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[I can NOT believe they invoked Cowboy Bebop.]
AKA: アーケードゲーマーふぶき
Genre: Arcade gaming / comedy / fan service
Length: OAV, 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Central Park Media out of print
Content Rating: 13+ (lots and lots of pointless fan service)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Nurse Witch Komugi, Puni Puni Poemy
Notes: Based on a manga by Mine Yoshizaki.
Rating:
 

Arcade Gamer Fubuki

Synopsis

Fubuki is a teenage girl with polychromatic hair and a talent for arcade games. But she's not just an ordinary arcade gamer - for she has the ultimate accessory for arcade gamers: the Passion Panties! With these, she is able to be the best Arcade Gamer ever!

Review

Leave it to Central Park Media to pick up yet another stupid, lowbrow anime on the cheap. Way to go CPM!

Arcade Gamer Fubuki is every bit as stupid as it sounds. Really. Start with a rail-thin plot that would make a supermodel jealous, add a heroine so vacuous she serves as a veritable black hole of intellect, and sprinkle in numerous attempts at humor by way of pseudo-lesbian slapstick. Clearly, this is a show aimed at the lowest common denominator of fandom. Of course, this means that basement-boy otaku are going to LOVE this thing, but the rest of us can safely file this one in the ignore pile. Still, this show *has* to have some merits and saving graces ... right?

Not really. Far, far too often in this series, I was too busy gawking in disbelief to laugh. Less "haha" than "huh?" Or "EHHH?"

The character designs, while outlandish and highly cartoony, are admittedly rather cute, at least to begin with. Dopey Fubuki looks a whole lot like an Alien Nine dropout. Mr. Mystery (irritating as all-get-out) reminds me of the male superhero version of Moldiver, or Strike-Man from the You're Under Arrest TV series, incidentally two of my least favorite characters of all time. And then there's that "American" in the cowgirl outfit with her humongous breasts almost spilling out of strategically placed holes in her shirt. Yep, facepalm time.

Even worse is the story. Apparently, Fubuki is given these "great arcade gaming powers" as consolation for the loss of her virtual pet. That's right, she is gaming to redeem the loss of her Tamagotchi. Even dumber is the whole Passion Panties aspect (aka "show off that Lolita ass, Fubuki!"), an obvious ploy to get pedophile basement-boys to buy Arcade Gamer Fubuki goods and draw lurid Arcade Gamer Fubuki doujinshi. (Even bad publicity is good publicity, right?) Scarily enough, there's a stalker character named Sanpeita who shows up throughout ... let's just call him an audience insert and be done with it.

Did I mention that the Passion Panties are activated by being exposed by Fubuki's ever-helpful and eerily overaffectionate best friend Hanako billowing a fan under her skirt? Oh yeah.

The actual gaming seems to take place in an alternate Japan where arcade games are virtually Dragon Ball Z style ki combat sequences. These has to stand among one of the most outlandishly stupid scenes I have ever seen in an animated feature, right alongside the laser-spitting genitalia of Urotsukidoji. There are times that Fubuki is levitating, upside-down (to expose her panties as much as possible), hanging on to the arcade joysticks in the middle of a freakin' tornado of ki.

It doesn't help that the villains are hellbent on using arcade gaming to dominate the world. Exactly how they propose to do this is never fully explained, which is no surprise considering that this screenplay was obviously written by junior high schoolboys.

Technically, the animation isn't half-bad, actually quite clean and attractive. I've completely forgotten about the music in this thing, apart from it being generically video-gamey. At least it doesn't feel like the animators needed to waste too much effort on this -- I couldn't imagine a series like this meriting Ghibli level quality. In fact, I feel kinda guilty even mentioning that studio in this sort of review.

The only reason I am refraining from giving this thing my stamp of ultimate disapproval is that it really doesn't take itself seriously at all. Fubuki herself, while dopey, is at least likable, and the overblown arcade antics occasionally get amusing enough to be watchable. It's less like a train wreck, and more like watching a clown crash a unicycle. You aren't so horrified at the end result that you can't indulge in a little bit of schadenfreude, especially when you realize people actually spent more than five minutes of their lives to produce this thing.

So if you can get past the whole "classic-gamers-are-Lolita-complex-perverts" angle of this show, you *might* find something to enjoy here with the silly characters and sillier action. The rest of us can feel free to dismiss it entirely ... or mock it at will.

Come to think of it, mocking Arcade Gamer Fubuki is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy this show.

Arcade Gamer Fubuki is one of those shows that is so bad, you can't even pretend it's good. But it's so mockable that it actually turns out to be quite entertaining. If you don't enjoy mocking anime, or take offense at this title's insistence that classic gamers are losers, then drop one star and move on to something with actual quality, like Azumanga Daioh.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: This is a series that features extended sequences of the camera focusing on a teenage girl's rear end. Obviously, this is going to have some effect on what audiences should be allowed to view this series.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Partial (3/4)
Arcade Gamer Fubuki © 2001 Mine Yoshizaki / EnterBrain Inc / Arcade Gamer Fubuki Production Committee