Deep in the reaches of some remote land, a Japanese woman anthropologist (hah, always Japanese!) runs afoul of a tribe of magic-users. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the female tribal leader sees the picture of the anthropologist's son, Hibio. Who, himself, is surprised one day to find the said tribal female at his door, weapons in hand, and glowing with magic, and ready to…marry him? Yes, Nima has come to claim Hibio as her husband, and now we move on to the rest of the story. And of course, Hibio doesn't want to have anything to do with girls at all.
I'd been led to believe this was a series from Urushihara Satoshi (Plastic Little), but it isn't.
And, well, I was drawn to this series because I thought it'd be something like Plastic Little.
Now, I really like Plastic Little. Yeah, sure, it's fluff, but it's gorgeous fluff. So I wasn't expecting much out of Tattoon Master except a good time, wonderful and beautiful art and animation, and maybe a little fan service on the side.
Two of three isn't normally bad, but unfortunately, Tattoon Master misses the first mark. What happened?
For one, the characters in Tattoon Master would be a lot cooler if more time had been taken to develop them. Hibio has more guts than most male romantic leads, and the situations he's put in (it would've been called a shotgun wedding if Nima knew how to use one!) are potentially hilarious. But Nima herself is stereotypical primitive (far short of "Ook Ook"ing the dialogue, but still not "smart" by any means) and is prone to distracting amounts of fan service, some of which is funny, most of which gets old fast. Still, Hibio's funny comments on certain characters' lack of attire aren't what you see every day in anime, which is a bonus. (And then there's the arrow-crazy classmate of Hibio's…ay!)
The animation itself is pretty-looking, but not actually great as far as *moving*. Character designs are nice, though, especially for the women, who are invariably pretty. And the music is pretty appropriate.
But the weaknesses of this show really stand out after watching the single tape of this series. It really doesn't have much of a plot at all, and the whole point of the girls falling for Hibio loses a lot of credibility because he's really a misogynistic jerk. (Realistically, if you were a single guy, and some busty, gorgeous, barely-dressed tribal girl barges into your house, and declares you to be her husband and jumps into your arms, would you tell her to go away? Maybe those Japanese are weirder than I thought.) Also, I strongly advise skipping the dub, as the character name changes (Eric and "Balla"?!?) and voice acting don't help the cause.
Despite some interesting usage of magical action sequences and an intriguing premise, Tattoon Master fails to deliver a full-size dosage of enjoyment in its two episodes. Perhaps if it had more time to develop some sort of charm, it could've succeeded, but it's simply too short to be really worthwhile.
Fine for a rental (subbed only), but don't expect much. Was I supposed to laugh? — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Some magic effects, and the threat of violence upon Hibio and Nima will scare younger children. Also a healthy amount of fan service, as Nima doesn't wear very much. Best for teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Tattoon Master © 1996 Yanari Akihisa / Shueisha / KSS
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