Saturday, March 2, 2013

Anime Review No. 52-Debutante Detective Corps

"Bombshells and Fluff"

Debutante Detective Corps
1996 OVA, 30 minutes
Production: Toho/Head Room/Marcus
Genres: Comedy, Mystery
Well, my next two reviews are covering some other OVAs directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. For those of you not in the know, Akiyuki Shinbo is my personal favorite director for anime TV series. Since joining Studio Shaft in 2004, he has helmed quite a lot of shows that I like, such as Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Negima!? (remake not a second season), Pani Poni Dash, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and Madoka Magica. Whether or not you like their shows, one thing you can't fault them is not being entertaining. Shinbo, through use of visual and textual references and slapstick comedy, along with the ability to deconstruct/reinvent common genres (like Madoka as reinvented Mahou Shoujo), makes most of their stuff very fun to watch.
Though, before 2004, Shinbo had a rather patchy career directing OVAs from various other studios. I have covered some of them here: The Galaxy Fraulien Yuna OVAs and Detatako Princess OVA back in 2011, and Tenamonya Voyagers last year. Those have their moments of inspired genius, but they suffer a bit from not being like Shinbou's later works. Not surprising as he hadn't yet to develop his own style yet, thus making the OVAs he did work on rather generic and not unlike other shows of the time. This fact is apparent with today's show of review, "Debutante Detective Corps", a DVD I picked at last November's Atlanta Anime Day for about 5$.

"Debuntate Detective Corps" is a 30 minute OVA from 1996, the same year that the second Galaxy Fraulein Yuna OVA came out. It tells the the adventures of five rich and well-endowed high school girls as they contend with an escaped convict who plans to kidnap them. I won't go into too much details on the characters, as they are woefully one-note: Each girl has a special talent, be it computer hacking or master of disguise powers. That's all on the plot and characters. Wow, this review will be fairly short. Yeah, this is a pilot for a TV series that never came to be.

Well, I can still elaborate on the animation and direction a bit. Animation is well standard for the mid-90s; it probably looked good then, today it is merely passable. The direction by Shinbou is a bit wacky, like how over the top the entrances of each girl is or how ridiculous the story goes. Though, I think that stuff was added in by Shinbo himself, as without them its just a stock standard action piece with hot girls and explosions.

Lastly, the dub by ADV Films (who seriously released this 30 min. OVA with the tagline "You Can't Fight Fashion") is not very good. If I scrunched my ears up I'd swear the cast of "Totally Spies" was voicing the characters. Heh, wow am I old. Nevertheless, it is funny but too short to be  enjoyable through extensive re-watching.

So, I can't really recommend this, if only barely to fans of Akiyuki Shinbo. There just not a whole lot to talk about with this one. However, my next review will be more extensive.

Laters, The Eclectic Dude

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