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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated m ]

Excel Saga

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: M

Recommended for Mature Audiences

Reviewed by Erica Evans:

Excel Saga (or Weird Anime Excel Saga *I'm not kidding you*) is about a girl named Excel that works for a secret organization named Across. The leader (boss, head man..whatever you want to call him) named Ilparazzo is wanting to take over the world and gives Excel missions that are really pointless and really does not help in taking over the world...seriously.

This anime is extremely funny. Some may think that Excel Saga was just created to parody everything in the universe (including the universe...). Star Wars, Terminator, Galaxy Express 999, Rambo, Predator, and Pokemon..and that all happens in just the first 3 episodes!

Additional review by David Yetter:

Excel Saga is an outrageous parody of, well it's hard to find something its not a parody of. The protagonist is a high school senior/college freshman aged girl who is also what in any other series would be the henchman of the villain, Il Palazzo, with whom she is plainly in love.

Almost all episodes begin with the manga artist on whose work the series is based giving permission for his creation to be made into a different genre of anime. Thus episodes have wildly different characteristics: a romance episode in which unaccountably reality mirrors a dating video game being played by Il Palazzo, a "sports anime" in which bowling substitutes for auto-racing in a parody of Speed Racer, a "post-apocalyptic violence anime" which bizarrely combines a parody of Sailor Moon with parody of (I'm told) Fist of the North Star (though it looked like a parody of The Road Warrior to me), and so forth.

The suitability for young viewers decreases with each DVD until by the sixth the series definitely earns the 17+ borne by all six of its cases. The first few DVD's have no overt sexual content, and violence not much worse than such childhood fare as Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry (though with more realistic humans as victims rather than anthropomorphized animals or such humanoids as Yosemite Sam). However even the early part of the series is laden with what some parents might regard as an unhealthy cynicism, a subplot about a South American guestworker who is being cuckolded during his absence, and occasional risque comments.

By the middle of the series, one meets a pair of lesbian androids, designed by an apparently perverted engineer who ogles very young girls at a playground.

By the last DVD the portayal of violence is suddenly rachetted up to include realistic violence (one episode is played straight without gags as a kind of meta-joke), and a scene with Hyatt, Il Palazzos's sickly but thoroughly competent second henchman who has coughed up blood and periodically died since her introduction, spraying blood for several minutes (think Monty Python's "Sam Peckinpaw's Salad Days" for an analog). The story ends with Episode 25, but then there is Episode 26, an over-the-top parody of fan-service with nudity and sexual situations as just about its only content.

The difficulty with letting children or young teen agers, for whom you might judge the first DVD, or even the first five DVDs or 25 episodes to be suitable watch the series, is that they will want to finish it, and by the end, it is definitely not suitable for children.

Parent's Guide Rating:

red (recommended for mature audiences)

Violence: Lots, but mostly cartoonish until the last DVD when it becomes at times graphic.

There is always someone that is killed, assassinated, and the attempted cooking of little puppies *and other animals most likely*. But it's always in good humor. An example would be the assassination of original manga artist Rikado Koshi, for the reason that destroying manga would somehow bring Ilparazzo one step closer to world domination.

Nudity: Essentially none until Episode 26, but then enough to make a mockery of a 'brief nudity' warning.

Earlier, the only nudity that appears is in the opening credits when Excel and Hayatt are singing in a men's bathouse *and really there is nothing to worry about that, because nothing is shown*. Other than that, the creators only are bent on the idea of trying to have fun, and poke at everything else in this universe

Sexual Situations: a non-explicit 'flashback' to a lesbian encounter between the protagonist and an android, then. . .Episode 26 which is almost all sexual situations, including an attempt by the android engineer to bed a girl who (until she is naked) appears to be at most 12

Sexual References: besides those just mentioned, a subplot involving adultery, the ogling behavior of the pedophiliac android engineer

profanity: There is some profanity, but it's not a main focus on the anime. so I'm going to say there is mild profanity.

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