Avenger (アヴェンジャー) is an anime series, produced by Bandai Visual, Bee Train and Xebec, and directed by Koichi Mashimo. It is set on post-apocalyptic colonized Mars. The series premiered across Japan between 1 October 2003 and 24 December 2003 on the TV Tokyo network. Mars has been colonized and is a world where children have been replaced by robot servents known as ‘dolls’. Layla is a skilled fighter with a tragic past who travels about the world. Her companions are Nei, a strange and unique doll with some unknown ties to Layla, and Speedy, who is a doll breeder. The founders of Mars see the trio as a threat to their world, and each time they attack Layla and Nei a bit more of their mysterious past and future is revealed.
The story on this one is relatively stripped down and straightforward, though it unfortunately gets a little derailed and doesn’t do much to answer many questions or present a complete ending. However, like I said, if you’re looking for action, you’ll find it here, as much of the story centers around Layla fighting her way to the end of the anime, and there’s enough of a difference in her fights to keep your attention. No rehashed fighting animations here! All the cities involved in the story are all unique as well, so you won’t feel like the characters aren’t going anywhere; it manages to convey that ‘going on a journey’ feeling quite well, complete with wandering through the barrenness of Mars between cities.
The story fails a little where development is concerned; the Dolls definitely could have been explained more especially since they seem like they should have had more of an impact on the story, as well as Layla’s history with Cross. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the story concerning the ‘Original Twelve’, a red moon getting too close to the planet and causing all sorts of ruckus like no babies being born, as well as the general drama associated with the characters. Thirteen episodes is painfully short for how much Bee Train tried to cram into the series, and unfortunately it becomes evident as the story gets holes in it that don’t get filled at the end. At some point, it’s pretty easy to wonder just where everything is going and what the connection is; it’s a frail thread, but the story never quite breaks completely.