'Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera' is a gag anime based on '70s manga with a LOT of ecchi elements. As a result, the humor is mostly driven by classic manga or anime references, ecchi jokes like girls getting stripped naked in most implausible ways, guys getting poked in the ass, or dirty jokes. The comedy style is very Japanese, with persistent running jokes and oyaji-gag (pun-heavy, old fashioned jokes).
The art in the show has a nostalgic style, with retro character designs. For the most part, this show seems like it could've been made in the '70s, but the battle scenes are ridiculously detailed and serious that you
know it was done on purpose for laughs, and find it funny.
OP/ED are also designed to be funny, with OP having obviously outdated tune that was popular in the '70s anime songs, with matching voice that was far too serious for the series. The ED has an absurdly inappropriate lyric that keeps repeating "someday we'll all drop dead" in a song sang in lullaby style.
The voice acting was excellent, with all the character sounding very unique, yet fits perfectly for each role. The biggest surprise was the guest appearance of Nozawa Masako (who also went on to voice Gokuu in 'DBZ' and Doraemon) and Sakai Sumie, the seiyuu for Enma and Yukiko in the original series in final episode.
'Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera' is one of the few anime series that successfully pulled off "so bad it's actually good" because it pokes fun at the '70s in every single aspect of the anime, which is essentially making fun of itself.
Final episode was truly epic, with plenty of seizure-inducing visual troll going on. But on the other hand, brings closure to the story while solving all the unexplained plot devices, and makes good use of opening narration for every single episode "I will never forget the heroes who came from Hell."
The story also makes reference to many '70s events such as the Osaka Expo and the Vietnam War. This makes it a very difficult series for most viewers, since it is based on a kids show, but kids today won't possibly get the references. The art style has the retro feel, but older viewers may be turned off by excessive ecchi and 'Crayon Shin-chan' level jokes. 'Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera' is a very very niche anime that 90% of you will not enjoy, but it's a gem for those who actually "get it". In terms of retro gag anime, this is as good as it gets.
Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera is a mostly nonsensical and perverted romp involving Enma-kun and the Youkai Patrol dealing with random demons dealing silly and sometimes perverted hijinks on humanity. The plot is pretty bare-bones where throughout much of the first half, Enma and his group deal with a random demon each episode and the second half explores the group discovering who is behind the string of demons being let loose from hell. If you are expecting consistent plot and character development throughout this series, then you will be quite disappointed as Dororon Enma-kun is more focused on its crazy and perverse comedy than giving you a
serious plot to stick with.
However if you are looking for a comedy title, Enma-kun does more than enough to deliver on its laughs for the most part. The show is quite manic in its pacing with the over-the-top behavior delivered from main character Enma-kun and various other characters that the demon kid encounters. Enma doesn't come off as your typical hero as he is impulsive, dense, perverted to the point where he attempts to molest fellow Youkai Patrol member Yukiko any chance he gets and has no qualms at inflicting overkill on his foes. And rather than inflict fear and pain upon the human populace, the demons encountered by the Youkai Patrol in most instances are more focused on having the populace be in various embarrassing predicaments such as making them brainless or fat. The show was also not afraid to make nods to aspects of popular culture and breaking the fourth wall as there are parodies of creator Go Nagai's earlier works like Cutey Honey and Mazinger Z. However, the comedy does miss its mark on some occasions as some episodes have the annoying habit of focusing on a running gag throughout in response to whichever threat the Youkai Patrol faces in an episode.
The major aspect of the series that will make or break your enjoyment for it if you dig comedy would be the heavy emphasis on perverted humor. From what I understand, a number of Go Nagai's works are quite infamous for pushing the envelope when it comes to violent and sexual content. In the case of Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera, it has a great amount of the former. The perversion of the series appears to be a blatant "take that" in response to Tokyo Prefecture's recent passing of its controversial Bill 156. Examples of what you can expect out of the show's perversion include Yukiko regularly being just about nude as her clothes are shredded apart from demon attacks, Enma-kun trying to sneak in opportunities to molest Yukiko and a demon in the first episode who attacks the Youkai Patrol literally with um... a certain body part that will remain nameless. If you can't dig rampant sexual humor in your anime, then this isn't a show you will be willing to see.
In terms of presentation, Dororon Enma-kun does come across as rather average. The show's animation style takes on an older look as a number of character designs look simple and have ridiculously-proportioned body parts (Enma's father being of great example) seeming to be a clear homage to older Go Nagai works. It appears the animation budget to this series wasn't too big judging from the number of reused animation frames and shortcuts used within action scenes, a low point compared to better-looking titles of the Spring 2011 anime season like Hanasaku Iroha and C. In terms of the show's soundtrack, only the show's intense rock OP stuck out for me with other musical tracks serving their part in accompanying the show's manic and perverse humor yet not being too memorable.
Overall, Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera's manic and perverse humor was surprisingly effective at most points of getting laughs out of me thanks to the antics of its characters, parodies of Go Nagai early works and other crazy elements. The perverse humor won't be for everyone and it does have its moments of its humor losing effect thanks to relying on running gags. But this did well as my comedy title of choice for the Spring 2011 anime season despite its shortcomings.
Overall from what I have read after having been assaulted by this rancid piece of crap that unfortunately was given the title of entertainment I can understand that there is a lot of history that went behind the show. That however to me does not excuse how inexplicably bad the show was nor does it evoke a sense of sympathy in me that maybe I should not judge it by the standards of what a good comedy show should be. So without further I do I now review.
Story- If the story was supposed to be treated like an action show with any hint of seriousness
in it it would have been an utter failure from the start. While the idea of a spirit squad sent from the underworld to protect mankind from the evil yokai trying to invade the world can make a great plot, as has been proven to me by many great anime released in history, in this story line it seemed less like a plot to get behind and more like a second thought by the writers. I will say this loud and clear in that I felt in almost no way whatsoever did the "heroes" do their jobs in a satisfactory manor which is to say that the heroes were not heroes and that the enemies that they were fighting were more like an excuse for Enma to just prove that he was incompetent and destroy stuff. I keep in mind though that this show was not meant to be a serious action show but a humorous show to get a few chuckles out of, this series however could not make me laugh. Quite frankly it was way too raunchy for me to have ever suggested little kids watching it but at the same time when the humor wasn't incredibly dry witted or just down right appalling it seemed to be aimed at an audience with the mental standings of a child, the history behind the show explains this but even so in modern society this sends out a confusing message to the audience of who exactly the target audience for this show is. When I get into the actual plot and driving force of this show...it is broken and thrown together with some back hint of an overarching plot that is ridiculously used to tie everything together in the end in a way that was generally displeasing to watch. The episodes don't really feel connected, which while this works for some shows, did not work for this one at all and quite frankly made a difficult show to watch even more difficult to sit down and finish. This is why I am giving the story a 3 I can see that there was effort put into it but because everything feels thrown together and the story is truly not done in such a way as to make it interesting I cannot give this story a high rating.
Art- I can appreciate old style art work and character stereotypes but there was something that just gritted me ever so slightly about the way this series was drawn. I attribute this mostly to the fact that I felt Enma was drawn a bit to feminine and while I don't expect the main male lead to be a macho man body builder I can find very few qualities about Enma except for his very forced masculine personality that want me to believe what I am looking at is the male lead of the show. I don't mind being called a bit overcritical on this but I feel I really just had to say what I was feeling. A 5 felt right to me because once again while I didn't hate the art it just kind of gritted my nerves.
Sound- Funny enough I felt the sounds in the show were done well and while I may not have chosen somebody with such an annoying high pitched voice to play the already feminine looking lead for the show, I can say that the their choice of vocal cast for the show was at least able to keep me from dropping series from inability to withstand a constant assault on my eardrums.
Character- I apologize in advance, words cannot describe my utter hatred for the characters in the show. Quite literally most characters had the personality of a brick wall with their emotions painted in graffiti on them and any hint of deeper emotion was either buried in a pit so deep it makes the abyss looks like a tall sunflower growing in the summer garden or so shallow it made could make airplanes look like low-flying kites by comparison.
Enjoyment- This was a very rough show, it was challenging for me to complete and several times I contemplated dropping it altogether but I pulled through because I wanted to see how it ended, but with such a unflattering ending and barrage of excruciatingly bad jokes to fall on this series got the one it deserved from me for an enjoyment.
Overall- I have to say that I didn't like this series it was not entertaining, not eventful, and honestly painful to watch. Perhaps if you come into the show with an understanding of the history behind it before you watch it could be considered funny but from what I felt I don't think this will be most people's cup of tea to go with their cake so much as their glass a vinegar to wash down a soggy biscuit.