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[Wandaba Style]
AKA: 妄想科学シリーズ ワンダバスタイル, Wacky Science Fiction Series Wandaba Style
Genre: Oddball comedy
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Section 23 Films; originally licensed by ADV Films
Content Rating: 13+ (fanservice)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Full Moon o Sagashite, Excel Saga, Hand Maid May, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki
Notes: An original production made by Wonderfarm.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Wandaba Style

Synopsis

Dr. Tsukumo is a child genius who believes that man never landed on the moon. Ever. Along with his android assistant Kiku #8, he tries environmentally-friendly ways to get there (such as rubber bands), but they never seem to work.

Meanwhile, manager Michael Hanagata is having problems. The pop idol group he manages for, Mix Juice - which consists of four girls named Himawari, Sakura, Yuri, and Ayama - have disappeared from the public eye, and the girls have each gone their separate ways. He still wants to make them stars, but how?

Tsukumo and Hanagata, however, eventually cross ways in the first episode. Dr. Tsukumo promises Hanagata that in exchange for the girls to be the astronauts on his spaceship in his attempts to get to the moon, he promises Hanagata that the girls will become famous when they become the first idol group on the moon. A feat like that will surely increase their popularity.

To quote the series; Wandaba Style is GO!


Review

You know, I can see why most people stop reviewing this series on other anime review websites after one volume.

But I'll try to think positive for the moment and highlight the best aspect in the series. The art in Wandaba Style itself is good. It's pretty, colorful, and glossy, typical of most Wonderfarm works. I like its colorful, odd backgrounds and designs, and even the opening animation seems to scream 70s/80s goodness. The animation is mostly average, though it's consistent at leads. And as a Wonderfarm work, this series also contains cute character designs for the girls.

The series' plusses stop there, though. The main female leads are all as dull and boring as dirt. Take your pick - stock loli, stock tomboy, stock weird girl, and stock "never give up" girl. They're composed of anime stereotypes you've seen many times before. Ayame hallucinates about fairies - green, muscular fairies who wear little more than underwear (which is kind of amusing for a few moments, I suppose). There's Himawari, the girl who strives to work hard in everything she does. There's Sakura, a small, flat girl who's a brat to everyone around her, though she does have one of the series' few funny jokes; one of the first scenes in the series is of her selling her panties on an online auction. And lastly we have Yuri, the take-no-crap tough girl. They're generic right down to their extremely common Japanese names.

As for the others...Dr. Tsukumo isn't very interesting or likable. He refuses to believe what other people say, even treating his own mother like dirt. His robot android, Kiku 8, aside from having one of my favorite lines in the entire series ("I have this new feeling called 'getting pissed off'"), is little more than fanservice, as she ends up showing her panties more than the main girls do. Her looking like an elementary school girl doesn't help.

The series' only remotely fun character is Michael Hanagata, the manager of Mix Juice. He really does try to help out the girls in whatever way he can. And although he often gets the short of the stick in just about everything he does, he was only the character I truly rooted for. There are a couple of other characters, but I don't remember them, nor do I want to.

The plot of the series is laughable at best for its first half. The Road Runner / Wile E. Coyote cartoons have more story and plot variety than Wandaba Style. Here's a standard episode rundown:

* Tsukumo thinks of some crazy way to get the girls on the moon.

* The girls argue a lot, show skin for no good reason, and then try to take off.

* Hanagata runs around trying to tell people to support Mix Juice as they go to the moon (or try to).

* The mission fails, we see Kiku's panties, repeat again for several more episodes. Oh, and there's also some talk about Wandaba (which has several meanings, the big one being in the final episode).

Eventually the girls arrive on the moon, but you'll never make it far enough to care. The songs from Mix Juice are pretty mediocre at best; no wonder the girls have to go to the moon. On Earth their stuff is just standard J-POP shlock.

Wandaba Style isn't horrible by any means, but it's repetitive and annoying, with pretty lousy main characters. The series' full moments of brilliance, as well as the character of Hanagata, don't make up for its shortcomings. In short, Wandaba Style is more fun to look at than it is to watch.

Good visuals don't hide the mediocre aspects of the show. Add a star if you like fanservice.Tim Jones

Recommended Audience: Aside from the underage fanservice, and some swearing in the dub from ADV, not too much. The content is generally tamer than other Wonderfarm works such as G-On Riders and Cosplay Complex, but not as tame as Hand Maid May. The dub's swearing tends to go overboard sometimes, however. If the Japanese version is for 13 and up, then the English version pushes that even higher.



Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD; Anime Network broadcast, English dub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Wandaba Style © 2002 Wonderfarm / Wandaba Style Project
 
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