Momokichi Momoi is a brutal baseball owner with mob connections. A mysterious old man hires Mikura and the Danger Service Agency to kidnap Momokichi. But the DSA has bigger problems standing in their way, namely Momokichi's daughter Momomi, a young girl with a twisted mind and a loaded gun. Momomi has a reputation as a cold-blooded killer who strikes fear in her adversaries. Now the DSA must find a way to accomplish their mission without getting slaughtered in the process.
Mezzo Forte is one of the few hentai titles I have seen and overall it was a solid series. It’s a borderline hentai series, there are only a couple of sex scenes which are not all that long, though very explicit. At its heart it’s an action show with a pretty good story and characters.
The plot revolves around a trio that I guess could be called mercenaries or private investigators. They don’t really say for sure what it is exactly they do beside the obscure and silly sounding Danger Service Agency name for their group. They are hired by a mysterious
figure to kidnap someone only to have the job go bad and find that their target is actually a powerful underworld boss. I found this part a bit of a stretch to believe. For an organization that is portrayed to be so good at what they do and also being in the same city as the crime boss I found it difficult to believe that they wouldn’t know who this guy was. Despite this the action is good and there are a few surprising plot twists that kept me interested.
A few words on the hentai portion of this series are also in order. This show reminds me of Kite, because it too had a non-hentai version and focused more on its story and action than sex. The same is true of Mezzo, though in Kite the sex scenes felt like that had some place in the story. I didn’t feel that way with this show as they mostly just felt like fan service and the show wouldn’t have been any better or worse by not having them.
The main lead Mikura is your typical anime gun totting martial arts hot girl. While she isn’t going to win points for originality I found her to be an interesting character. Not much depth or background is given to her, though we are shown flashbacks of some kind of relationship she may or may not have with the main villain Momomi. This is never really resolved which was a bit disappointing. She also has a mysterious ability that shows her things that are about to happen sometimes, again this is not developed and makes little sense. Of the rest of the DSA, Harada and Kurokawa, Kurokawa's background is the most in depth. Momomi is wonderfully coldblooded and ruthless as the daughter of the kidnapped crime boss Momokichi.
The animation is fairly typical of this era so it feels a bit dated. This is mostly because of the color palette used. It’s still pretty good though and the action in particular is well done. The acting is solid as well, there isn’t a lot in the way of music to comment on.
Overall Mezzo Forte is a solid though unspectacular series. Those who are looking for hentai will probably be disappointed because there isn’t a lot here.
"It's a huge shit sandwich and we're all gonna have to take a bite!" - Full Metal Jacket
I've finally decided to bite the bullet and finish the infamous Yasuomi Umetsu trilogy of shit tier anime! I mentioned in my reviews of Kite and Kite 2: Liberator, that those are two of my least favorite anime in existence. Fortunately, Mezzo Forte is WAY better than the Kite movies. Is it still stupid? Yes! Is it still pretty bad? Yes! However, this one is different in that it is actually watchable!
A few words on Yasuomi Umetsu:
In the world of movies and TV, there are a few
multi-talented individuals who can write, direct, produce, edit, shoot, and basically do it all. A famous example would be David Lynch, who in addition to everything mentioned above also writes his own music scores and does the set design and practical effects. Most people including Yasuomi Umetsu are NOT David Lynch. Most people in the world of making films and TV are very talented at one specific thing, and really should know better than to venture outside of their element and humiliate themselves. Yasuomi Umetsu in the 1980s was one of the most acclaimed animators working in the anime industry. This man was one of the main animators for: Barefoot Gen, Grave of the Firefly, Akira, Zeta Gundam, and many more. Akira is often credited as the film that brought anime to the West and this was the guy who animated it! Unfortunately...Umetsu decided to try his hand at directing in the 90s, while still riding high on all the success he enjoyed during the 80s. Umetsu's ultra-violent hentai OVA trilogy of Kite, Kite 2, and Mezzo Forte are 3 horrendous films that basically destroyed his credibility in the anime industry. I will now be going into Mezzo Forte in order to explain why Umetsu honestly should have just stuck to animating.
The name "Mezzo Forte" is a musical term meaning fairly loud. This was meant as a comical understatement such as, "this film is mildly tasteless". The story takes place in the near future and apparently in the same city as Kite because the character Sawa keeps making random cameos. Our heroes are a group of mercenary badasses that must kidnap an evil baseball team manager that murders his own players. After killing the team manager, they must fight against his equally evil daughter that wants revenge! There is also a sub-plot with female sex robots and several graphic scenes about how to empty out the semen and clean them out. Why? Because this is vital information of course! You will notice many of the same ridiculous action tropes from Kite including the impossibly long falls that characters just brush off, slow motion giant explosions that melt people's faces (he DID animate Barefoot Gen after all), and our heroine repeatedly kicking men in the balls, which I can only assume is one of Umetsu's many fetishes. The difference between Kite and Mezzo Forte is that Kite makes baffling attempts to be serious and creates painful tone whiplash, while Mezzo Forte fully embraces its own stupidity. Mezzo Forte is like the crazy Texan character in Dr. Strangeglove cheerfully riding the atomic bomb into total oblivion!
The main character is of course the femme fatale Mikura, who doesn't really get a lot of character development and mostly just shoots people. She is basically the same character as Sawa from Kite only without the brooding and attempt at depth. I highly recommend watching the English dub because Mikura is voiced by the same actress as Ed from Cowboy Bebop and Gaz from Invader Zim! It is also hilarious that this actress was so offended by the random sex scenes, that she is replaced with another actress that sounds NOTHING like her for every sex scene! There are also other brilliantly written and fleshed characters like the old, black cop who constantly says, "I'm getting too old for this shit!". Seriously, Umetsu added a watered down version of Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon into this movie. Why? Because he felt like it!
Umetsu is capable of drastically changing his art style to fit the particular anime. For example, Grave of the Fireflies looks like other Ghibli movies, while the art in the Akira movie attempted to follow the art style of the original manga. When Umetsu directed his trilogy, he used his own personal art style for the characters, which looks very unique and at times is stunning. Although there are a few exceptions to this rule. Umetsu is much better at drawing faces and background things than he is at drawing the full human anatomy, so normally he gets someone else to draw bodies. In his own trilogy though, Umetsu basically did all the animation himself and the nude scenes are horrendous. At least he got WAY better since Kite in which we see a girl with A cup breasts take off a T shirt with no bra and suddenly has DD cups... before balancing perfectly on a man's 3 foot cock with her feet off the ground! Was Umetsu sick the day his art college covered nudes and he couldn't make the class up? The only other Achilles heel of Umetsu's art is that he is terrible at drawing realistic blood, which is ironic because he LOVES using lots of blood. Did I mention he was also one of the main animators for Elfen Lied?! Prepare for LOTS of Heinz ketchup!
Mezzo Forte may not be a masterpiece of anime, but at least it's a shitload better than Kite! It is a goofy, stupid, but ultimately enjoyable piece of trash. I recommend watching it with some buddies or to cheer yourself up from a bad mood!
This anime, just like Kite (from the same producers), is a very nice "hentai" packed with action and an interesting storyline.
The storyline is pretty simple and easy to understand, but it entertains the viewer enough as to want to keep on watching. The hentai part, the hardcore sex scenes, is just a bonus; you can watch the anime taking out the hentai part and the story will flow perfectly. Consider the sex scenes as an eye-candy for those who like watching hentai.
The art and animation is pretty nice. The 2 OVAs are packed with a lot of action scenes, and a couple of funny scenes,
too. Voice acting and sound effects are alright; they serve the purpose.
The character development is actually very poor; we get to know very little about the main characters. Anyhow, the characters were fun and unique, you could say.
I enjoyed watching this anime. If you're looking for a short, action-packed series, I recommend it to you, even if you don't like hentai (just skip those scenes, although they were a bit interesting).
There is a version with the hentai scenes taken out, I'd recommend buying that one. Unusual for a hentai title, but this actually has a good storyline and the animation is stunning. It's a great introduction to people looking to get into Mezzo DSA (which is also very good). The one problem with this is the completely unnecessary sex scenes. Without wanting to spoil it; one is a dream - so pretty much pointless, and the other is a rape scene, when just a beating would have gotten the point across fine. It's great but has that hentail title 'look'
about it, so is a little embarassing to have on your animé shelf, so buying the 'clean' version might save you from some uncomfortable situations. If you really want the sex scenes though, you can download them from various places. Keep your collection respectable and the porn separate!