August 08, 2012

Mystery Meat: Fairy Musketeer Akazukin -- eps 1-2

I was a little surprised to see that this dates to 2005. It feels older, somehow. Or maybe it's making me feel old, because it's a kid's show. However it isn't really dumbed down the way so many kid's shows are, and I'm pretty impressed.

The main character is a boy named Souta, who is in grade school. He seems to live alone (and we don't ask questions like that) and his neighbor and childhood friend is a girl named Ringo, whose voice is Rie Kugimiya. She isn't tsundere, quite, but she tends to get irate. She also brings Souta food, and helps him with his laundry, and generally looks for any excuse to visit him and spend time with him.

Souta is unusual. He talks to flowers, and when he does they become healthy and more beautiful. This is apparently something he's always been able to do, and others know about it. In the first episode someone brings him a flower that's sick, and he revives it.

Souta seems to be an orphan, though that's not totally certain. His mother told him a fairy tale once. There was a magical world, in which a boy appeared who could master science as well. The king heard about him and sent him on many increasingly difficult quests, and he won them all. But he also became arrogant and lazy. The king turned out to be Kami-sama and he decided that science and magic shouldn't mix. So he divided the hero into two, one with magic and one with science, and sent them to opposite worlds, one of which has magic and the other has science.

Obviously we're in the science world. But there's a wicked witch (rather young and pretty) who has just broken free of a great seal which held her. And she seeks someone who has a "key", which evidently could reunite the worlds.

Souta is the one, apparently. And there's a bad guy named Hansel who seeks him, too. In the first episode, Hansel sends a couple of minions, "nightmarians", to capture him. And when things are looking grim, a girl shows up along with her companion, a blue-furred wolf. They defeat the nighmarians easily.

Her name is Akazukin, which turns out to be the Japanese name for "Little Red Riding Hood". She has the same voice as Takamachi Nanoha. She is one of the three fairy musketeers, who was sent by the king of Fandavale (the magic world) to Elde (our world) to protect him. In the second episode Ringo finds out about all this, and then they're attacked again. These guys are tougher and Akazukin and Val are having a tough time fighting them off. And suddenly it starts to snow.

The second musketeer is Shirayukihime, aka "Snow White". Her power is related to snow and ice. Akazukin, Val, and Shirayukihime are all going to move into Souta's house to stay with him, so they can protect him. And presumably the third and last musketeer, is going to show up. From some googling I find that her name is Ibara "Sleeping Beauty".

Both Akazukin and Shirayukihime activate their powers by using magical cell phones by putting in magical SIM cards. That's how Akazukin summons her short swords, for instance. And that's what we get instead of henshin decks.

It apparently was an OVA first, which was short and dark and mainly featured Akazukin. The TV series is supposedly a lot lighter, and it's 39 episodes long.

It's the TV series I just looked at, and it's really quite charming. At the core it's yet another magical-girlfriend show, but there's a nice feel to it. But I'm not sure there's really 39 episodes worth of story here. I may watch more of it, but it won't be too much of a surprise if I never finish it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Mystery Meat at 11:12 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 648 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Grade school?  My, Japanese start their harems young.

Posted by: ubu at August 08, 2012 11:16 AM (i7ZAU)

2 Wikipedia says he's supposed to be 14, so maybe it's just that the art is youngified. I'll post some frame grabs a bit later.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 08, 2012 12:19 PM (+rSRq)

3

But it's rather nice the way they scramble all the stories up. For instance, Akazukin's partner is Val, a wolf.

Little Red Riding Hood has a wolf for a partner. Uh-huh...

Another is that when Akazukin activates her magical cell phone, she says "Grimm Tale!"

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 08, 2012 12:21 PM (+rSRq)

4 Oh man, charming. I'm not going to spoil much, but, using your own technique, reveal that, for example, the dude is nowhere near orphan. Try to guess though. I was not quite able to. Secondly, Japanese do not pull punches in shows for little kids. The show is creepy as all get out. As another example, one of the main characters uses Uberman Schedule in order to control PTSD. And talking the global story, Akazukin demonstrates that George Lucas thought small when he made Luke to reject the Dark Side.

I'm somewhat angst-resistant, so I cannot tell if you're likely to stick through it. As for the creepiness, you liked Madoka, so...

Interestingly enough, "Fairy Musketeers" is a literal translation of the title. For me it's entirely unobvious that they referred to Dumas-pere's famous novel. For all I can see, it would be better to transtate it as "Magical Riflemen", or "Magical Guardsmen", and avoid the association. Still, there's a metric ton of references to Western fairy tales. Perhaps they did think about THE 3 musketeers after all. But then again, who's Val? Count Roshfor?

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 08, 2012 12:31 PM (5OBKC)

5 Val is Red Riding Hood's wolf! (Do you know the story of Red Riding Hood?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 08, 2012 01:42 PM (+rSRq)

6 I meant that the cast does not quite match that of The Three Musketeers.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 08, 2012 01:57 PM (5OBKC)

7 Oh, of course not. None of the characters bear much or any resemblance to their traditional namesakes. Certainly Hansel doesn't!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 08, 2012 02:09 PM (+rSRq)

8 My ani-notes for Akazukin 02 contain a mysterious line: "(like SDB watching `Blue Dragon')". Now I have no inkling what it was about, or even what Blue Dragon is.

BTW, ? Because Grimm Brothers wrote it so, apparently. I was not too well versed in their writings.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 08, 2012 02:36 PM (5OBKC)

9

"Blue Dragon" is an action-adventure show whose character designs were done by Toriyama. It was originally a game, and got made into an anime.

It's pretty much a kid's show. It got released in North America dub-only. I bought the first DVD of it, but was disappointed in the dub and never went any further.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 08, 2012 03:30 PM (+rSRq)

10 Sorry for the bout of stupidity. I found the "Blue Dragon" posts easily with search function at Chizumatic.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at August 08, 2012 03:58 PM (5OBKC)

11

Watched an ep....

"Petite Princess Cardcaptor Kanokon"

Interesting.

Posted by: Iskander at August 09, 2012 05:27 AM (97M8h)

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