Spoiled rich girl Yao Sakurakouji decides to join the Miami police force to enjoy car chases, gunfights and wanton destruction. The psychotic and not-too-bright Yao is partnered with Lu Amano, the soft-spoken and sharp-tongued daughter of the police chief. Together the dirty duo clean up the streets of Miami and take on a mysterious crime syndicate known only as 'The Organization'.
Some of you might not know it, but I grew up at the movies. I spent the majority of my life going to popcorn flicks with friends and family. Besides horror flicks, it was always the action movies I couldn't get enough of. Die Hard, Demolition Man, Bad Boys, Lethal Weapon - all a big part of my childhood. Miami Guns manages to take the Hollywood action genre that I hold close to my heart and pay homage to it the best way it can, by making a total joke out of it. And you know what? I love it! Miami Guns starts out simple enough, with a pretty basic plot outline and a cast of fairly stereotypical characters, but it's the second episode when this series really shines as a comedy, and everything after that is comedy gold or damn close to it. Its been a while since I've been able to watch an anime like Miami Guns and not feel numb or apathetic towards its cause. I personally think this series' cast of likeable characters and good use of spoof humor is to blame for my "reawakening" to the genre I began to grow a distaste for, but there is so much more to Miami Guns than what you see on its surface.
Unlike many spoof animes out there, Miami Guns chooses to be a bit more subtle when making references to other franchises. For example, in one episode they introduce Bruce Tsuji and refer to him as a real 'die hard.' Obviously this is a reference to Bruce Willis in Die Hard, but while other similar animes would more than likely have this character running around screaming 'Yippie-ki-yay, motherf****er!' every chance they got, Miami Guns just leaves it at that. I think this works well, and it helps from making the comedy in the series feel forced. My main gripe with a lot of the comical animes I've seen over the years is that they try to be too crazy for their own good, and once you've seen one anime like that you've pretty much seen them all. Miami Guns is far from sane, but it seems to have an intelligent method of laying out the funnies. This is a welcomed change.
Animation and music in Miami Guns is actually pretty good. I liked the OP and ED themes, and all the music throughout the series really got me into the whole police action movie theme it was trying to develop. I love the character designs and I love the general design of Miami City. It's all good stuff. Once again, this is a series I ended up watching the English dub of and I must say I am happy with that decision. Some of the voices can get on your nerves, especially given the character they're coupled with, such as Yao who is almost as annoying and hyper as Excel, but after switching over to the Japanese audio and listening to how high pitched the female voices were I was forced to switch back to English. Julio Peacemaker's voice actor alone makes the English audio my personal pick. I don't think any Japanese voice actor can pull off that kind of Hispanic accent. Seriously, this guy is pretty damn talented. It's sad that his only credited role seems to be for Miami Guns. A lot of U.S. distributors could really use a talented voice actor like him, and it's obvious from sifting through the piles of anime with crappy English voice acting.
Typically, animes can become one of two things: 1) Instant classics that everybody clings to and makes a big deal about, or 2) forever lost in obscurity. Miami Guns seems hopelessly destined to be the latter. The series has the workings of a really fun comedy, but it just hasn't been able to really catch a fan base large enough to put it up there with other comedies like Excel Saga and Azumanga Daioh. This is unfortunate, but it's not surprising. While the main cast members of Miami Guns are likable and memorable, they are hardly stand out characters that draw in fans. Besides Al the talking alligator and his master Julio Peacemaker (both supporting characters only featured in a few episodes), Miami Guns doesn't exactly have what many would call a 'crowd pleaser.' Also, this series doesn't have a very strong Japanese theme to it and takes place in 'Miami.' This too is something that could very well be the cause of Miami Guns not getting the exposure it deserves. Or possibly this anime just flat out sucks and I'm one of the few people who enjoyed it, but I'll try to hold onto my dignity and pray for the former.
It's really hard to review a comedy, arguably harder than any other genre simply because comedy is a lot like music in the sense that It can never be perfected. People all have their own idea of what's funny and what's not, and, well, I think Miami Guns ranks up there with some of the best. It's not about the quantity of humor that really matters to me, or about how edgy and groundbreaking it is. If I laugh then that is all that matters, and is all that should matter. I have to defend this anime after a lot of people were telling me how crappy it was. Yes, it has its flaws and doesn't always hit its mark, but that is something that can be said for literally every comedy out today. Comedy has always been hit or miss, trial and error, but it's all about the miss/hit ratio that determines whether something is comedic brilliance or cheesy garbage. Miami Guns manages to hit far more than it misses, at least for me. While there are other animes out there that serve the same purpose as Miami Guns I argue that this series stands alone on its own merits. Miami Guns is no FUMOFFU by any means, but it doesn't have to be in order to get my seal of approval. I suggest you check this anime out if you ever get the chance.
What made me stick with Miami Guns after the first episode was a scene in which the police force in Miami were all told they couldn't shoot their guns just yet and they all started shivering and fondling their various firearms with bloodshot eyes like they were all drug addicts. What a Totally Accurate Representation of Americans!
The story concerns Yin and Yao, two cops in the Miami Police Force, who cause a nuisance for their boss. They're a lot like Panty and Stocking, with Yao being loud, irritating and generally a horrible person, while Yin doesn't have much personality at all. The set ups for each episode are meant to involve teamwork to take down the baddies, but it usually involves Yao charging in and making the situation worse while Yin clears up the actual problem behind the scenes. There's a few inspired scenes in it, such as the episode where Yao regains her humanity after regressing to neaderthal status by smashing open a vending machine in quite possibly the greatest 2001 Space Odyssey parody I've ever seen (and given how many times that movie has been parodied, that's saying a lot), but most of it is just dumb buddy cop stuff taken to illogical extremes.
The animation quality is TERRIBLE! Someone who is more knowledgable about animation will have to clue me in on this, but nearly all the TV anime made in 2000 looks dreadful compared to the anime that came from even several years before. Maybe I'm just blinded by the fact I've been cherry-picking the best looking stuff from the years before it, but so many of the anime made that year have awkward movement, incorrect perspective, bland character designs, weird shading, everything. My theory is that it has something to do with the switch to fully digital animated stuff. Love Hina was the first fully digitally animated TV anime, so maybe at the time the animators hadn't quite gotten used to the new format yet. I wouldn't have thought bad animation would put me off so much, but its end result was a lot like panty flashes. It might be telling a wonderful story or a hilarious joke, but I keep getting distracted away from the main attraction by having bad animation/striped panties clog the screen.
Speaking of panty flashes, there's a worryingly amount of 'Imma gonna raep you' fanservice involving the two girls, where their kidnappers tear their clothes off with knives or whatever. Now this could be a parody of the voyeuristic nature of kidnapping scenes in these kinds of shows. In the first episode, Yin wears her swimsuit under her clothes when she gives herself up as a hostage because she knew she was going to have to take off her clothes, and then proceeds to wave to the police force from the balcony of her kidnappers apartment window so the media can see her fancy new bikini. However following episodes have similar strip down scenes with no sense of irony to them at all.
This is a small example of the wider problem Miami Guns has (beyond the atrocious animation). It forgets it's supposed to be a parody and starts playing things straight. They keep trying to play up the relationship between Yin and Yao like it's really touching and friendship helps them solve crimes and all the other stuff Barney the Dinosaur used to sing about when he wasn't singing about how much he fucking loved peanut butter, but it doesn't work because Yao is a horrible person. There is no reason for Yin to like her. Being a terrible person is fine if you're making a big joke out of the whole thing. We weren't ever supposed to take the relationship between Panty and Stocking seriously, as the final episode wonderfully proved. But the show kept devolving into sappy territory and it became painful to sit through at times. Especially with Yao's voice. I gravitated towards the English dub because I always do when the option exists, but when Yao's screechy voice became too much to bear I swapped over to the Japanese, only to discover that the English voice actor had simply copied what her Japanese counterpart had done.
A review of an anime you've never heard of that isn't quite bad enough to make the review funny but not good enough to make you interested in the anime. What a useless post. Oh well, this is what I'll probably get if I try to pick up obscure forgotten titles from the last decade.read more