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Saber Marionette J

smj-1
Genre: Action/Comedy
Company: Akahori Satoru/Negishi Hiroshi
Format: 25 episodes
Dates: 10/01/1996 to 3/25/1997

In an attempt to colonize other planets, a group of six male scientists are left stranded on a deserted world due to a problem with their ship. Refusing to die out as a race, the scientists clone themselves and before long populate the once-barren planet. They satisfy their need for women by creating marionettes, androids that serve as mindless slaves. One day, Otaru stumbles upon a forgotten marionette that behaves much like a human. This only turns his life up-side-down and causes him more trouble than he bargained for.

summary by Kain

 

Reviewed: 04/16/2004 by
Grade: 88% av-Kain

 

Highs: Intriguing character design; unique scenario; generous amounts of action & comedy

Lows: Not for all tastes; beginning episodes a tad bit too goofy

This is one of the oddest series you will find, and I mean that in a good way. From the get-go I knew I was watching something that is a cut-above your standard Tenchi-esque shounen anime.

Let’s start off with the inventive artwork and character designs, which are a colorful feast for the eyes. The way the background successfully melds historical Japanese elements with science fiction reminded me eerily of Iria: Zeiram the Animation. The animation, particularly during the action sequences, is simply splendid and expertly choreographed. Toriyama, I hope you’re taking notes.

The story can be broken down into two segments: a comedic element during which characters are introduced and gaps in the story are filled, and the dramatic conclusion. Both work well, but some would argue that there are a few too many filler episodes that detract some from the overall plotline. When the characters buckle down and get serious, that’s when this anime really flourishes.

Add some fine voice acting and a few memorable characters (Hanagata is probably the best comic-relief character in any anime), and what you have is an anime that is sure to please most otaku. Never mind that this series is followed by a few too many lackluster sequels. Don’t let that prevent you from enjoying the original.


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