wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Girls, girls, girls

Not of the Motley Crue variety, though. Thanks to the Doublewood shipping the DVDs I forgot back to me, I was able to watch DNA-Squared before it was time to return it today. Man, this is a strange story, one that seems oddly dated, even. The story revolves around Junta, a fellow who likes girls but suffers from an "allergy" (more of a panic reaction, it seems) that makes him barf whenever he sees a girl's cleavage or butt. This gets in the way of his relationships, to say the least, and catastrophically so with Tomoko, a beauty queen who seems ready to do it with Junta until he loses his lunch all over her living room.
As if that wasn't enough of a problem, the attractive (if weirdly-dressed) Karin enters the scene and shoots him on their first date. Karin turns out to be from the future, where the infamous (and irresistably sexy) Mega-Playboy and his descendants have triggered an overpopulation problem of epic proportions. Karin has thus come back to fix the problem by changing Junta's DNA so he can't become the Mega-Playboy. This she does, but it turns out that she's shot him with the wrong mutagen and caused the very problem she came back to solve. Hilarity and heartbreak ensue as Junta's DNA wobbles back and forth between the Mega-Playboy state and the original barfulous condition. Good art from the creator of Video Girl Ai and an amusing story.

Saikano isn't funny at all. I first noticed it as the cover story in an issue of Animerica, where the article on it was subtitled "Schoolgirls of Mass Destruction", which overstates the case more than a little. It's essentially a romance between the withdrawn Shuji and Chise, who is -let's be frank- pretty pathetic. She's timid, weak, shy and forever apologizing for everything, but she does manage to come on to Shuji and start a romance with him...just before the JSDF selects her to become a cyborg weapon in the apocalyptic war between Japan and some unidentified nation.
Chise has serious problems with her cyborg side and is terrified that Shuji will reject her when he finds out, as he does during an attack on Sapporo when Chise is sent into action against a force of aircraft that are carpet-bombing the city. For once exhibiting some tenderness, Shuji reassures Chise that he doesn't hate her for what she's become, and he becomes the only civilian who knows what the apparent delinquent is doing in all the time she's missing from school. Even Chise's parents don't know that their child has become a commander in the JSDF, known as "the ultimate weapon" and gaining the power to level entire cities as she grows.

While Saikano isn't as relentlessly noir and depressing as, say, Jin-Roh, it's not a happy story either, but it is compelling, and I've rented the other two discs in the series. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of it and seeing how things turn out.
Tags: anime
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