series I saw what you had described in this column. The only problem was the explanation given to Iczer-1’s origin and how that connects to Big Gold. Plus, with other works by Hirano in the books, it really throws things for a loop. But the series still worked out. Give all you explained it seems that between Arai’s creation and Hirano’s the concept changed so much in that you have 2 separate ideas for the same character. They are literally 2 separate designs. But similar. I’m reminded of Aoi Ohmori’s Sonic Wizard vs Phantom Wizard, only thing is that he’s the one that rebooted an rewrote teh story. It would be interesting to see Arai’s version. But I wonder how it would be perceived by newer fans. We’ve long since had alien space girls. If it had happened when it was supposed to then we wouldn’t have Hirano’s version.

        Y’know I wonder if this was the first anime where a female is using another female as “utility”. Especially in powering a robot. To me it was a first and the only time you would see it in the robot genre in general. Since then we’ve had all kinds.

        1. I’m not completely ready to call Iczer-1 to be the first anime to use another character as an utility piece, I bet some episode of Mazinger Z already did that. The whole Partner and Synchronisation is not well expanded in the series, and the side materials barely touch on the subject anymore than “it’s needed to get more power for Iczer Robo.”

      2. Y’know,you make a lot of valid points of what you see Iczer-1 as.

        The way I see Iczer-1 is of course,it’s about war in another planet’s secret war. Iczer is a romanization of the japanese word ‘ikusa’ which means war,fight,battle,campaign. I’ve been analyzing the story of the OVA and came to something like this in my perspective: ‘Cold Wars and Cuban Missile Crisis is in the horizon but the Cthulhuwulfs decide to conquer Earth since its the next target of conquest and Iczer-1 is the only one who can repel them. Nagisa is much of a victim in the middle of a war in a bad timing. Big Gold creates Iczer-2 to fend off the rebel Iczer-1 since we find out that Iczer-1 was meant to rule by Big Gold’s side to give the humans the hell they deserve since humans create war and Big Gold was the result of the cataclysmic events of what would happen if not only USA but other countries decide to take it too far. Big Gold absorbed everything in the future and traveled back in time to the point after the Cthulhuwulfs’ planet was destroyed and so Big Gold decides to use them for its needs and decides to play Hitler so that no being would defy it,thus Big Gold IS the law. The monsters were a means to bring fear to anyone and bring paranoia to an already malignant situation in the present time Earth (well back in 1985,tho) which is a good plan by Big Gold since the countries of the world aren’t fully ready to trust each other. Not what happened after WW2 that is.’

        It’s really strange how a story that people wouldn’t understand and shun down as a terrible anime would turn out to be a terrifyingly shocking story inside from one person’s view. Even if the characters nor the story says anything about the backstory or the events completely, you can just tell from the release date of the first episode when Iczer-1 took place and how the effects of war would affect others in the process. You can tell the tech that the JSDF was using wasn’t meant for the Cthulhuwulfs to begin with. This was already a dick move by JSDF and it would lead to the creation of Big Gold if things went too far if it hadn’t for the Cthulhuwulfs arrival to Earth.

        Iczer-3 on the other hand is a safe future when all the worlds shared their tech and put their differences aside to make a better world buuuut a side-effect happens after Iczer-1’s fight and Neos Gold materializes.

        Guess I understood what Iczer-1 is and what it’s supposed to be buuuuut you can feel free to counterattack my points & views of what Iczer-1 in your eyes.

        I think someone who truly understands what Iczer is could easily make it into a full-blown TV anime series as dark as Young Black Jack.

        Also,I’d love to hear more about your knowledge in Iczer. I got a deviantart account which you already know by now and I’d love to well,brainstorm ideas of what makes an Iczer (even tho I’m lazy but hey,things happen),man.

        1. Anything can be whatever the analyser wants it to be, thou that’s an invitation for overanalysation. You are right on name being a derivative of 戦, thou that’s more or less self-apparent. For your view on the Cold War and Cuban Missile crisis, the time isn’t right with the OVA. No definitive time period is given, but that’s usual for a SF work like this. We can assume it’s in some sort of near future due to the technological advancement due to what sort of weaponry the JDF used, yet this is your normal kind 80’s bubble Japan combined with super science. Megazone23 did the same thing, where contemporary setting having SF elements. Thus, the elements regarding real world crisis more or less are non-existent in the setting on its own.

          Regarding Chtulhu, or Cutowolf as MediaMix Special puts it, episode 3 of the OVA glosses over what sort of background story there is for them. We know that they are a space faring species that is looking for a new home for whatever reason. Most of them are in stasis pods with Sir Violet seemingly being the only one awake with a pet. The third episode is a kind of mess, trying to establish history and characterisation for Big Gold, but failing miserably. Big Gold is the one that initiates contact with Sir Violet, and it would seem s/he is an embodiment of “desire,” and in the end takes over the whole spaceship, fortress and the race. Iczer-1 is an artificial being, but so is Big Gold. It would seem that Big Gold is sort of cosmic realisation of Sir Violet’s unconscious wish to become a warlike race to take over worlds and create a home for the Cthulhu and Iczer-1 is Sir Violet’s conscience that is the opposite of this. Thus, the two are fated to oppose each other. This is never really expanded upon in the OVA, or even coherently explained. We can draw some conclusions from what we see from the last episode, hinting that Big Gold is actuality is a giant computer complex inside the Chtulhu ship or the like, and the gold child was just an avatar. The ending of the OVA is Iczer-1 becoming some sort of omnipotent being with her accepting and melding with Big Gold and erases Earth’s destruction.

          Anyway, we know Big Gold is relatively new being from all this, which would also explain the child avatar thing going on. It would appear there has been some fights between Big Gold’s Cthulhu and Iczer-1 in the past, but to what extent it’s never revealed, nor is it relevant. Golden Warrior Iczer-1 was supposed to do some background story, but Hirano never finished that story and it sort of contradicted the OVA to slight extent. Then again, everything that came after Iczer-1 contradicts the original OVA outside the novel, but that’s a discussion whenever I want to touch upon Iczer-3. Big Gold isn’t a product of Earth or anything similar, as there is no evidence of that in the series itself and all the material points to Sir Violet being the originator of sorts, as mentioned above.

          I can amuse the whole idea of human war and its links to Big Gold, but that’s not what the series’ plot points to, and the larger franchise even less.

          As for the horror elements, there’s very little to them. They are generic anime horror that wasn’t anything too uncommon for its era, and a lot of OVAs afterwards would have much more nightmarish visuals to them. Iczer-1’s monsters are all about transformation body horror with a dash of transdimensional beings with the whole sub-space fights and beings taking control of houses. All these have roots in Japanese horror literature and overall are not too unique, but are well implemented and realized, at least in the first two episodes.

          Nagisa is a character that we are supposed to relate to as she is your normal human being thrown into the whole situation. How the Partner system works is not expanded upon too much on the side materials either, mainly pointing out that Iczer-1 and Iczer-Robo needing a partner to fight. The Synchonisation is more about Iczer-1 and Partner getting on the same wavelength, so to speak, to derive more power.
          Young Black Jack sort of series about Iczer-1 would essentially be Golden Warrior Iczer-1 the Series, which may not be the best way to go. Much like how the story for Transformers is their war, for Iczer-1 the story it does the best is the invasion of Earth we have in the OVA. Some of the elements in the OVA were fabricated by Hirano himself, like Big Gold, Cthulhu themselves looking for a home and them seemingly being a race of females only. Now that I think of it, Sir Violet was originally named Sister Violet in the comic, and quick glance also shows their race isn’t named, so the name was anime original creation as well. Basically everything from Episode 2 onwards is completely new.
          I said mentioned this to mr.Hunter previously, but I’ll reiterate it here as well; modern take on Iczer-1 should be based on Arai’s THE ICZER ONE, as it is most cohesive piece, taking all the best bits of his own comic and the OVA.

          As for what makes an Iczer, that’s something to which there is no one clear answer. Each of the comics depicts their own sort of Iczer-1, the OVA depicts a different on and Iczer-3 has yet another one. This is of course because there was no grand scheme to anything and that both the original Ren Arai comic and OVA were supposed to be more or less complete products, everything that came after just screwed things up. For example, the Ova ends with Iczer-1 being powerful enough to turn back time and undo things, or something along those lines, whereas in Adventure! Iczer-3 she’s barely any stronger than she was in the first episode of the OVA. Golden Warrior can be disregarded outright, it didn’t have enough time to do anything with the setting. Iczer Legend uses the outline for the characters as Adventure! Iczer-3 did, but much like with Golden Warrior, it doesn’t do anything with the characters.

          As such, to say what makes an Iczer, or rather what makes an Iczer-1 character and story around her, depends completely on which version you want to use. Arai Iczer-1 is a space catgirl that’s a bit cowardly but fights like a demon when she gets into the spirit in a nice SF setting, OVA Iczer-1 is slightly hopeless single warrior fighting against her opposite half in a body horror SF story, Adventure! Iczer-3 is universe loving eternal warrior fighting against universal evil in a very generic SF setting. Then you have what I’d call the most sophisticated take on the character, and that’s in THE ICZER ONE, where Arai made her to resemble both his original space catgirl and OVA vision in a setting that expands on the original comic, but sadly lacks the body horror elements. This is shortening the whole thing down below its bare essentials, because this reply has gone well over the length it was supposed to be.

          The main reason why Iczer-1 never really kept itself afloat was because of Hirano, that we can’t contest. The character and setting had possibilities, but outside the first OVA and Arai’s comics, none of them were properly used, or used at all.

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