Master of Mosquiton
Hitomebore Inaho has only one desire: to be young forever. To accomplish this goal, she has devoted most of her time since she was a little girl to finding the fabled "O-Part", a relic of power that her grandmother claimed was the secret of her own long-lasting youthfulness.
In order to help her to this end she resurrects Mosquiton, an ancient vampire (sort of, he's actually only one-quarter vampire but who's counting) and his two familiars, Hono and Yuki (an efreeti and yuki-onna respectively). Unfortunately, the search goes slowly, and by her 17th birthday, Inaho is no closer to finding the O-Part than she was two years ago.
However, the sudden mysterious arrival of a pyramid in the middle of London changes things and once again Inaho is hot on the trail of the O-Part. But will getting the O-Part be that simple? Monsters and traps guard the treasure, not to mention the arrival of none other than…Mosquiton's wife?
What's a girl to do?
Stop being such a snotty, self-centered brat, for starters.
Honestly, Master of Mosquiton is a fun show. It has great characters (exception noted below), an interesting setting (1920s London and Shanghai), and easily alternates between being funny and serious in equal measure while still maintaining a decent story.
Inaho, however, is really, really annoying. She's whiny, selfish, obnoxious, and generally unlikable from the get go, which is bad considering she's a main character. Some of her childish conceit is played for laughs, which is fine, but it gets tiring after a while, especially with concern to Mosquiton.
Still, there is enough character left in Mosquiton and his two familiars to make up for the puerile antics of Inaho. Mosquiton himself is the put-upon domesticated vampire. Far from fearsome, he’s more like Count Chocula than Count Dracula. Once he drinks blood, however, the kid gloves come off. His personality totally changes and monster bad-guys of all stripes get their tails firmly kicked. Hono and Yuki, his devoted servants, are equally entertaining. They will go to any lengths to help Mosquiton and deplore the indignity he is so often forced to endure at the hands of "Mama Inaho". They steal the show in the third episode as they con money from the guests on a cruise ship in order to pay for the foursome’s passage back to Shanghai. Then there is Camille, Mosquiton’s "wife" (although it’s never quite clear if they were actually married) who is also a vampire and whose talents at cooking, cleaning and *ahem* other things, are put on display in an attempt to steal Mosquiton back from Inaho. The interplay between these characters is often funny, sometimes cliché, but all around entertaining.
The animation is decently done, with a flair more for the comic than the frightening, although (as this is a vampire show) there is a fair amount of bloodletting in some episodes; especially after Mosquiton has had a drink. The artwork and character designs are also nice, and the settings for London and Shanghai are nicely drawn. The black and white pictures of Mosquiton visiting famous tourist haunts from the 1920s during the opening credits is priceless. The music is pretty standard fare for an anime OAV from the early 90s, but the swing tune used for the opening sequence is different, and was a nice touch.
Master of Mosquiton's biggest fault was that the series was too short. Not because the production team cut anything, because the manga version was also brief. Many fans may also find the ending extremely unsatisfactory as well; not because it’s open-ended, but because just about everyone gets screwed over in the process and huge unanswered plot threads are just left hanging (the Star Lords in particular. It would have also been nice to know exactly why Mosquiton left Camille in the first place.)
In all, Master of Mosquiton is a fun ride, but it left me with a slightly sour taste at the end. I didn’t know whether to be annoyed with Inaho, feel sorry for her, or simply throw up my hands in frustration at the lack of closure. In any case, this isn’t a bad show. Rent it (assuming you can find it, ADV never made a DVD release), enjoy it, share a laugh with some friends, and then go watch something else.
Inaho was annoying, and it lacked a good ending, but there is still enough fun to be had here for a rental at least. — Jason Bustard
Recommended Audience: Older teens and up. There is a fair amount of nudity and adult situations in episodes three and four (OMG the tan lines!). There is also a fair amount of fighting between Mosquiton and various bad guys, some of which gets rather violent.
Version(s) Viewed: Commercial VHS (Japanese with English subtitles)
Review Status: Full (6/6)
Master of Mosquiton © 1996 Mosquiton Project / Nippon Columbia
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