Sep 19, 2009
Oh Guu. You've done it again.
For those of you who are familiar with the first series of Jungle wa Itsumo Hare Nochi Guu there will be few surprises as to how Guu Deluxe plays out (and for those of you aren't familiar with the series yet, well, it doesn't hurt to give it a try). There are some differences though, especially as to how the plot proceeds, and whilst the OVA maintains the anarchic and slightly random comedy of the first season, it is also a lot more focused and driven (which may seem like an oxymoron but if you've seen the show already, then
you'll know exactly what I mean).
The OVA follows directly on from the end of the first season, with Hare and the gang returning to the jungle following their stay his grandmother's home and, barring the fact that there is a stand in teacher at the school, nothing seems to have changed at all.
The plot for Deluxe seems to be a lot tighter than it was in the first season, however this may be due to the fact that this is only six episodes long (as opposed to the 26 episodes that made up the first season). The OVA is essentially about Hare's family, especially Weda's bond with her children, and very little of the focus is on the other characters. Strangely enough (and given the natrue of the show in general), this actually works, but then nothing that comes from this series could ever be called normal.
The artwork is a bit of a step up from the first season, with lines being cleaner and overall animation being a bit sharper. the colour and style of the series remains true to the first season, and character designs follow directly on from there too. The jungle is as strange and vibrant as it was in the first season, and the often surreal nature of the comedy has been enhanced a little more by the more focused attitude of the overall production.
The sound is just as good as it was in the first series, with some tweaks here and there (especially the OP and ED). The voice actors are all at their comedic best, with Aikawa Rikako bringing a certain desperate, world weary cynicism and terror to Hare, whilst Watanabe Naoko's Guu oozes the smug self confidence that can only come when everyone else has to bow to your whim.
As far as characters go, this is a very clear continuation of the the first series. There are some subtle changes to Hare and Weda, but these are very much context driven changes. Hare is actually the one who changes the most in the OVA, being forced to accept Clive's marriage to Weda, and the birth of his younger brother Ame.
That said, the development of the characters is very much a secondary issue for the series as a whole, with the main emphasis being on the surrealist comedy stylings of Guu and Hare.
I found that I enjoyed the OVA just as much as I did the first season. The blend of madcap humour, surrealism, and overacted family drama makes for some extremely funny situations. Given that the OVA is more focused than the first season, some fans may feel that it will sacrifice on the comedy to accomodate this. Not so. The humour is there, and just as irreverent and strange as it ever was. Fans of the show won't be disappointed.
So much like the first series, yet adding that little bit more, Guu Deluxe is a great addition to the franchise, and conveys the story of "what happened after" in an extremely funny way.
What did you think of this review?