It was just another ordinary afternoon for our heroine Suzuko when she suddenly got caught in a giant gas explosion. Instead of getting killed, Suzuko wakes up some 500 years in the past during the Civil War era of Japan.
After being saved from a fate worse than death by a handsome, somewhat overbearing young man, Suzuko learns to adapt to the strange realm where she now resides. Along the way, Suzuko finds out more about her mysterious and spotty past. As clues begin to click into place, though, the village is attacked, and Suzuko finds herself travelling through time AGAIN, this time to the present. Will she solve the mystery regarding her origin and where she belongs? Well, of course she will. But you'll need to watch for yourself.
Fire Tripper is part of the Rumic World series, a collection of short stories by Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, Maison Ikkoku), probably one of the most famous manga artists in all of Japan. The art is nicely drawn, and the animation is decent. Nothing terribly earth-shattering, but it doesn't detract from your enjoyment of the story, either. It gets the job done.
Storywise, Takahashi has done it again. The story is involved and interesting, with surprising twists appearing every so often to keep you delightfully tuned to what Suzuko will do next in her quest to find Shukumaru, the young boy who was with her at the time of the explosion. The surprise close to the end is nicely conceived and nicely connects the beginning and the end.
Characters are all fully-conceived and engaging in typical Takahashi style. The soundtrack is nice and non-intrusive, enhancing the dialogue and action without yelling "Hey! Aren't I such a cool soundtrack??"
All in all, a very good watch. Better art and animation would have given this one the highest score possible, but it's still quite good.
Recommended Audience: Close to the beginning, three rather ugly bandits attempt to kidnap/rape Suzuko, a scene probably a bit too intense for young viewers, even though nothing really happens in the end. No profanity, although deaths are done rather realistically during the battle scenes. One casual nude scene with Suzuko swimming in the lake. Probably okay for all but the youngest of audiences.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Fire Tripper © 1985 Rumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan
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