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Anime / Twinkle Nora Rock Me!

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I shouldn't have to point this out when talking about an anime, that anime, has to be, you know, animated. It's like, right there in the name.''
Kenny Lauderdale, during his review

The second OVA adaptation of the Nora manga (not to be confused with the Weekly Shōnen Jump series of the same name; the full title of this series is Nora no Hakobune), Twinkle Nora Rock Me! was released in November 1985 — just 10 months after the previous one (which was simply titled Nora). Unlike the previous OVA, Rock Me! was developed by the manga's creator Satomi Mikuriya on an astoundingly low budget, with Limited Animation at various points throughout — the Action-Hogging Opening scene and the infamous "dance" scene being the most notable examples.

The plot revolves around the eponymous character, Nora Scholar, a Bounty Hunter with Psychic Powers. After busting a notorious criminal, she gets a $10,000 check from her boss, only to burn it and laugh, noting that she has other intentions than making money, such as learning more about her powers. Afterwards, she heads to Planet Dazzle to fight Fuuchiro due to the $1,000,000 bounty on his head. After getting into a Bar Brawl with the villain's younger brother, Touchino, she befriends a miner named Max. Nora attempts to coax Max into revealing the location of Fuuchiro... by making some music with makeshift drumsticks. One trippy dance sequence later and he agrees to go with her. Then Nora and Fuuchiro have a climactic final fight that essentially boils down to "My Psychic Powers Are Stronger Than Yours". One celebratory music number and possible Sequel Hook later and roll credits.

Rock Me! didn't make much of a blip when it was first released in 1985, but eventually became memetic in 2019 when YouTuber Kenny Lauderdale posted clips of the anime on his channel. The quality of the animation made it rather infamous among the anime crowd, with some people even going as far as calling it the Japanese equivalent to Hammerman due to the sheer choppiness of its animation. Interestingly, this OVA was animated on a computer, long before digital ink and paint became the norm for the industry.

Low Budget Examples:

  • Action Girl: Nora, who has Psychic Powers and is a bounty hunter.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: The first scene. Too bad there's no in-between frames whatsoever.
  • Animation Bump: The part after the opening scene looks a little better than anything before it. Then it all goes to the dogs during the dance scene.
  • Author Avatar: Max is strongly suspected to be a self-insert of the author.
  • Bar Brawl: Nora unintentionally gets into one with Touchino. Its entirely one sided though.
  • Battle of the Still Frames: Shockingly, this is averted somewhat. The two major fight scenes have slightly better animation than the rest of the OVA.
  • Big Bad: Fuuchiro, though what he wants to do is not known.
  • Bounty Hunter: Nora. Whether or not she wants the money, however, seems to be inconsistent.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Implied.
  • Crapsack World: Planet Dazzle. Formerly a mining planet, its become a haven for criminals.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Maybe Touchino shouldn't have picked that fight with Nora.
  • Dance Party Ending: After everything is over, Nora randomly goes back to the bar she had the Bar Brawl at and she and Max join the band as a singing/dance duo.
  • Dance of Romance: Nora dances with Max to cheer him up on his dancing dreams, but this makes Max wonder if he is developing feelings for Nora.
  • The Dragon: Touchino, who wants to have a rematch with Nora despite the warnings of his older brother.
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: The cave dance scene is full of repeated movements.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Well... Nora does, after she and Max do another dance routine in the bar she had a fight in the episode closes out with Nora just laughing at Max for falling over and fade to credits.
  • Evil Laugh: Fuuchiro does this at one point.
  • Faceless Masses: The characters in the crowd scene during the first fight have very basic faces that basically look like someone typing ":D". Normally in anime you might not notice because it would move by too quickly, but thanks to the infamous 2-frame-a-second pacing of the OVA they stand out like a sore thumb.
  • Gratuitous English: "ROBBY" anyone? How about "Deperature"?
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Nora has prominent long blonde hair and is a brave hero.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Just what is Nora's nature?
  • Instant Expert: Nora says to her boss that she's still learning about her powers, yet in every scene, she seems to be more than capable of using them properly.
  • Jerkass: Touchino.
  • Lap Pillow: Fuuchiro ends up defeated, hallucinating while his head rests on Nora's thighs.
  • Limited Animation: This is easily the most infamous aspect of the OVA. The conspicuously godawful lack of interpolation is nothing short of astounding!
  • Mind Screw: Really, the whole OVA is this but special note goes to the cave dance scene.
  • Mind over Matter: Nora does this twice.
  • Money to Burn: Well, Nora burns a $10,000 check rather than actual money, but the basic principle is the same.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Fuuchiro, near the end of the final fight, manages to temporarily paralyze Nora with his Psychic Powers. As he's about to kill her with a heart attack, she (somehow) deflects it back to him.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Nora's Psychic Powers... Where do we even begin?
    • In the first scene, she's able to resolve a hostage situation by turning said hostage into a monster for a very brief period before teleporting her away.
    • Then there's the scene where she burned her $10,000 check on purpose.
    • In the bar scene, she suddenly gains the ability to freeze time, teleport and control objects with her mind!
    • She apparently can create virtual "dreams" if the dance scene is of any indication (though that whole scene is one massive Mind Screw).
    • And let's not forget the final battle where she narrowly wins by giving the villain a heart attack. Honestly, she's a borderline Reality Warper at this point.
  • Playing with Fire: Nora burns her $10,000 check with her hands.
  • Plot Hole: Nora goes after Fuuchiro to collect a $1,000,000 bounty on his head, despite the fact she earlier burned a $10,000 check because she had no intention of getting money.
  • Psychic Powers: Nora and Fuuchiro use this as their primary means of offense.
  • Reality Warper: Apparently, the writer(s) mistook psychic powers for this, as Nora and Fuuchiro demonstrate repeatedly.
  • Ship Tease: Between Nora and Max.
  • Teleportation: Nora can apparently do this, but only in one scene.
  • Time Stands Still: When most of the men in the bar charge after Nora, she freezes time so she can casually run past them.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Max is a very short man and gets quite close to Nora, who is a tall woman.
  • Wild Take: Touchino does this when Nora mind grabs the pillar he threw at her.


Video Example(s):


Nora Does the Endless Loop

Twinkle Nora Rock Me! is already infamous for its incredibly Limited Animation, but the cave dance scene truly takes the cake. It only gets worse when the OVA forgets about the concept of in-between frames.

How well does it match the trope?

4.38 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EverybodyDoTheEndlessLoop

Media sources: