Sunday, December 25, 2011

Anime Review No. 17-Detatoko Princess (1997-98)

Hello, I'm the EclecticDude and I review it for the lolz.
(Sorry was a bit busy the other day)

Anyway, this being the last review I am doing this year, I thought of covering a Christmas special or a Christmas-themed episode from an anime series. However, I came to this conclusion-most of these are pretty crappy. So, instead, I'm doing an obscure entry of one of my favorite genres in anime: Detatoko Princess, a wacky fantasy OVA from the late '90s. Oh, joy to the flippin' world.

This lovely little piece comes to us from the folks at JC Staff, who seemed to do a lot of OVAs in the 1990s, this being one of them. This was also directed by Akiyuki Shinbo, the same guy who directed the 2nd Galaxy Fraulein Yuna OVA (see my review on that back in October). This is also based off of a manga that was out around the time the OVA came out. Unfortunately, it has never made it stateside (and I doubt it will).

Anyway, the plot involves Princess Lapis of SorcerLand and her adventures with her band of friends. She's blonde, ditzy and has a pudding fixation (yes really xD). Her friends include tiny flowergirl Nandre, immortal fighter Kohaku and Jii, Lapis' teacher mage. Their adventures involve running into Lady Topaz, Wicked Witch of the North who has a legion of pretty little girls in pokeballs (She got a thing for them). They also fight off a giant konnyaku golem and finally a trio of sickly fitness brothers. Yeah, it is rather insane.

First off, the positives. For one thing, it is nicely animated, which is a common feature of most OVAs. Also, kudos to the director. Akiyuki Shinbo, as I noted in my GFY Returns OVA, likes doing two approaches to his anime: either dark and disturbing or funny, wacky parody/comedy. Here, he does the wacky, silly parody/comedy shtick. It works for the most time as I was laughing through the whole thing.

Now, my two pet peeves. First, it applies to the phrase "Characters instead of caricatures". There are not really any characters as there are caricatures, exaggeration of common Fantasy RPG characters. Granted, the characters are rather quirky and eccentric (especially Lady Topaz,. a female OTT villain whose got a thing for little girls-only in anime xD). Secondly, the length (again). It is only 3 episodes long, and leaves me wanting more. There is even a sequel hook at the end of the credits of the third and last episode, so odds are they were planning to do more, but didn't. Oh well.  

Final Score is 6/10. It is just above average in terms of story, animation and direction. But it lacks character development and length to sustain a lot of audience attention. However, I would recommend it to fans of fantasy anime at the least. It's a fun little sit and a good way to burn off an afternoon. Of course, if u want something similar, I can recommend "Thos Who Hunt Elves" or "Rune Soldier Louie" for much longer series that are fantasy comedy series.

So, yeah, my last review of the year. I will return with reviews starting weekend of January 7th. I'm sure that will be more to come for this review series.

Until then, laterz-EclecticDude

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Anime Review No. 16-Burn Up W (1996)

Hello, I'm the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz.

Yeah, sorry about last week. I've been busy with finals for the past week and a half. But now I'm done with all that. So, without farther ado, Here's Burn Up W!
Image Detail
Burn Up W is a 4 episode OVA done back in 1996 by AIC, directed by Hiroshi Negishi. This, like Burn Up, was also released by ADV Films. Of course, the only thing that ties the 2 OVAs together is the fact both feature young policewomen in battlesuits.That's about it. So, is it any good? Let's find out.
SPOILERS (1st review ive done this lol)
The plot of this little gem concerns Team Warrior, a special squad within Tokyo's Police Force. The first episode introduces us to the squad members and the beginning of the plot. First there's Rio, the main lead for the team (and a blonde ditz). Next, there's Maya, a sniper with a bad case of ADD. Lastly, there's Lilica (the techie), Yuji (the lone guy of the squad) and Maki (the meganekko leader). The plot concerns a mysterious woman named Ms. Ruby who is peddling a 'Virtual Drug' around to potential customers. She decides to mask this by getting some gullible thugs take over a hotel and hold hostages. Team Warrior is ultimately brought in to handle the situation, and all goes well.
The second episode is called "Search for the Virtual Idol". Team Warrior deals with a 'missing person' case linked to a popular virtual idol, Maria. It turns out she got captured by Ms. Ruby's organization. to be used in their nefarious scheme. Of course, she goes free in an android body. Another android (Axcia) is involved as well, and Rio intervenes and saves the day. Also, a scientist with Team Warrior, Nanvel is introduced and she uses a robot that is a total ripoff of Evangelion Unit 01 (im not kidding).
So, the first 2 episodes are rather silly in terms of plot, and it kinda spills over into the first bit of episode 3, where as brief filler, Rio is attempting to sell her underwear (failing) and running away from bill collectors. But then, it shifts into a more serious police action drama as the police HQ falls under siege to minions working under Miss Ruby. It will test their very commitment to keeping peace. What happened? Sry no more spoilers. ^_^
So, onto the positives. Well, the animation is much better then its parent OVA, Burn Up from 1991.. It looks more '90s anime' so to speak. The plot is more intricate, though given the length (2 hours compared to the measly 40 minutes of Burn Up) that's to be expected. Also, the characters are tad more fleshed out, which again ties back into the length aspect. The English dub, done by ADV Films, is also fairly decent. Familiar voices return (like Amanda Winn Lee, Tiffany Grant, Kim Yates) along with some others like Jaxon Lee, Carol Amerson, Marcy Rae join in the cast.
Now, the only negative to this: The ending. Needless to say, it left much to be desired. I won't spoil it, but its  quite a shame they just leave it slightly unresolved. Thankfully, there's Burn Up Excess, the followup to this OVA that follows the characters from this OVA. I haven't seen it.
Final Score is 8.5/10. Pretty dang awesome OVA, well worth the look.

The Eclectic Dude

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Notice for the Blog

Hey there, this is the Eclectic Dude.

Sorry to say, but due to exams, I won't be posting a review of Burn Up W today.
I'll be posting it on December 14.

Laterz ^_^

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anime Review No. 15-Burn Up! (1991 OVA)

Hi, this is the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz.
Well, this week's review is over Burn Up!, an 40 minutes OVA (direct-to-video) done by AIC and directed by Yasunori Ide. It was released by ADV Films back in 2005, though Sentai Filmworks released it again in 2009. It can be classified, like most anime, in multiple genres, which for this OVA, falls under sci-fi (battle suits), comedy (abundant throughout), and police action (permeates the short film).

The basic premise is centered around 3 policewomen (Maki, Yuka, Reimi) and one adventure involving a case dealing with a white slavery ring. This criminal enterprise is led by Samuel McCoy, the obvious bad guy for this short film. The trio decide to investigate one of his night clubs (which totally screams late 80s, let me tell u lol). However, Yuka (the pink haired girl) gets captured, though that's due to her being somewhat of an idiot and her comrades Reimi and Maki totally fail at trying to rescue her before she is taken away to McCoy's compound. Of course, the cops are so incompetent that they won't do squat to save Yuka, so Reimi and Mika decide to take action themselves and storm McCoy's compund to get Yuka. They succeeded (with some eventual help from the cops) in saving Yuka and some other captives. McCoy gets captured and sent to jail. "And that's that", as Mika says as the final line of this OVA.

So, here are the positives. First, it is very length appropriate. Much like Plastic Little, which I reviewed earlier, Burn Up tells it story and that's all. Second, the English voice acting. It is decent overall. It has a sort of fun punch, with a few memorable one-liners. It's an early ADV Films cast, with good performances from Amanda Winn and Tiffany Grant makes the dub passable.

Now, some minor quips (not negatives). First, the animation is dated. Granted, it still looks good. Though, to be fair, the whole OVA looks dated. It feels like a late 80s/early 90s action flick, at times (music, plot, characters, etc.). Nevertheless, it is consistent in these elements so it is not so much of a bother to me.

Final Score is 7/10. Slight above average scifi action piece, with the only real problem being its dated production. Nonetheless, it must have popular enough to warrant sequels. Yes, sequels, not just one. A few years later, in 1996, Burn Up W came out. Next week's review will cover what I consider to be one of best OVAs of that era.

'til Next Time.......