Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Chii & Kira Anime Watching Club - January 2011 - Wild 7

Meet un-named cop #3 - he's badass.

Although it seems like a lifetime ago that I initially hooked up with Chii to watch A.LI.CE, our next title had already been selected and was hovering in the background like a bad smell. With the ball being in my partner in crime’s court when it came to picking a show, I had no idea what to expect from someone with a penchant for mecha and a lady-boner for series from the last century. When Wild 7 was fired at me, a quick perusal informed me that it fell into the latter of her fetishes. Far from being a modern animation snob, my initial thoughts were "just how bad could a harmless OVA be..?"

Opening with a high-speed chase through the streets of Japan, the line between good and bad guy is blurred as the show’s heroes are introduced as a renegade group of ex-convicts who have turned to a life of law enforcement. Well, in their own way. After running down a group of sadistic thieves, the Wild 7 spend the next five minutes stamping their version of justice on the brash miscreants with varying levels of violence. Be it a shotgun to the face or a motorcycle wheel used to rip a guy out of a car, the results always seem to be the same mangled meat-bag at the other end. Oh, and don’t forget random servings of fan-service that are more amusing than arousing.

Panties! In an explosion! How exciting!
Unfortunately, story is sacrificed for gore and action. Although I wouldn’t normally have too much of an issue with this, the confusion I faced after just the first ten minutes only got worse as the show progressed. Episode one introduces each of the forgettable characters which then shoehorns in a side-plot involving a hilarious road traffic accident and untold amounts of backstabbing. The second fifty-minute “fun filled” offering features some rather butch women, a clan of armour-clad Hells Angels and a plot complicated enough to challenge the writer of Donnie Darko. For those looking for mindless action, you probably will adore this. For those who enjoy a good story, give this one a wide berth as it seems the director did too...

Dave looked forward to his new nickname of "half-face"

I have seen comments that the animation for Wild 7 has an atypical 80’s look to it. Unfortunately, the show is actually from 1995. Although part of the blame probably falls to the fact that only VHS copies are available, the ugly characters are entirely attributable to a tightly budgeted art department. The colours are distinctly muted and carefully drawn lines bend and warp unnaturally as frames fly by. That said, gore fans will adore the attention to detail of a half exploded head or an eyeball slowly dribbling down someone’s face. Each to their own I suppose.

Signor want a siesta? Or maybe a burrito... 
One of the few things I agreed with Chii upon was the unintentional hilarity of the accompanying soundtrack. Featuring mostly a cacophony of utterly terrible rock, the relentless use of guitar riffs actually suits the onscreen violence. Sadly, recordings by the original vocal cast seem to have been lost in the sands of time and only the god-awful dub remains. Starring a Mexican impersonation that verges on racist, the rest of the cast either come across as disinterested seiyuu who have numerous other things they would rather be doing, or see this as a chance of a lifetime and therefore a license to OVERRACT. Either way, it was witty.

Lolicon alert!
From their initial introduction in a slick freeze-frame styled biography, I assumed that the dirty cops would each harbour skills that related back to their pasts. Happyaku the baseball hero, Oyabun the former Yakuza and Hebopi the bearded hippie all sound like intriguing personalities, however they are soon indistinguishable from one another (apart from an awesome ginger beard). With their initial list of skills quickly forgotten about, there is little to no character development afforded to the group. Even more annoyingly, an extremely irritating young girl with an inappropriately short dress is given more than a little screen-time for adding virtually nothing to the plot.

Happy by name, brutal by nature

Definitely not one to be taken seriously, this is certainly a show to watch “for the lulz”. I can now tick it off my watching list and pray Chii’s next choice is a little kinder... But for now, it’s my turn and I’m in the mood for something a little ecchi. Check out Chii's perspective here!

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