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Jungle wa Itsumo Hare Nochi Guu

Illusion 1: Hajimari Hajimari

(Beginning Beginning)

Copyright: © 2000, Kindaichi, Enix, TV Tokyo
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, Suitable for Family Viewing
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue (VHS, DVD)


DVD jacket

Young Hare grew up in the jungle with his mother. Along with his game console, every day is spent in peaceful quietude. Until one day... Hare is sent to pick bananas from the grove. While at the grove, Hare is confronted by a huge dark shadow which chases after him. Unfortunately for Hare, his mother is less than sympathetic when he comes running for help. Especially since he left the bananas behind at the grove.

That night, a tipsy mother comes home with a surprise for Hare. It seems that a young girl has come into the village and has no parents. Since Hare and his mother live alone, she decided to bring home young Guu to be a playmate for Hare. However, much to Hare's dismay, there's something very unusual about Guu....

capsule review:

This is kids TV. I have to remember, this is a kids TV anime. Even so, I find it absolutely hilarious and lots of fun to watch. With an interesting initial storyline and hilarious visual jokes, fast paced action and non-stop gags, there's lots to keep viewers occupied. Actually, with so much happening, viewers are swept along with Hare's highly exciteable personality.

As this is a TV series, the animation quality isn't the best and has a low scroll rate, but is quite distinctive. With some interesting detail in the jungle background, the characters and some of the jungle creatures are distinctly caricatured. Despite this very cartoonish appearance, however, good attention is paid to visual and aural gags that happens in this show. Viewers need to pay attention otherwise some of the gags may be missed!

The opening theme music is a bit of a shock initially being highly energetic Caribbeana style. Quite the shock and change from the typical j-pop style opening themes. The background music while not spectacular is also well suited to the scene at hand.

The voice acting is also surprisingly good with the voice actors solidly in character. Hare's character is suitably exciteable and panicky, while his mother's changes between loving mother and threatening parent is also highly entertaining. However, perhaps most noteable is Guu's instant changes between cute and adorable to her more typical surly self.

Being the first episode, the story focusses on character introductions and especially initial development of the main characters Hare and Guu. There are also some hints of background story as well which will hopefully be further developed later. Not particularly deep but lots of fun. The direction is very good with solid paced action, and timing of jokes and gags. Viewers will find themselves solidly entertained although some adults may find things a touch too silly from time to time. Likewise, there's a combination of aural and visual jokes some of which come at the oddest of times keeping viewers entertained and focussed.

All in all a surprisingly fun and entertaining first episode. After seeing the cover I wasn't sure what to expect other than a "kiddy show", but the content was a nice surprise. One of the better introductory episodes to a series I've seen in a long time. While the story is decidedly lacking, the humour and initial premise of Guu's character are strong draws to bring viewers back for more. While it won't be for everyone, it's a great show for those looking for a fun, action-packed and mindless watch. Onwards to the next episode!
- JYN, 2001.09.10

café rating (original japanese):


2 stars

[2 / 5] - Minimal introductions leaves more time to develop the personalities of the main two characters Hare and Guu.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Surprisingly good with the action and gags fast paced, and well timed.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - The voice actors are well into character possibly because they're having so much fun with their roles?


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Very cartoon caricatured, but with some good background detail. Viewers need to pay attention to both fore and background to catch all the gags.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Surprising opening theme which grows on you. Otherwise, nothing spectacular, but it does a good job at enhancing the scene.


[ N/A ] - Based on the original Japanese version.

Overall Rating:

3 stars
[3 / 5] - A high 3 stars. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by this show.

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Page last modified 2001.09.10