Jun 30, 2008
On a colony planet far from Earth, two brothers stumble upon their murdered parents and are knocked out by gas. They wake up on a planet loaned from whoever built the sets for King Kong and Little Shop Of Horrors. That's right; the jungle tries to kill you every five minutes!
Who killed their parents? Why were they sent to a cruel planet populated by miscreants in tribes who battle each other for supremacy? How can you get off a planet that's controlled in a dastardly manner that the agents of the Matrix would approve? More importantly, is this damn genre-juggling show worth a watch?
Yes it is, and the reveal which propels the story into a completely different direction is excellent. What we get up to that is decent animation, pretty engaging world design and plotlines that sci-fi fans will dig, and that sense of epicness which comes along with a tale that follows a character over a period of years.
With Jyu Oh Sei there's this feeling that you're watching something different from the norm, even though nothing about this production is pioneering in any way at all. I think this refreshing feeling has to do with the fact that the source of the story is from a short manga rather than one that went on endlessly, and that the production crew did a good job delivering it to the small screen. Maybe that in itself is rare these days? The bad guys in this show don’t even have tiny irises! Kudos.
There are miscellaneous flaws as mentioned above, like a love triangle that feels tacked on (aren't they all?), generic narrative clichés that you've seen a million times before and wish you'd never see again, but they're just little bumps in the road, nothing to dampen the parade. The core concept driving this show, that of the consequences of living in a dog-eat-dog world, fighting to survive for a tangible reason, and the relationship between you and your less-than-spectacular twin brother, are however compelling enough to make you forgive any clichéd moments that pop up.
Jyu Oh Sei breezes along thanks to its 11 episode length; because it’s a successful adaptation and not the insipid tailor-made trash of a TV writer. The soundtrack from the superb-as-always Hajime Mizoguchi is the final dressing on this dessert and stays with you long after you witness the last episode.
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