Those Who Hunt Elves
A Parent's Guide to Anime
Parental Guidance Advised
Reviewed by Chris Cleveland:
Three humans find themselves trapped in an alternate dimension. Junpei (the big and incredibly dense warrior), Ritsuko (a ponytailed high school student with an abnormal fascination for JSDF weaponry), and Airi (the talented American actress). For some unexplained reason, they arrived with a nifty little tank in their hands.
Celcia, an elf in very high standing, starts to pull off a spell that may send the three humans back to Japan. But she gets distracted halfway through casting the spell, and the spell ends up getting tattooed on five different female elves all over the land.
So what do the humans do? They decide that, to find the five tattoos, they have to go around the land stripping every female elf they find.
Sounds like a hentai anime? In all actuality, that is far from being the case. The plot obviously does have that potential, but "Those Who Hunt Elves" has next to no emphasis on bare skin. What little nudity that there is in here is very tasteful and discreet, and is there for comedic purposes.
Instead, what the viewer is treated to is some twisted and inspired humor. There just is something about a scene where a giant powerful golem gets defeated with a single round from a tank that seems to create large cheers from any crowd. The various trials that our "heroes" (is that really a good word to use in such a situation?) pull off for the purpose of examining every female elf they come across also provides many very un-PC laughs.
Oddly enough, very little of the humor seems to be sexual (or even crude) in nature. None of the humans are looking for hentai moments of any kind, and instead go about their mission with a gung-ho militant attitude, as their main priority is to get back to Japan.
The characters are very one-sided, but are played to great comical effect. Especially Celcia, the highly psychotic elven guardess who joins the humans just to get them out of the land, and loses respect among the rest of the elves for obvious reasons. In the second episode, she disguises herself as a dog to help them without anybody knowing it was her (oddly enough, everybody sees right through that disguise), and ends up being trapped in dog-form after she gets one of the tattoos on her body, not being able to become human until all five parts are found.
I could go on and on about the very twisted humor in this anime, but I would rather leave that up to the viewer to discover. The humor really is not as crude as its potential, and is actually very clever in a lot of spots. Obviously, many viewers may find a lot of it to be offensive, though.
On another note, this is one of the VERY rare cases that I would recommend watching the dub over the sub. Normally, I am a hardcore subbie, but the dubbing in this anime is so chock-ful of bad puns and some of the best voice acting I have ever come across that it needs to be heard to be believed. Trust me on this one.
Very highly recommended, but perhaps not for the younger ones.
Parent's Guide Rating:
yellow (parental guidance advised)
As for letting children watch it, a lot of the humor is very "politically incorrect". The violence is mostly comical and exagerated, and the nudity is minimal. There is a little bit of profanity in the dub, but not all that much. If the MPAA encountered this (never mind that they don't deal with TV series for one second), it would most likely slip by with a "PG-13".