rachelmanija: (Anime is serious)
( Jul. 11th, 2008 02:20 pm)
I recently reviewed the stupendously bad noseless anime Oban Star Racers for Green Man Review.

For the first time in my career as a reviewer, I must confess that I was unable to finish the material that I was given. I tried. Oh, how I tried. I paid close attention to the first three episodes of this awful anime, except when I had to avert my view from the screen during the nausea-inducing race sequences. I made friends watch the series with me, on the theory that pain shared is pain halved. I even brought my laptop into the kitchen so I could watch more of it while cooking dinner, in the hope that it wouldn't be quite as agonizing if I multi-tasked. Finally, I could bear it no longer and gave up.

So this review will only cover the first six episodes of the thirteen which are included on the DVD. Maybe it gets better later. But the first six episodes are the worst six episodes of any anime I've ever seen. The dialogue is dreadful. The vocal performances are horrible. The action sequences gave me vertigo. The plot is stupid. I hated every single one of the characters. And nobody in the entire anime has a nose. This is fine for the aliens, but whenever the humans turn sideways, their lack of noses transforms them into egg-headed monstrosities. According to Wikipedia, this is because creator Savin Yeatman-Eiffel, by his own admission, "didn't like noses."

A squid-alien called "The Avatar" orders the entire galaxy to send representatives to compete in a giant pod-racing tournament. So spunky teenager Eva Wei, whose mother died tragically in a pod race, runs away to join her absentee father, Don Wei, who is a pod-racing manager despite his utter lack of demonstrated managerial skills. Don inexplicably fails to recognize her, though she looks exactly the same in the flashbacks from when they were younger and still together. Eva fails to tell him who she is because "he doesn't like surprises." Instead, she calls herself Molly and gets on his pod-racing team as a mechanic.

Though his designated pilot quickly crashes and is injured, Don is so stupid and incompetent that he has failed to bring along a back-up, even though he knew the course was dangerous and pilots frequently crash. He refuses to let Molly try out, even though he has no other reasonable options, because she's a girl and he's a sexist pig. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Don. Molly steals a pod and pilots it brilliantly, because she is annoyingly perfect. A lot of pod-racing ensues, all of it unimaginative, unexciting, and nauseating if you're prone to motion sickness.

The general plot of Oban Star-Racers could produce a perfectly good tournament series. But the execution is a failure on every level possible. The plot consistently depends on the characters making stupid, irrational, and unsymapthetic decisions. Since Don is such a jerk, I couldn't root for Molly to reconcile with him. And without more of a set-up, her failure to tell him that she's his daughter makes no sense. This leaves a black hole where the main emotional force of the story should be. Every single character in the entire series was either bland or unbearable. I wanted the squid-alien to eat them all.

The vocal performances are some of the worst and most wooden I've ever encountered, even among the notoriously lousy field of English anime dubbing. Every word out of every human character's mouth is flat, forced, or obnoxious. Molly, who should be sympathetic, invariably sounds petulant and whiny. There are also many long, portentous, and boring pauses in conversations.

Virtually every line of dialogue is a Hollywood clichŽ of some kind. Here's a few typical samples:

"Here goes nothing."
"That's gotta hurt."
"Let's get outta here."
"Die, alien scum!"
"Sir, the hyperdrive has been engaged."
"You are mine."
"Kiss your life goodbye."
"Here's looking at you, kid."
"Let 'er rip."
"I've got a need for speed."

The only line of dialogue which was not a clichŽ (though it was a take on the clichŽ "I'll send you home in a body bag!") was the line, "I'll send you home in an email!" This makes no sense, but was at least amusing.

The combination of bad dialogue and bad delivery created a gestalt of badness that made me want to bang my head against the wall. One of the friends whom I coerced into watching it with me suggested that it would be better if the noses which the characters lacked were inserted into the dialogue, producing lines like "Sir, the nose has been engaged," "Your nose is mine," and "I've got a need for nose." I think that would have been a vast improvement.

Oban Star-Racers is a French-Japanese co-production. It won several awards in France, which suggests to me that either LSD was released into the French water supply or the French dialogue track is substantially better than the English track. I am pretty sure the Japanese track is, since its credits star excellent voice actors. Even if the dialogue is equally clichŽd in every language, good vocal performances would improve the viewing experience immensely. Unfortunately, only the dreadful English dub is included on this release.

If anyone ever tries to make you watch this abomination, I suggest that you run like a nose.

I've got a need for nose.
rachelmanija: (Anime is serious)
( Jul. 11th, 2008 02:20 pm)
I recently reviewed the stupendously bad noseless anime Oban Star Racers for Green Man Review.

I've got a need for nose.
rachelmanija: (Emo Award: Shinji agony)
( Jun. 8th, 2008 11:10 am)
Yesterday I inflicted the world's worst anime on Yoon. I have to review it for Green Man Review. This will be my first ever review in which I will be forced to confess that I was unable to finish it. Truly appalling, and also none of the characters have noses. Yoon has proof in screencaps.

BAD. BAD. BAAAAAAAAAAAAD. And yet it won awards in France! What were they smoking? Even if the French track was substantially superior to the English, which is very likely since the English was the worst ever, there's still the noselessness.

ETA: According to Wikipedia, "The reason Savin Yeatman-Eifel gave for the almost noseless design of the characters was that he "didn't like noses.""

Await my full review. In the meantime, please describe to me the worst anime you've ever seen.
rachelmanija: (Emo Award: Shinji agony)
( Jun. 8th, 2008 11:10 am)
Yesterday I inflicted the world's worst anime on Yoon. I have to review it for Green Man Review. This will be my first ever review in which I will be forced to confess that I was unable to finish it. Truly appalling, and also none of the characters have noses. Yoon has proof in screencaps.

BAD. BAD. BAAAAAAAAAAAAD. And yet it won awards in France! What were they smoking? Even if the French track was substantially superior to the English, which is very likely since the English was the worst ever, there's still the noselessness.

ETA: According to Wikipedia, "The reason Savin Yeatman-Eifel gave for the almost noseless design of the characters was that he "didn't like noses.""

Await my full review. In the meantime, please describe to me the worst anime you've ever seen.
.

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