Anime Meta-Review


Excell Saga


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Weird anime Excell Saga
  • seen: 1-9 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: worthy
  • genre: parody
  • form: sub
  • source: fansub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Hey! look! another reviewers attempting to write a cogent and meaningful review of Excell Saga. While probably an effort doomed to fail this very interesting anime demands an attempt. To start with, in this anime, the style and flash is every bit as important as the story, but the story is a little easier to pin down. It seems that in city F of province F there is a secret organisation planning to take over the world, although they're going to start small and just take over the city to start with. And given that across (the organization) has exactly two operatives even this could be a challenge. When one of them is the hyper-active, intensely physical but not amazingly wise Excell, and the other has a problem with falling over dead on duty (but is a lot more clever) the organisations plans (and their execution) starts to get even stranger. Of course the leader of across, ilparazo-sama, is pretty strange himself. Then there's the equally strange, and chaotic, city safety authority which will protect the city at any cost (although it is more likely to accidentally destroy it). Running through this are a number of strange recurring characters which are simply impossible to describe without writing an essay on how odd they are. With this group involved chaos would be sure to result, even if they weren't trying to fight over the possession of the city.

And that is the merest summary of the story...there is so much more i've left out. But before you worry about that add in the fact that it is full of humor, anime in jokes and cultural references to all sorts of things. Then multiply this because every week they take a new genre to tell a new story in. This is done through the medium of the manga creator authorizing a different `type' of anime (or movie style) each week and then the creators having fun with it. Thus we have a social drama week, or a week done like a computer dating game. It's crazy, and it's energetic and it mostly works. It also avoids the `burn out' that such energy can cause by having some continuity and many standard characters to combine both crazed experimentaion and developing stories and characters in a single show. Mind you, the show also has I-chan (the cosmic universe ... looks like a tiny galaxy with arms) to reset things when the story wanders off course (or ilparazo executes excell again). While the characters are good fun, and the story does get interesting, there are occasions when the humor misses the mark. Of course you can simply ignore that and allow the majority to hit home, but you have to be tolerant of a `scatter gun' approach to humor to really enjoy this. I'm also uncertain how many times you would want to watch this, since it relies on suprise and unexpected event to provide much of the energy and humor. Thus the first viewing is often the best. Regardless of this possibility I have to admire this attempt at crazy humor and parody well meshed into a full series rather than the standard 2 episode model. This is sufficiently interesting stuff that I do recommend you hunt it out and experience something that simply cannot be described in a review.

The animation is modern, very crisp and clean, but does have some shortcuts to match the TV budget. This includes some computer animation, still frames and lots of simple backgrounds but they are all fairly skillfully melded. In addition, being a comedy, many background characters and events can be simplified to focus money and attention on the physical antics of the main characters. The character designs themselves are good, the voices excellent and the physical animation very impressive indeed. The action animation is quite good too, big and impressive, but somewhat budget limited. In other words this really isn't astounding animation, but the impressive physical comedy, and visualisation of such a strange world is both sufficiently good and sufficiently interesting to forgive this. Since it plays around with genres or styles there are also a lot of different looks, and like most parodies it is willing to mess with the `screen'. Such as when the style looks exactly like the interface to a dating game. This experimentation with style also demands a lot of very different music, which is done well and matches the action and style of the moment (although as a result the soundtrack will probably be incomprehensible).

Well, Lord Carnage is moved to write a fairly long review but once again it will only give you a taste of what this can offer. Not too suprisingly carnage is right into this one, calling it the most twisted and insane anime in existence.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009