Jan 28, 2014
5camp (All reviews)
Blazing Transfer Student originally caught my eye because it was brought up a lot by People In The Know as something Kill la Kill was heavily inspired by. It’s an old Gainax OVA from 1991 in which a mysterious transfer student arrives at his new school and immediately gets into battles with the leaders at the school. The school runs entirely on student power and whoever beats someone else in a fight can claim whatever the loser owned. The influence is fairly clear, albeit made stranger by the fact the original Blazing Transfer Student manga was itself intended as a parody of old 70s fighting manga like Tomorrow’s Joe. We’ve human centipeded our way through anime history where nothing is original anymore and parodies are turned straight.

The story is all very flimsy in Blazing Transfer Student. This punk ass dude has ‘won’ a girl from another guy and now she’s forced to be his girlfriend. But then in comes our transfer student bent on rescuing the girl because if he does she will totally put out and this is oh so romantic. The two of them get into a hastily constructed boxing ring on the school grounds and fight for her heart, with the fights being decided largely by who can say the name of their death-punch faster. Well that, and a pair of vultures who land on the person they deem to be worthy of laying a nest on. Since it’s a mock-up of 70s manga it follows the same aesthetic with big thick lines and poofy hairdos. I’d heard a bit of fuss made over the animation since it was the Project A-Ko team together. It’s generally pretty well animated and dynamically presented by early 90s OVA standards, but it did remind me how glad I am we have moved past the period where much of the episode is repeated animation.

It’s largely all gags, which is why it’s a little disappointing that many of the gags miss rather than hit. Pulling perv faces, yelling loudly or hitting someone make up many of the gags. Thankfully there’s enough good ones to make it worthwhile. The original back and forth of rhetorical warfare when the transfer student enters the school originally is brilliant, and the whole layer of self-parody makes it funny. On some level I would have preferred it be much wilder, but that may have been me spoiled by Kill la Kill and its giant flying speakers shooting recorder missiles, and it wouldn’t necessarily fit with the tone it was going for. It treads close enough to the real thing that it’s extra funny when battles are decided by someone saying the name of their death punch faster. It’s fun, but a total trifle that you’ll forget the exact details of a week later.