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Taiho Shichauzo!
File .5:
(The Beauty, His Name Was Aoi)

Distributed by: Kodansha (Japan), AnimEigo (North America)
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, suitable for family viewing
Format: Subtitled (VHS)

Based on the manga series by: Fujishima Kosuke Director: Producers: Character Design:

[ plot summary ]

Bokuto precinct is about to receive another transfer. As usual, Yoriko is spreading the vital stats on the newcomer to anyone willing (and unwilling) to listen. It seems he's a musician, well-bred, and a basketball star to boot. As an officer, he's already been awarded 9 commendations, two by the superintendent himself! Everything seems rosy until a new face appears in the womens' locker room. Only she's not quite a she...

[ capsule review ]

Taiho fans rejoice! For those of you who just can't get enough of Miyuki and Natsumi there is a 34+ (Note: all of the LD have not been released yet and for all I know this series could've made a 52 episode run) episode TV series picking off right where the OAV ended. All the familiar faces reappear and for those who are readers of the manga, most of the supporting characters will make an appearance in coming episodes. Is it a dream come true? Well, there are a few problems...

The first one should hit you rather swiftly. Animation quality is not even remotely near the quality of the OAVs. To be fair, the animation quality is above average for a 2 year old television series but the OAVs just looked so nice, you can't help but expect a bit more. The music is another let down. While the OP and ED songs are new, a great deal of the BGM was lifted directly from the OAVs. Fine for those who liked it, but you would think the budget would have room for just a bit more original music. I must say though, the acting compared to the OAVs is on par if not just a bit improved.

To get to the story, things haven't changed much. The series is just as fluffy as it was before. Nothing too deep, no reading between the lines or symbolism going on here. It's just a simple, light comedy. But you know what? That's exactly the reason why you should watch it. After watching Evangelion, Key, Utena, etc. all that high-minded dialogue, angst-ridden drama, and surrealistic philosophy can get to the average viewer. It's nice to take a break from it all without having to resort to slap-stick humor. It's almost like watching a Ghilbi film, only they're not nearly as good and you get them in 25 minute segments.

In this episode we are introduced to Aoi Futaba. There's not much to say except there really is a man underneath that uniform and the entire female population of Bokuto precinct combined probably isn't as feminine as him. Our dilemma in this episode seems to be the problem with where Aoi is supposed to change... A cute set-up as Fujishima-esque as they come. The side-plot of this episode concerning Reiko, a girl who admired Aoi back when he was still a basketball star, is really quite ridiculous in execution but still strangely fun to watch.

If you can get over the harsh realities of its budget Taiho TV is an enjoyable watch for fans of the OAV. It's a quick find at most Japanese video stores and more than worth the trouble of first finding a place to rent it. - DV

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 3 stars N/A N/A
Direction: 3 stars N/A N/A
Acting: 4 stars N/A N/A
Animation: 4 stars N/A N/A
Music: 2 stars N/A N/A
Translation: N/A N/A N/A
Overall Rating: 3 stars N/A N/A

[ café trivia ]

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