Saber Marionette J Again
VHS 1 - Everyone's Happy
As TV shows go, Saber Marionette J had a pretty conclusive ending. No holes to be filled here. Which is why it's somewhat of a mystery as to why they felt it necessary to add more. Things are getting back to "normal" in Otaru's house when the three Saber Dolls appear, dressed in much less threatening attire. (Well, Faust IS no longer the bad dude he was...) He wants Otaru to nurse his saber dolls into the top shape that Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry are in. They get along better than expected, but Tiger still isn't functioning right.
That's where Lorelei comes in. She feels horribly guilty about what she's put the rest of Terra II through, and has little left to do, and so the others are worried that now, since clones are in the works, she might try to take her own life. This wasn't exactly true, but Otaru and company have given her new reason to stick around: Take care of the Marionettes!
A series of strange disappearances spark the belief that there is a cat burgler on the loose, and when Lime catches up to him, he turns out to be a 7th Marionette with a maiden chip! Lime promptly names her "Sea-man" (she came from the sea), makes her return the items she stole, and integrates her into the group, who renames her Marine.
So far, these additional OAV's are rather lackluster: they are animated entirely on computer, but since it is processed as video, there is bad shimmering whenever there are pans, and the hard-edged feel of video animation does not work for this series. (Sometimes, pixels are even visible!) Digital animation is handled by Satelight, the company that did Kenji's Spring and Queen Emeraldas.
Worse yet, the new plotlines really appear to be reaching frantically for any unresolved issues from the TV series to plug up, and all of these efforts really seem tacked-on. It's still fun to see Lime, Cherry, Bloodberry, and (yes) Hanagata again, but they deserve better than this.
One very bizarre thing about the AnimeVillage rele ase: although the credits are now much nicer than they were on the TV series (they must be getting better at post production), NONE of the songs are translated! They're all subtitled in Romanji! I don't know whose idiot decision this was, but let's hope they don't do it again. AnimeVillage.com slipped at AnimeExpo that they will be releasing Saber Marionette J to X, the new SMJ TV series. Hopefully, this one will be more worth waiting for.
Overall (sub) : C+
+ Fun comedy. Nice art, CG effects.
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