Tales of Byston Well: Garzey's wing (バイストン・ウェル物語 ガーゼィの翼 Baisuton Ueru Monogatari Gāzei no Tsubasa?) is a cult classic three episode anime OVA by acclaimed Japanese director Yoshiyuki Tomino. The series was a flop in mainstream anime culture at the time of its release, but remains as an example to all directors of how a project can have some good ideas, yet fall apart in production.
It is clear that Garzey's Wing has a minimal plot at the best of times, so most ideas of the purpose must be extrapolated. The protagonist Chris is suddenly whisked away to a parallel world while his physical body remains in his home world. Chris' spiritual manifestation travels to a new world, where he is thrust into a rebellion. Chris is told to fight against slave owners and the King's army as the slaves of the Metomeus tribe make their escape from the palace at Izumido. The Ashigaba army fights back with horses, bows, and dinosaur-like creatures called War beasts. The series centers around the slave's escape, the conflict between the King's army and the slaves, as well as Chris' struggle to make sense of his convoluted situation. While one Chris is in Byston Well surrounded by 12th and 13th century foreigners and being chased by a real army, earth Chris must do Chi, spiritual unification, to strengthen his mind. He must stay alive in Byston Well in order to not only attend his high school class reunion pool party, but also to protect his very life.
- voiced by: Rick Nagel (English dub)
- Chris is the popular main character in the film. The story in based around him and his adventures in Byston Well. He is depicted as a regular half Japanese, half Caucasian boy who is trying to get into college but has already failed the college entrance exams twice now. He can turn into Garzey's Wing when he or someone that he cares about is in grave danger. He is easy-going.
- voiced by: Suzy Prue (English dub)
- A close personal friend of Chris who helps him get through the rough times as he is fighting in Byston Well. Some viewers might be convinced that there is a romantic relationship between Chris and Rumiko, though it is never clearly stated in the dialog.
- voiced by: Keith Howard (English dub)
- The ruthless king, who lives in a palace in the city of Izumido, which was built on the backs of the countless slaves he has. Aware of the great powers of the Baraju Tree, King Fungun lets the slaves escape in hopes that they will lead him to the tree, where he then will be able to take it over from the Metomeus by force.
- voiced by: Greg Stuhr (English dub)
- General of the War beast army corp. Came back to assist the King after he caught wind of the attack while fighting the savage Western tribe.
Lord Gelgog Aji
- General of the Ashigaba who dies when a limestone cave collapses. He had a scruffy beard and shoulder length brown hair.
- voiced by: Amanda Goodman (English dub)
- A female warrior among the slaves. She takes a position of semi-leadership in the escape. She is able make contact with a hooded figure who is a valuable fighter for the cause. She also exemplifies an attitude of jealously towards the relationship between Chris and Hassan-san. She is able to overcome her jealousy through a single shot of her shown in inversed colours in episode 3.
- voiced by: Victoria Shea (English dub)
- The priestess who is able to summon Chris to Bryston Well, using the eight Earthenware bells made from special blue clay. It is questioned how such a devious mind can hide in such innocent beauty. A more serious indictment comes from the general of the war beasts when he accuses Hassan-san of being a fake maiden. Weather or not these claims have any backing has the potential to tarnish an otherwise wholesome reputation.
Aishe and Tance
- Aishe (pink hair), and Tance (green hair), are Hassan-san's children. While they claim their hands simply aren't enough to ring the eight bells, they are able to pull though in the end.
Lord Ketta Keras
- Supreme Commander of the Metomeus.
- A Metomeus lieutenant.
- A Metomeus lieutenant. Leader of he suicide squad.
- Leelince finds Giant Tawrad and he is able to come to the rescue of the Metomeus when all hope seems lost. He comes and goes in the later part of the series, fighting the war beasts because, like many other people, he is morally dissatisfied by the dictatorship in Byston Well. It is pointed out that he has distinctive facial features which are often associated with the Garode tribe in the North.
- Food gatherer leader for the Metomeus.
- Left money for the tribe somewhere, presumably near the Barju Tree.
- Hassan's assistant. Covers the bells so they can bake, and provides firewood.
- Hassan's guard.
- He helps with the invention of the uses and has a bowl cut.
Chris' other friends
- Chris' other friends show a true, genuine sense of friendship towards Chris. It is evident when they believe Chris and don't even question the possibility that Chris might be going crazy when he starts to feel sick and begins communicating with the Chris in Byston Well. Other then their undeniable trust and friendship towards Chris, they are also sexy. One who is specifically names is Ms. Tarsier.
- The equivalent of fairies in the natural world. For some reason they are not trusted in Byston Well, which puts you under the impression that an event in the past may have resulted in a grudge between species (quite possibly when Drake Luft's war of aggression got so out of control that the Ferarios exiled all of the combatants to Upper Earth--uselessly, as all of them died during the final battle and their souls went right back to Byston Well). The Ferarios are accused of being tricky and mischievous creatures in Kastunga Hill.
- voiced by: Roxanne Beck (English dub)
The only Ferario depicted throughout the story, who guides Chris as he adapts to his new world. She is introduced when she gets tangled up in Chris's necklace as he is moving between the real world and Byston Well. She also provide sound advice to Chris and the others when faced with perilous situations.
- voiced by: Bobby Fung (English dub)
Grandmother to the main Ferario. She does not appear in the anime. She lives on Kastunga Hill with Falan Fa.
- These are the most feared of the War Beasts, because of the size, and vicious nature. They are about 30-35 feet tall, mainly brown and Grey, with a large orange spike on their head to use in battle.
- Reptilian creatures found in the Boundless Plains of Gabujuju.
- Smaller pink creatures used by the War Beast Army Corps. to carry single soldiers into close combat situations. Their descriptions are similar to those of dinosaurs commonly known as raptors.
Yamato Takeru no Mikoto
- A character that is mentioned numerous times throughout the movie, but never seen. The English voice actors have trouble with the pronunciation with this name in particular. He is most likely a reference to Yamato Takeru, of Japanese legend.
- While only having brief lines throughout the anime, His most notable role is in the introduction of Garzey's wing when Chris is taken away by the giant duck. The Narrator is controversially referred to as being a ghost when Chris breaks the fourth wall by asking him "WHAT THE WHO ARE YOU A DAMN GHOST!?" and the narrator/ghost replies with "Why do think this is the work of a ghost?" His true identity may forever remain a mystery to the viewers, but it is safe to assume that he might also be an eligible candidate in being the renowned and celebrated Yamato Takeru no Mikoto.
Humanity at heart
The leader of the slaves, who is represented through a bearded old man, follows a strict belief that "humans are just human", which can also be understood as the moral of this tale in Byston Well. Chris is only human so he can only act as human through his human nature to protect human kind. Although it may seem to be a deep concept to grasp, the idea can easily understood after a thorough analysis of the anime.
The film was unsuccessful everywhere when it came out, and was a stain on the career of the otherwise very popular director Yoshiyuki Tomino. The English dub was known for sounding awkward both in the translation and the voice acting. However, the music in the anime has been praised as being phenomenally powerful and touchingly endearing Empty citation (help). Notable pieces of music include the ending theme song "Wings Of My Heart" and the fight scene music between Chris and Rumiko.
- WINGS OF MY HEART (Ending Theme)
- Performance: Magesty
- Lyrics: Shiro Sagisu
- Composer/Arranger: Shiro Sagisu
- Yoshiyuki Tomino: Writer, Director, script, creator, storyboard.
- Shiro Sagisu: Music
- Kenichi Ohnuku: Character Design
- Kip Kaplan: ADR Director
- Reiko Matsuo: Translation
- John O'Donnell: Executive producer
- Stephanie Shalofsky: Producer
- Karel Havle: Dubbing Coordinator
- Christopher Sippel: Dubbing Manager
- Phil Bachoo: Production Assistant
- Aura Battler Dunbine and its sequel OVA also occur in the fictional land of Byston Well (technically, many centuries in the past; the chronologies of ABD and this anime do not match up).