Mamotte Shugogetten, Denshin
This series is the straight-to-video continuation of the "crazy antics" of the Mamotte Shugogetten television series. In this set of OAVs, the characters put on a school play, visit the beach, and acquire a new goddess, whose job is to torment, er, train Tasuke in a set of magical trials to build his character. Uh, yeah.
Take everything cool and original about Mamotte Shugogetten, which admittedly isn't much to begin with. Toss it out with the dish water.
Now you have the OAV series! Cool, huh?
Or not. The really pathetic thing about this series is that it has all the signs of being something special, something that normally we here at THEM would latch onto like a limpet on a rock at the seashore. We tried so hard to like this series, but it fails on so many levels, that we can't help but feel betrayed.
Granted, the original TV series did its fair share of copycatting, which we've already gone over in that review. But Denshin Mamotte Shugogetten doesn't even succeed in the tried-and-true cliches of its episodes. You get the been-there-done-that feeling, without the benefits of any sort of quality to speak of.
Most of the time when an OAV series is created, its purpose is the further either the plot or characterization. DMS fails spectacularly on both accounts - if anything, it regresses the characters to hollow shells of archetypes (not even archetypes in their own right). Shaolin ALWAYS misunderstands. Ruuan ALWAYS goofs up in the name of being there for Tasuke. Tasuke ALWAYS yells at Shaolin before pandering to her fragile sense of self-worth. (And he ALWAYS suffers the consequences of the goddesses.)
And the plot? What plot? The first two episodes are carbon copies of episodes from countless other anime, except that these copies have faded and smudged into a morass of illegibility. The school play (a thoroughly botched retelling of the Princess Kaguya legend) and the beach scene (yeah, yeah, you hold hands with the one you love, blah blah blah) are more overplayed than the songs on most radio stations. It's simply that bad, especially when you are subjected to the sickening "romantic" platitudes of Tasuke and Shaolin.
Another reason OAV series are created is to introduce new characters. Normally, this is a good thing. But DMS introduces Peorth, erm, I'm sorry, I meant Koryu. Whose purpose is to beat the living tar out of Tasuke in the name of training him. Oh joy. Of course, Tasuke passes the trials, because he is stubborn and pure-hearted, and has Shao on his side. Gag.
Granted, the Mamotte Shugogetten TV series had two majorly good things going for it. Excellent music, and Rishu. The OAV series has NEITHER of them. The OAV music is sleep-inducing and bland. And while Rishu does show up in a cameo for less than thirty seconds, her cuteness alone is hardly enough to save the three episodes worth of utter dreck that I was subjected to. Even the animation is substandard and unremarkable, relying on weak CG and lots and lots of stills.
If I haven't made myself perfectly clear by now, Denshin Mamotte Shugogetten is a chore even for those who were able to enjoy the TV series. Life is simply too short to have to sit through crap like this.
Since this review was written, five more episodes of this series were produced -- things can only improve from the utterly wretched start this series has gotten off to.
Rehashed well beyond the point of being merely stale, this series is Mamotte Shugogetten dissolved into retch-inducing slag. More Rishu would bump this up a star. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Nothing objectionable, though audiences may object to the boredom this series induces.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (3/8)
Mamotte Shugogetten, Denshin © 2000 Enix / Toei Animation / Movic
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