Yoshiyuki Tomino is the man behind Gundam, the franchise that has made over $20 billion worldwide and cemented itself as one of the most well-known anime franchises in history. But, that doesn't mean that everything Tomino touches turns to gold. Garzey's Wing, for instance, is often said to be one of the worst anime of all time, often compared to Tommy Wiseau's infamous flop, The Room.
Released in 1996, this three-episode OVA sees Tomino return to the world of one of his previous works, 1983's Aura Battler Dunbine. Aura Battler Dunbine was set in a land called Byston Well. As the anime ran, Tomino expanded on this world via a series of light novels called The Wings of Rean. By 1997 he had written 24 books set in this world. The last five of these are a prequel to the others, and it is these books that Tomino adapted into Garzey's Wing.
The series starts with Chris, a slacker who just failed a college entrance exam due to being too laid back, telling his friend that he will try the exam again. But, first, he is going to attend a pool party. So he hops on his motorcycle and drives off. As he drives past a shrine, his necklace starts to vibrate. Suddenly, a giant glowing goose descends from the heavens, grabs Chris and throws him across dimensions. Chris then lands in Byston Well, totally naked and in the middle of a massive fantasy battle. Once the battle ends, Chris is told that he is a holy warrior, and he discovers that he can sprout magical wings from his ankles, the titular Garzey's Wings.
But that isn't all. Chris quickly realizes that only his spirit was teleported. The real Chris is still in the real world, acting as if everything is normal. The two can communicate via magic, and in the real world, Chris realizes that he has the same wounds as Byston Well Chris, suggesting that they share a body. Real World Chris then decides that the only way to join himself back together is to perform spiritual unification. But the audience is never told what that entails.
The rest of the OVA cuts between Byston Well Chris trying to solve the problems of his new world, and real-world Chris trying to help him. However, most of the time is spent crushing the viewer under a never-ending torrent of exposition. But the ending is something to behold. Real-world Chris passes out from the other Chris draining his energy. In Byston Well, a big battle occurs where that Chris prevails, but is forced to execute an enemy general, causing him to puke. We then cut back to real-world Chris on his motorcycle. Suddenly this Chris spouts Garzey's Wings, causing his motorbike to fly into the air in a way that resembles Poochie returning to his planet in The Simpsons.
And then it just ends. If you put Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life over the end credits, it would feel like something ripped directly out of a Monty Python sketch. It isn't known why the OVA ends like this. Some say that this was meant to act as a TV pilot, but it never got picked up, others say the money simply ran out and others argue that Tomino got bored. We'll likely never know the truth because Tomino doesn't like to talk about it, though he has mentioned that he was quite ill during the production of Garzey's Wing.
But what cements Garzey's Wing as a so-bad-it's-good classic is its English dub. The OVA was licensed by Central Park Media who released the dub in 2000. New Generation Pictures translated the OVA in one of the most clunky and literal ways possible, making the already dry and exposition-filled dialogue even harder to understand.
Then, Audioworks Producers Group, a company most known for dubbing hentai, hired a load of random actors to perform the resulting mess. These actors cut each other off and shout every line like they're trying to order a drive-thru burger over a broken microphone. It also sounds like it's the first time anyone involved has seen the script they're supposed to be recording and that even they can't believe how bad the translation is.
Over its runtime, Garzey's Wing throws a lot of stuff at the viewer and explains basically none of it. The plot is just a cavalcade of things that happen and doesn't really go anywhere. The perfect summary of Garzey's Wing comes from the first episode of the dub. While the two versions of Chris are chatting, modern-world Chris says, "I must somehow make sense of our convoluted situations," to which most viewers will reply with "you and me both buddy."