Short Run Series, Part I – Welcome to the “Jungle”
Most animes run in ‘seasons’ of 12, 13, 24 or 26 episodes. All of those numbers make sense to me. 13 episodes (or weeks) are one-quarter of a year. I accept 12 episodes, as you will lose a week to some holiday special (“The Death Note Christmas Show”. I’d love to see that one, especially when Light and L sing carols together). I would even accept 50 episodes (that’s almost a whole year, with one week taken up by eating lots of turkey and another one for a break away from the murder and mayhem, to reflect upon this most joyous of times. Then, we can return to the murder and mayhem.)
It’s the shorter ones that have me scratching my head. Sometimes it works (“Planet of the Beast King”, 11 episodes), sometimes it doesn’t (“Golden Boy”, six episodes, somewhat self-indulgent), but there are some that are so short, do they even count as a show? What is it that they get such a miniscule amount of shows? Was there a budget crisis? A test run? Some kind of a bet? Nothing else to do?
The first one in question is “Jungle de Ikou” (or “Jungre de Ikou”; I’ve seen both spellings). Now it gets billed as an OVA, but don’t you have to have a series BEFORE you have an OVA? Is there some kind of anime rule or regulation I missed on this?
The story is fairly simple (as are most anime tales). Natsumi Roduko is a 10-year-old girl, living inTokyo. Her father, Fuyuhiko, is an archeologist and he has made the Find of a Lifetime inNew Guinea. He sends to his daughter a figurine (which I assume violates all kinds of antiquity laws around the world, but, hey, since I discovered it, I can do with it what I feel). Ahem (no, that’s this guy’s name; I’m not clearing my throat), a tribal elder, comes to Tokyo. He sports a rhino horn on his pelvis, so it looks like he is in possession of one massive member. He teaches Natsumi an overly-involved, overly-complicated dance (which makes the Macarena look tame by comparison) that is going to channel the very-18-year-old, incredible busty, amazingly underdressed Earth Goddess Mii, as she has to do battle with Ongo, the Destroyer, who has been released from imprisonment in the figurine Natsumi was sent.
Now, the picture above us does not do Mii justice, but I had to find something that wasn’t over the top and Mii certainly is over the top. Too much bustline, not enough clothing. One of Natsumi’s friends is Takuma Kusanagi, who is one major horn-doggy, and when Mii makes the scene, he goes nuts, putting him in the same league with such other anime perverts as Kanta Mizuno from “Desert Punk” and Tomoki Sakurai from “Heaven’s Lost Property”. In one episode, when Mii becomes a giantess and is walking through the city, not only do Takumi’s eyes bug out, but they turn into breasts. I haven’t see a trope like that since the days of Bugs Bunny (OK, you see it too much in “Fairy Tail”, but here, it’s gone berserk.)
The reason I bring up the ages is, at the start of the second episode, Natsumi is in the bathroom and you have to read between the lines of the story to understand that when she became the adult Mii, it triggered her period to begin (welcome to womanhood). Natsumi is very anxious that no one knows of her dual identity, as it’s embarrassing enough as is it, but between Ahem and Ongo, life gets really bizarre. And Mom is of no help whatsoever.
In the second story, Natsumi brings her best female friend, Nami Kuki, to a pre-showing of dad’s discoveries inNew Guinea, but she is taken over by Rongo, a water goddess, who wants to do battle with Mii, as she feels Mii is trying to steal Ongo, to whom she was originally betrothed. The problem is that Nami does a transformation dance that borders on the erotic and is a touch disturbing to see.
For episode three, Ongo goes on a rampage and tries to destroy the city. Mii is able to calm the rampaging beast, but ends up being topless in the process. My, my. But the story is far from over. So, I patiently await Episode Four. After a month, I start to do some research to discover it’s like the Indianapolis Colts: three and out (Oh, that is so….true.)
So, back to the original question, what was this show for? Strange experiment? Weird science? Left over budget? Any OVAs that I have seen were self-contained. More like a caliber of sidebar, they had a beginning, a middle and a conclusion. “Jungle” did not conclude; it merely paused (as there is still many more tales to tell.) Or was this it? I’m hopelessly confused with all of this. Landru, guide us!
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Mii is stunning but Natsumi is a bit too plain)
Plot 6 (Since it cut short, the overall plot is a mystery)
Pacing 9 (Gets rather frenetic)
Effectiveness 6 (Not certain what it wants to achieve)
Conclusion 4 (It stops, rather than ends)
Fan Service 8 (A similar show would “Sekirei”)
Overall 5 (Again, too short to really tell)
And remember, it’s first run until you see it. If you can FIND it to see it.