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Angel's Anime Review - Abenobashi Magical Shopping District
(Apr 4, 2002 – June 27, 2002)
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga Music: Shiro Sagisu
Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Parody, Supernatural, Adventure, surreal,
Key Words: Space, Dinosaurs, RPG, Robots, Magic,
Studio: Gainax, Madhouse Licensed American Publisher: ADV Films
My Thoughts: This is one tripped out show. I think Gainax just loves to create some tripped out shows. The first part is like a slice of life show, the second part is really created like a video game like a RPG, the third is a Star Wars Parody… the list goes on and on of what this show seems to do. I watched it mostly to see what the hell they would come up with next. It wasn’t boring at all to me because the story line just went a bit crazy for these two children. A lot of this stuff is odd and like Puni Puni Poemi or Excel Saga. It’s just pure insanity and that’s what makes it funny I think.
Now, just like in FLCL, this show seems to have an underlining story line behind it all… but most of the time, I think it’s lost in translation. Where FLCL had an underlining meaning about growing up, this one seems to be about dealing with change. At least… I think it is. The idea is hard to figure out and really makes me feel a bit stupid but as I was watching this in the early morning, I didn’t really care. Part of the fun was that I had no sleep and had a moment of what I call ‘ask me if I’m a stone’ moment. (The reason for this is a very long story. Long story short, it’s when things that don’t make sense become funny when you’re running on very little sleep.)
The character designs are rather generic mostly. I can see a lot of similar things between Eutus of this show and Kaze from Final Fantasy Unlimited making feel that they went for stereotypes. A mysterious man with a cape and long hair, chiseled face. Not sure about Mune’s character. When they show the history, she was pretty sweet and seemed rather... well, covered up. Now she seems to be rather slutty and show off a lot of skin. Threw the show, I have not seen any reason why that happened although it explains just a little about who Mune and Eutus are in the real world. I’m at least happy they don’t give me the middle finger and tell me to read the manga like how FFU does.
The artwork is pretty vintage, but you can see signs of today’s crisp looking art. Unfortunately from the start, I could see many things in the artwork that makes me think Gonzo or Gainax right off the bat. I didn’t find out till later that Gainax did have a hand in it but I don’t understand how Madhouse has a hand in it. Most of Madhouses stuff looks so much better then this stuff. In fact, I could say that this is a lot like Final Fantasy Unlimited and FLCL more. Lots of times, they had a runny eggs approach and I was grasping at straws trying to figure out what I was even seeing. Colors just blend into each other, characters become miss-shapened, and a lot of odd things pop up from the blobs. The opening is very disappointing; looking pretty much like it was just clips from the first episode. The ending is odd as well with old still images. Both of these made it really odd.
The voices… I’m not so sure why the English voices seem to have a southern Texan accent. I guess it would be something to show that it’s Osaka like but I don’t know about this. But then how the heck is Arumi’s dad able to speak so strong French when he is daughter sounds Texan still? I also don’t get why every 5 seconds, Arumi has to say her cheesy line. It’s annoying. It’s not just the English with the saying and the French voice. They say it in the Japanese dub two (Although it is really freaken funny hearing a French accent with Japanese language). This is one of the shows that they seem to of tried to keep it as original to the script as possible but sadly, it makes the characters sound odd.
Link to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Shopping_Arcade_Abenobashi
May Also Like: FLCL, Excel Saga,
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At some point, I am hoping to create a podcast with a friend and will keep you up to date on that.