When you think of great character design and artwork two of the studios you might think of almost immediately are Gainax and Studio 4°C. So it’s a bit amazing to me that artistically, Debutante Detective Corps turned out to be one of the most horrible looking turds I have seen to date. I guess even the best have to start somewhere.
Given Debutante's title I am not sure what I was expecting, but regardless of what it was I certainly didn’t get it. Nothing about the story or the title make a lot of sense. Obviously this was a title given by
the English dubbing studio and it’s really only the beginning of this epic fail abortion of an anime.
Our story starts with our five heroines entering the scene in spastic, silly, and unnecessarily flashy manners. We are given brief bios of the quintet and you better read it because that’s all the character "development" and background story you’re going to get on any of them. They are all fabulously wealthy girls and apparently are being threatened by a mysterious organization. So of course the police, instead of taking our spoiled bitches to some place secure like um, the police station maybe, they take them to a completely unsecure high school where they end up just locking them up in the principal’s office. Of course despite the school being blanketed but literally hundreds of armed officers in riot gear our three villains do manage to get inside the school where predictable, over the top, silly, and retarded action ensues.
Nothing about the story works. The comedy doesn’t because it relies mainly on having some sort of emotional investment in the characters. Given the shortness of the OVA this is practically an impossible task. Once the revelation is made at the end as too who is behind the attack, you’re likely to either explode into a howling laughter at its stupidity or face palm. Or perhaps both. Obviously that this was meant as a pilot episode for a potential series. It’s not shocking at all that this was never picked up. At least someone with some sense and good judgment realized how god awful the concept was and thus the world was saved from the potential of a full season of this garbage.
The characters are standard 90s clichés. You have every kind of "action" girl in the cast. The Chinese martial arts master, the Russian big guns girl, the explosives expert, the master of disguise, and the psychic master of magic’s. In addition we are treated to the usual tsundere, moe, and bratty personality types displayed in every other anime ever made. There is nothing extraordinary or memorable about any of them and honestly you will have a tough time just remembering their names let alone anything about them. The villains and supporting characters are equally stale and stupid.
Artistically this is about as bad as I have ever seen. The style is typical of the era of which I am not a fan of at all but even for the 90s this is epically horrible work. It’s really shocking to me too when you consider the studios involved in its production. For me it’s really difficult to imagine how anyone ever thought this looked good. The sound and music score are as drab and uninteresting as the animation. The lack of a decent story makes it impossible for any talent level of seiyuu to give a good performance.
If you’re considering watching this because of the studios involved in its production like I did, don’t. You will be disappointed. Debutante Detective Corps is best left to the dustbin of history. I am sure those who made it would also wish you forget it exists too.
All anime fans know that Gainax has produced some of the most influential and beloved anime of all time, but every studio has made a few mistakes right? What was the worst Gainax anime ever? The answer to that question: Debutante Detective Corp!
This anime is clearly supposed to be a Charlie's Angels ripoff about an international cast of hot girls with varied skills solving mysteries and kicking ass. The problem is that it is one of the most incompetent, horribly directed, pieces of shit I have ever seen. The only laughs come not from the comedy, but from the GOD AWFUL "engrish" that permeates almost
every scene of this anime. In other words, the only parts that are enjoyable are completely unintentional.
I'm just going to describe the first scene to this piece of shit and you will know immediately if you want to watch it or not!
A highschool meeting is taking place with the principal welcoming the incoming freshman class. Suddenly, a blatant ripoff of the song "Jump" by Van Halen starts playing. Then a girl on a motor cycle smashes through the large stained glass window that looks like it belongs in an old European cathedral rather than a Japanese highschool and we the viewers are treated to a wall of text that makes our jaws drop! “Miyuki Ayanokouji come from Tokyo with specialty mechanic. The ups and downs of emotion are drastic and it flights easily in straight for wardness. The homelike surface that is good at cooking is surprising!” Miyuki then asks in a California Valley Girl accent, "Sorry...like...am I late or something?"
Just when you are trying to recover from laughter, a second girl smashes through the door of the school with a bicycle and we get another hilarious text wall. “Reika Syu come from Hong kong with the specialty of fighter. A Chinese merchant abroad daughter. It is raised by grandparents the cause of Chinese Mafia tightened from the childish time. Though it is lively and active, it has the bad habit of dose in fant regression. Food is liked very much!”
Then a Mercedes Benz smashes through the wall of the school and we get another outrageous text with bad grammar and a questionable world view from the director of this shit. "“Yoko Ryuzaki come from Yokohama with the specialty disguise. Quarter the German noble that a grandmother is rumored with the illegitimate illegitimate Child of Adolf Hitler descended. As descendent of Hitler her justice is strong and the period drama which punishes advice evil is liked very much by the honest”.
A few seconds later a 4th girl smashes through the ceiling after jumping out of a helicopter that explodes for no reason! She lands on the principal and possibly kills him. We are treated to the following data. "Nina Kirov come from New York with specialty GUN MANIA! The descendent of Russian descendent Romanov dynasty. Parents are big wealthy persons of the mystery what parents are romping about in the world. She himself is military mania of the ULTIMATE."
Finally our last girl arrives with a totally unexplained, massive police escort. Of course another horrible engrish text is inevitable at this point. "Kimiko Ayanokouji come from Tokyo with the specialty Super ability. The successor daughter of financial combine an old peer descended. The genius type of the intelligence 200 is calm and it is cold it is cold when it is cut off from unusual character!"
Now that our cast is assembled, our adventure is ready to begin...for the five people left in the audience who haven't fled from the sheer idiocy and ineptitude of this shitty echii series.
Holy shit! I have seen poorly directed anime before, but the fact that someone at ADV films looked at this and decided to bring it over to the US for an English dub just blows my mind. There are legitimately great anime that have yet to receive an English dub, but THIS gets picked up! WTF was ADV thinking?! No wonder they went out of business!
It really is not very good and it's so generic and bland it's crazy.
The only reason I watched it is because I am watching every anime that Gainax has made, and this is one of them, and probably one of their worst works. On a side note, the animation quality and artwork isn't even that bad, too bad they do nothing with that and keep it really boring.
Honestly the only parts I enjoyed was when Akiyuki Shinbo, director Madoka Magica and Monogatari, showed off his signature style where he uses weird framing and composition as well as a unique color palette but those parts were
really short and rare.
This reminds me of that "sequel" of Beauty of the Beast that was actually a bunch of failed pilot episodes for a tv show that never was and that were, instead, put together as a movie in order for Disney to profit out of them, after all. In case you don't get what I am talking about, this is a pilot for a tv show that Gainax never ended up making but was released as an OVA in order for the company to make money out of it, anyway. At least "Belle's Magical World" hits the movie lenght mark, this anime, on the other hand,
is just 20 something minutes long. But hey, is it at least one of those failed pilots that is worth searching for and paying for because it really had the potencial to be great? NOPE. The plot is non sensical, the characters are annoying and devoid of any uniqueness, the jokes are not funny and you can tell that the people who worked on it got sick to work on it during its production. The plot is basically this, 5 rich, annoying school girls must be guarded because they are targeted by some terrorists who want to kidnap them and collect their parents money(whom we never see, by the way). But because they are stupid bitches they want to drive all the police away, then what do you know, the people who targeted them show up and "hillarity" ensues(not really). One thing that can be worse than an unfunny comedy is an unfunny comedy that makes it obvious nobody was interesed into working on it. Speaking of which, the guy that directed fucking Madoka Magica was the director. Guess he started out really low and it shows that he didn't enjoy starting this low.