Sunday, August 03, 2008

Anime — Kurenai

A series with interesting art -- the 60's-ish feeling intro and psychedelic outro bracketing nicely rendered animation with only a slight degree of big eyes and small mouths -- and a story that works pretty much despite the level of clichés strung together.

Kurenai Shinkurou is a high-school student by day, dispute mediator (i.e. he gets to beat people up) by night. And he's the stock orphan who grew up in a household that used to be martial arts assassins, and learned their school of fighting -- plus acquired the reverse-Wolverine style of forearm blade. Which being a typical male lead, he angsts about having had installed rather than using it as a tool.

Kuhouin Murasaki is a seven year old girl who is rescued from a fate worse than death in her family's seraglio by Juuka Benika, Shinkurou's employer. Wise beyond her years in many respects, but entirely unaccustomed to life outside the luxury and stifling mediaevalism of the harem, she has to learn to live in a run-down apartment, on a meagre budget, and learn of the world from Shinkurou's eccentric neighbours.

Until the family learn of where she has gone, and send the heavy mob (including the inevitable crazy Chinese kung-fu girl) to get the girl back again.

Does Shinkurou man up and protect the princess, or does he fall into angsting about using the full panoply of options available to him? Does Murasaki escape from her cloistered assigned destiny?

The first of Q2's series to be completely subbed, this was not the most immediate grab (the OP was off-putting, as was the initial synopsis), but it manages to transcend the stereotypes is builds upon.

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