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Content rating: 7
Posted 2002-06-22 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by CmdrTaco on 2002-07-05 15:43:00
"Gokudo, Swordsman Extraordinaire" takes a common anime formula -- small band of attractive, talented young people takes on the world -- and tries to add a new twist: the leader of the gang is a selfish, greedy, lecherous boor. Does it work? Well, it's certainly different from the run-of-the-mill show. I have to admit that there were times I found myself getting annoyed; I mean, I deal with enough selfish boors in ordinary life, right? But I also have to admit that there were at least five instances during these four episodes that I (and most of the other audience members) laughed so hard it hurt. Oh, no, it was the slapping my hand on the table that hurt. Well, you get the idea.
The setting is a typical D&D world, full of swords, princesses, castles and magic. For some reason, the wandering adventurer Gokudo attracts a small following of good-hearted would-be heroes. Only one of the characters is dense enough not to realize what a swine Gokudo really is. I can't figure out why the rest of them hang around more than ten minutes with the guy. Sure, he can handle a weapon, and might offer some protection in a dangerous world; but, on the other hand, he's just as likely to sell out to the Bad Guys as he is to fight them. Perhaps Gokudo mellows in the later episodes ... hey, that must be it: the makers of "Gokudo" are simply setting us up for some real Character Development (TM)!
While Gokudo's unique approach to handling the Forces of Evil is refreshing at first, it got old for me pretty quickly. Fortunately, the show contains a number of clever little bits that really tickle the ol' funny bone, enough to keep me happy, just waiting for the next one. One of the highlights of the show is a singing, dancing opening title song for "The Dumpling King", an extremely minor character, which pops up out of nowhere, in the middle of the fourth episode. It had the entire room bopping along to the music. Why can't I have my own song?
So, to summarize, "Gokudo" dares to be different, and succeeds in intriguing me enough that I would happily rent the next disc in the series. If you're starting to get tired of the whole D&D genre, and blanch at the thought of another doggedly sincere Parn-like hero, this may be just the stuff to clear your palate.
I was just watching from the middle of the room, so I can't say anything about packaging or menus. Sorry. The picture was pretty standard, though there were very occasional pieces of animation done with CGI; they were incorporated nicely with the rest of the show. As I type this, twenty-four hours after watching the episodes, I can't remember anything special about the sounds or the soundtrack (apart from the excellent "Dumpling King" number).
Equipment used when writing this review:
Projector in a large classroom, wall painted white.
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