Anime Meta-Review


Gokudo-kun Manyuki


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-6 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: 1999
  • Review created: Mon Jan 22 14:06:26 EST 2001
  • mod: none

um, what can I say about this one? perhaps something lucid like "wha?" or "whoa". But perhaps the best introduction is to consider the base to be humor in a fantasy environment. But put the energy dial way up and keep the `subtlety' dial pretty low. It's silly, strange, frenetic and quite entertaining.

The story largely hinges around the lead, Gokudo-Kun. In some RPG anime I might call him the hero, but that is the last thing Gokudo-kun is ever going to be called. While he's tough, and skilled with his sword, his psychology is much closer to an anime villain. He's always looking out for himself, his ethics are always open to a better offer and he'll happily barge through sensitive situations with the subtlety, and energy, of a whirlwind. Add in some odious personal habits, an immense collection of earthly lusts and desires and intense resistance to anyone trying to control or influence him and you've got the centerpiece of the story. And if there is a `right' way to approach the story, you can be sure Gokudo will either twist it around or do something totally unexpected.

He still manages to attract some people who find him entertaining though. There's a powerful genie who's going to stay with him until his soul is more enlightened, which means he'll be around for a while. There's a militant princess who'd rather be a swordswoman than a princess, and she think's he's a great way to see the weird parts of the world. It also looks like there'll be one other member, though I have not met him yet, who looks to be a magic-user of some sort.

And, despite Gokudo's minimal charisma, he does seem to get involved in all sorts of interesting adventures. And the world itself is almost as weird as he is. Basically this show is full of energy, weirdness and humor as it takes the standard elements of fantasy and, well, messes with it. And, while this could easily fail, it's inventive and funny enough that it actually manages to be really fun to watch. It's not deep, it's not subtle (indeed Gokudo is almost painfully loud) and the humor is not too complex but it does seem to work. A lot of the credit for this going to the interesting people, and companions, who balance out Gokudo and tie him into the story. It is this interesting interaction that gives the anime its energy.

Then again, there seem to be so many fantasy cliche's that there's no shortage of targets. I should also make it more clear that there are also serious, even deadly serious, characters in this world as well. Gokudo's certainly not going to take them seriously, but the interaction between the serious and his response to it is another rich source of energy, action and humor. My favourite example so far being an immense sphinx, surely the largest cat-girl in anime yet (and that's got to be a good thing), whose interaction with Gokudo is the sort of thing that will stick in the mind.

The animation itself is quite good, but definitely what you'd expect. It's quite loose and cartoony, with lots of visual gags and super deformed moments. Still, this is a good style, well done, for this sort of hyper story. It also stands out in using some computer graphics, generally for spell effects, which actually works very well and looks good. The one comment that I must make is that action scenes are often either short or cut entirely, as are any moments that threaten to be too slow. This is done, cleverly, by a super cute scene change SD bunny girl complete with her being caught asleep and other such cuteness. It's fun, but it can't entirely hide the fact that it is being used to cover up stuff that looks like too much effort to animate. There's still action left, but given its simplicity it's unlikely to really satisfy those who want magic duels and group combat. The voices are fitting, and the music is fun high-energy stuff.


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