Giant tin robots, transformer robots, rubber suit monsters, power rangers, evil wizards, bare-breasted witches, aliens ... and maybe a ghost? This mini-series has it all. It's confusing enough -- and it's been long enough since I last saw it -- that I don't remember the whole story, but a young boy is able to summon a giant fighting robot (Mikazuki) to defend the city against a series of monsters (a different monster in each episode). The monsters seem to grow from the thoughts of various characters who may or may not be evil themselves. The first monster -- and the thing that made me realize I was going to love this bizarre show -- is a giant rubber suit wedge of watermelon full of fighting seeds.
The show seems to be aimed at kids or young adults, and along with the boy, there are a couple of spunky teen girls, including one who drives old-fashioned giant tin robots and another who is able to summon another giant robot like Mikazuki. One episode gets into fairly creepy territory with a psychotic man stalking one of the girls, and there are also crotch shots here and there that would be considered taboo (or at least pervy) in the US. There's an after-school-special aspect to the story of kids learning hard lessons.
But hey, what better way to learn hard lessons about responsibility than by fighting rubber suit monsters and sword-wielding evil aliens? Keita Amemiya is a master of production design, as he showed in ZEIRAM, MECHANICAL VIOLATOR HAKAIDER, and MOON OVER TAO, and these shows look fantastic. On top of that, the sheer audacity of imagination on display is entertaining just as spectacle. The baroque story encompasses just about every idea the creators must have had buzzing in their heads, and while each episode has the same basic structure (a confused person causes a giant monster to appear and start kicking buildings down, and Mikazuki fights it), the series builds to a grand revelation ... even if the mangled subtitles on the DVD make it hard to figure out just what the revelation is. And then that giant rubber suit kitchen sink attacks, with faucets blowing cars down the street...
Is this what TV is like in Japan? I'd say that the kids there have it rich!
(Although now I'm thinking Mikazuki vs. Sponge Bob ...)
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