The Enemy's the Pirates
Sometime in the far future, generic villains called pirates threaten the lives of the space colonies. It is the Department of Space Piracy's job to fight and stop the nefarious plans of these pirates. The two best agents of the DSP are Latell and his feline partner, Apulo. And I use the term "best" only because that's what the anime claims early on, but I don't really buy it. These two are the loosest cannons this side of the 3WA's Lovely Angels, and even worse they are only half as bright as Kei and Yuri. Latell is a pathetically uninteresting human who spends most of his time frothing over Apulo's latest antics and Apulo spends most of his time eating and making Latell's life miserable. Our story begins with our heroes being canned for botching one too many jobs, racking up expenses by destroying everything between them and their targets, and for generally being nutjobs. But their boss couldn't have picked a worse time to fire them, because some evil maniac is planning to conquer the universe by... wait for it... turning every living thing into a cat.
Guess who is the only duo that can save the universe from a grim future of public cat boxes and blackmarket catnip?
Why pirates? It's the thing that bugs me the most about The Enemy's the Pirates. The pirates in it don't act like pirates; they don't say "Arr, matey," there's narry a parrot in sight, and they don't worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster. They are so bland and nondescript that you can put any label on them and it would be just as appropriate. You may as well call them Musketeers for all the good the "pirates" does them, but then, "The Enemy's the Musketeers" doesn't sound like a very good catchphrase.
You know what I would have called them? Red Running Rabbits. The Japanese are notorious for rounding out their R's when trying to speak English, and listening to seiyuus fumble their way around the show's catchphrase would have been very amusing. I can hear it now: "Don't worry Mausha, we will defeat them! The enemy's the Rwed Rwunning Rwahbits!" I would have added a star just for that, since the anime makes a point of saying their catchphrase at least once per episode, usually in the oddest of context. That would be guaranteed hilarity, which this anime usually lacks.
There are laughs to be had, though, most of it from Latell and Apulo's constant bickering. The kooky technology is a gas too, such as a Coach Potato Tree in the first episode that instantly grows from a box when boiled, complete with a hammock, television, and bags of potato chips ripe for the picking. In another one, the rules of baseball have been discovered after thousands of years, but only half of them are intact. This makes for a madcap game, made even funnier by watching academics debate the legality of bringing a rocket launcher into the game. "Well," they argue, "maybe there's a rule about it in the other half of the rulebook." The humor is the best part of Teki Wa, but sadly, this is an action anime, and here the action is usually groan worthy, and it doesn't always make sense.
The plot is incoherent, and I gave up trying to understand it when the show reveals at the end of episode two that firing Latell and Apulo was actually part of an elaborate plot by their bosses to stop some evil pirate plot. Come to think of it, even whether or not the pirates themselves are the bad guys in this show is unclear. It doesn't help that an uninspiring cast of characters populate the OVA. Good buddy cop duos have the comedy between the stalwart, sensible partner and the loose cannon tweaked to a "T"- You're Under Arrest's Natsume and Miyuki, and Gunsmith Cat's Rally and Minnie May come to mind- but Latell and Apulo just retread well-worn ground. Their humor is uninspired, and at times annoying. Because of this, the show has no suspense in its action or plot, and the frequent firefights only inspire impatience.
A final note on the music. I prefer to sit through the opening and ending themes of every anime I watch, since I consider them to be part of the experience, for better or worse. With Teki Wa, this was a definite case of "the worse." The themes are pure eighties hair rock, which is fine for me in very small doses. Unfortunately, the good folks who made the OVA saw fit to play the theme songs over and over again within the episodes as background music, sometimes several times within the same episode. The music quickly grew from merely annoying to painful to listen to. By episode five, I wanted to chuck something, anything, into my monitor out of frustration. Common sense prevailed though, and after watching episode six with glazed eyes, I sent the series to its final resting place in my recycle bin.
Only recommended to the hardiest of 80's OVA fans. Everyone else steer clear. — Bradley Meek
Recommended Audience: Language, brief nudity, and light but frequent violence makes this only appropriate for teens and up.
Version(s) Viewed: Digitally restored digital sources
Review Status: Full (6/6)
The Enemy's the Pirates © 1989 Production I.G. / Kitty Mitaka Studio
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