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Double the Girls, Double the Guns!! For Mikura, danger is routine and killing is just like breathing. Sleek and sexy, she was born with a gun in each hand and a smile on her face. She specializes in taking risks, but things get a little too hot when her company takes a kidnapping job. The target is a wealthy baseball team owner named Momokichi, but he turns out to be a powerful underworld boss. Mikura and her team are beset by countless heavily armed bodyguards and Momokichi's vicious daughter, Momomi. She's used to getting her way, and with world-class marksmanship skills, she may be the perfect match for Mikura! Written by
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Sometimes anime can seem way too pretentious. I can always spot a really bad anime when it takes what should be a standard adventure/sci-fi plot and plays it up as if it contains the very meaning of life. Lines are delivered with far more gravitas than what is necessary (especially in English dubs), and the story becomes so bogged down with ridiculous half-baked metaphors that it no longer makes sense and is certainly not any fun to watch. Fortunately, that never happens in Mezzo Forte. It's goal is to give the viewer a good time with some over-the-top ultraviolent action done with a sense of humor, and it succeeds even if it isn't perfect.
The story of Mezzo Forte is set sometime in the future and focuses on a reckless trio of mercenaries hired to kidnap a powerful crime lord and end up at war with his henchmen and his psychotic mafia princess daughter. This conflict is made even worse by the fact that they botched the kidnapping and ended up killing their victim, thus appearing to eliminate any chance of holding him for ransom (although they're the only ones who know that). Aside from some confusing and inexplicable stuff about the heroine and the villain being able to see the future, that's pretty much the story in a nutshell. It's a decent story, and even manages to have a few twists, but what really sold me on this anime was the over-the-top action handled with a rather twisted sense of humor. It's a well-known fact that the laws of physics seem to work differently in most anime, and Mezzo Forte plays with this concept to an absurd effect. When a girl who looks like she weighs about 100 pounds can kick a much larger man through a brick wall and it is treated as completely normal, it's clear that the writers and director aren't taking themselves too seriously. Unlike a lot of other really violent animes that come off as either pretentiously grim or exploitative, the violence here is handled with a sense of humor that lessens the horror of what we are seeing. It's definitely a nice change of pace.
The only thing I really didn't like about this was the pacing. The version I saw was only about an hour long, and it seemed to go through everything way too quickly. I could easily see something like this spread out across 90 minutes and still be worth watching. I've also heard that there is a director's cut that features two sex scenes that are so graphic that they push this anime into hentai territory (for those who don't know, hentai is basically anime porn). Although they weren't included in the version I saw, I was told where they would appear, and I can honestly say that they would be too out-of-place in this movie. They just sounded like an excuse to show some hot sex even if it had nothing to do with the plot. I certainly didn't feel like I was missing anything.
Overall, I found this movie to be a lot of brainless, ultraviolent fun that doesn't take itself too seriously. While I wouldn't recommend it to anyone too easily offended by some of the stuff in a typical R-rated Hollywood film (or a pornographic film, if what I understand of the sex scenes in the director's cut to be true), I would recommend it to anyone who likes a lot of wild action delivered with a dark yet tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
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