OP: 「Heartbreaking Romance」 by いとうかなこ (Itou Kanako)
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2

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.


  1. I watched the raw. The scenery, tone of voice, attitude and music reminded me a little of hunter x hunter, which isn’t a bad thing. I hope this feeling persists when i download a sub or watch further eps.

  2. I’m honestly a bit dissapointed coz the animation moves too fast. I mean, I love Rahzel & Alzeid interaction in the early manga (before they met Baroqueheat). So, when I saw the anime, I’m really surprised! Anyways, I agree that the visual is bland and dull. But the character design (esp. Alzeid, he look similar to the manga design) is looking pretty good. And of course, the main seiyuu cast is the main reason why I decided to continue watching this series. Hopefully they get better episode 2!

  3. You’re forgetting that Imagawa did these little-known anime series titled Giant Robo -The Animation- and Mobile Fighter G Gundam. They’re not classics at all.

    Although, admittedly, many people seem to take offense at Imagawa frequently being somewhat…nonsensical. But that’s part of the charm!

  4. it is pretty different from the manga,though i have to say the director is great by going through almost the entire volume 1 through this single episode.and the gun situation didn’t really resolve that fast

    polar bear
  5. judging from the op itself, i’d say the production didn’t exert much (actually, ENOUGH) efforts for the animation. but it’s kinda too early to judge this one. after I watch the first ep, I’ll make up my mind

  6. I just finished watching the first episode and found that despite the good cast, the first episode was relatively “uneventful”. (Nothing really captured my attention, like in H2O where 2 guys were beating up a girl.)

    With that said, I did find the pacing of the show pretty quick though since it goes from Rahzel being kicked out by her father, to her meeting up with Alzeido, to them working together on their ghost job together all within the first 4.5 minutes (OP excluded). We’re then introduced to Baroqueheat in the latter half of the episode and find out about his fondness for Rahzel. Near the end of the episode, we also find out that Rahzel is a magic-user/mage (i.e. 魔法使い) as she tries to reason with Noma (ノマ), the ghost waiting in the forest for her lover. In short, a lot happens in this episode as it jumps back and forth between scenes quite frequently… (I can’t see Omni liking this type of pacing! :))

    I’ve updated the ANN page with a bunch more cast members. Some were pulled from the first episode credits, the others from the Japanese wiki page.

    For the seiyuu-inclined, Noma is played by Neya Michiko (根谷 美智子), i.e. Melissa Mao in FMP, Riza Hawkeye in FMA, Ninomiya Ryouko in Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun, Shirin Bakhtiar in Gundam 00 (to name a few roles). Rodory, the man who sent Rahzel and Alzeido on this ghost job and Noma’s lover, is played by Fujiwara Keiji (藤原 啓治), i.e. Togo Souya in Sky Girls, Tsujidou Takeshi in sola. Alzeido’s Sakurai Takahiro (櫻井 孝宏) also plays Izuru Kira in Bleach and Kai Eiji in Kimikiss pure rouge, while Baroqueheat’s Miki Shinichiro (三木 眞一郎) also plays Lockon Stratos in Gundam 00 and Kurz Weber in FMP, in addition to the aforementioned Kisuke Urahara in Bleach.

    Based on the wiki information, we’ll also see Shimono Hiro (下野 紘) (Hirono Hiro in ef – a tale of memories, Touhouin Ikuto in Nagasarete Airantou, Hiyuu Tatsuma in Majin Tokyo, Negishi Daichi in Sketchbook ~full color’s~) and Nakahara Mai (中原 麻衣) (Tokiha Mai in Mai-HiME/Otome, Ryuuguu Rena in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Furukawa Nagisa in Clannad, Odajima Reimi in Bamboo Blade) in the future. (Yes, I like my seiyuus.) So for what it’s worth, it seems like they did a good job casting for Hatenkou Yuugi.

    Also, if you want to save yourself a download, I’ve uploaded the OP/ED on youtube. Simply click my name to go to my youtube channel.

    Personally, I plan to watch a few more episodes and see how this show plays out. Which reminds me, does anyone know how many episodes this is slated for?

  7. OGT – I didn’t forget them, I just haven’t watched them (yet), so I can’t really comment. And there are no big giant huge robots in this show, so they didn’t seem quite as relevant.

    divine – The Japanese wiki page mentions it’s listing the drama CD actors, so they’re not necessarily accurate for (future) anime episodes.

  8. Which reminds me, does anyone know how many episodes this is slated for?
    I remember reading somewhere it was 12/13 episode, which probably explain why the stories moves TOO fast.

  9. I saw this now and I like it. It’s a little rushed but it wasn’t confusing to me at all. Also, the interaction between Rahzel and Alzeid’s opposed personalities is great. This isn’t quite a shoujo version of Samurai Champloo, but it does have the potential to be one of the better shows of the year if the writing stays good.

  10. MAN!!!
    this was the most fast paced ” let´s join all the characters in one shot(EP)!!”
    the comedy is a plus……BUT!…..this seems one of those let´s not think about the story(animes) and ACTION!!!

    Tensai Otaku
  11. I read the manga and wasn’t impressed. The whole being kicked out and explore the world, come on! I guess the first epicode did it right by making it just as messy as tghe manga. :/

  12. I have the first volume of the manga, and don’t really like it. But regardless, I’m going to buy the whole series.
    This is on my list to watch, although it will most likely fail.

    Tess R
  13. @Patrick:

    The Japanese wiki pages says: 「声優はドラマCD版・TVアニメ版共通のもの」, i.e. “seiyuu wa dorama CD-han TV anime-han kyoutsuu no mono”, which means the seiyuus for the drama CDs are the same as the seiyuus for the TV anime.

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