by Maral Agnerian,

Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (Heavenly Wind Thief Jeanne) (TV)


Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne
Kusakabe Maron, a high school girl on the rhythmic gymnastics team, is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc. At night, she goes to art museums and other such places, transforms into Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (with the help of a diminuitive green-haired angel named Finn Fish), and seals demons that come out of paintings or other art objects. These demons intend to eat the souls of people on Earth, so God won't get them. If Jeanne can't stop the demons, then God will die. (Ooookay...) To top it all off, when she exorcises the paintings they disappear, so she's accused of being a thief. Of course, honour demands that she has to *announce* when and where she's going to 'steal' the items so the police can attempt and fail to catch her yet again. And of course, her best friend is the daughter of the chief of police and has sworn to catch Jeanne; thus, wacky hijinks ensue.
You know, if I were Joan of Arc and I ended up reincarnated as a goofy-looking Magical Girl who throws pushpins at paintings to exorcise them and turn them into chess pieces (not kidding here, folks), I'd be pretty embarrassed.

Anyways, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne appears to be your pretty standard Magical Girl show, with a few weird twists. The pin-throwing and chess piece thing mentioned above, coupled with some really wonky premises and silly names, make KKJ just weird enough to stand out from the Magical Girl crowd for a moment. Only for a moment, however, as there are plenty of things that are lifted straight from Sailor Moon and its ilk. The beginning can throw you a bit, as we're dropped straight into the middle of the story without the usual 'How I Got My Magical Pink Plastic Locket' introduction, but after that it's straight to the formula. Mysterious bishounen moves in next to our heroine and proceeds to tease and come on to her, but turns out to be also magical and after the same paintings she is (what a surprise...). Tuxedo Mask, anybody?

I kept getting Child's Toy flashbacks during this show as Maron looks an awful lot like Sana, and Chiaki (aka Sindbad, the aforementioned Tuxedo Mask wannabe) is like an older, blue-haired Hayama. He was pretty much the only thing I really liked about this show--he's completely ecchi and evil (but in a playful way), just like Hayama. The setup is rather contrived, especially with the 'aren't we clever?' irony of Maron's best friend being the person sworn to bring Jeanne down; that and the total stupidity of announcing when and where she's going to 'steal' the paintings make this show less than it could have been. It is a bit refreshing, however, that Jeanne actually has to use her brains and acrobatic skills to defeat the demons, as opposed to just aiming her magical bludgeon and shooting sparkles or love waves or whatever it is Magical Girls usually shoot.

The rest of the show isn't bad, it's just rather ordinary. Monster-of-the-day storylines, big plastic amulets for transforming, cute sidekick, it's got all the clichés. A pretty average Magical Girl show, the odd quirks make it fairly entertaining and it would make a decent rental choice if it were released commercially.
Overall (sub) : C+
Animation : B-
Art : B-
Music : B-

+ Cute hijinks; entertaining love interest for the heroine
Bizarre premise; rather average and clichéd Magical Girl show

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Production Info:
Series Director: Atsutoshi Umezawa
Series Composition: Sukehiro Tomita
Nobuyuki Fujimoto
Tsutomu Kaneko
Sukehiro Tomita
Michiko Yokote
Genki Yoshimura
Episode Director:
Yuji Endo
Mitsuo Hashimoto
Tetsuo Imazawa
Yukio Kaizawa
Osamu Kasai
Noriyo Sasaki
Junji Shimizu
Atsutoshi Umezawa
Takao Yoshizawa
Music: Michiaki Katō
Original Manga: Arina Tanemura
Character Design: Hisashi Kagawa
Chief Animation Director: Katsumi Tamegai
Animation Director:
Hisashi Kagawa
Hideaki Maniwa
Masahiko Nakata
Nobuyoshi Sasakado
Mitsuo Shindo
Haruo Sotozaki
Masami Suda
Yoshihiro Sugai
Akira Takahashi
Katsumi Tamegai
Art design: Yoshiyuki Shikano
Iriya Azuma
Taro Iwamoto
Yumi Shimizu
Megumi Ueda
Kouichi Yada

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Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne (TV)

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