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Iczelion Anime Review

Iczelion Box Art


1 stars / OVA / Action / 13-up

Bottom Line

Good looking, but devoid of meaningful content.

It’s Like...

...Sailor Moon with sentient alien battlesuits and extra fanservice, except drastically lamer than that sounds.

Vital Stats

Original Title

戦-少女 イクセリオン

Romanized Title

Ikusa-Shoujo Ikuserion

Literal Translation

War-Girl Iczelion

Animation Studio


US Release By

Section23 (also ADV Films)


Color-coded Battlesuited Girl Action

Series Type



2 30-minute episodes

Production Date

1994-01-24 - 1994-03-24

What's In It


Look For

  • Catfights (sort of)
  • Super-Wrestling (alien pile driver!)
  • Alien Beasties
  • Musical Interludes
  • Silly Alien Battlesuits
  • Intra-School Chases

Objectionable Content

  • Violence: 3 (significant)
  • Nudity: 2 (moderate)
  • Sex: 0 (none)
  • Language: 1 (mild)

full details

See Also


  • Iczer-1 (related)
  • Iczer-3 (related)

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Plot Synopsis

A bad man and his equally bad sister are busy taking a big bunch of evil monsters around the universe blowing up happy planets. The only thing standing in their way are the Iczel, suits of bio-armor that merge with other beings to become powerful warriors. They haven't managed to stop the onslaught yet, but when Earth becomes the next target, human hosts may be just what they need to turn the tables. Only one problem--one of the Iczels has chosen Nagisa, a high school girl lacking the confidence to be an intergalactic defender. Will she work out her feelings in time to save the planet?

Quick Review

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Iczelion is color-coded battlesuit girl anime spiffed up with nice animation but stripped of anything even resembling backstory or plot. Between the juvenile storyline, silly antics of the chibified Iczers walking around when they're not attached to girls, and a string of vapid 30-second character introductions you'd think 8-year-olds were the target audience, but there's enough bloody violence and fanservice by way of transformation sequences and short skirts that even that demographic probably shouldn't be watching it.

The only audience left is split between late night hecklers who'll find it so vacuous that there's plenty to mock and folks with a short attention span and an inordinately strong desire to see cute girls in colorful battlesuits blowing up giant, ugly monsters.

Read the full-length review...

Full Review

Switch to Quick Review

Iczelion is about as formula as Standard Anime Plot #4 comes: Bad guys show up to destroy Earth, a bunch of girls gain superpowers (and multi-colored outfits), and the heroine must overcome her self doubt before they can win. There are only two things worth particular note: An utter lack of plot, and relatively attractive visuals. If you're not hot to see cute girls blowing up giant, ugly monsters, then you need not read on unless you're particularly curious.

Iczelion is a high-school-girls-in-color-coded-battlesuits series with the plot edited out. We're introduced to the premise (and both villains) in a quick fight at the beginning, and that's about the extent of it. The bad guys go around blowing up planets because... well, they're bad. The Iczel battlesuits somehow pop up here and there to stop them, but of course can't succeed until the bad guys show up at Earth, site of all important intergalactic battles. A lot of whining by the main character about how she's too busy with school to save the universe tries to pass for drama, but about all I got out of it was "Get over it and kick some butt already."

To be fair, the characters are so shallow it's actually funny. Our hero's entire backstory consists of--I kid not--a 30 second conversation between two classmates about how she's always exercising because she wants to become a pro wrestler. Then an alien appears and there's a fight. And she's the deep one. The rest of the team is introduced as follows: A woman in a dated-looking bad-girl ensemble appears dancing at a club, the males in the audience are treated to compromising camera angles of her miniskirt, and she's suddenly attacked by an alien. Cut to a cute girl performing at a concert in an even more anachronistic idol outfit who is attacked by aliens as soon as her song is over. Finally cut to a smart-looking woman on the street who doesn't do anything, because by that time it's not even worth showing the aliens attacking her. And that's it.

The girls give the newcomer a hard time (understandably--she's a complete wuss), she spends way too much time wrestling with the burden of being a superhero (which sounds remarkably like whining), in the end she proves her worth to the team, and they all blow up a bunch of aliens in the process (notice how that's an ongoing theme). End Standard Anime Plot #4, sans any of those annoying side stories or creative variations. Oh, and they partially blow up Tokyo before it's over, of course.

The quality is illustrated nicely when, five or ten minutes into it, the villain says "the plot thickens..." and my response was to literally laugh out loud. By "thickened" he apparently meant "continues to not exist." At the end, the series stops dead when it'd have taken maybe half an episode to wrap up, and I honestly had to wonder if they just didn't bother with a conclusion since the outcome was so obvious.

What about 8-year-olds, the only demographic that might enjoy it? Enter gratuitous fanservice in the form of low camera angles and standard-issue but closeup-heavy naked transformation sequences. (Why is it no one can invent power armor that can be put on without magically removing the user's clothing?)

I might as well mention the Iczels, who, when not attached to their owners, walk around in cartoony chibi form being annoying. The fun part of this is that they act as telepathic backseat drivers when their owners don them to fight, a concept I'm fond of. Otherwise, they're just silly: "Look at the chibi ultra-powerful battlesuits give each other a hard time! How cute!" (Say, ever notice how powerful beings find the bushes near Tokyo high schools a good place to chat?) Of course, they're no sillier than the rest of the story, so no problem there, and I suppose it beats waving a magical baton.

Anyway, the visuals: the one and only high point of the series. The animation is by AIC, and it mercifully lives up to their reputation--smooth motion, nice linework, and despite being a bit chaotic and simplistic, the battles are fast and furious. None of the design is original and the coloring is too bright, but the character designs are not-unpleasant, the bad guys look cheesy-cool, and if you ignore the cute non-battle forms the armor has the same classic anime look of previous entries in the Iczer-series. Even the big ugly monsters, despite looking an awful lot like bosses from the 16-bit gaming era, are mildly creative and passably creepy-looking.

I've only seen the English dub, which is unremarkable. The casting is quite good, and although the acting lacks punch, it isn't particularly bad (the two villains are the best of the lot). The writing, unfortunately, is weak, but then again the whole thing is so cheesy it fits right in.

The overdramatic music is surprisingly good--it sounds high budget, if nothing else. There are also several half-decent songs scattered about (one in-story, the others as background), along with a cheesy-but-kind-of-catchy end theme. (Almost shockingly, it's even related to the story instead of a random love song.) Even in the dub the original Japanese songs are left in (with subtitles), a wise decision.

To reiterate: Iczelion is plotless, juvenile, rather silly, and there's too much fanservice to show it to kids with short attention spans, who would be the only potential audience other than late-night entertainment for people who like to heckle bad anime. The closest things to worthwhile are remarkably nice visuals and being so pointless it's almost funny. If you're an absolute die-hard fan of color-coded girl action, or you must see all things Iczer, then maybe you should give it a chance, but don't waste your brain cells otherwise.

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Related Recommendations

The genre has been done hundreds of times in slightly varied forms from Sailor Moon to Shinesman, and this has to be one of the emptiest entries in it.

Notes and Trivia

The first part of the original Japanese title would ordinarily be read "Ikusa-Shoujo", but the English text in the background of the box indicates that it's probably intended to be read "Ikusa-Girl," meaning "War-girl" or something similar. Iczelion, which is supposed to be pronounced "ick-sel-i-on," is a play on that same word "ikusa," as was the original Iczer ("ik-ser") series that precedes this one.

And on that note, there is a collection of sci-fi series that Iczelion is considered part of. The two animated incarnations are Iczer-1 and Iczer-3, and there's also a short series of manga titled "Doll" (not available in English to my knowledge). I have no knowledge of the other animated incarnations apart from that Iczelion is theoretically supposed to be a sequel but doesn't sound much like it. The manga seems unrelated story-wise, but is at the very least much better than this.

US DVD Review

No US-release DVD exists as of this writing.

Parental Guide

Not terribly objectionable, but bits of nudity and some bloody violence add up to probably at least a 13-up, 16-up if you're strict.

Violence: 3 - Not particularly graphic, but a few people do die, and there is blood.

Nudity: 2 - A few close-up transformation flashes.

Sex/Mature Themes: 0 - Zip.

Language: 1 - Nothing worth mentioning.

Staff & Cast

English Dub Cast

Nagisa: Larissa Wolcott
Iczels: Rebecca Davis
Cross: Ellie McBride
Chaos: Robert Pierson
Nami: Claire Hamilton
Kiira: Jessica Schwartz
Kawai: Jessica L. Wilson
Luna: Jamie Megan
Dina: Casie Waller
Arisa: Christina Fernandez
Mika: Lydia Blanca
Slain Iczelion (Ep 1): Lydia Blanco
Additional Voices: Charlie Campbell, Christina Fernandez


Director: Toshihiro Hirano
Original Story, Script, Animation Continuity: Toshihiro Hirano
Producers: Takai Asaga, Kinya Watanabe (AIC)
Character Designs: Toshihiro Hirano, Masanori Nishii
Mechanical Design: Takafumi Hashimoto
Animation Directors: Masanori Nishii, Takafumi Hashimoto, Masato Bessho
Art Direector: Hiroshi Katoh
Photography Director: HITOSHI
Music: Tatsumi Yano, Kenji Kawai
Music Production: Youmex
Production: KSS
Animation Production: AIC

Main Theme

War Girl Iczelion
Lyrics: Kouichirou Maeda
Music: Tatsumi Yano
Arrangement: Tatsumi Yano
Performance: Mari Sasaki

End Theme

You're the Best Partner
Lyrics: Kouichirou Maeda
Music: Kenji Kawai
Arrangement: Tatsumi Yano
Performance: Naomi Takahashi

Additional Songs

"I Fall in Love with Lord Petregeus"
Lyrics: Kouichirou Maeda
Music: Kenji Kawai
Arrangement: Kenji Kawai
Performance: Chinami Nishimura

"Life is Tough"
Lyrics: Kouichirou Maeda
Music: Kenji Kawai
Arrangement: Tatsumi Yano
Performance: Naomi Takahashi


Was originally available in the US from ADV on a single subtitled or dubbed volume, both long out of print.

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