Sunday, 13 August 2006

Coyote Ragtime Show preview

Coyote Ragtime Show belongs to the 'girls with guns' subgenre of anime. It's exactly what it is, shows with strong female characters, lots of bullets flying and occasionally, splashes of blood.

I'm not exactly a fan of shows with guns (with or without girls firing them) but I was moved by another series from this subgenre, Gunslinger Girl. Gunslinger Girl has a lot of drama, secrets, a bit dark and although the pace was quite slow, it managed to keep me intrigued to the end.

Coyote Ragtime Show, however, is more upbeat and frantic. I decided to check it out the first episode after reading the rave reviews by a few anime bloggers.

The story is about federal investigator Angelica Barnes, who visits a prison on planet Sandvil to look for a criminal who's been eluding her for years, a guy named Mister. Mister is somewhere in there, and on the same day of her visit, a bomb threat sends fear throughout the place.

The situation is made worse when a certain Madam Marciano sends her 'daughters', The 12 Marciano Sisters, to get Mister out.

The Marciano sisters is a group of 12 killer robots girls that noboby should mess around with, and are named after the 12 Gregorian calender months. These screenshots are proof that their looks aren't the only thing that's 'killer' about the sisters. (I'm actually leaving out the bloody parts here.)

Despite the sisters' brutal assault on the prison, Mister flees the scene with the help from his chums who disguised themselves as the prison's staffs and kindly declines to Madam Marciano's 'help'. Mister bails, giant bugs overrun the place (Sandvil is crawling with them), the sisters gets crushed (by giant bugs!, how's that for irony?) and Angelica watches as her prey slips away from her grasps. Next episode, perhaps.

Like I said, violence and lots of explosions (and blood splashing out of gashed victims) aren't exactly my cuppa. But that wasn't what sealed the deal for me. I mean, I've watched violent stuff before, but...

WHY???!!! Why are these awfully adorable, cute-as-buttons triplets (Oct, Nove and Diesse) part of the murderous Marciano Sisters? That can't be right. How can the producers be so cruel?

Thankfully, the triplet's violent role in the episode was to overturn a truck in which the prison warden was hiding. And he wasn't hurt, only shaken a bit, probably from seeing kindergarten-age girls who are capable of extra heavy lifting.

I love anime, but I have to draw the line somewhere. I sincerely believe that violence and cuteness are two elements best kept separated. Cute little girls shouldn't be throwing wardens out of prison trucks, and that's covered somewhere under the law (I think). With that, I've decided to give Coyote Ragtime Show a miss.

But I really, really dig the series's funky, 80s-styled OP!

(For anime non-fans out there, OP is the term for an anime series's opening theme song.)


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