Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pumpkin Scissors vol. 1 Impression

Pumpkin Scissors vol. 1. An end to a war does not mean the conflict is over, and soldiers don’t just go away. Pumpkin Scissors from ADV Films proves just this point. Brought to live by studio Gonzo and AIC, directed by Katsuhito Akiyama (Guyver) and adapted from the six volume manga created by Ryoutarou Iwanaga (being published by Del Rey Manga), Pumpking Scissors follows a group of Imperial Army Intelligence officers as they seem to find trouble lurking in the form of militia and corrupt nobles in a supposed peaceful land.

A cease fire ended the Great War, waged between the Royal Empire and the Republic of Frost. An end to the war has led to corrupt royalty exploiting the poor, rampant starvation and former soldiers turned into bandits to survive. To address the issue found in the land the Imperial Army State Section III is formed, or better known as Pumpkin Scissors. Lt. Alice Malvin is in charge of this group and she plans to cut through the layers of corruption like a scissor going through a pumpkin. As she and her team of two travel the land they are confronted with bio-weapons, tanks and end up with a new member, a super soldier named Randel Oland.

Ok, so sounds pretty straightforward, another post-war anime, and that’s what I though through the first few episodes before I reached the final episode of volume 1. See the art direction in Pumpkin Scissors is very standard fare. It looks good for an TV show, better than most shows on say Cartoon Network, but it does not have the sharp looks and environments of a series like Guyver. It’s not bad, it just does not grab your attention. The same can be said for the cast of characters who look like they were taken out of Fullmetal Alchemist, right down to the uniforms. To complete my tri-fecta of negativity the story left me wanting, not more just wanting … UNTIL the final episode of volume 1. Without ruining too much of the story what hooked me on Pumpkin Scissors is the mystery, the story behind Oland’s abilities, the military secrets, technology that should not exist and how everything will unravel.

The art and design is doable, the story ramps up at the end of volume 1 and you will be left wanting to know more, which volume 2 just must deliver on. There are a lot of anime on store shelves to choose from, but I feel say in saying if you like military action and mystery take volume 1 of Pumpkin Scissors for a spin. ADV has a good series on their hands here, one that anime fans should pay attention to, cause when it comes to a good story you just can’t beat super soldiers and military conspiracy.

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