Teacher Sorata Muon carries on his family's centuries-old old tradition of being the master thief Mouse who can steal anything after properly alerting authorities of his intentions so they can be there yet fail to stop him. He is assisted by 3 nubile female assistants who also use the teaching cover and who, in typical Satoru Akahori, favor tight/skimpy/bondage outfits over their ample curves as they constantly pursue Sorata much more than he pursues them, although the girls do get some attention from their master. Not only is Mouse pursued by the girls & the local law enforcement authorities, there is also a secret art protection society employing the services of a former ally of Sorata's after his pretty little hide, all in 15 minute episodes.
One of the strangest tales in all of the anime industry is the story of a writer named Katsuhiko Takayama. This guy has written for dozens of series ranging from at least 1 universally acclaimed masterpiece to several of the most despised anime ever conceived! He was 1 of the 4 script writers for Fullmetal Alchemist, but he also single-handedly wrote Boku no Pico! He has also written garbage like Triage X and Mirai Nikki, which is extremely popular despite my personal hatred for it. I guarantee that if you are an anime fan, you have seen SOMETHING that this man worked on! Today I
am reviewing what is probably his most obscure series, even though it is also one of his worst! Considering that I am talking about the man who wrote Boku no Pico, that is REALLY saying something!
A small musing about anime writers and translations:
If you wish to avoid my pretentious philosophical ramblings and just see me bash a terrible anime, move ahead to the plot section!
Otaku around the world frequently argue over the merits of famous anime directors like Gen Urobuchi or Hideaki Anno. On rare occasion, fans will discuss famous anime artists like Masami Obari (the Rob Liefeld of anime), Yasuomi Umetsu ("the Anime Wizard of Gore"), and Satoshi Urushihara ("The King of Breasts"). However, in my experience absolutely NO ONE ever talks about anime writers! This is sad because they play a vital role in the production of any great anime! I believe one of the main reasons the writers get neglected by fans is that all credit goes to either the original mangaka or to the series director, both of whom usually also offer input for the anime's writing, plot, and characters. The writer's main job is to create the dialogue, which is difficult to objectively critique for a non-Japanese speaker. Whether I watch an anime subbed or dubbed, I would be judging the skill of the translator more than judging the prose of the original writer.
The writing elements of plot, character, and philosophy can easily translate across languages, but prose and dialogue usually can't. Obviously things like puns or "word play" will only work in the original language and be lost on everyone else. However, there are other serious difficulties with translation that are far less obvious. Due to major differences between languages, the original author's intent and the "tone" of the writing can be totally changed accidentally in translation. Let's look at the dialogue in the novel "Beloved", one of the most celebrated American novels of the last 30 years. The novel takes place before, during, and after the American Civil War and deals with the long lasting psychological effects of slavery. In the novel, any English readers will instantly notice that the freed slaves speak with their own system of grammar because they were denied any education under slavery. The slave owners all speak with correct English grammar in order to show that they benefited from a basic education. This all makes sense to an English speaker, because the English language is extremely flexible with its grammar. You can absolutely BUTCHER every law of English grammar and yet remain perfectly understandable. However, that is NOT the case with many other languages. In the German translation the slaves and slave owners will have to speak with the same grammar because in the German language, you either speak grammatically correct or you speak gibberish that no one will be able to understand. Since we have established that "Ebonics" German is an impossibility, the German translator may try to capture the difference present in the original English text by giving the slave owners extremely high vocabulary instead. However, the slave owners did NOT have high vocabularies in the original English text. The author's intent was to show a difference in basic education due to the many injustices of slavery, NOT to make the slave owners appear well-read or innately genius! Now that we have covered why translation is so hard, we can appreciate why it is so difficult to judge an anime's original prose.
Mouse is a story about a master thief from a famous family of thieves. He goes around the world stealing art with the help of his 3 assistants while avoiding an inept but extremely determined detective. If you hadn't guessed, Mouse is an absolutely SHAMELESS ripoff of Lupin the 3rd, one of the most beloved anime of all time! However, Lupin was actually funny and had lovable characters whereas Mouse...not so much. Mouse is one of the most painfully stupid and unfunny "comedy" series I have ever seen. I actually injured my neck from cringing so much! Mouse only has a couple jokes and repeats them over and over again, even though they weren't funny the first time! As an "homage" to Lupin's constant unwanted advances on his assistant Fujiko, Mouse's assistants constantly sexually harass him... even though this torments him and he is highly suggested to be gay! Another running gag is Mouse's ability to steal impossibly large objects like buildings. In one episode he does this by sinking the building into the ground and presumably carrying it away using a gigantic burrowing vehicle that can fit entire buildings inside it! I guess Mouse stole the Technodrome from the old Ninja Turtles cartoon?! In another episode, Mouse somehow convinces the ENTIRE Soviet submarine fleet to help him drag a building into the ocean using giant grappling hooks! Seriously! Did I mention that Mouse is a REALLY stupid anime!? Mouse is apparently a ninja, but this series is too lazy to show any actual fight scenes. Instead Mouse knocks out all the guards offscreen while random characters narrate how great he fights! This is some of the laziest shit I've ever seen! Finally, the series takes a break from being extremely unfunny and completely failing in its action by instead being morally repulsive! We get to see how Mouse's assistants belong to families that serve the Mouse family and are tortured and beaten from a young age in order to make them both tough and subservient. They then willingly serve Mouse as his slaves and wish for him to dominate them!
The art in Mouse looks like shit even relative to its age. The boobs are some of the worst drawn I've seen since Eiken and to top it all off, Mouse doesn't even feature full nudity or even nipples for that matter! The ONLY reason you would conceivably watch this bullshit unless you are a masochist like me is for the echii...and Mouse doesn't even deliver in this category! No one could possibly whack off to Mouse, ergo it fails in every category!
Apart from having an absurdly annoying theme song, Mouse suffers from a HORRIBLE English dub thanks to the fine people at Media Blasters! This company has always been very hit or miss and despite doing a fine job for some anime like Berserk, they have also been responsible for many of the worst dubs in anime history.
Let us examine the many qualities of Mouse: defecates on a classic anime, is painfully unfunny, headbashingly idiotic, terrible characters, horrible art, ear raping music and voice acting, and morally reprehensible. I have NOTHING positive to say about Mouse! Fuck this anime and FUCK Katsuhiko Takayama for writing this bullshit!
what can be said about this anime. well the anime itself was pretty funny. a master thief with 3 hot assistants, what's wrong with that. the story was lacking. because the anime is so short they really developed the characters. how ever you did get some background on the characters. the sound of this anime was pretty good. the story could have gone a little bit farther. the anime itself is hilarious.
...Okay I was so disapointed by this anime that I almost kicked myself for having watched it. Episodes were short.
Story- Well the story was kind of unique I mean I was drawn to it because I thought the story would be unique alas you are in for disappointment if you plan to watch this anime thinking it will completely sync with the whole mysterious master thief plot. This anime was more about bouncing boobs and having relations with the opposite sex than it was about cleverly stealing expensive objects in my opinion.
Art- It was okay it could've been better in my opinion but then again
judge not lest ye be judged.
Sound- Okay I did not like the sounds in this series I hated both the opening and closing and the "dramatic" music scenes did not do anything to spark up my interest. Voice acting was okay accept I hated the main character's voice.
Character- Okay I didn't for the most part like the characters even though more than half of the episodes are used developing character background; that's right half the series and I still didn't like the characters.
Enjoyment- I did not enjoy this at all as I was looking for a clever thief and mystery story and instead got flopping boobs and steady disappointment.
Overall- I was sorely saddened the characters were shoddy, the sounds were bad in my opinion, and the storyline did not really move anywhere. In the end I pined too watch Lupin to redeem the whole master thief storyline. I only suggest watching this anime iif your okay with mediocrity or just like ecchi.
Mouse begins with our benevolent hero Sorata stealing an entire museum under the watchful eyes of the police, but gets much more absurd from there. Heavy on the man-rape humor, “Mouse” is surrounded by a bountifully breasted, cat suited trio of live-in assistants–yet frequently protests their blatant sexual advances to “send their master to paradise”.
The extreme amount of fanservice wasn’t a problem, as I do enjoy the occasional ecchi anime. However, the production value is amateurish and low budget for having debuted in 2003, appearing on par with anime of the 80’s. The girls have large eyes that occasionally look cross-eyed, which when combined with
often outlandish costumes makes them unappealing.
Also, expect some horrible puns. In the squeaky opening theme song “Mouse Chuu Mouse”, “Chuu” is both the sound a mouse makes in Japanese and the sound effect for kisses. If that weren’t enough, the title is pronounced “Mouth to Mouth”.
As for plot, the logic of Mouses’ heist plans lacks mystery and creativity. It meanders around with flashback episodes before building to a partially explained, anti-climactic face-off with a rival thief.
On a positive note, Mouse is a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is its redeeming quality. I did chuckle on occasion, but not at the intent of the creators. This title managed to have enough fun, tease, and laughable clichés to put it at a level of mediocrity in terms of both narrative and convention. If you are looking for deep character development and moving story, skip this show. Otherwise, it is great for sitting around and giving the “Mystery Science Theater” treatment. Watch it streaming on Netflix or Crunchyroll to avoid buyer’s remorse.
*By the way, if you are interested in this anime because you think a cat-burglar protagonist would be fun, you should definitely check out the master thief “Dark” in DNAngel (note: DNAngel has no ecchi, but is more of a “slice of life” adventure).