Tetsuro directed Iria: Zeiarm the Bounty Hunter, an animated miniseries that is the prequel to the Zeiarm films. The series consists of 6 action-packed episodes that will keep you on the edge of your seat. However, as I have not watched the Zeiarm films, I will not be comparing how faithful an adaption the miniseries is to the original films.
The miniseries is about the titular character Iria, an apprentice bounty hunter working to get her bounty hunting license under her brother Gern. Iria, Gren, Bob, and Fujikuro work together as bounty hunters in some sort of company or guild. The story begins with Iria, Bob, and Gren taking on a dangerous mission to go to the hijacked ship, the Karma, and retrieve the people on board and the cargo.
While investigating the hijacking of Karma, the bounty hunters discover that the Karma was hijacked by the invincible alien monster Zeiarm. Zeiarm proceeds to kill every living thing that he encounters while Iria helps the survivors get to the escape shuttle. Bob and Gren both get injured while buying Iria’s time to help the passengers escape. Bob goes on the shuttle with the survivors, and Gren goes to face Zeiarm alone.
Iria returns to Myce and begins investigating what happens to Karama’s survivors and her friend Bob. Tedan Tippedai covered up the slaughter on the Karma and hired assassins to kill Iria. Fujikuro rescues Iria and storms Tedan Tippedai’s headquarters, where they reunite with Bob and find out that Tedan Tippedai captured Zeiarm and was experimenting with weaponizing him. Fujikuro, Bob, and Iria begin to investigate what happened to Gren.
The Sci-Fi anime clearly inspired by the horror genre, in particular the titular antagonist Zeiarm who is something between a parasite and a virus. Zeiarm infects its host, transforming them into zombie-like extensions of its body with grotesque elements that are reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Thing. Everything and Everyone that Zeiarm kills becomes an extension of its body that is controlled through a hive mind by the core body.
Iria: Zeiram Bounty Hunter suffers from the same weakness all mini-series suffer from lack of character development. Throughout the series, there are many instances in which character interactions and plot elements seem forced. This becomes an even bigger issue when the anime introduces a subplot between Iria and an individual she saves from a Zeiarm attack. The subplot takes away from developing the relationships between the main three characters. Still, I recommend that all anime fans that enjoy old-school anime add Iria: Zeiram Bounty Hunter to their Amazon watchlists. It’s perhaps one of the best anime that I have seen on Amazon Prime to this date.