Crying Freeman

(6 52-minute OVA, 1988 to 1994)

My previous exposure :
I stumbled on the first three episodes while channel-surfing on late-night TV as a young’un (despite being somewhat under the advised age). It left quite an impression, to the point that I’m now revisiting it properly despite it being quite outside my advertised preferred time period. Oh, well.

What’s it about ?

The assassin codenamed Crying Freeman used to be an ordinary Japanese potter until he stumbled onto proof of the Chinese Mafia’s bad deeds, and was foolish enough to take them on. The organization (called “the 108 dragons”) in retaliation brainwashes him into the ultimate assassin, leaving him the only freedom of crying in despair after he kills someone. (The “Freeman” part is obviously ironic.) Years later, history repeats itself as a young woman called Emu stumbles onto one of his assassinations, and as a crucial witness becomes a hostage between the ambitions of the police, the 108 Dragons and the Japanese mafia. When Freeman goes and tries to assassinate her, she just has one wish : she doesn’t want to die a virgin…

At least, that’s the initial plot of the first OVA. You’d normally expect some standard “having sex breaks Freeman’s conditioning and he rebels against the 108 Dragons” plot… but that’s not what happens next at all. The 108 dragons are a surprisingly accepting bunch, see no problem in sparing Emu, and even promote the two of them to being the new leaders of the group at the beginning of Episode #2. To say that it’s a jarring change of gears is a grand understatement ; and it’s not for the better, as much of the ambiguity and tragedy of the original premise goes right out of the window as Freeman basically becomes a generic 90s antihero.

… Who likes to fight in the buff. Not only is it a very bloody series with tons of graphic violence, but there’s also a lot of nudity and it often veers into softcore porn. Not exactly the kind of stuff young!me was supposed to be watching at that age…

What did I think of it ?

There’s no two ways about it : it’s a trainwreck. But at least it’s an (unintentionally) hilarious one, so I didn’t mind spending a few hours revisiting it.

As stated above, it has the germs of an interesting (if somewhat well-troden) premise, but it then chooses to completely disregard it in favour of something much more bizarre. Shifting Freeman into a position of leadership is just a baffling move (especially since he’s a Japanese outsider in a Chinese organization), and it’s thus no surprise that one of the major leaders balks and betrays the 108 Dragons immediately. (Of course, the dude then allies with the Camora, who immediately backstabs him, but that’s the kind of things that happen.) Even more surprising is the introduction of Bayasan, the obese adult womanchild and black sheep of the 108 Dragons who tries to wrestle the organization’s control. She fails, obviously, but there’s something endearing about her incompetent enthusiasm. And she sticks around as comic relief, which contributes to make some of the latter episodes less boring (if not actually funny – this series can’t really do humour).

The most bizarre episode is probably the third, because of its weird pacing : at its heart, it tries to transition Emu into less of a damsel in distress, by giving her some training and having her pick up a magic evil sword… but then in the middle we get 35 minutes of Freeman fighting a random African crime syndicate (who tries to hijack a plane he just happened to be on), and in the process sleeping with two other women (one of whom permanently joins his harem). And it’s not even the most sexist episode (it’s a toss-up between rape-tastic #4 and evil!self-made-woman-who-spends-all-her-screentime-masturbating-at-Freeman #5).

Another weird thing about the series is that the 108 Dragons are suddenly whitewashed into being a somewhat honourable group, despite all the assassinating going around in the first episode (and the leader of the Japanese Mafia pointing out that they don’t deal drugs, unlike that Chinese scum !). From then on, it’s just a series of rival groups trying to take them over. Episode #6 is the only other one where the 108 are depicted like an actual criminal group (although that’s mostly slander by the bad guys of the day). Mostly, they’ve become passive and reactive, with an incredibly high internal body count for an organisation that was supposed to be so frightening in the first episode. This isn’t a ringing endorsement for Freeman’s leadership… (Although, conveniently, most of the old guard dies quite early on, so who’ll complain ?)

This series is a mess on so many levels it’s laughable. The plot makes no sense (and is inconsistent from one instalment to the other) ; Freeman as a character is stripped of all drama very early on, leaving the “Crying” gimmick as an artefact of a forgotten plotline. The artwork is very much a product of its time, stiff and emotionless. The fight scenes are okay, but hardly worth watching (and they progressively lose in creativity as the series goes on). The sex scenes aren’t as gratuitous as they could be, but they’re not of much interest either (and the sexism of the whole thing makes them all the less palatable).

If you’re ever planning to watch this for a laugh, stick with the first three episodes. The last three are distinctively more boring, as the writers were clearly struggling to find new plots.

via [LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond – Page 3.

Michiko e Hatchin

(22 episodes, 2008-2009)

My previous exposure :
None, besides some low-key pimping by salinea.

What’s it about ?

A fictional version of Latin America (it looks a lot like Mexico to me), in the 60s or thereabout. One of the most disorientating aspects of the settings is that most of the major characters have Japanese first names, for some reason. It’s really jarring, and doesn’t help immersion one bit.

It’s basically a road-trip buddy movie with Michiko, a woman in her late 20s who’s just escaped from high-security jail ; and Hana (nicknamed “Hatchin”), a 10-year-old girl martyrised by her foster family. They’re both looking for Hiroshi, Michiko’s former boyfriend and Hana’s presumed father. He’s supposed to have died a long time ago, but the math about Hana’s existence doesn’t add up, which Michiko sees as a evidence he’s still alive somewhere.

Other recurring characters include Atsuko, Michiko’s former BFF who joined the police and is now tracking her down in a personal vendetta ; and Satoshi, Hiroshi’s former best pal who’s risen to the top of the underworld.

What did I think of it ?

I really wanted to love this series. It’s got a cool soundtrack, it’s very good at setting up a sense of place and atmosphere, and the action pieces are impressive. It’s got tons of gonzo energy, and I can get behind just revelling in the B-movie stylings of it all.

I even grew to love watching Michiko in action. Sure, she’s a moron, but an entertaining moron, with enough street smarts, fighting skills and guts to keep surviving despite blundering from one dodgy mishap into another. In contrast, Hana was a bit more boring, as she spent a lot of time whining about Michiko’s stupidity. With good cause, of course, but being the voice of reason doesn’t make her very entertaining by itself, and as a result I didn’t like as much the more Hana-focused episodes where Michiko is incapacitated in one way or another.

But the bigger problem is the overarching plot. We’ve given no reason at all to care about the search for Hiroshi. He doesn’t show up in flashback until the 9th episode or so, and what little we see of him doesn’t impress (and my opinion of him certainly wasn’t improved by the tomato-growing episode). It doesn’t help that Hana seems to lose interest in him very quickly and mostly keeps going to indulge Michiko. Who’s a lovestruck moron and is obviously seeing her past through rosy glasses, so her opinion had no sway with me.
The conclusion of the quest is a huge anticlimax, as our heroines randomly stumble upon him halfway through the last episode. You’d think the big reunion would be given more than five minutes of screen time and that he’d get more than a few token lines of dialogue, but no. And of course Michiko does the dumb thing and leaves Hana in his care while surrendering to the cops chasing them ; the only thing redeeming the ending is that it’s made clear ina distant epilogue that Hiroshi dumped Hana within three months, and that she’s better off without that flake anyway.

The other overarching subplots didn’t win me over either. Satoshi gets a lot of build-up as a big threat, with the charisma and the connections to pull it off ; he goes down like a chump to a few random thugs in the second-to-last episode because we’re nearing the end and the writers want to get rid of him. WTF ? Atsuko fares a little better, although her inconsistent behavior (“I’m dead on your trail !”/”But I’m letting you go just this time because of my massive issues”) gets a bit repetitive after a while and it’s a bit hard to sympathize with her because of it.

So, it doesn’t really work. Which is a shame, because the series is at its best when it embraces the lunacy of the setting and lets Michiko do what she does best : barely escape from stuff by sheer dog-mindedness. Too bad about the wider plot, then.

via [LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

(11 episodes, 2009)

My previous exposure :
None, besides the notion that it deals with an big-time earthquake in Tokyo (which of course makes for an interesting watch with hindsight). Also, it aired on NoitaminA, so there were good chances of it not being crap.

What’s it about ?

The Tokyo Bay is hit by a big one (I’ll let you guess the magnitude). Disaster ensues.

The series focuses on Mirai, our de facto middle-schooler protagonist ; she was with her younger brother Yuuki to a robot show on the Oidama island when the earthquake hit. They’re helped by Mari, a young delivery-woman in her twenties who took a shine to them and needs to take the same direction to go home anyway. The whole series follows their long trek back home in the aftermath of disaster.

What did I think of it ?

This is a very, very low-key show. Realistic to the utmost, it examines in painstaking detail what the aftermath of such a disaster entails. Some people do dumb or selfish things (especially in the crowd scenes – I’m sure I saw someone getting trampled to death), but there’s also a lot of genuine solidarity (and tons of professionalism from the rescue workers). What saves the series from being a glorified PSA is that all this stuff stays in the background, letting the focus rightfully fall onto our three leads.

And that’s basically the limitation of the series : a lot of your appreciation of it relies on how much you can bear with Mirai, who starts off as a complete brat and becomes somewhat more tolerable as she suffers through the ordeal. In comparison, Mari feels unreally saintly, with an incredible amount of patience for those kids she’s just met. For such a character-focused drama, the characters feel a bit flat, and the show suffers from it.

Still there are moments of genuine emotion that truly work. Episode 5, where we meet a grandfather who’s just lost his grandchildren who were visiting him, and still keeps helping as much as he can, is a tear-jerker. And the big twist in episode 10, that Yuuki died two episodes ago but he kept appearing on-screen because Mirai was in denial about it, despite being a hoary old clichĂ©, was well-enough executed that it gave the concluding gravitas that the series really needed. It’s transparent emotional manipulation, but it works.

It’s not a groundbreaking show in any way, but it’s clearly earnest in what it’s trying to depict, and it works on that level.

via [LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond.


(74 episodes, 2004-2005)

My previous exposure
Well, it’s an adaptation of a critically-acclaimed manga, so I’d at least heard of the basic premise well before coming close to it. I’ve mostly avoided spoilers, although I did hear of a particular thing Johan does in Prague, which thus didn’t surprise me when I reached it.

I actually watched the first 20 episodes of this way back in 2009, and only went back to it very recently. The reasons why should become clear below.

What’s it about ?

In the late 80s, Dr Kenzo Tenma was a promising up-and-coming Japanese brain surgeon in Germany… until he decided to save the life of a 11-year-old boy called Johan who got mysteriously shot in the head, instead of the mayor he was supposed to operate on. This basically cripples his career… for a few days, until the top management get mysteriously poisoned and the new management give him his status back. Meanwhile, Johan has disappeared…

Flash forward to 9 years later, when Johan re-enters Tenma’s life by shooting one of the doctor’s patients right in front of his eyes. (The man was an agent of Johan’s who was getting a bit too talkative.) It turns out that Johan is a charismatic monster, leaving a bloody trail behind himself, and he’s very thankful of Dr Tenma for saving his life. Did the doctor do the wrong thing by saving the not-so-innocent child ?

Dr Tenma soon finds himself accused of the various aforementioned murders, and is on the run from the cold but very clever Inspector Runge (who thinks Johan doesn’t exist and is an alternate personality of Tenma’s). Can the fugitive stop whatever Johan’s up to before it’s too late ? And is the good doctor really going to kill Johan, however much of a monster he is ?

Secondary threads of the series follow Nina, Johan’s twin sister (who shot him in the first place), who tried to forget it all before Johan suddenly killed her adoptive family ; and Eva, Tenma’s former fiancĂ©e who entered a self-destructive spiral after she dumped him during his short disgrace. Another big question involves the investigation of Johan’s past : how exactly does such a monster come into existence ? Who’s responsible ? It’s not an easy question, especially considering how Johan is now being quite thorough in his quest to eliminate everyone linked to his past in any way…

What did I think of it ?

It’s certainly a very strong story… but I don’t think the anime version really does it justice. It’s a flawed adaptation that I had trouble to keep watching because of how much it tries to play it safe. It’s obviously trying to stick as close to the source material as possible, including every single detour despite how inconsequential some of them may be. The pacing is sluggish, with some very obvious padding techniques carrying the series from cliffhanger to cliffhanger (despite not much really happening between them). That kind of thing isn’t suspenseful, it’s just irritating. A third of the anime’s length could probably have been cut without losing much.

I got the impression that this really wanted to be a live-action series, with all the lack of creative use of the medium this implies. The realization is very pedestrian, bringing absolutely nothing in to make the story visually compelling. I’m not asking for Death Note-style flourishes, but at least something should have been done to keep the series from being so boring (which surely a story like this has no right to be !). Compounding the problem is the general grey-and-brown palette, especially for people ; the bland colors dull the strikingness of Urasawa’s angular character designs. Those are not characters with realistic appearances, however much the anime tries to hide that. As a result, the series loses a lot of impact and immediacy.

Which is not to say that I didn’t enjoy watching the series ; but there’s a lot of tediousness in between the good parts. While I didn’t particularly care for Tenma and Johan remained an enigma till the end, there were lots of fascinating side characters that helped carry the story along the rough patches (ah, Grimmer…). The questions the show asks about human nature and how can evil be born are poignant ones, and the eventual denouement is quite clever. The coincidence level is a bit too high (I raised an eyebrow at the background of Tenma’s lawyer, which is a bit too conveniently connected to the rest of the story), but it mostly works out. Still, I’m not sure the series completely delivers on explaining Johan’s evil (the final crucial part of his background doesn’t feel like much of an explanation to me), and there are large parts of his behavior that I don’t really understand (for example, why did he protect Grimmer in Prague ?).

But what this series really lacks is energy, as well as writers daring enough to cut the chaff out and make the plot much tighter. That’s what prevents it from being the masterpiece of storytelling it could have been.

via [LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond.

What are Anime Retro Reviews about ?

First, let me explain where I come from.
I’ve been watching anime on and off since early childhood, but I didn’t really jump back heavily into it until 2008. As a result, there are tons of series I’ve vaguely heard about, but never watched. So I’ve been working towards making up for that gap, watching anime at a very quick rate (on average, 20-30 episodes per week – I have a long commute and need the distraction).

Now, I really want to comment on what I’ve watched, but there’s no way I can do a “regular”, episode-by-episode WIW thread. I don’t have the time, nor the wish to go into so much detail. So I will be doing something a bit different : a quick summary of the premise of each show, followed by a retrospective analysis. And hopefully that’ll allow to spark some discussion. (It’s probably going to be a bit similar to salinea’s comics thread, except I’m somewhat less of a newbie to anime than she was to comics at the start.)

There will of course be HEAVY SPOILERS about each series as I cover them. Be forewarned.

In order to make this thread a bit more interactive, I’m going to be very open to suggestions. One of the goals of this, after all, is to broaden my horizons and discover series I’ve barely heard of. Some caveats :
– Please suggest GOOD series. I know there’s some mileage out of eviscerating crap, but I’d like to keep this as pleasant as possible. And there’s always the possibility that I won’t like your favorite series. I have some wide tastes, though, and I’m game for about any type of story.
– Please don’t suggest manga. Anime adaptations of manga are fair game, but I’m not interested in reading manga. That’s not what this thread is about.
– Please don’t suggest anything from 2010 onwards. I’ve been following those last few seasons pretty well, so I’d be really surprised if I missed anything of note.
– I’m going to try and focus on the 00s for now. I’m sure we’ll have time for the 90s (and earlier) later on.
– I prefer short series. 13 or 26 episodes ? Perfect. Series with 50-ish episodes or so are going to need some very convincing arguments to justify me bothering with the time investment. Anything beyond that is probably right out. (This includes any shonen longrunner.)

Summer 2011 capsules

Two quick reviews, because those 3/4-minute shorts don’t warrant a full writeup :

Morita-san wa Mukuchi (“Morita is taciturn”)

This revolves around Morita, a high school girl who barely ever talks (although she’s got some interior monologue, which kills the effect a bit). And that’s it, that’s the entire joke. It was already outstaying its welcome at 3 minutes long, I can’t imagine watching anymore of this.


Speaking of one-shot jokes that can’t be sustainable, even in 4-minute shorts : this stars a cat that’s been bitten by a vampire (as a way to save its life). This is even less entertaining than the previous series : it tries way too hard to hit the “cute cat doing cute things cutely” button, and fails spectacularly at being even a single bit endearing. It’s way too artificial to work, and the high concept wasn’t even promising to begin with.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 4.

I usually don’t say much about OVA or sequels, but I figured I’d say a few words about Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kira, the first episode of which was recently released.

Now, the thing with Higurashi is that, while it’s a very good story, the plot got conclusively resolved at the end of the second season, in a way that leaves no room whatsoever for straight sequels. The first OVA series, Rei, got around it by featuring an interesting story hook that brings a new light over the wider picture, trying to tie it a bit more to the overall When they Cry franchise (probably as an tie-in to the then-debuting Umineko anime)… but in a way that’s self-canceling, and again leaves no room for further elaboration. Also, Rei was padded up with a couple of random comedy episodes that were kinda cute but didn’t bring anything new to table.

Well, the first episode of Kira makes it look like it’s going for the “random comedy” episodes route, except with even more fanservice. The first half of the episode is literally the male cast (Keiichi, Ooishi, Tomitake & Irie) fantasizing about “punishments” they could inflict to the whole female cast as part of the “penalty games”. Not only doesn’t it do much for me, but it gets quite uncomfortable when it reaches the younger members of the cast (Rika rubbing the windows with her ass ? Really ?). The second half is slightly more fun, not really because the female cast gets to retaliate (that’s nearly as tedious as the opposite), but because it actually makes an effort to tie the whole thing into the wider plot (however ridiculous that may sound). It doesn’t quite succeed in canceling out the bad taste left by the first half, but at least I don’t feel like I completely wasted my time.

Is this worth watching ? Well, no. It doesn’t look like Kira is going to add anything to the plot ; it feels like a cash-grab exercise, or at best an opportunity for the creators to have fun with the most lighthearted aspects of the premise. (The preview for the second episode certainly looks like it’s going to be entertainingly bonkers.) You can’t really put a clearer sign for “out-of-continuity zaniness” than featuring the Soul Brothers in a major role. I’m a die-hard fanatic of the franchise, so I’ll probably keep watching this, however pointless it is, just out of affection for the characters ; but you probably shouldn’t bother.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 11.

Appleseed XIII

(13 episodes, distributed on streaming and as OVAs)

What’s it about ?

The adventures of a SWAT squad in the future, fighting terrorists and conspiracies.


Deunan, our protagonist. Trained to survived in the wilderness by her father since her early childhood, she’s the gung-ho rookie of the squad. I’ll give this to Maaya Sakamoto : she’s got enough charisma to pull off her character whining non-stop for the full duration of the episode and still not have her be too annoying. Although she comes very close here.

Briareos, her BFF since forever (or maybe more ?). After a bad accident, he had to be turned into a cyborg to survive. He’s still following her devotedly to protect her (especially from her own reckless behavior).

Dia, an innocent bystander who turns out to be a special cyborg or something, and will presumably be important to the plot later on.

The plot of the week involves a bunch of terrorists (“the Argonauts”) storming the Russian Poseidon embassy to retrieve one of their agents. (Did I mention there’s a heavy Greek Mythology theme permeating everything ?)

Production Values

This is a full CGI series, with some degree of cell-shading when people are involved. To be frank, it looks terrible. The character designs for people don’t quite work, and most importantly the body language looks awfully off. It’s not a problem when everyone on screen is in power suits, but the humans move like creepy ragdolls, pushing them deep into the uncanny valley. It looks like cheap videogame cutscenes (you know, the ones that aren’t pre-rendered), which is all kinds of disappointing.

The backgrounds and the scenes without humans look much more impressive, but that’s only a fraction of the overall screentime.

Overall Impression

Ouch. I don’t know anything about the Appleseed franchise, but this is a decidedly underwhelming offering. The artstyle is a complete failure, and Deunan is obnoxious beyond belief. I think there may a decent story beyond those roadblocks… and then I realize I’ve seen this kind of story done much better with Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex. Which had the advantage of not making my eyes bleed.

I’ll give it another episode to check whether the heroine gets less annoying and I can enjoy it for the plot, but I’m not optimistic.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 11.

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian (Dantalian no Shoka)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Post-WWI England : a young lord inherits the care of a mystical library containing some very dangerous Phantom Books. The wider plot isn’t clear yet, but presumably he’s going to go on and investigate whichever of those are at large and must be contained.


Huey, our bishounen, Daisuke-Ono-voiced protagonist. His grandfather just got murdered by a burglar, so he inherits (1) a huge countryside mansion, (2) the valuable book collection therein, (3) the care of “Dalian” (whom he at first assumed to be a pet), and (4) the opportunity to become the caretaker of the Mystic Library of Dantalian. I quite like him ; his phlegm and and complete lack of freaking out when surrounded by weirdness are quite endearing.

Dalian, the gothic lolita living inside the mansion. (Fans of Miyuki Sawashiro hoping for her usual sexy, sarcasm-laden voice will be disappointed ; she uses a much higher register, somewhat akin to her performances in SHAFT gag series.) She holds the Dantalian books inside herself somehow, and contracts Huey to take care of it (cue blatant key/lock imagery).

The plot this week involves looking into Grampa’s murder and the theft of a Phantom Book… Except Huey’s already figured it out offscreen (the culprit was Grampa’s long-time rival mascarading as a burglar to get the book). We also get a demonstration of why Phantom Books are so dangerous (it kills the thief offscreen and summons nasty beasties), as well as Huey drawing on the Dantalian’s power to defeat the monsters.

Production Values

Average. The visuals are pedestrian, and there are some annoying storytelling hiccups.

The only thing of note is the ED sequence, a charming little B&W live-action piece (and the song ain’t bad either).

Overall Impression

Did Gainax really produce this ? It’s a baffingly mediocre show with no spark whatsoever : it feels rote and by-the-numbers. I had to catch myself from falling asleep several times.

Still, the premise is decent enough, and Daisuke Ono was enough to carry me through Psychic Detective Yakumo (yes, I’m that shallow), so I’ll probably give it a second episode to see where the actual plot goes. Not sure beyond that, though.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 9.

Cat God (Nekogami Yaoyorozu)

What’s it about ?

Slice of life comedy about mini-gods hanging around on Earth.


Mayu, our protagonist, a mini-god sent down to Earth 4 years ago because she kept skipping curfew and going out gambling. Dad was mellow enough to let it go, but Mom put her foot down. Anyway, she spends a lot of her time playing videogames.

Yuzu, the poor human woman Mayu is rooming with. (I don’t think it’s ever explained how that happened.) She’s mostly there to suffer and be nice to everybody.

We see quite a few other mini-gods hanging around, but they’re all already blurring together in my mind. The plot of the week involves a poverty god wreaking havoc in the city, but the twist is so dumb I’m trying my best to forget about it.

Production Values

Bright and shiny artwork with everyone in super-deformed character designs that make them look like toddlers. Okay for what it is, and thankfully devoid of fanservice.

Overall Impression

Deathly dull and instantly forgettable, if you hadn’t guessed from my pitiful attempts at remembering anything about it mere hours after watching it. It’s another of those comedies that aren’t funny in the least, but it has the good grace of being completely inoffensive, which is better than several shows I’ve reviewed in this thread. But there’s nothing worth watching here.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 8.

Manyuu Hikenchou

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Ninjas with light-emitting bodies… wait, no, that’s just the censorship.

Ninjas who steal breasts from each other (and from the common people). No, seriously, that’s the plot. Despite being feudal Japan, they’ve somehow got access to advanced enough surgery to do that.


Chifusa Manyuu, second daughter of the breast-stealing Manyuu clan, and Daddy’s favourite, is our protagonist. For reasons that aren’t quite clear to me, she starts the episode by running away from the village. So OF COURSE she runs into…

Ouka, the poor woman whose breasts were stolen by Daddy Manyuu to give to Chifusa. Before she recognizes our “hero”, she nurses her back to health… and in the end she easily forgives Chifusa for no good reason.

Kagefusa Manyuu, Chifusa’s older sister, leads the hunt against her (she’s a bit bitter about the “Daddy’s favourite” part). For added villainy points, she was the one who captured Ouka for the breast-stealing. Not that she needs that, as she spends the whole episode being gratuitously evil while fondling and/or raping anything female in sight. Somehow nearly every shot of her is censored, which suggests she’s a walking wardrobe malfunction.

Kaede, Chifusa’s sidekick which she abandoned “for her own safety”… Well, if you count “having your breasts stolen by Kagefusa as punishment” as “safety”, I guess. Again, despite having every reason to be bitter against our “hero”, she eventually rejoins her without resentment.

There’s a couple of other characters who get a scene of foreshadowing that leaves me none the wiser about what their deal is. Oh, and Daddy only ever appears in flashback, so I doubt he’s still among the living.

Production Values

It’s a bit hard to judge, considering that there’s heavy censorship in nearly every shot. And we’re talking about “big rays of light obscuring half the screen” censorship at best (there are some shots where we only see one person’s head against a white background).

Then again, it’s very obvious that this is softcore porn, with bondage and on-screen rape every other scene (Kagefusa’s usually the one who inflicts it, of course). Even with the censorship, the fanservice level is already through the roof.

Overall Impression

I’ve had trouble summing up above the full stupidity of the premise. Did I mention that one’s social status depends entirely on the size of their breasts ? That Chifusa’s inherited a secret scroll with a special sword technique allowing to magically steal someone else’s breasts ? (I swear I’m not making this up.) That Chifusa’s big objective is to “transmit the Manyuu techniques to the public”, whatever that means ? (So it’ll be a free-for-all between everyone to steal each other’s breasts ? How would that improve the situation ?) It’s just astounding how bizarrely inane the plot is.

You might consider watching this for the lulz. This would be a mistake : the plot is an incoherent mess that took me a while to decypher, Kagefusa’s RAPE RAPE RAPE behaviour is tremendously unpleasant, and most of the action is rendered impenetrable by the censorship. There’s just nothing to enjoy here.

Well done, show, you’ve managed to be worse than R-15. I knew you had the potential, but that was far worse than my (already low) expectations.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2011 – Page 8.