Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
As the end of the century draws near, God's and the Devil's agents are racing to gain power. The Devil has been preparing by placing demons in beautiful works of art in order to lure unsuspecting humans into protecting them. It is up to Kaitou Jeanne, the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, and her angel guardian Fin Fish to seal these demons and prevent them from corrupting the souls of the innocents they posses. During the day, Jeanne is really high school student Marron, who along with her friends Miyako (a wannabe detective who's life's dream is to capture Jeanne) and Chiaki (who is also Jeanne's rival, Kaitou Sinbad) tries to make it through to the next day...
This series really needs to be brought over to the states. NOW!
If ever there was a series that has the potential to be just as big as Sailor Moon, this show is it. It has lots of action, endearing characters and an outstanding plot. It would be a great addition to the Toonami lineup.
The art in the series is crisp and clear, obviously computer colored and animated, but it suits the series well. The music is not as clear though. The opening and ending songs are atrocious (just mute the sound and watch the pretty visuals) and the soundtrack is standard TV fare. Thankfully, music alone does not a TV series make, and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne is one of the best TV shows in the last three years to come out of Japan.
The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, with plenty of time taken to develop even the minor characters (who may not be as minor as one may think!) Marron is possibly the most emotionally damaged magical girl ever, but this is also her strength. She has a purpose in her mission that drives her, even if it is a somewhat selfish one. The series is just as much about her overcoming her personal demons as it is overcoming the monster of the week.
Thankfully, the monster of the week format is not what the show really is about, and it weeded out of the story about 3/4ths of the way through the first season. This show is really about the war between Heaven and Hell, and Marron is the pawn being used by both of them. (There are a lot of chess refrences in the show) Her faith is tested more than once, and she must find the courage to continue on, even when the odds are against her.
While it starts as a comedy, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne gets far more serious in tone as it progresses. It has a surprisingly adult story for a 'kids' show, but it's never too overbearing or angsty (like Fushigi Yuugi can be at times) nor does it ever get nauseatingly sweet, so those who don't normally like shoujo can watch without rolling their eyes.
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne is a personal favorite among many members of THEM, and it's anime at it's best. Again, someone PLEASE pick up this title for release here in the U.S.! This gem is one of the least known (and underrated) titles out there, and it's high time for it to be in the spotlight as it rightfully deserves!
Add one star if you are a shoujo fan. — Christi
Recommended Audience: Preteen and up. There is no nudity and some bloodless grappling, but later in the series it takes on more mature themes that may be over the head of younger viewers. A great starter series into anime. Fair warning: more conservative audiences may take offense at the use of Christian symbolism in this series.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (44/44)
Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne © 1999 Arina Tanemura / Shueisha / TV Asahi / Toei Animation
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