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[ production info ]

Copyright: © 1997 Placet Co. Ltd. / © 1999 Media-Blasters
Length: 60 minutes
Rating: NR, Recommended for Mature Audiences
Format: Subtitled/Dubbed (VHS)

[ rated m ]

adult situations

Recommended for Mature Audiences - Some scenes of violence including murder / attempted murder. Homosexual advances/relations between the two main characters.

[ plot summary ]

vhs jacket

Randy Ryo McLane and Dee Laytner are both members of the NYPD 27th precinct. Needing a bit of time away, Dee and Ryo are off to England for a relaxing albeit short vacation. Their destination? A small, country inn in the middle of nowhere where they're guaranteed to get some peace and quiet and more importantly privacy. Once at the inn however, Ryo and Dee find that the local authorities are out investigating a murder in the area. It doesn't take long for our investigative twosome to discover that bodies have been showing up around their country inn and the nearby lake for some time. The question is will Ryo will leave things to the local authorities or will he stick his nose into the investigation? Unfortunately, the local authorities haven't been particular interested in making much progress and definitely aren't interested in making too much noise and depressing the local tourism industry either. However, more than the murder at hand, Dee is much more interested in planning his next move on Ryo. Will Dee finally be able to get the jump on Ryo? Will Ryo make up his mind how he feels about Dee?

[ capsule review ]

Crazy, zany and decidedly insane, this video is lots of fun to watch. While the story itself isn't particularly strong in and of itself, and there are enough points of lack of reality which makes one sit up and take note, the humour and its execution are strong enough to make up for it. Really now, a couple of cops on a short vacation getaway are going to give up their holiday to solve a case? I think not. Not to mention that being in another country would make that exceedingly difficult. Thus how Berkeley Rose, a New York state trooper, is able to conduct a private investigation during a very short time and gather evidence without getting into trouble from the local authorities is decidedly lacking in realism. Combine that with the fact that he seemed to have a firearm which presumably he smuggled in from America.... natch. While I can understand Bikky having a passport since he was originally to go with Dee and Ryo to England, Cal getting one with such short notice is unreal unless of course she happened to have one already, and while we're looking at timing, the travel time... hmmm no doubt they caught the concorde across to England and could afford to purchase such flight tickets cheaply on such short notice. Ah well. My personal peeve is one that most people probably wouldn't even notice; the DNA testing. I mean really now. They're going to be able to tell that blood found in the kitchen matched the victim's blood by DNA testing in roughly 12 hours?!? Even if you had actual liquid volume blood samples to match to the victim, DNA testing would still require more than 12 hours to do much beyond a preliminary exclusion analysis. Anyhow, needless to say, there are definite problems in realism in the story.

However, to make up for these gaps in reality is the humour and timing of certain jokes, lines and character reactions. Bikky's and Dee's reaction and subsequent panic attack to Ryo following the sighting of a ghost was absolutely priceless. From the controlled panic to get to Ryo's room, the subsequent mayhem, and Ryo's final reaction to the insanity unfolding before him was perfect. Don't get me wrong, the animation, music and even the voice acting overall in this video are not particularly outstanding. Indeed the entire production strikes me as being particularly low budget, non-mainstream anime. However, the script is generally well written and the direction and the insane humour really keeps things moving. Interestingly, the introductory credits and the various characters portrayals and inter-relations suggest that there is a lot more to the story than is immediately apparent. Whether things would become that much more meaningful by being familiar with the original manga work is unknown but there are hints that this would be the case. However, there's no need to be familiar with it to enjoy the story and the video stands on its own very well. We need only to accept certain relationships as they come up without having any real background knowledge of where they came from or how things developed to that stage. I have to admit, the OAV has sparked a definite interest in the manga for me.

There was one very noteworthy point for me personally when watching this OAV. Ryo and Dee's first meeting and introductions reminded me of how many second and subsequent generation Japanese descent people use their Western name most often when introducing themselves. It's ingrained, and while I have no idea if the author of the manga let alone the anime script is aware of it, it's not normal to use our Japanese middle names openly. Why? Probably it's just a matter of convenience; people aren't likely to mispronounce or misspell an English name, so the Japanese middle name is usually reserved for family use. At least that's mostly been the case for me personally. When non-family members use my middle name, it's usually because they think it's cool, or they're teasing me over something. Either way, it assumes a definite familiarity, thus, Ryo's reaction when Dee asks if he's oriental and has a Japanese name is very realistic of how most people (of Japanese descent) would likely react. While some people may indeed use their Japanese names as a nickname, this is probably more the exception than the rule.

Perhaps the weakest point for this video is the music. While the opening theme is a boppy J-pop style tune, the music during the OAV itself is decidedly lacking. Indeed, in the beginning it's barely even present with lots of background silence. Later, the music tends to be the same primary theme being recycled. Oddly enough the theme reminded me of Koko wa Greenwood's music during the Koko wa Ma-oh no Mori and Mitsuru to Ghost episodes.

Otherwise, the voice acting was a bit mixed with a generally good performance by Seki Tomokazu (Dee) while Hida Nobuo (Ryo) was occasionally a bit weaker and seemed to be less comfortable with his role at times. Inoue Kikuko (Arisa) was also very well done although I found that occasionally, her intonation was almost bordering on overacting. Still, the shift in vocal intonation when she teases Ryo was solid. Perhaps the only other noticeable point was the translations. While not bad overall, there were a few instances where the translations were skipping out on some detail or were inaccurate possibly for the sake of story continuity.

For those with liberal sexual views, this OAV makes for a lot of fun humour and a bit of romance thwarted. While those on a limited budget would be recommended to rent, all in all it's a fun romp through insanity.
- JYN, 2000.09.14

café rating (subtitled):


3 stars

[3 / 5] - Not a particularly solid story which is further weakened by unrealistic time frames and responses. However, if you can suspend realism, it's tongue-in-cheek nature is very entertaining and flows smoothly and logically.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Overall solid pacing of action, good timing of lines, reactions and overall execution of the story at hand.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - A bit of a mixed bag. Ryo (Nobuo Hida) does a good job of sounding like an indecisive softy with a hint of a harder core to him but occasionally sounds a little uncomfortable with his character. Dee (Seki Tomokazu) and Arisa (Inoue Kikuko) are both very good at portraying their roles.


2 stars
[2 / 5] - Overall slightly below average for an OAV suggesting even more strongly that this is an underground anime production. While not bad, generally the detail is sufficient for the scene but is neither particularly detailed nor smooth flowing.


2 stars
[2 / 5] - Decidedly nondescript. While the opening and ending themes are good, the background music tends to be focused around a few melodic lines which are recycled throughout the video. While the melody is good with scenes with Maria, it does little otherwise to build the overall feel of the show nor does it enhance the viewing experience.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - There are points where the translation is skipping out on some of the detail of what is being said and is only giving the gist of the matter. Likewise, there is definite looseness in the translation especially of the term nikkei as well as a few other lines in the video.

Overall Rating:

3 star
[3 / 5] - Overall lots of fun to watch and while the replay value will depend highly on the viewer, it makes for solid entertainment and good craziness.

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Page last modified 2000.09.14