There is a saying, “For every piece of gold you find, you’ve found a thousand turds.” The same remains true in anime. For every truly inspired and beautifully crafted piece of cinema, we have to trudge through some poorly translated, unoriginal slop thrown together because of an unsuspecting American audience. Here, I have chronicled just a few of these tainted pieces to keep you from suffering through them the way I had to. Enjoy. Wait. No. Don’t enjoy. Just-just read the damn thing.
Shadow Skill-Shadow Skill takes place in the warrior kingdom of Kuruda, where the main character Elle Regu has recently become the 59th Sevaar, a title awarded to their most elite warriors. She often leaves a trail of destruction when she fights and along with a drinking habit, Elle is constantly followed by debts. Elle travels along with her adopted younger brother Gau Ban, who is studying Elle’s fighting skills so that one day he could become the greatest Sevaar in Kuruda. Also in Elle and Gau’s life is Faurink Maya (Faury), a Sui Rame a talisman sorceress, and Kyuo Lyu, a Septia beast-catcher and grandniece of Eva Stroll, the king of Kuruda. I happened to come across this gem one quiet Saturday morning whilst surfing through all of the absurdly named Starz channels. The first thing I noticed after the rolling credits, was that this anime screamed early 90’s anime. Fuzzy looking, cell shading that was hastily drawn, and a voice acting cast who clearly didn’t give a damn, make this OVA a treat to watch. Just to see how bad it is and believe me, its pretty damn bad. Even the fact that its an action anime can’t save this film from crashing and burning. There is lots of screaming and dialogue that makes about as much sense as the characters themselves. Which is none. None. What so ever…
Spirited Away- The film follows a sullen ten-year-old girl who is in the process of moving to a new neighborhood, and chronicles her adventures in a world of spirits and monsters. Though beautifully voiced and wonderfully drawn, this Studio Ghibli production collapses under the weight of its own name. Sadly, the movie never really picks up. Instead, attempting to coast by on its name and sheer beauty. As the movie progresses its clear that this is more technical demo than actual screen worthy film.
Battle Arena Toshinden- One year since Eiji’s climactic but unfinished battle with Gaia during the first Battle Arena Toshinden tournament, the original eight participants of the tournament as well as other fighters find themselves targeted by a mysterious organization for sinister purposes, and it becomes up to Eiji to solve the mystery, save his friends, stop the organization and locate his long-lost brother, Sho. The best thing about this…thing and I use thing, meaning no offense to all other things out there, is that brief synopsis. The worst part was that this was one of the first anime I watched when I was becoming an Otaku. This movie damn near turned me off to ever watching another anime, ever.
Tekken- The film’s story is loosely based on the first game, where Kazuya is the main character and Heihachi is the Head of the Mishima Zaibatsu, and Tekken 2, which features Jun and Lei’s investigation of the Zaibatsu’s illegal activities. They fight Raptors. Yes, as in holy shit, straight out of Jurassic Park bitch, it’s a lizard with a hatchet on its foot. Character’s vomit blood from being struck in legs and even the basic plot becomes so lost in its tremendously poor delivery. Amidst the worst of voice acting, a high school students art portfolio, and an Americanized soundtrack that is oddly out of its depth, you get to watch the bastardization of one of your beloved fighting genre franchises. Have fun.
G Gundam- What happens when you combine the frenetic action and signature moves of, say Dragonball Z and the critically classic mecha designs influenced by Imagawa’s Giant Robo? A laughably bad anime that takes itself far too seriously. In F.C. 60, the 13th Gundam Fight begins. Domon Kasshu pilots the Shining Gundam as the representative of Neo-Japan, the Japanese space colony. Along with his crew member Rain Mikamura, he battles the other countries’ representatives in order to earn the right to rule Earth and the colonies for four years for Neo-Japan. However, Domon seems to be more concerned with finding his brother and the stolen Devil Gundam. My first problem with the series are the main characters. From the irrationally emotional Domon to the submissive Rain Mikamura, every character in the series is generic and racially stereotypical. Even the Gundams’ themselves are racially offensive. Remember Gundam Mexico? You know, the Gundam with a sombrero and maracas? Yeah, just think about that.
SD Gundam- This series takes the mobile weapons and characters of different Gundam series and expresses them in super deformed style. If that description doesn’t make you want to vomit repeatedly, then there is something fundamentally wrong with you holmes. Did I mention that every series is CG and geared toward the five to ten year old crowd?
Angel Sanctuary- This is the run down: Female angel Alexiel defies God, God punishes her by separating her immortal body and her soul, reincarnating her to suffer as a mortal till Judgment Day. (Gasp) The movie picks up with her current mortal shell Setsuna, complaining about wanting to have sex with his sister. Seriously, that’s all he does. “Is it wrong to want to have sex with my sister?” “Why do I have these feelings!?!” “I really want to bang my sister. Like, nowish.” This anime will make you want to hunt down Kaori Yuki, the creator of this garbage, and tea bag him ’til he vomits to death.
Please my fellow otaku’s don’t fall prey to bad anime. Or if you do, bring them to my attention. There is nothing more satisfying than getting together with lots of alcohol and watching really, really shitty anime. Well, that or finding a year’s worth of Pocky…