Monday, April 16, 2012

Stupidly Fun

Sometimes, all you need to have some great fun is something so utterly stupid, so incredible unbelievable that make you laugh at the completely absurdity of such situation. Yesterday I saw two Japanese shows that fit in this category, and I'd like to recommend to everyone. Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? and Akibaranger.

Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? is an anime, currently in its second season, subtitled of the Dead. At first, it seems to be your typical harem anime, with somewhat loser main character, Ayumu, is surrounded by beautiful girls. Well, this anime can be everything, but hardly typical.

Ayumu is a zombie, returned from the dead by Eu, a necromancer who is always in armor and talk with a notepad. soon he meets Haruna, a kind of magical girl who uses a chainsaw to hunt some kind of monsters, and that powers are absorbed by Ayumu, making him a magical girl.

Ayumu in normal mode...
Ayumu in WTF mode.
Yes, this happens. He is now forced to combat the monsters in Haruna's place, while he also is a zombie. soon he is joined by Seraphim and Mael Strom, two vampire ninjas (really) who also fights against the monsters. Seraphim hates Ayumu, who she seems as apervert, while Mael Strom (due to a tradition on her tribe) wants to be Ayumu's wife and fall for him. Seraphim hates him, Haruna likes him but is to stubborn to work on the feelings and Eu is basically just there.

The sense of humor on the show usually steams from the absurdity of the situations Ayumu puts himself in, and the weird personalities and behaviors of the girls he suddenly find himself surrounded. It is not a romantic comedy, as romance is not the central plots of the episodes. The dialogue, where Ayumu recognizes the absurdity of his undead existence and the events surround him is the best part of the show.

There is fan service aplenty here, but this is not a show whose existence is justified only by it. There is some clever dialogues and plenty of visual gags and absurdity to make you laugh during all the episodes. So, in my opinion, it is worth watching it.

Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger, as the name implies, is not an official part of the Super Sentai series amde by Toei. Hikounin literally means unofficial. And this show is a great parody of all the tropes surrounding the Super Sentai/Power Rangers shows.

The series start with us following Nobuo Akagi, a 29 year old delivery boy who is fan of all Super Sentai series and of an anime called Nijiyome Academy Z-Cune Aoi. At first, his delusional behavior and loser attitude make him just another otaku in Akihabara. Soon he is recruited by a mysterious women who wants him to be part of her Super Sentai team. At first, he believes he will become an actor at Toei's official shows.

He is joined by Mitsuki Aoyagi, a martial artist who believes she will become stronger by joining the team and Yumeria Moegi, a cosplayer who seems to be chosen just because she was around, and have a weird talking pattern. They soon discovers that they are going to be an unofficial group and that they may become official if they become strong enough to call people's attention.

The show have a surprisingly good production value, with cool costumes and special effects. But what make it worth seeing is the cast. Nobuo/Akiba Red is the only one, due to his fandom, that behave likely a Ranger, at least while transformed, while providing insight to his companions about how Super Sentai works. But out of costume he is hilarious as a loser out of touch with the reality.

Mitsuki/Akiba Blue is the serious character, and the one with more trouble accepting the illogical rules of Super Sentai shows. Yumeria seems like a mascot character and her personality is not explored deeply in the first episode.

This is the kind of show that having some experience with Sentai/Power Rangers is required to best enjoy the experience. while you may laugh at its absurdity you will enjoy way more catching all the references from past series and tropes that they mock.

So, are any of those shows deep and meaningful? No, but they are very honest about what kind of shows they want to be and they are fun. If you want to have just mindless fun and see some absurdity, those two shows are my recommendation to you.

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