Saturday, September 1, 2007

Samurai Deeper Kyo Review

kyo, originally uploaded by simalem.

"Four years have past since the bloody battle of Sekigahara. On that day a legend was born - Demon Eyes Kyo the 1000 man slayer. Since then he has lain dormant, hidden inside the body of a medicine man, a healer named Kyoshiro Mibu. But now Demon Eyes Kyo has awakened. The future as it was meant to be, will now be changed forever."

Or so says every opening in the English dub, which is how I watched this show. Honestly, I was confused too much while watching this show to string together a highly cohesive plot, so we'll just leave it at that.

At this point let me say this will probably be the most negative review yet, since for the most part I've truly liked the shows. Of course, while some of you may be excited about this, I do have to say for the most part I did enjoy the show; however, enjoying the experience and enjoying the anime may be quite different, since this show was just lacking.

Let me launch into my main problem, and that would be the overall confusion presented in the show by the numerous characters. In the first episode the audience is introduced to Kyoshiro, who's a medicine man, Yuya, who's a bounty hunter, and I believe Yukimura, who you find out about later. Seems simple thus far with only three characters but, and I invite you to check out the wiki "list of characters", as each episode progresses there seem to be an exponential increase in the number of main characters present. So much so that by the end I bet few people remember who's who, or more importantly why they are where they are in the first place?

Which brings up another matter, and that's the issue of each character's goals. Eventually, and this really doesn't spoil much, many of the characters hang around Kyo, and usually each of them have an episode early on focusing on some part of their history. Sometimes though, these episodes explain very little and merely bring out more questions, while other times when what's settled has been settled, you'd imagine the character would leave, but for whatever reason they are still there!!!

Now, let me speak to the animation, which overall I thought was done well, when you could see it. Apparently, and I don't know how widely this is known, there's something called the "Kyo Effect" or similar to that at least, among the crew of the podcast. This refers to the overuse of pans and close-ups on characters, thus allowing the animator to focus solely on the faces and lips, while actually showing very little of the body movement. This can lead to some boring fights, which makes since once you've seen the show, since very few fights keep your attention, let alone make you really get into the action.

Like I said, I did enjoy the experience, but for me that was because I watched it with my friend who got me into anime. We do both agree it wasn't the best fare though, and I can only put my hope in the manga, which I've told has been significantly better. Let's hope so...


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