When did you last see a shoujo action series with two strapping young lads and a cute loli? Well, stop digging in your sad memory and rejoice, for Hatenkou Yuugi (破天荒遊戯) is here to save the day, airing Fridays at 26:30 JST on KBS!
The show’s original manga might be more familiar as Dazzle to Americans, while it’s out in 10 volumes in Japan, made by Endou Minari and running since 1999. Its animated form is being directed by Takamoto Nobuhiro, whose most famous work is Tenchi in Tokyo, which supposedly sucked so much in comparison to the OVA that I just skipped it. I also skipped the ridiculous-looking Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club spin-offs he handled. Instead I’m intimately acquainted with screenwriter Imagawa Yasuhiro, mainly because he wrote the hideous slideshow Violinist of Hameln, and the world’s shittiest ending ever in the history of anime Berserk.
The protagonist is a young lady of 14 named Rahzel, who finds herself thrown out of her home one day, as her whimsical father suddenly decides she needs to see the world, since he figures that’s a great way to improve oneself. Wishing she had a companion on the entertaining journey she’s about to undertake, she bumps into a silver-haired albino. He’s Alzeid, an arrogant fellow on a search to find his father’s murderer. She promises him fun and excitement, and the two set off to solve wacky cases, using magical powers and antique guns. Later on they’re also joined by the dashing Baroqueheat, who seems quite fond of little girls. But who isn’t, eh?
While featuring an attractive character design (the girls, anyway), most of the show’s visuals are fairly bland and dull, giving it a look I’d like to call “cheap”. Despite being a first episode, it’s clear that Studio DEEN didn’t dig very deep in their coffers, so it’s not likely to look any prettier as the series progresses. Music’s nothing to cheer about, but I must say I found the OP very fetching, and even forced Omni to put it online. In contrast to the rest of the production, the voice work is excellent, with the sharp Kobayashi Sanae (Lucy in Elfen Lied) as the little damsel, while ever charming Sakurai Takahiro (Suzaku in Code Geass) and always wicked Miki Shinichirou (Urahara in Bleach) as her dynamic duo. In addition, her dad’s played by the almighty Koyasu Takehito (Mu La Flaga in Gundam Seed); even random characters have familiar actors.
If there’s an interesting and coherent plot holding the rest of the episodes together, this could turn out to be quite enjoyable. However, it currently feels like a disjointed mess of episodic cases filled with witty remarks, that may or may not amuse you. I was confused by the way abrupt scenes from the present would appear on the screen, only to jump back into the past in order to explain how they got there, like the director had a case of Pulp Fiction. It’s also too generic to really keep my attention, but at least the girl is cute.