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AKA: Mezzo DSA, Mezzo: Danger Service Agency
Genre: Action
Length: Television series, 13 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Licensed by ADV Films
Content Rating: 15+ (mild fan service, sexual situations, violence, gore)
Related Series: Mezzo Forte
Also Recommended: Burn Up eXcess, Dirty Pair (original)
Notes: Mezzo takes place after the ending of Mezzo Forte, which will be reviewed separately on this web site.
Rating:
 

Mezzo

Synopsis

In the near future, Tokyo advances significantly in the world of technology. Androids and high tech gadgets are now commonplace all over the area.

In this age, a group known as the Danger Service Agency (DSA) exists to take any job that they are requested to do, as long as they are paid for their work. Whether it's serving as a bodyguard for a desperate adult or securing the transporting of biological weapons, Suzuki Mikura, Kurokawa Kenichi, and Harada Tomohisa are always on the case.

After a few cases, they uncover a massive scandal along with plenty of corruption. Someone is out to kill off the DSA! The DSA is in over their heads in what could be their last mission.

Review

It took me a really long time to figure out how to explain the plot for Mezzo and those measly three sentences were the only ones that I could think of. That being said, it is apparent that Mezzo does not focus all too heavily on a plot. As a matter of fact, nothing truly evolves or gets going until the second half of the series! The earlier episodes are practically stand-alone episodes.

That isn't to say Mezzo is bad. The characters (save the villains) from Mezzo Forte carry right over into the TV series. Kurokawa (called Pops by Mikura) is an ex-cop who quit the force to form the DSA along with Mikura, who he caught running away from an assault, and Harada, who had no place to go after being unable to get any girl at all throughout high school. The characters aren't entirely fleshed out. Each character does have some sort of a past, but each past is explained rather vaguely. So, you have to look past that and recognize that these characters are quite fun. Mikura is cute, emotional and completely and utterly indestructible in battle. Kurokawa is a noodle-obsessed, rambling punster with a receding hairline. Harada, whose hair looks as if it was skinned off of a porcupine and dyed blonde, builds androids in his spare time along with assisting the DSA on their mission with his knack for computers and technology as a whole.

And a new character joins the gang, or at least permanently attaches herself to them. Asami, a shy young teenager who frequently gets picked on by bullies, latches onto the DSA and doesn't let go. To be honest, I disliked her quite a bit. She's way too much like Maehara Shinobu from Love Hina. She's very shy, spineless, fearful and alone, but unlike Shinobu, she actually evolves as the series goes on.

Now we get into the beefiest and most positive aspect of Mezzo, and that is the action. The scenes are very typical of Umetsu's work. If you have seen Kite or Mezzo Forte, you know what I am talking about. The physics defying, fast-paced combat is well designed and enjoyable to watch. Apparently, Mikura is absolutely indestructible. It is commonplace for Mikura to grab her attacker and toss the villain along with herself off of a 30 story building, through a roof below, and onto a large pile of bricks with absolutely no problem. She shrugs it off, picks up her weapon, dodges at least 2 dozen bullets from a fully automatic rifle, does a double backflip, lands behind the thug and kicks the guy square across the head. Then she walks off as if nothing happened. Things get even better when the threesome team up and cooperate. They perfectly complement each other. Harada's technological skills, Mikura's instincts, and Kurokawa's wisdom make them a force to be reckoned with.

The technical side of Mezzo varies significantly. Mezzo has some really good artwork and animation, especially during the aforementioned action. It is a small step down from Mezzo Forte, but it's very good for a TV series. The character designs remain the same for the trio, except that Mikura now has her hair in pigtails rather than just leaving it alone.

On the other hand, the music is well ... mediocre. The opening and ending themes are fast-paced songs from a little known band called the Barnabys, featuring a vocalist just dying to be like Courtney Love. The music does fit the pace of the series, but I'm sure that there are better bands and better songs that could have been used.

Mezzo is without a doubt an action first series, so don't expect a very strong plot. If you're into anime for the action more than anything else, then Mezzo is the series for you. Otherwise, you're better off seeing something else or just renting it instead of buying the series.

An average series with varying high and low points. Action gurus may want to add a star to the rating. Robert Nelson

Recommended Audience: Surprise! Mezzo has no nudity! Even the fan service is minimal. There's probably more fan service in the opening animation than there is in each actual episode. There are sexual situations, more specifically an attempted rape that lasts all of a few seconds, a scene involving tentacles that get absolutely nowhere, and a very indecent affair with a girl that seems to be slightly below the age of consent, but her actual age is not given in the series. Older teens and up.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Mezzo © 2003 Umetsu Yasuomi / Mezzo Production Committee / ARMS / Zipangu Products / Chiba TV / Nihon TV / TV Kanagawa / TV Saitama