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[R1 DVD art]
AKA: Mosquiton '99
Genre: Adventure / fantasy comedy
Length: Television series, 26 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 10+ (fantasy violence, some fan service)
Related Series: Master of Mosquiton
Also Recommended: Master of Mosquiton, Phantom Quest Corp
Notes: This is an alternate retelling of the Master of Mosquiton story and not a direct sequel to the OAV.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Master of Mosquiton '99

Synopsis

Vampire Alucard Von Mosquiton, the most powerful creature of the Demon World, turned his back on his kind for the love of a human woman. Struck down in vengeance by his own kind, he would never be able to be with his beloved again.

Hundreds of years after that event, unusual signs and portents are appearing all over the world. However, none of this matters to Hitomebore Inaho, direct descendant of the woman that Mosquiton fell in love with centuries before. Despite her reputation around her school as a dedicated and kind student, she is actually greedy, selfish, money-obsessed and sees the unusual events that are occurring as a chance to make some easy money.

When Mosquiton awakens on the grounds of her school, she recognizes the tremendous profit potential of controlling an actual vampire and attempts to capture him. After recognizing who and what she is, he winds up in her service.

After becoming aware of mystical artifacts called O-Parts that could grant her more wealth than she could imagine, Inaho begins dragging Mosquiton and his familiars along on the quest for the O-Parts. Along the way, they'll make some new friends and encounter some fiendish enemies with their own plans for the O-Parts.


Review

I've had heard a lot of good things about the original Mosquiton OAV series so I decided to check out this series. The theory was simple really. If six OAV episodes provide fairly good and wacky fun, just think of the potential of 26 TV episodes! Unfortunately, theory does not always hold up in the face of reality.

It is rare that I encounter a show that is so desperately trying to be amusing yet fails so consistently. It isn't really that the show didn't have its humorous situations and jokes that amused me, as I did smile and laugh on more than a few occasions and there were even a few episodes that were solidly amusing throughout. Unfortunately, it seems they only have a small handful of decent jokes, which they constantly recycle and then try to prop up with various other not so amusing situations and scenarios. Considering that this show was willing to mine almost any sort of myth or legend it could for plot ideas, the tendency to recycle the same gags focusing on the same characters seems to reflect a certain lack of creativity on the part of the creators. They literally had the entire span of history and world to work with yet they still had trouble coming up with good material.

The show doesn't really do much better when it tries to venture into more dramatic territory. While the bulk of the plot focuses mainly on the wacky (and somewhat repetitive) adventurers of Mosquiton, Inaho, and a few other supernatural beings they pick up on the way traveling around the world looking for O-Parts, there is actually a dramatic overall plot involving some other not-so-friendly supernatural beings who have their own plans for the O-Parts. They only toss in plot related episodes a few times into the series before suddenly cramming the rest abruptly into the end and even then that requires more than a few contrivances and some small plot inconsistencies. It all comes up seeming rather forced and the antagonist faction is so cliched, uninteresting, and undeveloped that I didn't find the "dramatic" plot episodes all that engaging.

While most of the characters are likable and quirky in their own way, if a bit underdeveloped, Inaho is a totally unsympathetic and unlikable character. I suppose the viewer is supposed to find her single-minded obsession with wealth amusing and for a few episodes it was but I quickly became tired of her static, selfish, and greedy persona. I find myself agreeing with Mosquiton's familiars when they suggested that he leave her or otherwise take her out. She's that annoying. Besides Inaho being an exceedingly one-dimensional character, the show's attempts to try and develop a romantic connection between her and Mosquiton were so sparse and abrupt that they end up seeming totally forced and unnatural.

The other characters are a bit more likable but they don't really get much in the way of the development other than a few token "background" episodes toward the end of the series. Most of the side characters seem to basically be one joke gags or just the occasional extra bit of muscle for the adventures. As noted above, the antagonist faction was ripped directly from the "evil fantasy stereotypes" handbook. Since they didn't really develop him much or explain much of his back story, I wasn't sure if the main villain, St. Germaine, was actually supposed to be connected to the legendary French Nobleman (the costume design vaguely suggested it) or if they simply just decided to randomly name him that.

The action scenes were exceedingly average as well. The show isn't exactly stunning in terms of its artwork or animation to begin with but most of the action scenes seemed to involved speed lines, stock footage, minimal animation, and the same recycled "dramatic" action music. Mosquiton's actual power level seems to be exceedingly random. Even not accounting for one particular set of episodes where a special situation occurs, he seems to go from being inexplicably ineffective in a given episode to a lethal warrior in the next. I'm not going to hold this too much against the series as it is more of a comedy than an action show.

While Master of Mosquiton '99 isn't truly bad, it is nowhere near any good either. Forced and repetitive humor, poor plotting, undeveloped (and occasionally very unlikable) characters, and bland action make for a rather unimpressive showing. I feel vaguely bad for the series. It had a lot of potential and did make me smile on occasion but as it stands it is a two star show. I hope the OAV series was considerably more amusing than this.Jeremy A Beard

Recommended Audience: There is a bit of skin and tight outfits on occasion, along with a lot of fantasy violence. There is very little to no blood actually shown, as creatures tend to simply disappear when defeated more often than not.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Master of Mosquiton '99 © 1997 TV Tokyo / Sotsu Agency / Zero-G Room
 
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