Darkside Blues: Back to awful Japanese stuff

We always hurt the ones we love.

By “we” I mean “I”, and by “the ones I love” I mean “myself” (hey, we’ve all got a little narcissism). Yes, after a brief interlude of one American film having nothing to do with Japan, I’ve plunged headlong back into my world of inexplicable animation. I need to stop watching AZN movies-of-the-week habitually: life is too short to watch crappy anime.

So I guess I’ve let you know right off the tone of the review here. Darkside Blues is, well, kinda unimpressive. Y’know how my reviews of Yu Yu Hakusho and Revolutionary Girl Utena ended up saying something like “this part of the world wasn’t fleshed out, but I suppose they expected me to watch the series”? Darkside Blues was kinda like that, only more so, and without the excuse of a series that I’m supposed to watch. The whole thing seemed kind of thin. Normally I take the world I’m given at face value, but we’re missing critical information. What Persona Century does (they’re some sort of capitalistic monster, sure, but do they produce anything? They apparently have the ability to turn anything into gold, but don’t actually use this technology for anything except torture.), what they use the 90% of the earth they own for, when, where, and why Darkside was banished (I’m willing to accept his peculiar appearance and powers as just “he’s a magical guy”), what Enji’s all about, that sort of thing. It’s exactly the feeling I get from a movie set in a series-established world, except that isn’t the case here.

There are things about this which were… well, if not good, at least acceptable. The art is well-done. The characterization and the tone are, at their best, actually kind of vaguely reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop, which makes it sound like a pale derivative, except this predated CB. The music, on the other hand: let’s just say it’s not up to the Cowboy Bebop standards by a long, long shot. It’s better than Casio noodlings, but just barely.

This one could actually have been pretty good if it’d been fleshed out a bit more. But it’s hard to get into a story when the actual events of the story, and the central players therein, are so ill-defined.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia, Anime News Network, AniDB.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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