Dallos

Directed, Written & Created by Mamoru Oshii

1983-1984

Dallos (ダロス Darosu) is a science fiction OVA series released in 1983. It was written by Hisayuki Toriumi and directed by Mamoru Oshii. It is widely considered not just the first OVA ever released but the first animated direct-to-video production ever released. The storyline focuses on a rebellion on a Moon colony by settlers and a mysterious artifact called Dallos. The story and setting take influence by past works such as the 1966 feature film The Battle of Algiers and the 1966 novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.

Plot

In the near future, humanity has drained the earth of its resources. To sustain Earth's populace, mining colonies are created on the moon to provide vital natural resources. After generations of mistreatment from the Earth Federal Government, the colonists retaliate by performing acts of terrorism leading directly to a conflict with their overseers. A mysterious structure on the moon called Dallos, is worshipped by the colonists and gives them hope. A young colonist by the name of Shun Nomonura is caught into the fray as he joins the rebels, dramatically affecting the lives of those close to him with his actions. A generational divide between the younger natural born colonists and their older compatriots arises as the allegiance to earth as humanity's motherland is questioned.

Episodes

1 "Remember Bartholomew"
2 "The Order to Destroy Dallos!"
3 "Raising in the Sea of Nostalgia, Act I"
4 "Raising in the Sea of Nostalgia, Act II"

Release

In 1991, Celebrity Home Entertainment released an American dub of Dallos Special on VHS under the title Battle for Moon Station Dallos. This feature version was later reissued by Best Film and Video Corp simply titled Dallos. Discotek Media released the OVA series in uncut form on DVD in 2014. The streaming platform Crunchyroll added the OVA series to its catalog in May 2015.

What Critics Had To Say

"If any anime film cries out for restoration and release in a new dub on a dual-language DVD, it is this important work."

"The production design is quite spectacular, ranging from the sprawling moon city of Monopolis and the cramped colonists' quarters to the tunnels and mines where the colonists work and the massive mechanical infrastructure of Dallos itself"

"How could a show with ravenous cyberdogs and rocket-propelled moon-skiing be anything other than great?"