WARNING!! If you are unusually sensible, serious or a wannabee goody goody then there’s no need to read this review. Also, no criticism’s allowed! – The reviewers father
It is advised you read this post while listening to music, eating a sandwich while tweeting that you are doing these three things.
Quick crash course: Sexy Commando Gaiden is a 1998 anime, 50 episodes long (although the episodes themselves are only 10 minutes long so it’s not as long as first glance would have you believe) and isn’t that well known in the western world. It’s never been licensed in any way shape or form outside of Japan. It does, however, have a massive cult fanbase inside Japan itself. Now the reason it’s not popular abroad is pretty obvious. It’s very Japanese in it’s humour. This is as Japanese as you can imagine. Full of weird, non-explainable events with the classic manzai comedy style of the straight man to the funny man. But it’s only when you watch the show does the idea of why this is a cult hit make sense.
The anime’s central focus is a generic main character and his encounter with the practitioner of the Sexy Commando fighting style, Masaru. Every aspect of Masaru’s character is a gradual build up of random character traits. He wears rings on his shoulders that cause cash machines to start sprouting random phrases. If he takes them off, his hair grows shorter. Oh, and they also start spouting smoke at occasional intervals. Not that any of this particularly annoys Masaru. He has a fondness for moustaches and magical disappearing baseball throwing techniques. Oh, he also has a story about how he found those rings. One day, he was walking through the woods. He saw the rings on the ground, so he picked them up. The End.
You starting to get a picture of what this anime is like yet? While Masaru is the ultimate example of the sheer randomness of this anime, this trait features throughout the show. Characters are introduced with the most random of character traits with the most bizarre abilities with seemingly no real reason. If there was meant to be satire of some sort in this show, I never saw it. Maybe once or twice, but it would happen so infrequently that I came to dismiss it. While it’s obvious that I could miss a fair amount of the Japanese satire, I find it impossible to believe that I missed so much of it that I thought this wasn’t satire at all.
My mind sees an totally batty author, about as mad as Masaru himself, who will think up of totally random plot points and toss them in for the heck of it. He has a vague idea of what sort of story he’s trying to tell. It’s about generic main character learning that there are rather less conventional ways of making friends (oddly close to Arakawa when I put it like that, but these two are nowhere near the same level), but for the most part he just makes shit up. But, and here’s the important part, he runs with it. Anything he’s written stays in. The randomness builds up and becomes part of the story. The anemic guy has the spirit of muscly, Japanese salaryman from the muscle building ads inside him? Great, we’ll run with that throughout the story and he’ll appear whenever it makes sense for him to do so (for a given value of ‘sense’ that is).
This all builds up. The randomness becomes part of the story and part of the world. You’re always aware at how stupid all this stuff is, and yet you grow accustomed to seeing it. You’re sucked into the world of the Sexy Commando, where the headmaster calls for breaks in class by droning ‘seaweed’ over and over again on the intercom. Where girls have their fathers killed by rogue moustaches. It all becomes part of the world you’ve gotten sucked into, and it looks like so much fun you find yourself wanting to join in. Hence, I can totally see why this is a cult hit. A world where people cry WANCHU and CLEANUP PRINCESS, knowing what they mean. A world where you can all dress in the customary Sexy Commando battle gear of the white, long sleeved shirt and jeans, with your team leader sporting those fetching golden rings. Where you all come together to perform the Melancholy of Elise (the dramatic unzipping of your fly, that is the precursor to every move in the Sexy Commando handbook). That’s a cult I’d love to be part of.
Oh and by the way, the female coach is called Moe Moe. You now have another reason to watch this anime.
Oh yeah, that opening paragraph? Each episode of Sexy Commando starts with this
WARNING!! If you are unusually sensible, serious or a wannabee goody goody then there’s no need to watch this animation. Also, no criticism’s allowed! – The reviewers father
Meanwhile, a women is telling us to turn up the volume because the video was recorded in stereo hi-fi while a man simultaneously tells you to turn down the volume because this is a late night anime and you don’t want to disturb the neighbours.