This is review number one hundred and forty seven. It’s another anime from the Spring 2011 lineup. This anime really challenged me but I did enjoy the experience. The anime is Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera or Ghastly Prince Enma Burning Up. It’s a comedy anime but it’s also an old manga made by the father of mecha anime, Go Nagai. It’s a twelve episode anime about, well, um…stuff. I guess. Let’s read on.
The anime is about the Demon Patrol who fights evil creature that causes havoc on Earth. They have their headquarters underneath the school where this normal girl named Harumi goes to. The demon patrol is tasked to capture the evil creature the defeat alive and send them back to where they belong but there is a problem. This group of supernatural beings are the most incompetent and lazy people to ever assemble and given a duty. Now an evil plan is devised by a diabolical creature and the Demon Patrol is in the way. Can they defeat this evil menace and crush his plans or will they be wiped out and tossed to the side?
Taking the Pants Off
This anime is a reboot of a 1973 anime made by Go Nagai. I did find it intriguing to see an anime made in the early years of animation having a comeback. I don’t know what made them decide to revive an old anime like this but it certainly made me curious. This anime reeks of old school style but in a brand new package. Is it good though? No, it’s really not. I can watch an anime in a day. That tells me that it’s good. If it goes for two days then there was something I didn’t like about. If I watch an anime for three days, it means that I was asleep most of the time and I just didn’t find the anime appealing. The anime of the 70s and 80s where made for kids. Literally, only kids watch them. The content of those anime are blatantly made for kids as well. There’s nothing overly complicated or requires heavy attention. It just has a format and it airs weekly for all the kids to watch in delight. Anime has grown over the years though and expanded in genres to cover and content to explore. So I ask you, would you like to watch an anime made from 70s?
I do understand that the anime is catered for people who grew up watching anime when they were young. This anime is just a massive nostalgia bomb for them and it’s a very effective one. I didn’t grow up watching old school anime but everything about Dororon Enma-kun is a wave hello to the past. The character design looks very old. The cartoonish inspired Osamu Tezuka-esque design with no hint of moe is similar to the ones from the past. The theme of the anime about supernatural creatures is also somewhat old. There aren’t a lot of anime nowadays that tackles stories about Snow princess, Kappas or ghosts. It’s been somewhat phased out but anime like Haunted Junction or Spooky Kitaro heavy handedly uses these themes a lot. It’s certainly interesting to see something that appreciates old school anime. I like that aspect of the anime too but there is something I didn’t like about this anime. I didn’t like its story.
The anime has a simple format. The demon patrol encounters a demon causing havoc in the human world. They fight it but they’d most likely be targeted first and put under a spell or something. They fight out of the enemies’ death grip though and then they vanquish the foe. It’s a simple format and it’s the same pattern at every episode. The format was done twelve times and it certainly got boring fast. The anime has no deep story to tie it all together and just loose bits and pieces of the overall picture. It’s a kid show so you can’t really expect much from it. It’s just an anime where the characters act funny, do something stupid and in the end, saves the day. Nothing overly complicated about it.
The comedy of the anime is a bit forced. I do understand that it’s the same style of comedy from the past. The typical loud type characters being hurt or inflicting pain at others is something a kid would laugh at. The self-referential jokes and word puns are also pretty funny. There is also some toilet humor here and there to make sure the comedy is covered. I’ll admit there were some pretty good scenes in the anime that made me laugh but it often feel like the anime is trying too hard. With the same jokes done over and over, the anime doesn’t just feel repetitive. It’s also very boring. Don’t worry though because the anime isn’t just Comedy. No, there is also another genre heavy handedly served.
It’s Ecchi. Seriously, this show meant to cater for kids is very dirty. There aren’t any exposed boobs though or some really explicit scenes but the spirit of the genre is there. There are scenes, a lot of them, where Enma would friskily grab the Snow Princess. He’d look up at her ass because she doesn’t wear underwear and there was even a scene where he violently went on top of her then kissed her entire body. It doesn’t stop there though. There are also a lot of nude characters, mostly girls, who opens their legs a lot. There is some censor but the thought of unintentional nude jokes seems a bit too elementary school kid for me. There is also a lot of scenes where characters grab another character’s crotch, characters getting undressed and other form of Ecchi scenes that seems a bit too much at times. It’s a goddamn kid’s show. Why the hell are there dirty jokes in the anime?
Maybe gag comedy type of the past are really just like this. The jokes are forced and it over compensates by stripping a character. No wonder a lot of Japanese grew up as frisky perverts. Hell, if I was watching something as dirty as this…..what am I saying? I did grew up watching dirty sh*t worse than this. The anime just lacks a bit of refinement and it overdid a lot of its jokes. Seeing the same joke over and over doesn’t really make an anime look good. You have twelve episodes to fill and you’re already recycling gags from the first episode. It was a bit hard to watch. I tried to keep up to the anime’s rhythm but it’s just so hard to get use to its simplistic style.
With the lack of a central story, the anime often goes out of control. It follows the pattern of bad guy appear > cause havoc > defeats good guys once > good guys bounce back > good guys defeat enemy but the things in between is often hard to appreciate. I’d be blunt. The anime is pointless and stupid and dirty. That’s about it, to be honest. The anime’s pattern often disintegrates so some pointless and dirty things can happened. It’s just like a kid with short attention span. The anime couldn’t focus itself to just one thing. A fight against a demon would turn into characters grabbing each other which would turn to the Snow Princess being sexually abused which would turn into a gag comedy ignoring the enemy which would turn into some flashback story about a character which would result to basically nothing. I’m a fan of plot progression, conflicts that build per episode and climax that result from it. This anime had none of that. It just had comedy and dirty jokes and a whole lot of nostalgia.
Aside from the nostalgia bomb of the anime, it also references a lot of old school anime. They’re often just one short scene or one distinct reference but it’s a nice wave hello to the anime of the past. There are a lot of scenes about anime like Golgo 13, Mazinger Z, Ashita no Joe and Devilman. These distinct parodies are hard to pick up though because you really need to be fully aware of these old anime. If you aren’t then you’ll just think the characters are being weird or random which is also a correct way at seeing these scenes.
The characters in the anime are all one dimensional. It’s not really a shock because Comedy anime relies on one-dimensional characters. They mostly just do gags and talk loud. There is very little character development as well but there were some bits and pieces about the main characters past. Nothing really came out of it. It’s just part of the random storytelling of the anime. The characters mostly have just one single personality and they continue to hold to that until the end of the anime. There is the carefree demon that kills their enemies instead of capturing them, the Snow Princess who doesn’t wear underwear and the level headed normal girl who always gets caught in some weird sh*t. I do appreciate the supernatural creatures. Japanese folklore creatures like will o’wisps and ice goblins were in the anime and you don’t see a lot of them in anime anymore.
The anime is certainly a nostalgia piece and I appreciate that but there is no excuse for something so dumbed down that it becomes so repetitive and pointless. This anime was a challenged for me to watch and I can pretty much watch anything so if you’re curious, it’s best to proceed with caution.
Sight and Sound
Like I said before, the character design is pretty old school. It has no moe in it and it resembles a lot of anime from the past. The simple character design is pretty nice though and I do love the reference to past anime. This was a 2011 anime though so there was certainly some huge improvement on the old design. The nice bright color palette is one of the major differences that really elevated the anime. I love how it embraced the progress of technology to make this reboot amazing. Old school anime are hand painted but with the rise of digital animation, some details are greatly enhanced while still retaining old school appeal.
The fan service in the anime is also pretty nice. The naked bodies had nice proportions and the execution of some of the scenes was pretty inspired. It had a lot of dirty scenes but the anime still feel restrained in just how much perversion it would deliver. Some of them were still pretty wild though and it often takes me aback. I just don’t think the show cater for kids anymore unless the original was just as dirty.
The animation is also pretty amazing. There were a lot of cool scenes in the anime that looked really awesome. The scene with Enma delivering his hammer blow is nice and the transition of the scenes is pretty great. There aren’t a lot of fight scenes but there cleverly done in the anime. The idea of smooth animation done to a 70s anime is pretty freaking inspiring, isn’t?
The anime’s OP is “Tama Mera Mera Icchou Celsius!” by Masaaki Endou and Moon Riders. This really feels like a nostalgia bomb because the theme sounds old. The use of trombones and heavy drum beats is pretty amazing but it’s the pace of the song that really feels old. It’s like a sentai song with the singer somewhat doing a storytelling with his high voice. It’s really awesome. The OP sequence is also pretty great. The simple designs and the somewhat familiar opening monologue is a nice touch. The OP introduces all the characters and nicely summarizes the anime without any spoilers.
The anime’s ED is “Minna Kutabaru Sa Sa Sa” by Moon Riders feat. Yoko. This sounds like a lovely lullaby and again, it feels like a really old song. It’s a bit hard to describe so just watch it on youtube. It’s a pretty cool song that starts out slow but then has a tropical finish. The ED sequence is Enma and the Snow Princess sleeping side by side holding hands and it also contains a bit of spoilers about the scenes of the later parts of the anime.
4/10 “It’s a nice nostalgic anime that nicely captures the appeal of anime from the past but it also lacks a decent story and it soon becomes repetitive and boring.”
It took me three freaking days to finish this anime. There just isn’t enough for me to grab onto and focus on. The comedy is a bit forced and it was overhanded with its Ecchi. I can handle this though if I watched one episode on a weekly basis and I suggest you do that. It’s a good anime but the negatives really overwhelmed the positives.