The Adventures of Kotetsu
Lost in Tokyo, Suzuki Linn, a young teenager from Kyoto, quite accidentally bumps into trouble and is "rescued" by private detective Miho Kuon. Linn tells Miho that she came to Tokyo to get away from her evil witch of a mistress and find her older brother. As it turns out, her brother used to work for Miho, so until she can get in touch with him, she invites Linn (also known as "Kotetsu") to stay with her. Unfortunately, Miho has enemies in the Syndicate, and before long, Linn is swept up in the intrigue and weirdness of the Tokyo underground as she fights assassins, rogue dryads, and Taoist magicians with the ancient sword stolen from her mistress.
Now when I say intrigue in the synopsis above, I mean it in the very loosest of terms. Kotetsu is, sadly, one of the many anime released in the mid-to-late 90s that simply never took off, and so was never continued. The short story told in the OAVs plays out to its conclusion but never adequately builds up the main characters. Because of its extreme brevity, the rather large amounts of cheesecake, which might have otherwise become a funny sidetrack to a longer series, instead become the main focus of the show, to the detriment of the plot and characterization.
What's most frustrating about this anime is that it really could have been good. You have a cute female lead, sword-fights, magic, and lots of naked girls. A fanboy's dream show, ne? Unfortunately it just doesn't pan out. The biggest fault: it's too short. The anime was based off the manga The Adventures of Kotetsu by MEE, which from what I understand was rather long. The anime, however, barely covers the first story arc. None of the supporting characters get any attention at all and become window dressing used for one-shot gags. The main characters, Linn, Miho, and the nerdy sorcerer that Linn fights aren't as two-dimensional, but still lack a lot of background. The action scenes are reasonably well done, but seem to be used more as an excuse for Linn to prance about half-naked than to advance anything in the plot. I expect (nay, demand) a certain level of cheese from a blatantly shounen title such as this, but I'd also like to see the story go somewhere in the meantime. After the credits for the second episode rolled, I was left wondering where episode three went. It just needed more.
The animation is decent, but the soundtrack is forgettable. The intro "music" is rather annoying, as it reminds me vaguely of chihuahuas trying to do kabuki. As for audience appropriateness, this is a show definitely targeted at a young male audience. The levels of violence and nudity mark it clearly in the teens and up category (many retailers, like Suncoast, have this marked as an 18 and up title). Anime neophytes may enjoy it, but will quickly forget it.
Recommended Audience: Violence and nudity limit this to older teens and up, but it's really too stupid to be very offensive.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
The Adventures of Kotetsu © 1995 MEE / Palm Tree / Wani Books Co / Daiei Co Ltd
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