Sunday, July 11, 2010

Anime review: Club-to-Death Angel Dokuro-Chan

Club-to-Death Angel Dokuro-Chan contains exactly what its name implies: an angel named Dokuro who wields a club, often used to kill Sakura, the boy allowing Dokuro to live in his home. The plot is explained early on as Dokuro time-travels to the present day in order to prevent Sakura from creating a paradise for perverts. After the first episode, Dokuro's goal is never mentioned again (or at least not for more than a brief mentioning here and there) and the focus becomes entirely on the here and now. Unfortunately, the here and now isn't particularly interesting, as it follows the exact same pattern over and over.

The humorous sequences are divided into two types. The first would be the awkward situations that Sakura often finds himself in. These are more prone to evoke genuine laughter from viewers, as they aren't overly predictable and involve some buildup from the story's events. The second and more prominent comedic sequences are drawn from Dokuro chasing Sakura down and splitting him in half, lobbing off various limbs, or causing his guts to gratuitously explode and rain down around her. All of this is then reversed by Dokuro's magical weapon, and Sakura promptly returns from the dead to reprimand her for killing him. This pattern becomes predictable by the end of the first episode, so any viewer who is paying the least bit of attention will be able to figure out when Sakura's next death will be. It's rather odd that the writers would try to combine more witty awkward humor with excessive blood and guts and not change the formula up at all from the start of the series to the finish because of how everything rolls together and just winds up being 'meh'.

The only two main characters to speak of are Dokuro and Sakura, whose dynamic follows that of a curious younger sibling constantly being scolded by her elder brother but then quickly ignoring what the brother just said. As an angel, Dokuro is fascinated by the human way of life and wants to discover as much as possible by spending time with Sakura. Sakura is too good-natured for his own good (most of the time) and winds up finding himself in many a sticky situation. Between the two of them, there's not a whole lot of complexity, though Dokuro is easily the more interesting of the two.

There are a number of recurring guest characters who show up over the course of the series, though they change very little and viewers' opinions of them will likely not change by the series' conclusion. Dokuro's sister Zakuro, another angel named Sabato, and Sakura's classmate Shizuki all see enough involvement in the show that viewers can get a grasp on what kind of characters they are, but ultimately play out as one-dimensional and only good for inclusion in specific settings.

Aside from the incredibly catchy and upbeat opening theme, there isn't much to say one way or the other about the soundtrack. Due to the fact that each episode of Dokuro-Chan is roughly half as long as an episode of just about any other given anime, the sounds aren't terribly complex or original. It's a pretty generic soundtrack that accompanies the series, though it's not exactly the most unfitting for a more low-brow comedy. The animation is quite good, and the animators get creative from time to time, changing things up with some magazine-clipping style animals and more American-style animation. These aren't prominent for much of the show, but they are interesting breaks from the animation used in the majority of the series.

Dokuro-Chan is technically split into two seasons, but there isn't much difference to speak of between season one and season two. The story is pretty bland and the characters incredibly undeveloped. This series is targeted for a specific audience and those who appreciate this kind of humor will certainly find it to be outrageously funny. As for the rest, however, there's not much else redeeming about the series.

My rating: 6 (out of 10)

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