Reviewby Rebecca Silverman, Apr 18th 2013
Ixion Saga DT
Episodes 13 -25 Streaming
Kon still can't seem to find his way home, so sticking around and helping get Princess Eclarte to her wedding seems like the best plan. Erec can't regrow his testicles, so he may as well continue his vengeance quest/mission to keep an eye on Kon and his gang. But when things don't work out as planned, will DT and ED be able to save the day?
Laughter is an important commodity. Whether your brand of humor is dark and cynical, broad and indiscriminate, or thinks that slapstick is the pinnacle of art, everyone now and then needs to find something to make them guffaw until their stomachs hurt and tears flow. Ixion Saga DT may not provide that level of humor for everyone, but as one of the few straight comedy shows of the winter 2013 and fall 2012 seasons, it succeeds in consistently making the most of its absurdist approach to humor.
The show's second half covers everything from creepy crushes to magical surgeries and finds time to throw in actual explanation and false alike. Each episode, as in the first twelve episodes, takes its own route to humor, which ensures that the show never gets stale, although it can also lead to uneven quality. A few notable successes this time around are episode twenty-two, which informs us that Incognito began as a buddy cop comedy in the 1970s, and episode nineteen, which details the princess' wedding night with Jugglaburk and features some truly bizarre character image songs from her entourage. Obviously both of these episodes are taking very different approaches to comedy, although parody is inherent in both of them. For the cop episode, a filter is used to give the animation the quality of a 1970s television screen, bell-bottoms and bad suits are in evidence, and the whole set could have been lifted from an episode of The Rockford Files. Eclarte's wedding night, on the other hand, is straight out absurdity, with a karaoke machine, creepy puppets, and some very interesting behavior on the part of both newlyweds. Both are very funny in their own special ways.
Part of the humor of Ixion Saga DT comes from its references to other pop culture. References to other anime abound (the Sailor Moon and Fist of the North Star are particularly good), and at one point all of the other characters gang up on poor ED for his clichéd lines. Ridiculous rituals poke fun at the traditions of the fantasy genre, and even Jugglaburk's family name, Nabakov, is a not-so-subtle reference to the novel Lolita. These references help to offset the more juvenile humor that is present in the show right up until the very last moment. Erec's tormented anatomy is of course still a major running gag (just wait until you see how it's resolved), and in a nice variation on the ol' fall'n'grope trope, he and Marian manage to flop over grabbing each other's crotches. The third ending theme, “Stand Up! ED.”, is remarkably unsubtle as to its double meaning – opening with a shot of a finger pointing which looks awfully like an erection. (The song is, it should be mentioned, very catchy.) Other forms of bodily function humor are scattered throughout, so the comedy remains on the whole far from highbrow, but in all honesty, that's part of the appeal of the show.
As has been mentioned, all of these rapid switches can lead to some unevenness throughout, in terms of both animation and storytelling, although never, it should be noted, in the voice acting. In many cases the vocals are able to save the show when it stumbles, most notably Jun Fukuyama's Marian, although really the entire cast is very good. Animation can get lazy at times and episode thirteen, with its plot about the crazy girl who falls madly in love with Kon, is one of the weaker ones, not simply because it doesn't do much for the main plot – it's hardly the only episode guilty of that – but more because the gag is not strong enough to carry twenty-four minutes. This is generally the case with the weaker episodes; when the joke is too thin, the episode drags.
Generally speaking, there is a pretty good balance between DT and ED episodes. Neither character really changes over the course of the series – Kon is still a bit of a wiseass jerk and Erecpyle is still as heroic as he can make himself. That the show never ventures deeper into these characters doesn't really matter, as they really only need to function as props for the jokes and watching them play off of each other is generally a good time. That said, there is a feeling of happiness at the end when things work out for everyone which would indicate that despite their existences as one-note characters, they are easy to form attachments to, something that no doubt contributes to the general enjoyability of the show.
With its twenty-fifth episode, Ixion Saga DT comes to a close, wrapping up most major loose ends in a kind of neat bow. For a series that was almost entirely devoid of serious moments, it managed to maintain a momentum that is impressive, particularly since it didn't have an especially strong overall plot. But when we watch something like Ixion Saga DT, we aren't necessarily watching for a strong plot – this is a show to watch when you've had a bad day or a just a rotten experience, because it is almost certain that at least one episode will make you laugh.
Overall (sub) : B+
Story : B
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B+
+ Almost always funny, character interactions are especially good this time. Third ending theme is a lot of fun.
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