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VOTOMS Finder

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Summary

A young man named Aki Tesno lies down in an Artro junkyard at the bottom of a valley and thinks about flying high in the sky. His partner A.B. tells him she got a nice lunch for them based on their earnings from yesterday, and she tosses an apple at him because he’s ignoring her. She asks him what’s so fun about staring at the sky all the time, and he replies that she’s not his mother. A giant flying Ant crawls out of the rock face, so Aki and A.B. get into their Artros and give chase. Aki fires a smoke round from his rifle, and A.B. tells him they need to get closer to attack. Aki asks her to cover him while he shoots out his Mation Type‘s left fist on a grappling cable and swings closer to the Ant. A young woman watches from nearby as Aki and A.B. fight the Ant. Against A.B.’s advice, Aki jumps onto the Ant’s head and drives a stake from his foot into its head to gain stable footing. The Ant then goes berserk and starts rampaging. A.B. tells Aki to jump off the Ant, but he tells her that his leg is stuck. He then fires his rifle at point blank range to blow off the leg at the knee. As Aki falls, he fires out his fist to grab hold of the Ant. The Ant then takes off and escapes, and Aki deploys a parachute bubble to soften his landing. Later, a worker complains to an old man named Dabart that they hauled in less today because Aki screwed up while fighting the Ant. Aki wonders if the lights coming from above the valley are from the Top and asks Dabart about it. Dabart mentions that he did go to the Top 20 or 30 years ago when he thought that was his future, but it didn’t work out. He says Bottomers like them have no place up there. A.B. attaches a new leg to Aki’s Mation Type, and parts merchant Melingall gives Aki the bill while dismissing talk of the Top. Melingall tells Aki he’d better treat A.B. right, and when he says she’s just an old friend, she tosses a pipe at his leg. She asks him what he would do if he got to the Top since he’s always talking about it, but he doesn’t know. Aki says his desire to go to the Top is like an itch, and Melingall says he must want to see a new world with new faces. Aki and A.B. go outside, and when he wonders what Toppers think of Bottomers, Aki answers scrappers and garbagemen. Aki considers scaling the rock wall to get to the Top, but A.B. reminds him that six people have died over the last 50 years trying that. Aki then says good night and heads into his trailer.

At the Top, a man named Joze Lessing decides to recruit some Bottomers for help on a job. In the morning, Dabart tells Aki that a Topper has a job for him. Lessing introduces himself as a general who works under Chairman Vizrilde. Lessing shows Aki a holographic picture of a young woman and says she’s the Chairman’s daughter and has been kidnapped for ransom. Lessing says he sent men after her, but since they weren’t familiar with the local terrain, the kidnapper escaped into a large factory. Lessing gives Aki the holographic picture and asks for his help in the search, which Aki agrees to. He’s surprised when Lessing shakes his hand, although Lessing is wearing gloves. Aki, A.B. and Lessing’s A.T. team head into the ruined building and follow Aki’s lead. Aki looks at a picture of the young woman and wonders what her name is, finally settling on Cendrillon. He asks A.B. what she thinks, and she tells him he’s an idiot and that it sounds like a fairy tale name. She mocks him and tells him he’s acting like a knight in shining armor. A.B. asks Aki where they’re heading, and he says their destination is the reservoir since it’s one of the few sources for water. Aki immediately spots the girl and gives chase. She tells him to stay back, and Aki explains that he’s come to save her. The kidnapper’s Artro then drops into the room and knocks Aki down. A.B. tries to call Aki and see if he’s ok, but the radio signals are being jammed. Aki fires a smoke round at the enemy Artro, but it kicks away his rifle and destroys it. Aki then rushes in and tries to do a knee kick, but the Artro dodges. Aki then fires his fist to grab onto the Artro, but it breaks free and fires three grappling hooks into Aki, swinging him around. The At is then hit by Lessing’s Artros, which also fire at Aki and knock A.B. aside. Lessing’s Artross place the girl into a capsule and escape from the building. They load the capsule into Lessing’s truck and drive away.

A.B. asks Aki if he’s ok, and he says that he is. The other Artro pilot, Diehardt Grunlich, exits the Birrark Konigucht‘s cockpit and punches Aki in the face. He tells Aki that Lessing’s men were the kidnappers and that Aki helped them. He says they only used Aki and abandoned him. Diehardt picks up a damaged piece of his Artro and says he’s going to save the girl. Diehardt explains that Lessing masterminded the kidnapping because he’s a deputy delegate for Councilman Bild, a political opponent of Chairman Vizrilde. He thinks the kidnapping is part of a political ploy by Lessing to take the chairmanship for himself. Outside, Lessing’s shuttle takes off and heads back to the Top. Diehardt is the girl’s guard and was able to save her, so they escaped to the Bottom. He tried to call his comrades for help, but the radio signals were being blocked. Later, Melingall and A.B. perform repairs on the Artros, and A.B. says she’s going to install the module from the Birrark Konigucht onto Aki’s Mation Type so they can get it working. Diehardt says no one asked them to do that, but Aki says he did because he intends on coming along. Diehardt refuses and says he doesn’t acknowledge Aki’s abilities, which leads Aki to ask if it’s because he caused all this, or because he’s a Bottomer. Aki says he has to find her no matter what, and Diehardt tells Aki to stay out of his way. Aki has a look at Diehardt’s crashed shuttle, which is beyond repair. Diehardt suggests going through the caves, but Aki points out that they have no map, and he realizes that scaling the canyon is the only way. Later, A.B. searches for Aki and is shocked to see him and Diehardt scaling the canyon wall. Aki and Diehardt reach the halfway point, but they’re suddenly attacked by a giant Ant, which knocks Diehardt down to a metal girder. Aki spots his Artro leg and realizes it’s the same Ant from yesterday. He fires a smoke round at his severed Artro leg, which sends the Ant falling. Aki falls down as well, but Diehardt grabs hold of him. A.B. is nearly hit by the falling Ant and decides to climb up through the tunnels. Aki thanks Diehardt for saving him, and Diehardt points out that Aki also saved him. Diehardt is worried about the girl because Lessing was his superior in the military, so he knows how ruthless Lessing can be. A.B. climbs up through the caves and reaches an Ant tunnel. Aki reaches the Top and is surprised to see a shining city lit up in the night sky. At the base of the valley, Dabart and Melingall sit around the fire as he talks about young people and their dreams of reaching the Top.

Aki and Diehardt reach the military installation where the girl is being held. Diehardt says they have to destroy the jamming unit so he can call for help, but it’s being guarded by seven Artros. Aki is out of spare ammo drums and decides to simply charge in. A warning siren goes off when their intrusion is detected, and the enemy Artross open fire. Aki’s rifle gets bent out of shape, so he tosses it up to the jamming unit and has Diehardt shoot it, which destroys the jammer. A.B. crawls out of a hole and gives Aki a new rifle. He tells her to take cover and charges in to help Diehardt. A Roper drone attacks Aki, and Diehardt warns him about its chain missiles. Aki dodges the missiles, which end up destroying several enemy Artros. Aki flips into the air and uses his parachute e to cushion his landing. He then gets in close and fires a round at the Roper, destroying it. Several truck trailers open, revealing a squad of Artros that surround Aki and Diehardt. Artros from the Topper police descend from hovercraft and attack Lessing’s forces. With the enemy Artros destroyed, Aki searches for Lessing and picks up a signal inside an Ant tunnel. Lessing’s truck drives through the Ant tunnel, and he says to himself that as long as they have the girl, no one can touch Bild and the incident can’t be made public. Aki and Diehardt speed through the tunnel after Lessing, and his truck reaches the surface. Lessing boards his AT and tells Diehardt that he’s just like a Bottomer to him. Lessing fires at Aki, but Diehardt pulls in front and takes the shot. Lessing fires another shot that blows off one of Aki’s legs, so Aki fires his grappling fist at the truck. Lessing fires again, but Aki boosts himself into the air and fires at the other Artro. Aki manages to reach the truck, but Lessing blows away his rifle. Aki uses his knee kick to destroy the trailer and grab the capsule. Lessing fires again, but Aki lifts the trailer bed and uses it as a shield to block the attack. The explosion causes the truck to spin out of control, sending it and Lessing flying off the side of the canyon. The large Ant then takes off and swallows Lessing’s AT whole. A.B. finally catches up with Aki as Diehardt opens the capsule. The girl wakes up and hugs Diehardt, which A.B. mocks Aki about. The girl introduces herself as Cendrillon Thrini, and Aki is surprised that her name was really Cendrillon. Aki apologizes for causing everything, but Cendrillon tells him it’s not his fault. Diehardt takes off his glove and shakes Aki’s hand. Aki says that if Diehardt ever needs help, he’ll lend a hand.

Commentary

Like Case;IRVINE and MerowlinkVOTOMS Finder is one of the few OVAs in the series to not focus on Chirico. But unlike Case;IRVINE, which is instantly recognizable as part of the VOTOMS universe, Finder is pretty far removed by being in an alternate universe. Visually, this OVA is also unlike the rest of the franchise, with bright colors providing a nice contrast from everything else. This OVA is also like Case;IRVINE in that it is entertaining despite a cliché story. Aki is a young man who dreams of big adventures and gets roped into kidnapping a princess-type girl, which sounds straight out of a bog standard JRPG. A.B. acts as Aki’s long-suffering companion, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she has a romantic interest in him that he’s completely oblivious to. If you go into Finder expecting an entertaining ride and not a deep or original story, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall Rating
3.5/5
VOTOMS Finder Info


Director:
Atsushi Shigeta

Writer:
Mayori Sekijima

Mechanical Designer(s):
Kunio Okawara
Hitoshi Fukuchi
Atsushi Shigeta

Character Designer:
Junichi Hayama

Musical Composer:
Wataru Iwamoto

Video Release:
Japan 04.07.2011
U.S. 07.23.2019

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