Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jyu-Oh-Sei DVD Impression

Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King from FUNimation is a very welcome, 11 episode, surprise action fans will enjoy. As young twins Thor and Rai return home to find their parents murdered they are quickly captured and banished to Chimaera, a planet of brutal, carnivorous plants where only the strong survive. Chimaera is a prison planet, one that nobody seems to know exist and before Thor and Rai can question what happened to their parents and why they have been banished they are thrust into a world of factions based on skin color where each tree, shrub and root could jump up and eat you. The brutality of the planet surfaces very quickly as (SPOILER) Rai is consumed right off the bat leaving Thor to fend for himself and forge a new life. Thor quickly learns that the only way off planet, the only way to get answers to what has happened to him, is to become Beast King, and to do so he must scale the ranks, become a First then follow protocol to become Beast King. With the help of a smart Third (think second in command), Thor becomes a very young First during a fight to the death challenge. Years pass and a new, older Thor with only a few years to live (issue with planet condition) decides to become Beast King through a series of event not of his making. Once the ball gets rolling and he ascends to the orbital platform to confront Odin who is responsible for his banishment and many other issues from Thor’s past, the story hits a fevered pace in a race against time to save the planet and possibly the human race.

Jyu-Oh-Sei really did surprise me. First I’ve not read the manga, have not familiarity with the series and at first the thought of watching the annoying Rai (really annoying) turned me off, but this series quick took good design and voice work and weaved it into a story that was both brutal, savage and satisfying all at the same time. There are some sad points, characters that die, that were not expected, some done in a manner that I questioned ‘why’ but all touching the heart on some level. The stories conclusion, the answers Thor was looking for will tie the entire eleven episodes together very well. The opening song grew on me, but is still kind of weird for the action. Music, can’t even recall if there was any (there was) so I’d say it’s inconsequential. Use of Norse names also did not make sense until some of the end explanations.

Long story short, if you’ve read or are a fan of Jyu-Oh-Sei then get DVD set, good price, good buy. Fans on the fence, there are worse anime out there and do not judge by the cover with all the makeup and stuff, this series will surprise you, it’s good and different form other stories on the market, a nice change of pace anime.

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