Saturday, March 31, 2007

Speed Grapher Review


02_800-600, originally uploaded by tohoscope.


If there's one thing I've learned early on in my anime fandom, it's that loving anime is basically an investment. Depending on how much time or money you're willing to put in, you may invariably have different levels of satisfaction. This is pretty understood though, so while we as otaku of course look for good deals, convenience is important as well. This is what led me to iTunes and their relatively new Funimation channel, and through that I was led to Speed Grapher, my current anime of choice to review.

Speed Grapher starts out with Saiga, a former war photojournalist who was well known and just plain enjoyed his job more when he was in the action of what is presumed to be Vietnam. Nowadays, Saiga is taking pictures of leaders and diplomats, in his opinion a dull job, until he is to investigate an über ultra top-secret club (yeah it's that secret), where all of the elite of Japan congregate. Once there Saiga ends up blowing his cover as he can't resist taking a photo of Kagara, a young girl who is deemed by the club as a "goddess." She then kisses him, and just before the club members are going to kill Saiga, he suddenly acquires the power to shoot with his camera. This allows Saiga to escape with Kagara, and hopefully save her from the club, while finding out the mystery of his new found powers.

Now, I'll admit it, I wouldn't have normally thought a photographer that takes real 'shots' to be that exciting, but in many ways this is deliciously demented fun, and is definitely always exciting. The animation itself is very nice, especially since Speed Grapher being a GONZO production usually mean's enough said there, as I believe the OG crew would agree. The quality that I got through my purchases of this series through iTunes were great, so I'm appreciative of that.

As far as the story goes, twists and turns plus some nice character development really captivate the interest, and the characters, particularly the bad guys, are sometimes just crazy. Which leads me to a point that I should probably make, which is kids stuff this anime is not. If you imagine Sin City in cartoon form this is pretty much what you get. For most of the episodes particular villains, with vices and corresponding powers, highlight the sequences of the tale, whether it be a demented dentist, or a diamond dame. These characters are the most, well frankly sometimes scary, as they are never nice, and almost all completely evil, and most likely just crazy. Now, I did say this was dementedly delicious, and the combination of such a good story and good heroes, with these icky bad guys is what makes it so.

So, if you want a newer anime that looks amazing, but still screams adult plot here, then I think you'll want to check out Speed Grapher at your retailer of choice. (online or offline now....)

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