The main male protagonist, given some man-love by the best character in this anime.
The random anime picked out for a review from my very large queue that spanned 2 terabytes worth of hard disk space is a 26-episode 2007 anime titled Oh! Edo Rocket. Naturally, this anime then will have the right to challenge the reigning ‘Anime of the Year 2007’ title holder Bokurano. Also, well, naturally, Bokurano makes short work out of this anime, for reasons that will be outlined in the review below.
The best character of this anime sure has a thing for the male populations of Edo.
Taking place in ancient Tokyo (or Edo as they called it at that time) during roughly the same era as Hakuouki is, the supposedly-famous firework maker Tamaya Seikichi a.k.a. the main male protagonist received a strange request from a strange customer with starry eyes to make a strange firework called ‘rocket’ that can reach the moon. Meanwhile, the young maidens of Edo were terrorized by a strange blood-sucking monster that is rumored to have come from the moon! Is the main protagonist’s strange customer is involved with all those gruesome murders?
This anime is a dialogue-heavy slice-of-life title, although you can also expect plenty of humor and a reasonable amount of action scenes. The quality of the storyline is decent, but the romance elements in this anime is actually found in an unexpected place (read: not involving the main male protagonist). The aforementioned humor in this anime is pretty much generic most of the time, with the exception of some toilet-type humor scenes. While the pacing of this anime is a little bit on the slow side, the storyline is moving along just nicely without any notable hiccups up until episode 20, where a major story arc ends.
Some witty lines there by the best character of this anime.
This is where my major complaint about this anime will come in, which is about the three filler episodes that comes after the end of the major arc mentioned above, and before the ending arc started. No matter how I looked at those three episodes, they doesn’t explain anything useful to the storyline prior to that point, or contribute anything new that the ending arc can use. This is similar to the filler episodes that you can see in Ergo Proxy, but with worse results. And of course, just like the vast majority of filler episodes out there in any given Japanese anime, the filler episodes in here doesn’t contribute to character developments either. The director should have re-appropriated the three filler episodes and replaced it with a simple time-jump plot device. That way, the continuation of the storyline would not have been interrupted and the ending arc should have come immediately after the episode 20 finished playing.
To Mr. Director, if you get rid of the 3 filler episodes, maybe then you can close many of the plot-holes left in this anime after the end credit finished playing?
The ending arc is pretty much underwhelming, no thanks for the three filler episodes that took out the momentum built up to the end of episode 20. The fact that the ending is full with clichés and very predictable, not to mention somewhat outrageous, doesn’t help either. Apart from the ending, this anime has made quite a lot of references to other TV shows, anime, manga and other printed materials, like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and, purposely multiple times, Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi. Unlike Hakuouki, this anime is only barely historically accurate, with plenty of unabashed tinge of modernity abound throughout this anime. Those hints of modernity (like mobile phones, Internet, AV products etc) are what makes the storyline went off the railways of true history (not that the Japanese is alien of doing this in real life) but also allows this anime to have some out-of-this-world (literally) plot developments that tests the limits of suspension of disbelief.
The best character in this anime is truly a refined gentleman.
Character development in this anime is uneven, but yet easily the best thing this anime have. While the two main protagonists are just your bog-standard anime characters you can see in similar titles in slice-of-life/shounen genres, the main antagonist of this anime is really someone else. Easily the best character in this anime by a million miles, the main antagonist of this anime is what you called a realistic character, which gone against this anime’s outrageous fabric if you ask me. Comedic but cruel, indecisive yet impulsive, insensitive yet cowardly, this anime is worth watching just to look at him doing his thing throughout this anime. His character development is superb, using the strategy that you usually can only see in a main protagonist of a shounen anime. His growth from a weak coward that only knows how to bully helpless poor residents of Edo to a highly-dogmatic, very skilled swordsman antagonist is spectacular to say the least. His end in the underwhelming ending arc is underwhelming, but kudos at the writers for creating an antagonist like him. The shounen genre would benefit with more characters like him.
Pay your homage to the best character in this anime above!
The character design in this anime is excellent, and if you ignore the characters that comes from the moon, almost seinen-like. I actually want to complain about the overabundance of hair dyes in this anime, then I remembered that they have the Internet in this anime (yet they doesn’t have ICBMs), therefore I think I should just shut up. Definitely a positive aspect for this anime.
The best character of this anime is not the only problem that our main protagonist has to deal with.
Voice acting in this anime is just average overall. Still, there are some good voice acting gigs in this title that has huge character cast, such as the main male protagonist and the main antagonist.
The OST of this anime is excellent, and so are the catchy OP theme. The two ED themes doesn’t fare so well though.
For a slice-of-life anime, the violence in this anime can be so spontaneous and so raw. In other words: IT'S AWESOME!!
This anime uses the abhorrent blurry animation technique detailed very much in this category of posts, usually in fast-paced scenes that does not involves battles. Surprisingly, the usage of this technique in battle scenes is quite low, but can still be seen as the anime nears its end. Considering that this anime predates Nabari no Ou, the first anime where I observed this phenomena happening, this only shows that this plague that is infesting Japan’s animation industry do have deep roots that spanned years.
One point docked off this anime final evaluation.
Overall, the animation quality in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in action scenes is average though. The directing really screwed-up with the filler episodes, but the main antagonist development somewhat balanced things out.
Some of the modern amenities that is suspiciously available during the Bakufu era in Edo.
7 out of 10. Bokurano still reigns as the ‘Anime of the Year 2007’ holder, and highly likely, will be for a very long time, just like One Outs is. Only the positions for Chocotto Sister, Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and Working!! are less tenable. Currently I’m torn between a 12-episode series and another one with 50-episode series, therefore, if I decided to watch the latter next, the next review will not come for quite some time.
A parody of basically a lot of toku-sentai titles in real-life Japan.