29 CommentsFavourite and Forgotten / By Scamp /

2000 Forgotten Anime: Miami Guns

I’m jealous of Landon’s ‘Best Anime of the Decade‘ lists. So much so that I’m going to do what any good blogger does and totally rip it off. Back when the new decade rolled in, I never made a ‘Best of the 00s‘ list because I felt like I hadn’t seen enough to properly judge. But now I am, going through year by year, starting at 2000, and listing my favourite anime of the decade. This task will involve going back to some of my old favourites for re-evaluation, as well as some old classics I missed. That’s the ‘Favourite’ part in this Favourite and Forgotten post series. The Forgotten part is for those anime that aren’t revered, praised or even remembered by many people at all.

For the Forgotten series, I’ll be asking you lot for some recommendations in the comment section on what to pick up. Take a look at Anime Planet’s handy dandy list of 2000 anime and recommend what I should watch before compiling my favourites of that year. 3 rules for this. First, it can’t be stupidly obvious and really popular (so no FLCL). Second, it has to have started airing in 2000 (so no Excel Saga). And lastly, it has to be less than 30 episodes long (so no Hajime no Ippo).

Miami Guns

2000 really wasn’t a good year for anime you know. I had seen a grand total of 4 anime from the year that I even remotely liked, and picking fan favourites from that year gives you a wide selection of one. FLCL is the only anime that still seems to resonate amongst anime fans today. While later ‘Forgotten Anime’ to watch in this post series will be easier to decide because I’ll just leave you lot to do it, for this post I just picked a total random selection of anime with cool titles and/or giant robots and watched the first episodes of them. I stuck with Miami Guns because it had a scene in which the police force in Miami were all told they couldn’t shoot their guns just yet and they all started shivering and fondling their various firearms with bloodshot eyes like they were all drug addicts. What a Totally Accurate Representation of Americans!

The story concerns Yin and Yao, two cops in the Miami Police Force, who cause a nuisance for their boss. They’re a lot like Panty and Stocking, with Yao being loud, irritating and generally a horrible person, while Yin doesn’t have much personality at all. The set ups for each episode are meant to involve teamwork to take down the baddies, but it usually involves Yao charging in and making the situation worse while Yin clears up the actual problem behind the scenes. There’s a few inspired scenes in it, such as the episode where Yao regains her humanity after regressing to neaderthal status by smashing open a vending machine in quite possibly the greatest 2001 Space Odyssey parody I’ve ever seen (and given how many times that movie has been parodied, that’s saying a lot), but most of it is just dumb buddy cop stuff taken to illogical extremes.

The animation quality is TERRIBLE! Someone who is more knowledgable about animation will have to clue me in on this, but nearly all the TV anime made in 2000 looks dreadful compared to the anime that came from even several years before. Maybe I’m just blinded by the fact I’ve been cherry-picking the best looking stuff from the years before it, but so many of the anime made that year have awkward movement, incorrect perspective, bland character designs, weird shading, everything. My theory is that it has something to do with the switch to fully digital animated stuff. Love Hina was the first fully digitally animated TV anime, so maybe at the time the animators hadn’t quite gotten used to the new format yet. I wouldn’t have thought bad animation would put me off so much, but its end result was a lot like panty flashes. It might be telling a wonderful story or a hilarious joke, but I keep getting distracted away from the main attraction by having bad animation/striped panties clog the screen.

Speaking of panty flashes, there’s a worryingly amount of ‘Imma gonna raep you’ fanservice involving the two girls, where their kidnappers tear their clothes off with knives or whatever. Now this could be a parody of the voyeuristic nature of kidnapping scenes in these kinds of shows. In the first episode, Yin wears her swimsuit under her clothes when she gives herself up as a hostage because she knew she was going to have to take off her clothes, and then proceeds to wave to the police force from the balcony of her kidnappers apartment window so the media can see her fancy new bikini. However following episodes have similar strip down scenes with no sense of irony to them at all.

This is a small example of the wider problem Miami Guns has (beyond the atrocious animation). It forgets it’s supposed to be a parody and starts playing things straight. They keep trying to play up the relationship between Yin and Yao like it’s really touching and friendship helps them solve crimes and all the other stuff Barney the Dinosaur used to sing about when he wasn’t singing about how much he fucking loved peanut butter, but it doesn’t work because Yao is a horrible person. There is no reason for Yin to like her. Being a terrible person is fine if you’re making a big joke out of the whole thing. We weren’t ever supposed to take the relationship between Panty and Stocking seriously, as the final episode wonderfully proved. But the show kept devolving into sappy territory and it became painful to sit through at times. Especially with Yao’s voice. I gravitated towards the English dub because I always do when the option exists, but when Yao’s screechy voice became too much to bear I swapped over to the Japanese, only to discover that the English voice actor had simply copied what her Japanese counterpart had done.

A review of an anime you’ve never heard of that isn’t quite bad enough to make the review funny but not good enough to make you interested in the anime. What a useless post. Oh well, this is what I’ll probably get if I try to pick up obscure forgotten titles from the last decade.

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29 Comments

  1. Karry
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “”Landon”

    Who ?

  2. Anca
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I took a look at charfag’s list of 2000 anime (because pictures yay), and a couple caught my eye on it.

    Although I haven’t seen them, Banner of the Stars, Argento Soma, Boogiepop Phantom are names that pop up everywhere, the obvious choices. Another one I haven’t seen is Ghost Stories, which supposedly has a dub that rewrites the script into an good comedy.

    And of the ones I’ve seen… I’d recommend Ayashi no Ceres if you were a 15 year old girl (I certainly loved it when *I* was a 15 year old girl). Yami no Matsuei was also a significant series… for fans of its particular genre; well, atrocious 2000-era animation aside, you might get a kick out of it, unintentional comedy and all. Might, I can’t in good conscience recommend it. Same for Angel Sanctuary, although its animation is better – and, well, it’s a better overall – but uch, it was the first anime I downloaded, and the first manga I read – I’m horribly biased in favor of it.

    So that leaves Strange Dawn (and it really was a very good series), although that depends on how much you like Sato Junichi.

    • Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      The English dub of Yami no Matsuei is HILARIOUS. I got a kick out of it when I watched it on SyFy a couple of years back.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      I think Ghost Stories is a must-watch from the sounds of things. Also Strange Dawn is, oddly, one of the few I have seen. Can’t say I’m a fan of it though

    • Anca
      Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      On second thought, I think I’ll go ahead and recommend Yami no Matsuei anyway. I rewatched a couple of episodes now and it’s not nearly as bad as I remembered it being (it probably was the effect of those huge seasons full of good series around 2006). The animation is bearable.

      And yeah, it’s entertaining and short, and there’s only one teenager in the entire cast. And it’s not shonen-ai, despite what the genre says everywhere (the villain that was a depraved bisexual doesn’t count).

      And it has this hilarious AMV parody thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX-wUOOi-x4

  3. Posted May 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    “And lastly, it has to be less than 30 epis­odes long (so no Hajime no Ippo).”
    Screw. you.

  4. lesterf1020
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    If you want recommendations of stuff from 2000 to watch I got a wide assortment of stuff to recommend of various quality.

    You could try Argento Soma if you like your mecha stories to have a bit of an Evangelion feel with an extra helping of angst and drama. I didn’t like it overall but it has a few moments.

    You could dip into the Banner of the stars franchise if you are a fan of space opera and interstellar war from the trenches. You really should start with crest of the stars but if you absolutely insist on the year 2000 it is possible to understand and enjoy Banner by itself.

    You could go for one of my favorites Blue Gender. It is essentially a serious, dark and brutal Starship Troopers post apocalyptic love story. It has some pacing issues and I really hated the last episode but I loved everything else.

    If you want some Edo Period episodic fun you could try Tsukikage Ran. It is an action comedy involving a wandering female samurai named Ran and her Chinese martial arts sidekick Meow.

    Then there is my personal favorite Dai-Guard. It is pretty much what would really happen if you asked a cooperation to save the world with a giant robot piloted by salary men. The show is insanely funny and pokes a lot of fun at cooperate nonsense and the military while delivering some fun action scenes. It has a bunch of fun characters and the dub is awesome too.

    If you want some real Manime that would make Arnold and stallone proud you could go for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It makes no sense but it has plenty of testosterone and crazy superpowers. I can’t say I liked it but it sure wasn’t boring.

    If you want a candidate for your terribad series look no further than Platinumhugen Ordian. Which is weird because it actually starts quite well before descending into what it thinks is drama but actually turns out to be randomness and silliness even by crazy mecha standards. I think it is the crazy dream of a guy who overdosed on mecha shows.

    If you are into standard Harem mecha hijinks in space you could do worse than Vandread.

    and yeah the only good episodes of Miami Guns were the first two. After that they took themselves way too seriously for a comedy.

    • Kagamihime
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I second Blue Gender. It definitely had flaws, but it was quite enjoyable with the way they played on the darker tone and the personality of the main female character.

      Daa! Daa! Daa! wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and can be quite funny, but comes with some of the cheese that you would expect from a generic shoujo.

      Gravitation was pretty good, and would probably be funny even for those who aren’t into shounen-ai.

      Magical Doremi is one of the few kiddie catering shows that I didn’t find irritating. Has a nice set up and the English dub isn’t horrible.

      I remember watching a few episodes of Trouble chocolate. seemed like it could have had a good run, but wasn’t able to find any subs of the rest of it anywhere. The first episodes were pretty good, but that color palette hurt my eyes…

    • Scamp
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Blue Gender and Dai Guard started in 1999, so they’re not eligible. Also I’ve seen the full Crest of the Stars franchise at this stage, they’re pretty darn good.

      Platinumhugen Ordian is an unfortunate one. I saw the first episode and, apart from the usual dreadful 2000-era TV animation quality, I thought it was all right. But then reading about on it, apparently the sub quality is so bad that you completely miss several highly important plot twists and cut out the entire epilogue that allows the ending to actually make sense. There was one translation where they apparently translated coup detat as cheese sandwich or something along those lines.

      I saw a bit of Argento Soma a year or so ago but it got on my nervess. Daa Daa Daa had too much shojo to it for me to ever go near it again (oh god the size of their eyes oh god). Tsukikage Ran has gotten a few recommendations, I’ll have to try that one out

  5. CaptainHairy
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Banner of the Stars are the only ones that really pop up on that list (that qualify, at least) as something I’ve watched that I would watch again, but I suspect unfortunately that Love Hina will probably have to be at least partially watched as it’s one of the larger titles that year.

    (Ippo is really, really good though)

    • Scamp
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Love Hina was my gateway drug, so in many ways I’m afraid of returning to it

  6. Overly-animated
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    When I saw Miami, I first thought “Vice” was at the end of it with out reading the entire name.

  7. Erif
    Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Cyborg 009

    • Erif
      Posted May 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Nerver mind Cyborg is fifty fucking episodes.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        dat ED though <3

  8. Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Between Ah! My Goddess, Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust, and Blood the Last Vampire, 2000 was a pretty decent year for anime movies. Those are all the best entries in their respective franchises (Although that isn’t saying much in Blood’s case.).

    Argento Soma is the second-best late 90s/early 00s post-Eva mecha anime (Gasaraki is the best but it’s from 1998 or something like that.). I like it WAY more than, say, RahXephon (barfsnorebarfagain). But yeah, the main dude IS super-duper angsty and stuff, but I enjoy his “fall” much like how I enjoy Shinji’s.

    Tsukikage Ran’s a lot of fun. It’s fluff, but it’s the good sort of fluff. Cute girls beating people up with swords and fists.

    The Kikaider anime ain’t bad. Worth giving a shot to see if you dig it.

    I remember liking Gatekeepers for it’s ridiculous elements, but I haven’t seen any of it since it first came out. It may not have aged well.

    The Sakura Wars TV series ain’t terrible, but it’s one of those “this could have been SO AWESOME and it chose to emphasize all the lame bits” series.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I did try Argento Soma a year or so ago, but the angst irritated me. Which is weird for me, because I usually like angst. I guess it felt like unearned angst, angsty for the sake of angsty.

      Also Gatekeepers has not aged well, especially with all the light novel Shana clones that exist nowadays that Gatekeepers is basically the exact same as

    • Harry
      Posted June 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to have disagree with you. For all its many faults, Blood+ at least some interesting moments. I found Blood: The Last Vampire boring as hell.

  9. Posted May 29, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Watched the first episode of Miami Guns a month or so back. It’s cool. It has that Dirty Pair vibe to it that I like. But yeah, it just made me miss Dirty Pair. There’s a show that could use a remake.

    • Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      A proper remake, mind you. I dislike Dirty Pair Flash more and more as time goes by.

  10. Posted May 30, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    The only good thing about Miami Guns? Miami Dollars.

    Gives me this image of David Caruso on a 10-dollar bill.

    YEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH

  11. luffyluffy
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    oh my god i wasn;t even watching anime back in 2000 i started in like 7th grade which for me was maybe 2003 and even then i didn’t start watching weeklies on the internet until maybe ’08-’09

    jeez that’s just
    awful

    • Erif
      Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, now that I think of it, I was four in 2000. :/

  12. lmm
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m vaguely interested to hear about blue gender. If movies count I hear jin-roh’s actually good. I’d also be interested to see an actual review of triangle heart, since these days it’s remembered exclusively as an obscure fact about Nanoha.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

      I really did not like Jih Roh, but I think that was entirely down to the fact that I didn’t ‘get’ it

  13. Posted May 31, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Banner of the Stars is great and Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade is a really underrated cyber punk film very much in the vain of Oshii.

  14. tanukichan
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Where is your new Space Bros post, you slacker!

  15. KaiKen
    Posted June 6, 2012 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Yao’s english voiced ruined the show for me. My poor ears.

    The only redeeming thing about the show is the ending theme. It must be seen to be believed.

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