The earth has been split in half. On one half the humans reside and on the other half, the beast races have made their home. So, when the humans have polluted their half of the world beyond the ability to sustain them, they turn their eyes to the beasts' half, and to Gaia, the machine who is supposed to grant total control over the world. Of course, the beasts are having none of that, so what follows is a frantic search for Gaia, led by the beast tribe members Wan Dababatta (no, really) of the cat tribe, Mei-Mer of the mermaid tribe, and Bud Mint (no, really, again) of the bird tribe. These three are also accompanied by Meka, a fellow friend of the beast tribe and Yuni, a six-year-old human girl.
KO Beast is one of the earliest anime titles I ever bought, and does actually have the dubious honor of being the first outright crazy comedy anime I had ever seen up to that point. Subsequently, it's also one of my first reviews, which is the reason I'm rewriting it now. Rest assured, I still find this show quite funny for various reasons, but over the years shows like Azumanga Daioh, Excel Saga, and, uh... BOBOBO... have come along to put my perspective into a different light.
KO Beast is an old series, and it shows. The animation is actually quite good, the art style being energetic and colorful, mixing well with the atmosphere of the show. Visually speaking, I have no complaints whatsoever.
It's the dub, however, that really makes this show for me. Not because it's particularly good as far as acting's regarded, but because the accents therein basically MAKES the show fun, and the actors themselves sounds like they had a seriously good time dubbing said show. Especially our main antagonist, V-Darn comes across best as being thoroughly evil and enjoying every second of it.
But the main reason KO Beast is such a load of fun is the way the show is presented. It relies a lot on puns and sight gags, especially in the case of the beast tribes who use their transformations to full effect (with all the abilities going with it.) So yes, you get to see Wan going crazy for a sandbox, Mei-Mer literally hanging on a fishing hook and Bud Mint not being able to resist swinging on a trapezoid, singing. Later, as they're all trapped in a web of giant steel pillars, unable to move and Wan and Bud, apparently, not being successful in using their beak and teeth to gnaw their way to freedom, Mei-Mer berates them for "not using their heads".
I really don't need to tell you what happens next, right?
I've wanted to continue this series for the longest time now, though I am a little bit worried about getting the DVDs, in light of the dub making the show for me to a rather large degree. It MIGHT come across as being slightly childish, but hey.... Still, I honestly think that this show has held up pretty damn good for being so old. It's fun, it's colorful and it has a rather amusing cast among its roster. I just hope the rest can keep up the crazy pace of the three first episodes.
A comedy classic, only surpassed by few. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Well, Dr. Password (Yumi's father) is killed rather violently, and the beast totems (mecha) lose some ... err, oil during the battles between the beasts and V-Darn -- mostly from bites or slashes -- so this is not for the youngest. Ten year olds and up should be more than fine.
Version(s) Viewed: European release from Anime UK, English dubbed.
Review Status: Partial (3/7)
KO Beast © 1992 Animate Film / KSS / SME
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