Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Juuden-chan [Anime Review]

Fight - Ippatsu, Juuden-chan.
I really watch some strange anime.
Very strange.
It's best just to click and read on...

This image first. Before the really weird / unsettling stuff.
Urine? Really? We're going to chose that as a motif?
Juuden-chan (which on my DVD reads simply as Juden-chan) was released through Anime Works, part of Media-Blasters... who are apparently still around. At least in June of 2013 they were, which is in and of itself somewhat shocking.

2 out of 5 stars
This was something that I never got used to... ever.
It came out in 2009 and has been sitting on my shelf since then. I just got around to it a little while ago. I did not immediately write up my post about it, because, well... frankly it was weird.

Now I've watched weird before. Mysterious Girlfriend X comes to mind. That one, while weird, was really really good and you quickly got used to the, umm, eccentricities involved in it. This one... this one is not as easy. It has two things I found hard to adapt to. Both are pictured to the right...

Urine and beating women with baseball bats.
No, I'm not kidding.

I wish I knew... I really do...
The urine was just a big freaking, 'Why?' The answer is easy, the original manga artist is Bow Ditama. Whom, as far as I can discover, tends to have urination scenes in all his manga... he did start as a hentai manga-ka, but even that does not explain his personal fetish... 

Fine. Whatever.

Sorry no, she's a Masochist. And disturbingly so.
That I can more easily ignore than the big irritation. Beating Women. Yes, it's a freakin' anime. Yes, I know its meant to be funny because they are otherworldly and super resilient. But, the way the male main character does it, so non-nonchalantly, and so often... that really made the attempted humor fall very flat. It really did not sit well with me. 

The first weird thing was ignorable, but the last, I've taken a full star from my review for it. It just was not funny, at least not to me. I'm not sure anyone should find it funny... it just was not slap-stick enough. There was not enough Stooge-ness to it to make me laugh.

Sadly the plot was not too bad. It was not too good either.

Arresta's outfit is a lot more... unshielded... than Plug's.
There is another planet called "Life-Core" (or is that the company?) connected to Earth, or parallel to Earth. In it females working for a certain company (maybe that's Life-Core?) travel to earth in order to charge up depressed humans. They use electricity to improve peoples moods and prevent suicide and other emotional damage.

See? This plot actually has a good bit to it.

This is Plug.
Even better, the main character, Plug Cryostat (seriously her name), is a lackluster, bumbling, cute, and determined Charger Girl. She wants to do more than simply give people energy, she wants to charge them at a moment that will change their lives and improve them. She really wants to help.
I think this is from the not included bonus episodes.
Sadly, she is the worst employee, often getting the least charges per month (damn quotas). But she really tries. After a series of dismal failures, but a few good sucesses (mainly associated with the male hero's sister), she is assigned a partner to help her handle the load. 

Enter Arresta Blanket (also, seriously her name). She charges people fast, but does not care to help them. Over the course of the series it is revealed that while Plug gets few charges, she never has repeats. When she helps a person turn their life around, they really do turn it around.

I seriously want to like the show more. It's got a good message and upbeat tone. It's about dealing with depression, overcoming it, avoiding suicide, changing ones life, lending a helping hand, understanding what troubles a person... there are good things here.

But why the damn baseball bat?  

And this is yet another series that enjoys it's fan-service. I think I'm a fan service connoisseur at this point. This is something I do not have a problem with, being a connoisseur...

Still nothing gets me past the damn baseball bat.
Or the urine... but mainly the damn bat.   

There was another issue with the US release. Not as bad as the problem with Sankarea, if you remember. But still a problem. There are six bonus omake episodes that are more fan-service-y than the main series. These were included in the Japanese DVD but not the American one. Seriously, this series had absolutely zero extras on the DVD. Not a single one on the 2009 DVD release. None...

That is super weird, rather disappointing, and a general all around let-down. What DVD's come with no extras. I get more extras on Doctor Who DVDs than I could ever care to watch. Classic or 2005, doesn't matter they load you with extras. This had none...


The final result is a series that really had a message, had some potential, but was ultimately let down by repetitive baseball bat usage that was not slapstick enough to laugh off.

Maybe it was just me (doubtful), but I could not get past that. It reflects in my rating.

It's hypnotic...

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