Saturday, 17 October 2009

Kūchū Buranko - Episode 1

Kūchū Buranko is the last show (that I'll be covering anyhow) to make its debut on Japanese TV, as part of the much-vaunted noitaminA slot. But what on Earth can I actually say about it? Let's put it this way - If Andy Warhol were to produce an anime, this would be it, aesthetically at least.

This opening episode of the show introduces us to Kouhei Yamashita, a trapeze artists and stage manager for a travelling circus - To put it simply, he's not exactly having the best of times, as his trapeze act keeps getting screwed up as he finds himself unable to complete his most daring stunt, missing the hands of a fellow trapeze artist every time. This coupled with other stresses is stopping him from sleeping, and so at the advice of his boss he visits the nearest psychiatric doctor, one Ichirou Irabu.

What a doctor he is too... A boy, or is he a man, in a big mouse suit? With an injection fetish? And a sexy but rather apathetic nurse? And a Porsche? Yes, I think it's fair to say that, if you haven't guessed already, this is a big fat welcome to the world of absolutely bat-shit bonkers anime. It's genuinely hard to know how to even begin to describe, let alone sum up, this opening episode of Kūchū Buranko - Visually, it's probably best described as one of Sayona Zetsubou Sensei's more off-beat segments seen through the eyes of the aforementioned pop artists Andy Warhol, from the literal 2D characters that wander around the scenes through to the bright colours and posterisation effects everywhere. Beyond that though, the plot and concept of this anime is really impossible to pin down - I get the feeling it's trying to be rather anarchic in its delivery, perhaps even aiming a nod and a wink at otaku while suggesting that they're all mentally unstable but... well, I just don't know, I'm speechless.

I have to admit that there were a few moments that amused me, so if comedy is its aim it worked on that level, and I do appreciate the overall look of the show if only because it fits in so perfectly with such an utterly bizarre series. Beyond that, I find myself genuinely wanting to see more if only so that I can get a handle on what the Hell is going on, and to figure out if there's actually a point to this series rather than it simply being the pinnacle of random insanity. So, if that was their aim on any level, I guess they're winning this one so far. Tune in next week, when our crazy doctor deals with a guy with a penis problem. Seriously, I'm not making this up.


kadian1364 said...

Yeeaaah, I don't know. From the bits I've seen, it's a little too out there for me. The subs (if there are any) might change my mind, but I doubt it.

Hanners said...

There are subs of the first episode out there now. :) I think if nothing else I feel compelled to give it a few more episodes to see if it's being "out there" just for the sake of it, or whether there's a little more to it than that.