Gou has woved to find the legendary treasure of Salamander. Searching for it he meets Ren, a fairy, who is looking for the four treasures of Heart. Gou's childhood friend Mari is frustrated with Gou running after treasures, but befriends with another fairy Rin. Gou and Ren's treasure hunt messes with a secret project led by Mari's father. It turns out Salamander isn't what Gou thought it was in the first place...
Yousei Hime Ren is a short OVA from the mid 90s. Dangun Pictures did the animation for this. And it's not exactly a well known OVA but short, comedic OVAs tend to be either really good or really terrible. So, let's take a gamble and check it out.
We follow a young self-proclaimed treasure hunter named Gou as he follows the universe's most random treasure maps to try and find treasures. Naturally, he leaves devastation in his wake. He escapes one outing, nearly falls to his death and encounters a naked fairy named Ren. Why is she naked? Because she was doing a Princess Sally cosplay
and her boots fell off while she was flying. Or because this was designed for fourteen year olds who can't get a hold of actual porn.
That's pretty much the entirety of this OVA. Gou goes somewhere to try and find treasure, some sort of mechanical device gets activated and Gou manages to wreck it by accident. Let's discuss the big problem with the humour. The bulk of it is based around characters shouting, failing at basic communication and then something breaking in a contrived, over the top way. And characters shouting while failing at actually conveying anything isn't funny. It's just really, really, really annoying. You can have loud acting and still make it work. Galaxy Angel did. So did Muteki Kanban Musume. But they had actual jokes.
You want to know how to be funny with your dialogue, loud or otherwise? Clever word play, jokes with a strong use of comedic timing and just generally giving a shit about comedy. none of which are present here. It's like Big Bum Bim just drained all the comedy and replaced it with obnoxiousness. A complex contraption falling apart for absurd reasons can be funny, but it's not executed well in this series. So, it isn't.
Gou might be one of the worst comedic leads to watch. He's nothing but a constant stream of annoying prattle. The best part of the OVA are those few scenes where someone hits him. Which should happen considerably more often. He actually reminds me of the portrayal of Sonic in that one cartoon where he does nothing but shit Looney Tune style bits to the robot chicken and drill handed bloke. Except that was marginally more tolerable. Mari is just the typical "she has a crush but the guy she's interested in is clueless, has no redeeming qualities and will probably die of an opium overdose when he's twenty two." Ren is just boring. The fairy who follows her, Leen, is just a tsundere. Gou's many identical older sisters are just vaguely ambitious strong women. And there aren't any compelling characters to be found. There aren't even any with vague shticks that are funny once.
Like many poor excuses for comedies, Yousei Hime Ren tries to make up for its lack of quality comedic content by having overblown fan service. Quite literally every major female character in this is shown nude at some point. Both fairies, Gou's older sister (they all look alike so the specific one doesn't matter) & Mari. So, if you really want some tacky fan-service, there you go. Aside from that, the art is pretty bad. It's lazy, they have no good visual gags and there's just nothing noteworthy about it.
Dangun did get some solid actors. They have Hisakawa Aya in this and Yamadera Kouichi. Both fine actors who have portrayed much better characters in anime like Sailor Moon or Cowboy Bebop. sadly, if you only heard them in this you would probably not get the impression that they're good at what they do. You would probably get the impression that they're kind of shit because the direction in this calls for everybody cranking up the volume, shouting out their words quickly and exaggerating like all hell. Because if you don't have a headache from watching this, they've failed their purpose in making it. That's right, this is actually a promotion to sell more aspirin. They just made it as loud and annoying as possible so you would need some. The music might be the best element of the entire work and it's sub-par, at best.
Leen is tsundere for Ren, and snogs her at one point with no apparent provocation. Luckily for her, Ren doesn't seem to mind and will not be filing charges.
Honestly, it doesn't surprise me that this OVA didn't get enough of a positive response for them to put out a third episode. It's loud, obnoxious, painfully unfunny and just a bad experience. It may not be the worst comedy of all time, but it's down there in the excrement. I give it a 2/10. Next week Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san. Which, realistically, will almost certainly be better than this. Not that that's a high bar to surpass.
I don't really have a clue what was going on. There were a lot of things taking place at a time with little connection other than situational irony. I found some scenes funny but others confusing, and this was amplified by a character who spoke in reverse (which was also translated in reverse text.)
Things happen to happen and I can't really get into further detail because that's about all I know. I did chuckle because of certain things and I could see inklings of a solid plot coming to fruition at times but it just wasn't enough. This needed heavy editing just to make sense.
Some scenes could have been omitted to make things easier to get. Like, holy cow some serious pacing issues plagued by bizarre scene changes that made little to no sense. It was so hard to keep up.
Decent animation. I thought it was kind of neat, and the setting was somewhat interesting. I didn't really know where the characters were or time period, but there was some sense of care into the set design so I gotta give credit where credit is do. Plus, the animation was pretty good. I didn't find it deplorable or offensive, rather, found it to be quite engaging and exciting.
Such a 90's feel going on. Actually quite fun. Some songs were played a lot, though, so that wore thin. But also, the dialogue was a mess. As mentioned before, a character spoke in reverse (which was translated in reverse) but also lots of characters spoke over each other. This was a consistent thing throughout the 2 episodes and it seemed to be something due to not having enough air time. It was like watching Teekyuu except this was an accident.
I don't know the first thing about anyone. Okay, I know THE FIRST THING AND THAT'S IT. Nothing else. At all. There's just enough to discern who is who in some cases but then there are 3 characters who look exactly alike, 2 of which I thought were the only ones in the whole show. I kid you not, I was surprised when I saw a third one appear in the same place when it dawned on me that there were 3 characters who looked alike and NOT 2.
All these complaints and yet I still chuckled. The situational irony made me think of Arrested Development and I felt as though there was a creative mind that had some ounce of brilliance but needed some other people to help him work things out. A real shame, because it's possible there was something potentially tangible in this work, but it's plagued by so much, even so far as exploitation with needless yuri fanservice and token bare chests. A shame, but nothing new when it comes to watching obscure anime lost to the recesses of MAL's listing.
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