Wha, er, ah, huh, Why am I on a Japanese Box?
Sun, 29 April 2007
Welcome back everyone to Uncle Ichibod's world of Anime.
Today's taste from our friends at Madman is She: the Ultimate Weapon - Another Love Song.
Now I Know this is kind of lazy (actually it's very lazy but I just ate lunch and you know you are supposed to wait 30 mins before operating a keyboard) but I think the best way to give you a quick overview of STUW is to just regurgitate the blurb on the DVD jacket....
"Chise is a cute and delicate teenage girl who was transformed into the Ultimate Weapon, even though she wants nothing more than to be a normal girl in love. As the war escalates, we see more of the fearsome destruction inflicted by her on both enemy and friend alike, and we meet the cold-hearted Commander Mizuki, an earlier, less powerful version of the weapon Chise has become."
Again I am confronted with that problem of watching only a small part of a complete series that leaves me wondering what I missed and what is to come. But that is the pull of any half decent Anime! Hook the viewer and then make them part with serious amounts of cash to see the complete series.
[Ninja's Note: He's right folks, Anime keeps stealing my money. It's like a drug, you always need more.]
Any good series will leave you salivating at the end of each disk for the next release. Or if you're lucky enough to purchase a complete box set you wonder just how you can watch all six disks at once and still remember what the hell just happened.
|You know what would be weird? If we were really fictional characters and people wrote amusing captions about us. |
"What! - Are you high?"
Enough of my complaining and back to the subject at hand.
Scratch the surface of what at first would appear to be a run of the mill action heavy show (laced with fan service) but surprisingly it falls deep into a big statement on love and War.
Chise (pronounced Chesay or as I was prone to calling her Cheesy) our main character is torn between her ever increasing destructive powers and her love for her school sweetheart. She has little control over how she is being used in a major military campaign that sees her battle not only enemy and friendly forces, but her own will to exist. "I must kill before I am killed"
Little is said about the conflict the characters are thrown into. Who is attacking? Why are they attacking? These questions become meaningless in the sheer senselessness of war.
The beginning of this DVD introduces us to another 'Ultimate Weapon' in the form of Commander Mizuki. She is a hardened soldier that experienced the loss of her unit in an earlier conflict. At a point close to death Mizuki chooses to become an Ultimate Weapon test subject.
Although when we are introduced to Commander Mizuki it becomes painfully obvious that she is close to end of her role as an Ultimate Weapon. Chise on the other hand is a young innocent school girl that would not appear in any way shape or form to suit the model for an Ultimate Weapon.
Very little is said about how Chise became the Ultimate Weapon in the first place. Although we are constantly reminded of her fragile state of mind as her destructive abilities increase. She is closely monitored by a crack team of military men and scientists and if you like spoilers, - then look elsewhere - ha ha, got you!
But seriously I have read up on some of the sub characters and their involvement in this series, and seen how they move into some very serious roles.
One thing I'd like to mention from STUW is the fact that there is a character called Shinji or Shuji (I really should have written that down) and a character called Tetsu or Tetsuo. Now is it just me or does just about every Anime that has come out in the last 20 years have at least one character called Shinji, Shuji, Tetsu or Tetsuo? SMS your answers now!
I am definitely hooked on She: The Ultimate Weapon and can't wait to watch the whole series (cue the cash register cha-ching, cha-ching noises from Madman).
|I'm your privaaate dancer, your daaanncer for money.... |
Possibly that's why Madman send these wonderful DVDs my way to tease me with just a sniff of what could be. Then they wait patiently for me to work my butt off to afford to buy the next volumes in the series!
My house is now built from Anime DVD covers (a more deluxe version of the cardboard box).
She: The Ultimate Weapon is one property to watch. It's a slow burning series that will deliver the goods to those that wait. All good Anime fans know that you can't give it all away in just one DVD.
Hell sometimes they don't even give it away in the whole series and release a movie after the series has been released that actually changes the ending of the series! (See Evangelion / the End of Evangelion)
STUW really is what fans of the action / war style of Anime will love, with just a few science fiction elements to enthral people like me. Throw in some big words that people like to hear, and then use them in sentences that we don't actually understand but can nod our heads to respectfully - hoping to appear more intellectual than we really are.
Visually STUW did not stand out from the crowd. Although a great use of darker shading mixed in with very bright visuals helped to express the play of light and dark, good and evil. There are definitely Animes with better presentation out there.
But take nothing away from STUW, what it may lack in the visual experience it more than makes up for in the story department. With the boom in Anime productions reaching our shores, thanks in no small part to Madman, there is also an influx of Animes that lack a lot of credentials in the story department.
Before I finish I must put in my new favourite tag line that I have stolen from Chise: "I am a demon, I am a monster, I am death"
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Enjoyable story and great action. I'm hooked!