The Spring 2015 Anime Preview Guide
How would you rate episode 1 of
Triage X ?
Triage X doesn't make any excuses about what it is. The second shot of the show is a slow pan across absurdly huge, poorly drawn boobs in a tiny bikini, and the parade of trashiness doesn't let up from there. Guns, motorbikes, explosions, and fanservice - that's what the show's opening promises, and that's what it delivers.
The premise is that Black Label is a vigilante squad dedicated to rooting out evil, with its mastermind Doctor Mochizuki assigning missions for his agents to “excise the lesions” from the city. This is basically just an excuse for all the characters to make grim-faced medical puns about prescriptions and justice and all that. “Grim-faced” is a good word to describe this show - in spite of its premise being a simple excuse for action setpieces and its focus on absurd, anatomy-defying fanservice making every scene kind of inherently ridiculous, its characters go about events like explaining tragic organ-donor backstories or riding motorcycles through windows without a hint of levity. This show is really dumb, from its storytelling to its characters to its pandering shot framing, but it doesn't seem ready to admit that and have any fun with itself.
Speaking of not having any fun, it turns out if you actually want what Triage X is selling, you should probably just wait for the blurays anyway - many of the major scenes of fanservice here are censored to the point of comedy, with some wily steam in the showers turning the big nudity pans almost entirely white (see my preview image for a tantalizing example). This actually makes the show a lot more unintentionally funny than it would be otherwise, something that's only amplified by the show's ridiculously self-serious dialogue, but the sense of so-bad-it's-good fun is kind of diminished by the time the show reaches the second extended sequence of framing sexual violence as titillation. Combine that with the very limited animation and frankly terrible art, and there's nothing to recommend here unless you're absolutely desperate for a fanservice fix. Triage X was always going to be trashy, but this isn't even good trash.
This series is available streaming at Crunchyroll.com.
"Tumors invade the healthy body," says Evil Chairman at Dystopian Medical Corporation, as he faces his busty cadets from his desk in a Gendo pose. "This city is like a body. We must find its festering tumors and excise them."
No disrespect Mr. Chairman, but I think I've found those tumors. There's like five pairs of them standing at attention two yards from you.
Yes, this is Boob Show #24,657 for those who want gargantuan boobs with a too-complicated story barely holding them up but no actual porn for some reason. Triage X is mostly notable because it feels like it was ripped out of space and time, an early 90s OVA down to the poor animation, bizarrely edited post-apocalypse violence plot (peppered with BDSM imagery), and chesticles on motorcycles. Big, tough, bodily-scarred protagonist Arashi was created by combining his body parts with his dead best friend's after an accident, and now spends his days taking out evil gangsters with his super sexy secret agent nurse friends, all of them G-cup at minimum. I'm sure there's a lot more to it in future episodes, but who cares: boobies and guns.
There might be more to recommend here if the production values weren't so threadbare godawful, but on the other hand, that might be the only reason to watch. This is literally how the girl in the background is introduced to the audience, no context, which made me laugh so hard I started crying. So there may be many more giffable moments of "quality" animation in the future, and many more moments of tragically unsexy jiggle physics, but this is mostly just a weird artifact of violence and sex that doesn't do anything for anybody, and probably barely got made under mysterious circumstances. There's not only nothing to write home about, but nothing to really write about at all! So many bad boob shows, so little to say. Skip this one.
This series is available streaming at Crunchyroll.com.
Review: The concept sound like something straight out of a cheesy B movie: vigilante doctors team up with busty nurses to excise the lesions known as the incorrigibly corrupt from the city. It speaks to the likelihood of massive, bouncing bosoms and plenty of action and violence, and we certainly get both of those. If that's the kind of thing you look for in a series than Triage X should be right up your alley. It has very little to sell itself to anyone else, except perhaps those who want to laugh at how ridiculous it is.
Arashi Mikami is a very old-seeming high school student who also works as an agent for Black Label, a secret organization of vigilante doctors which is supported by busty nurses and fond of applying medical terms to criminal problems. When a bad guy gets a “black label,” he goes out to do the deed, with the support of nurses who include a sniper, an explosives expert, a gun expert, and an expert motorcycle rider. The episode starts with him taking out a scummy corporate president and finishes with him taking out the president's son, who is trying to follow in Daddy's footsteps. Other evil powers are also afoot, including a boss-like figure who may a criminal syndicate leader and a team intent on snatching up a big shipment that the president sent out shortly before he died. The attentions of a cute classmate clearly aren't enough to dissuade Arashi from this life, and we later learn why: when he was badly injured in a terrorist attack several years earlier, he was put back together with transplants from his best friend, who was rendered brain-dead in the attack. Even now the ghost of that friend lingers with Arashi.
That last part is a little intriguing, and the plot and connections amongst the bad guys are a little more complicated than initially apparent. There's also a detective, too, who is hard-nosed but maybe not a bad guy (and thus is a foil for Arashi as a vigilante), so the series is at least trying for something beyond its most base appeal. However, any efforts to aim higher are completely sabotaged by its excesses and crassness. The villains are so hideously, almost cartoonishly over-the-top in their behaviors that they can't be taken seriously, and abusing women to reinforce that point looks like a regular feature. Most of the adult female characters (including the partner of the detective) are so well-endowed that it almost borders into parody in places; probably not coincidentally, the only female character with a normal bust size is Arashi's crushing classmate. Some nudity is clearly going to be present in the uncensored version, but how appealing is it actually going to look? Painfully long-winded, cheesy pronouncements don't help, either, and what's with the dumb song and dance by the Bomber Girl or the nearly bloodless violence?
Triage X has just enough story and character development going on to avoid being an utter disaster. So far, though, it comes across as being neither as sexy nor as hard-edged and it wants to be, and that's crippling for fare like this.
My back hurts for the women of Triage X. With one exception, they all have breasts that are so outsized that they ought to be wearing heavy-duty triple-strength support bras, and yet none of them seem the least uncomfortable as they sashay around in, in some cases, bikinis that would do nothing to help given that they have no fabric on the underside. Why, yes, this is a boob show; how good of you to notice. Mind, it's rather hard not to, given that the camera spends an inordinate amount of time panning up and down the characters' bodies, oftentimes stopping just shy of the face (see screencap), thus forcing us to use breast size, covering, and hair tip color as the main mode of identification for the primarily female cast. To be fair, Arashi, the male lead, also gets some shots of his naked body and also gets the pan treatment; in fact, he gets the least censorship even though his backside is plenty detailed as these things go.
Luckily for Triage X, there is a plot. Dr. Mochizuki, after the sort-of loss of his son Ryu nine years ago in a terrorist attack (the ending reveals why Ryu is only mostly dead), decided that any human society can be treated like a single body, and that in order to keep it healthy, cancerous cells must be cut out. He established a group of hot young women and Arashi to do the dirty work of destroying those he deems “black labels,” or malignant forces within society. Essentially they're vigilantes, and it isn't terrible as set ups go. For viewers only familiar with the idea of “triage” as what happens when they take your vitals in the hospital, the word does mean the process of sorting victims into medical priorities to assure that the greatest number of people survive, so the title isn't as nonsensical as you may at first think. The rest of? Yeah, logic is not a selling point.
It doesn't need to be, however, for the show to fulfill its purpose of fanservice in both the sexual and the violence arenas. While there isn't a lot of blood, there's plenty of guns, explosions, and death, and the scene of Arashi and Kiba riding their motorcycle out of an explosion is pretty awesome. Other fanservice aspects, however, don't work as well, such as one of the episode's villains stripping a young woman to her negligee and tying her to a chair (legs spread, of course) before whipping her. This feels like needlessly sexualized violence; had the show stuck to shower scenes (yes, censored) and jiggling oversize breasts, it still wouldn't have been for everyone but would have been easier to stomach for some. Sex can help to enhance a show or to bring it down: the chair scene was more the latter while the other fanservice may prove the former for some viewers.
Part of the problem here is that the episode is a little too ambitious. It introduces scads of characters, tries to give us Arashi's backstory, and takes out two separate bad guys after introducing the concept of Triage X in a speech given by Mochizuki to his operatives, which just feels clumsy. (Don't they know why they're doing what they're doing? Why would he need to explain it again?) Had it taken a slower pace and drawn out the action, this would have been stronger as an action story. If it can bring itself to stop overusing the up-and-down shots of all of the girls whenever they show up, it'll help to make it feel less canned. As it stands, this is a pretty weak introduction to the story, both in terms of plot and animation.
This series is available streaming at Crunchyroll.com.
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