Monday, 17 October 2016

Monster Princess

There's been a few times this blog's progenitor, Lunatic Obscurity, when I've been the first person to ever write english-language reviews of some games. For the first time, Lunar Garbage Hell can make such a claim, though I am cheating slightly. You see, I chanced across this one-shot story in an issue of Animedia Pocke Comic I picked up a few years ago. I then scanned it and commissioned Tumblr user and friend trubografx16 to translate it.

But that's just the surface of how obscure this comic is! Though the creator, Takashi Akaishizawa is well known for anime character designs as well as cover and promotional artwork for videogames, as a comicker, as far as I can tell this is his only comic. I say "as far as I can tell", as not only does this comic have no entry on the manga database baka-updates, but the man himself doesn't, either!

Anyway, enough of this self-back-patting, let's get onto the comic itself. It stars Nana, a somewhat naive young woman who lives on a planet of Kaiju with her parents, where she seems to act as a kind of scantily-clad park ranger, breaking up fights between the monsters, and protecting them from space poachers. A pair of two such poachers are the antagonists in this story, though they aren't looking to kill the monsters, but capture them in capsules with a shrink ray and sell them, presumably as weapons. They talk at one point about how Nana's beaten them up and seen them off before, which makes me think this comic was a pilot episode, and they were intended to be reoccuring villains.

When Nana finds them, they fob her off with a story that they're not on the planet for poaching, but just to harmlessly get footage of the monsters. Unfortunately for them, this only serves to get Nana's attention more, as she wants to be caught on film, so she follows them around until they try to "film" the monster Miguras, suddenly juming in front of the camera and getting shrunk down and capsulised herself. Then, the space police turn up because the shrink ray the poachers are using is stolen. The poachers panic, using the gun's release mechanism to release all the monsters at once, and with them, a (temporarily) giant-sized, naked Nana. The resulting confusion allows the poachers to make a quick getaway, and everything's back to normal at the end.

It's an okay story, and the art is obviously excellent, as you'd expect from an artist as talented as Akaishizawa. If it was intended as a pilot, I wonder how far it could have gone with the "poacher's zany plan of the week" format. Maybe it would have moved on to cover Nana's parent's work as scientists on the monster planet, or maybe show planets where stolen monsters had been successfully deployed as weapons of mass destruction? I guess we'll never know. Anyway, Monster Princess is no lost classic, but reading it's a pretty fun way to spend five minutes or so.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Super Nerds

Super Nerds is a failed sitcom pilot from 2000, starring Patton Oswalt as a guy named Leslie who works in a comic shop. There's also a guy named Gayle who doesn't work there, but is there all day anyway, and the shop's owner: an insane immigrant from some vaguely soviet country who's obsessed with money and business. The other main character is Gwen (played by Sarah Silverman), Leslie's childhood friend who just moved back to town and inexplicably has a crush on him.

I'm not really familiar with Patton Oswalt's work, but he seems to be pretty popular with a certain kind of Funko Pop-collecting "nerd culture" types, and watching this, I can see why. It's like if The Big Bang Theory was made a decade earlier. Easy references to things everyone knows like Star Trek, Star Wars and Spider-man's origin being treated as jokes on their own, along with tired old cliches about overweight nerds at conventions in ill-fitting costumes and male nerds being unable to talk in the presence of a woman. There's even a part where a character gets angry to the point of yelling when someone suggests characters from the Marvel and DC universes meeting up.

Being a pilot, I can forgive some of the problems the show has, like the audience sounding as if its made up of about ten people, and the plot obviously being little more than a set up for future shenanigans, but the biggest crimes that Super Nerds commits are unforgivable for a sitcom: it's never funny and all the characters are boring. Another way in which it's similar to The Big Bang Theory! There's been plenty of failed pilots that I've watched and wished the show got made, but Super Nerds definitely isn't one of them.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals

Legend of the Crystals is a four-episode animated sequel to the SNES game Final Fantasy V, set two centuries after the game's end. Unfortunately, since it came out years before any version of its source material reached the west, this served more as one of the two main sources of the chagrin the series received when it was released here than a selling point. (The other, much fairer criticism it often recieves is there there are far too many panty and butt shots, which is totally true.)

When it came to North America and the UK on VHS in the late 90s, people were far more likely to associate the Final Fantasy name with the magical cyberpunk aesthetic of Final Fantasy VII, rather than the mixture of european and asian fantasy, with some sci-fi elements added in for good measure that LotC has. As a result, it's mostly forgotten, and when it is remembered, it's often unfairly lumped in with other, much worse 90s videogame OAVs, like Panzer Dragoon and Psychic Force (both of which are based on excellent games, making them even more frustrating). As a result, it's never been officially released in any digital format in the west, and possibly not even in Japan.

Anyway, the story has a lot of typical fantasy OAV tropes: big airships, a dragon, an RPG-style party of adventurers, heroic ancestors and so on. The plot is pretty average RPG videogame fare too: a group of heroes are gradually drawn together by fate to save the world from a giant robot zombie space wizard. But the mistake I think a lot of people have made when appraising this series is by placing too much importance on the story and characters. They're not bad, but they're nothing particularly exciting or original. The real reason you should watch Legend of the Crystals is because it's beautiful.

The most obvious touchpoint for this is the colour palette. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another animation with such distinct and attractive colour choices. The music is great, too, from the background music that's taken up residence in small small part of my brain ever since I first watched the show about 18 years ago, to the haunting ending theme, all the music is really high quality. I could keep going on and on about how great LotC looks and sounds, and in all the different ways, but I'll stop and just tell you to go and watch it. It's been out of print for well over a decade, and before thn it was only available on VHS, so I think you can let your conscience rest easy should you choose to pirate it, and it's only 4 half-hour episodes, so it's not like it's a big time commitment, either.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

ExorSister 2 (1994)

Also known as Chō-yōma densetsu Uratsuki-dōji: Hakui jigoku-hen, this is the second in a series of four horror-comedy-porn movies, starring the multi-talented darling of 90s american anime fandom Ippongi Bang as the eponymous Exorsister, a half-demon demon hunter named Sister Crow. In case you're wondering, she doesn't have any sex scenes. Anyway, ExorSister 2's plot involves an influx of immigrant vampires coming into Japan after the fall of the USSR, and a mafia plot to exploit them by selling cheap knock-off synthetic blood.

It's a very rare movie, and as far as I know, has never had a DVD release anywhere in the world. The copy I have is a .avi rip of a french VHS release from 1996, with french hardsubs and english softsubs super-imposed on top. I think watching a seedy old piece of crap like this in such a way adds something to the experience. Please understand, though, that I use the term "seedy piece of crap" as one of endearment, as I did enjoy this movie. It really seems like it was made as a labour of love for no money, and it honestly is pretty funny. It's so cheap that, along with a joke ad for an electric shaver aimed at the werewolf market, there's also a trailer for the first ExorSister movie partway through it. (The first movie seems to feature sukebans and a vampire with a penis for a nose, by the way.)

A lot of the movie revolves around very lowbrow comedy: slapstick, terrible special effects, dirty jokes, breaking the fourth wall, and so on. I think we can say that it actually breaks the second and third walls, too, as the plot wraps up via Sister Crow chasing another character, the Neon Medusa Fairy, across the set, coincidentally landing them right next to the nurse who'd been blackmailed into supplying the cheap knock-off blood. The Neon Medusa Fairy is a great character, by the way. She's a fairy with multcoloured hair that flies around in a skimpy dress, wrapped in christmas tree lights who jumps on men's backs and brainwashes them into sleeping with prostitutes. She's also a greedy backstabbing jerk and a coward, making her a great enemy/sidekick/comedy foil to Sister Crow. Plus, she stars in the only remotely entertaining one of the three sex scenes in the movie!

Yeah, there's three sex scenes, making up about a quarter of the film's length in total. Two of them are both boring and incredibly unpleasant, being demon-on-human rape scenes (one with wiggly tentacles, one without). The third is The Neon Medusa Fairy having a fun ol' time with a naked salaryman in a bathroom. It's not particularly sexy, but it's a lot better (and easier to watch) than the other two (which i actually skipped, so unappetising were they). To be honest, this would be a much better movie if it stuck to innuendo and boob/butt-flashing, eschewing the actual sex scenes and just being a particularly blue comedy.

So yeah, mostly, I liked this movie, and if you like the sound of it, look it up if you can. I think there are rips going about the internet of the first ExorSister, and possibly the fourth one too? But I don't think either of them have English subs.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

What If Volume 1, Issues 13 and 43

Back in the 70s and 80s, when Marvel did licensed comics, they sometimes worked the licensed properties into the marvel universe. The most famous example of this is probably the Marvel UK Transformers comics. With Conan the Barbarian, they decided that Hyperborea was a place in the distant past of Earth-616, meaning that there could be occasional crossovers, thanks to time travel and other magical shenanigans. Conan appeared in a few issues of the first volume of What If, usually having face Marvel characters with similar temperaments, like THor and Wolverine, but my favourite of the Conan What Ifs are these two: What If Conan the Barbarian Walked the Earth Today? and What If Conan the Barbarian Were Stranded in the 20th Century?

The first one feels a lot like a straight-to-VHS movie, and starts in the Hyborean era, with lots of exposition telling unfamiliar readers who Conan is and where he's from, and then into a slightly too long scene showing how he ends up in the 20th century. An evil wizard has found a mysterious "well in time", and when he throws things into it, objects from the future come out of it, and Conan is his latest planned sacrifice. Rather than death, what awaits Conan in the well is th dirty, hot, violent world of New York in the summer of 1977.

From this point on is where it begins to feel like a family movie, despite the grittiness inherent in anything set in 70s New York: Conan doesn't speak English, gets mistaken for both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger (this being printed a few years before Arnie actually played Conan, so it's coincidence rather than reference), puts an old lady in a bin, and meets, befriends and seduces a pretty young taxi driver. While she shows him photos from around the world to find out where he's from, Conn freaks out at a picture of the Guggenheim museum, since it looks like the wizard's lair, but upside down.

So they go to the Guggenheim in the dead of night, to discover that it's being burgled. The taxi driver gets shot by the burglars, enraging Conan, who swiftly deipathes them. Eventually the cops show up, and Conan climbs to the top of the museum, where he gets struck by lightning, which returns him home. It's a really fun story, and the art in particular is excellent, managng to be both dark and colourful. And I've never been to New York at all, never mind how it was a decade before I was born, but it really captures the feel of the place I've gotten from watching TV shows and movies from that era.

The second issue is a lot grittier, starting with a change to the ending of the previous story: Conan reaches the roof of the Guggenheim a few minutes before lightning strikes, and is arrested, rather than getting sent back in time. He escapes from court and runs away to seek his fortune. He slowly stars a career as a mugger, eventually moving up to druglord as he gets the hang of English.

Eventually, he gains the loyalty of a bunch of bodybuilders/criminals who become his gang, the Barbarians, who go about seeking excitement and riches while wearing a mix of 70s New York street fashion, along with swords, horned helmets and loincloths. Along the way, Conan goes to visit the girl who helped him when he was new to the modern era, but unfortunately, he does so wearing a white suit and walking a leopard on a chain, making her think he's become a pimp, and she wants no part of what he's offering.

After a while, the Barbarians' crime spree attracts the attention of no less than Captain America, who tries to apprehend them, single-handed, as they rob an exhibit of Hyborean Gold and artifacts. It doesn't go well for Cap, as he finds Conan a formidable opponent, and takes a sword to the shoulder. The two do develop a respect for each other's code of honour, though, and Conan sets up a duel between the two.

The duel is ambushed by a small army of heavily-armed cops, however, and in the affray, Conan's second-in-command gets killed. Conan manages to get away, though not before Cap offers him a place on the Avengers and a chance to do good. Annoyingly, the story ends with a sequel tease, as Conan considers the offer, but there was never a third episode of this series, and since Marvel haven't had the license for years, there probably never will be.

All in all, these two issues are two of my favourite What Ifs (and it's a series I've always liked), and definitely the best of the first volume, which had a lot of lacklustre stories, especially compared to later incarnations of the series. I definitely recommend seeking them out.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Strange Dawn

Although it's mostly forgotten now, this show actually got an English dub and even aired in the UK during that brief, glorius period when every major TV channel needed at least one dubbed anime series in its schedule. Oddly, that dub (which I think was made in/for Australia) seems to be totally unavailable nowadays, through means both legal and otherwise. It's odd that the dub was even made under those circumstances, though, airing as it did in an early morning Saturday morning kids' slot. I can only assume that some comissioner at Channel 5 just looked at the misleadingly-cute promotional art for the series, assumed it was a cute, light-hearted adventure series and then bought it without actually watching an episode. The reason I think this is that it's a pretty serious low fantasy series with bloody violence, war, death and politics and an attempted rape early in the series.

At its most basic, the premise is one seen in quite a few shows of the 90s and early 00s: two schoolgirls (Yoko and Eri) suddenly find themselves in a fantasy world in the midst of war, where they're heralded as prophecised saviours. The catch is that they really are just two normal girls, with no latent special powers or anything. However, the world in which they find themselves is inhabited by little potato-looking people, only about 20cm high. So by default the two girls are significantly larger and stronger than everyone around them, which makes them seem like mighty heroes, even if they aren't. There's also the fact that most of the little people believe that they're holy saviours prophecised to end the war one way or another, giving any side they align themselves with a massive psychological advantage over their foes.

Back when it aired on TV, I didn't think very highly of Strange Dawn. It looked like a boring show with silly-looking spud-people, annoying protagonists and lots of time spent with characters sitting around being sad. Watching again as an adult, I'm enjoying it a lot more: there's fantasy political intrigue, Yoko and Eri each have different, but equally believable reactions to their strange situation (and very different personalities in general), and the cute SD character designs actually serve to make the violence, horror and general seriousness of the series' events seem more serious and shocking, simply through the dissonance between the events and the visuals.

As I write this, I'm still a few episodes from the end, but unless it takes a sudden and dramatic downfall in the episodes to come, I can say I'd definitely recommend Strange Dawn to those wanting a serious fantasy cartoon with an unusual twist.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Go For Broke!/V Madonna Daisenso (1985)

Every year, the violent motorbike-riding thugs of Yagyu High attack the good and pure students of Hopehill High (that's what the school's called in the english dub, I assume it has a different name in the original version) and demand monetary tribute. One day, six months before the next attacks, Hopehill's student council is discussing this, or rather, discussing how to negotiate a smaller tribute. The student president's younger sister hears this and convinces them that they need to stop being cowards and come up with a plan to fight back.

Though Yagyu's students are tougher and meaner than those of Hopehill, the president's sister has a plan. First, they need to recruit stronger fighters, all of whom are female (to "humiliate" the all-male Yagyu gang). Next, spend the next few months training under the outside fighters (or "Madonnas") and developing bombs and other weapons. She also comes up with a foolproof battle plan, chrecking it via computer simulation before the real battle.

These outside fighters include a Ninja movie actress who does her own stunts, a sukeban who dropped out of Hopehill the previous year, but wants in on the upcoming fights, and a wrestler with a whip-weilding evil nazi gimmick. Although two of them are adults, they all enrol in the school and wear its uniform while they're there. That's the kind of thing that can happen in the world of Japanese deliquency, I guess? Like in season 2 of Majisuka Gakuen, when Shibuya decides being an adult is boring and re-enrols in high school to go back to being a sukeban.

Unfortunately, though the Hopehill students win the battle with ease, it turns out that the war has only just started, as the Yagyu gang, under the leadership of an evil dominatrix named Panther Eye, start enacting brutal, horrific attacks on the Madonnas when they're alone at night, even going as far as kidnapping one of them and holding her to ransom. All this drives the Hopehill kids to despair up until the point that Panther Eye sends them a message via computer that she will turn their school into hell. This inspires them to vow that "even if we lose, let's go down fighting". Of course, this leads to an even bigger second battle, with the odds ever harder against the Madonnas and Hopehill High, and even higher stakes resting on their resourcefulness and use of guerilla tactics.

Though it was made before I was even born, on paper, Go For Broke! seems like it was made specifically to appeal to my tastes and interests. It's got female wrestlers, sukeban, 80s Japanese computer graphics, and all manner of other cool stuff. In practice, though it's not an all-time classic and it does have a few problems (it's occasionally a little hard to follow, heavy artillery seems to magically appear from nowhere, even the good guys don't mind gunning enemies down willy-nilly, and so on. Plus the usual problem delinquent movies have, that there seems to be almost no adult presence in the world, and no police involvement, no matter how far the violence escalates), it is a fun, entertaining, and very likable movie. It also inhabits a kind of middle ground between the gritty sex and violence of the sukeban movies of the 70s, and the more wholesome action of 80s TV shows like the classic Sukeban Deka (and, of course, its sequels and spin-offs). If you're not some kind of boring snob who needs frivolties like CGI special effects or even decent picture quality (the only copies I know of that exist of this movie are pretty grainy VHS rips. The one I have has english dubbed dialogue and hardcoded greek subtitles), you should definitely give it a try. I don't imagine anyone reading a blog like this would be one of those boring snobs, though. There's not really much for them here, to be honest.

Saturday, 12 March 2016


Ohikkoshi is a collection of short slice-of-life stories by Hiroaki Samura, who's usually better known for his saumrai fantasy series Blade of the Immortal. I was attracted to it back when the english-language version was first released by the really badass cover art, which you can see above. Unfortunately, there's no delinquency or violence in here, so it's a bit of a bait-and switch. Fortunately, what there is is a bunch of really good, relatable stories, so it all works out in the end.

More than half the book is taken up by the five-chapter story Ohikkoshi, which tells the tale of a group of young students and their multi-directional web of semi-requited love. And a crazy Italian teacher on a ridiculous quest for revenge. The most obvious thing that makes this story stand out among the crowd when it comes to Japanese comics, especially those that get english translations, is that the characters are all in their early twenties, and none of them live with their parents.

Furthermore, they're all really cool: they look cool, they dress cool, they're in cool bands, they drink in cool-looking bars, and so on. The romance follows suit, it's not earth-shatteringly melodramatic, and relationships don't seem like they have to be life-long one true loves. They're just a group of people who fall in and out of love, sometimes at inconvenient times. There is one boring romantic trope that's popular in a lot of Japanese comics and cartoons, but I can't really tell you what it is without spoiling it for you, but nevertheless, it's annoying when it turns up. On the plus side, once it does turn up, it's kind of cast aside and everyone moves on. I really liked this story, it's cool and aspirational without being a total fantasy, and it's realistic without being grim and depressing.

The second story is called Luncheon of Tears Diary, and it details the long string of tragedies that befall a young comic creator after her series gets abruptly cancelled. It's kind of like a more adult version of the girls' comics being printed in Britain in the 1970s and 80s, where the heroines would tumble through hardship after hardship, living lives of constant despair, all while dreaming they might one day be a ballerina. Always a ballerina. But rather than strict boarding schools and servitude as a maid under a sadistic butler, Natsumi's problems include homelessness, gambling, indentured sevitude as a prostitute, and so on.

It never gets depressing, though, for two reasons. The first is that it's so fast paced, you don't really get to "live" each of Natsumi's tragedies before the next one befalls her. The second is that the comic has a very subtle black humour about it and it's very aware of how over-the-top and melodramatic it is. Again I can't really say much more about it without spoiling anything, but Luncheon of Tears Diary is a great read that I shot through in no time.

Finally, there's Kyoto Super Barhopping Journal, a short, autobiographical story about a rain-sodden drinking trip to Kyoto. It's nice I guess, but it's really just filler. Anyway, Ohikkoshi is an excellent book, and I highly recommend reading it.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine, Episode 1

Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine is a superhero show from 1990, created by the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori. It's a lot lighter in tone than the works for which he's usually known, though, being part of Toei's "Mystery Comedy Series." On her way to school on the first day back after the new year holidays, Yuko visits the local shrine, and by chance meets a strange old man for magic powers. For no obvious reason, the old man tells her she should fight against crime and injustice, and gives her the power to turn into the eponymous superheroine, Poitrine. Later that day, her younger brother goes to the local videogame store to buy the latest Dragonball Z game (really!), where he also hears of a local rumour about the Phantom Videogame Thief, a weird goblin-like thing dressed like Sherlock Holmes, that stuns people with a cattleprod and steals their Famicom cartridges.

Obviously, he later falls victim to that very same thief, though since he's out of the room at the time, doesn't get shocked. Somehow, this all culminates in a showdown between the Phantom Thief and Poitrine in some kind of industrial wasteland, where after a very short fight, the thief's identity is revealed, Scooby Doo-style, and everyone gets their games back.

It's a cute, silly little show, and you know I'm always going to be at least a little biased in favour of live-action Japanese action shows from the 80s and early 90s, so I definitely recommend giving it a look. Unfortunately, there's only one subbed episode available, having been released on the 1st of April, 2015, a day that will live in infamy.

On that day, a few weird old shows had their first episodes subbed as "April Fools" jokes by various groups, most notably (because they were shows I've been wanting to see for a long time) this one and the original Taiketsu Lionmaru. Oh well, hopefully someone'll pick up these shows in the future, and either way, one episode is better than nothing, which a fair few of my wishlist shows still have. And the tokusatsu subbing scene is a lot better than it was ten or even just five years ago! Luckily, though, this episode doesn't end on any kind of cliffhanger, so you can watch it on its own with no problems.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Dark Towers

Not to be confused with Stephen King's long-running post-apocalyptic magic cowbay saga, Dark Towers is a 1981 educational TV series aimed at primary schoolchildren. It's about two shabbily-dressed teenage misanthropes (Tracy, who likes dogs better than people, and Edward, the latest Lord Dark, who likes books better than people) overcoming their sexual tension long enough to solve clues and meet ghosts in the hopes of saving Edward's family home, the eponymous castle Dark Towers from two camp conmen and their henchwoman who hope to steal away the castle's antiques and burn it down.

You might wonder why anyone would bother watching a decades-old educational show, and there are really two reasons. The most obvious is nostalgia: though it was made and broadcast years before I (and, I assume most of my readership) was born, it was still being watched on tape at british primary schools well into the mid-90s, at the very least, along with most of the other Look and Read series that had been going since the early 1970s. Luckily for any adult viewers, some helpful soul by the name of malvolio80 has uploaded the series to Youtube with all but one of the awful educational sections mercifully excised. From what I remember, those parts were so slow and simplistic to be useless even when my age was in single figures, and I can only imagine how tedious and annoying they'd be to an adult viewer.

The other reason is the aesthetic: a dusty old castle full of books and ghosts, mystery-solving teenagers in shabby hand-me-down jumpers and master criminals that drive around in a knackered old van. The makers can't have known at the time, but Dark Towers is almost perfect as a simple introduction to some of the basic concepts of hauntology and late 20th century british folk-horror. Obviously, it's not only a childrens' show, but one made to be shown in schools, so the horror elements aren't particularly strong, and the budget is very low, but the look, the feel and the general ambience of the series work well.

You won't really be missing out on a great deal if you don't watch Dark Towers, but I assume it'll at least have some nostalgic value for most British readers, and it's not a terrible show either (in its edited form, at least). For anyone else interested in British kids' horror, something that skews a bit older in its target audience, like The Owl Service, Chocky, or Elidor, might be a better choice.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Chokkyuu Hyoudai Robot Anime Straight Title

Chokkyuu Hyoudai Robot Anime Straight Title, also known simply as Straight Title Robot Anime, is a comedy anime that aired in early 2013. The animation was made using the freeware program MikuMikuDance, giving the show a look reminiscent of a low budget third party Dreamcast game. Thousands of years into the future, mankind is extinct and sentient robots wage endless war against each other, for reasons long since forgotten. Three non-combat robots seek to end the war by rediscovering the lost human art of comedy. In an odd bit of bait-and-switch, the show's opening sequence is all-action, showing battle scenes from the endless robot war.

Each episode is split into three segments, the first of which has the three protagonists Fuji, Kato and Mori standing in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, discussing a certain kind of comedy (for example, one-liners, puns, sarcasm, et cetera), and trying to come up with their own examples to try and make each other laugh. The humour in these segments mainly stems from the concept that's at the heart of the show: the characters are robots and as such, none of them has a sense of humour. Even if any of them could understand comedic concepts well enough to successfully make a joke, none of the others would be able to find it funny. So it's a kind of anti-comedy, where you get to enjoy terrible, nonsensical jokes totally falling flat.

The second segment, and by far the weakest, sees the three heroines using a computer simulation to see if the war could be ended by changing the conditions of the world to make things more comedic. So in each episode we see the opening animation again, only this time, all the robots are dizzy, or the entire world is coated in lubricant, or all the guns make farting noises. It's okay I guess, but the show would have been better off losing it.

The final, and by far, the best segement has the robots attempting to perform prop-based improvisational comedy. The great thing about these segments is that they do seem to actually have been improvised by the voice actresses, who are constantly corpsing and struggling to stay in character throughout. There's also moments when they'll make references to things that the other two just don't get and will try and explain the reference while also pretending to be a robot living millenia after the fall of man.

Straight Title Robot Anime instantly became one of my favourite comedy anime once I sat down and watched it, and the fact that it seems to have been ignored by most anime fans (and most of the ones who did watch it obviously didn't get it) shouldn't put you off. Don't bother watching the laugh-free final episode, though.