The Witchy ROSSMAN
I can tell, Japan has a hard-on for the Western idea of "the
witch". Very curious that. The only explanation that
I can come up with about this whole phenomenon of overabundance
of animated witch movies and television shows is that the
Japanese believe that the Western witch is responsible for
all those magical tentacle-rape monsters that their culture
worships like horny horny gods. But I digress. Today I'm
here to tell you about three animated witch projects that
I watched recently, and how one country can have so many
views of one traditional, gaijin, mythical Halloween figure.
These ventures are Witch Hunter Robin, Someday's
Dreamers (aka Mahou Tsukai
ni Taisetsu na Koto), and the classic Kiki's Delivery
start off with Witch Hunter Robin. This
show looks at the dark occult side of witchcraft that most
people associate with
freaks in black who paint weird hieroglyphics on the
walls while they chant to Hecubus, the god of the Kids
in the Hall,
in Latin and deep Southern Accents. The witches in Witch
Hunter Robin are mostly bad and naughty people.
When citizens with Witch Blood in them realize they have
kill and maim innocent people), they usually go right out
and kill and maim innocent people. Then the STN-Japan branch
is called into action. And no, I have no idea what "STN"
stands for. Could be "Shit Toothed Necrophiliac",
they never say. It's not important anyway. What is important
these men and women of the STN-J like to wear cool black
outfits and carry guns that shoot a strange green substance
that looks and kinda glows like your urine after you eat
too much broccoli and drink too much Kiwi Kool Aid... or
maybe that's just me. Anyway, these STN-J people hunt down
rogue witches, incapacitate them, then ship them off to "the
Factory" where they're never heard from again. Sucks
to be an evil witch. Especially when Solomon (the HQ of the
sends in a new hunter to take the place of a one who is
missing in action at the start of the show. This replacement
a 14 year-old girl who doesn't appear to have the facial
muscles needed to smile. As one of her coworkers puts it, "She always looks like she's about to cry." She's
got the hard body of a twenty year-old swimmer, likes to
sleep in the nude,
and has powers like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. A lethal
combination indeed. Robin was raised by some old Catholic
priest (he's a stern, but nice old man, so get your mind
out of the gutter!) and trained to
be a hunter her whole life. When she first gets to Japan
she meets up with her partner, Amon, a grunge guy who gives
her a run for her money in the angst department. Together,
for about 10 episodes, they go out on X-Files-like adventures
where each week they get information about a supposed witch,
hunt that witch down, and then capture and contain him/her.
After the first 3 episodes of this it gets rather monotonous.
Luckily, at around episode 11 things take a turn for the
better for us, the viewer, but terribly worse for Robin herself.
That's when the fit hits the shan and the meticulous world
up to then gets shredded and pissed on like Hitler's
ashes. Bad things happen, and the real plot takes a stand
it into overdrive. From about episode 13 to the very end
things keep getting more and more intriguing as we are led
through some spiffy revelations, betrayals and new alliances
that tie in very closely to the cohesive plot that was started
since before the first episode... You'll understand once
you see it. In other words, though, good stuff!
let's take a look at Someday's Dreamers (as
I'm sure it will be
called when it's picked up for U.S. release). A
total 180 from Witch Hunter Robin. None
of Robin's subdued
palette and feelings of despair here. Instead we get to visit
a very peppy and happy modern Tokyo where rainbows rule and
everybody smiles while flowers shoot out of their asses and
their hearts pump orange sherbet through their veins...
Not really (hey, it is a magic show, you never know), but
you get the point. In Someday's Dreamers we are introduced
Yume, who's just shown up in the big city in order to start
her magic license training. See, in this world, magic is
very real and very well known. People with magical abilities
must register with the magic bureau and train to become a
professional mage if they want to use their abilities at
all. Once they become a professional they can take requests
from commoners who think that they need a magic wish to make
their lives better.
you say? Wish I could live in that world where lollipop dreams
and puppy kisses come true with the wiggle of a nose, you
cry?... Well, if you saw how ABSOLUTELY AND MIND NUMBINGLY
BORING that world truly is you might have second thoughts.
Nothing ever happens in Someday's Dreamers...
Nothing. Yume whines a bit. Her fellow student, Angela (apparently
a cloned Robin from Witch
Hunter Robin fame), moans a bit. Oyamada (Yume's
trainer who you may think is gay but really isn't) hides
his heart from
his friends and then... And then... Nothing. Twelve episodes
of jack squat. To give you an idea of how boring this show
is, instead of a showdown with a world-wide secret police
force conspiracy played out with strategic
moves and shadow ops, or a giant out-of-control blimp that's
endangering the lives of an entire city, instead of that
we get self doubt. That's the big bad of this series. Everybody
has self doubt and they must cure it. *Yaaaawn*
I will admit
though that the final two episodes of Dreamers are
very well done. The raw emotions that come pouring out of
them are a true treat. Hell, I almost cried at one point
I was so moved. I said "almost." Fuck off. If I
might recommend something, I would advise you to watch the
first two set-up episodes, and then the last two finale episodes.
me, you won't miss any plot and you won't ask why you spent
a full 6 hours watching animated paint dry.
on to Kiki's Delivery Service. I
can't gush enough about director Miyazaki's bewitched masterpiece.
I first saw it back in '96 and I'm telling you that it deserves
all the praise and glory that have been/can be given to it.
It takes place
60s if World War II had never taken place, and if witches
were real and everybody knew about them. By the time we meet
Kiki (a 13 year-old witch in training who wants to do happy
magic for the world in order to make it smile like a pig
in feces... sound familiar?), the tradition of the witch
She's one of only a few left in the world who wants to continue
the lineage and training of her mother, also a witch. Kiki
takes leave of her family and friends and sets forth on a
journey of enlightenment and "rated G" adventures.
She moves into a large port city with her cat, Jiji, and
she starts up her own high-flying delivery service since
the only magic she can really do is flying on a broomstick...
And even that she's not the best at. But she makes up for
any magic-sucktitude with her cheery attitude and zest for
life... Well, until about 2/3rds of the way through the story,
but then I'm just getting into spoiler territory.
in Kiki's is gorgeous and incredisplodicous.
The city that our little witch moves into is so alive and
you feel like you're flying through the streets on a broom
of your own alongside Kiki herself. But what makes Kiki's
Delivery Service the greatest Japanese witch story
ever (yes, even greater
Tsukai Tai) is Jiji, Kiki's talking cat. Jiji is
so goddamn sarcastic and set in his ways that he could
Miller cry for his mommy. On top of that he's also incredibly
loyal to his witchy friend. Yeah, he went off to boink that
without Kiki's permission a few times, but he always came
back. And don't forget that stunt he helped his ditzy master
the stuffed animal and the bird cage on her very first delivery
job! I can't think of any animated magical pet that would
Well, except maybe Glomer from the animated Punky
Brewster show, but that was only
because he was a stoned and retarded enchanted teddy bear.
He's still in rehab today.
The Hocus-Pocussy DOCTOR DAVE
I knew it!
I don't know if I told you already or not, but I've been
trying to understand and maybe even learn the black arts
for years now. I was at my wits' end in trying to divide
semen by pi, when in barges the Rossman with a bunch of DVDs
and he tells me to "Shut up, sit down, and stop dry-humping
my leg..." to which he was referring to the leprechaun
had just de-juiced.
We sat down
and began watching hour after hour of animated documentaries
on the life of the witch in modern day Japan. It was so enlightening!
This one series that dissected the inner operations of the
Solomon International Witch Hunting Organization (aka SInt
WHOr) was very educational. The science behind witchcraft
to me as an
open magazine with nudie girls wrestling in vanilla pudding
and gummi worms in it. It was a total epiphany! After doing
a few quick calculations I
that all I needed to cast a spell that would end that goddamn
leprechaun's Irish potato-loving life was a few runic symbols
and a pair of old ladies' eyeglasses. Then I could charbroil
the green-clovered one's ass into ashes faster than Richard
Simmons jumping on a greased up, naked 18 year-old high school
quarterback... Where was I?
the first docu-series, I was shown some modern-day happy
place where the only magic that was ever used made people
pee their pants with giddiness. I- I did not want to go back
to that place ever again. It scared me. That androgynous
ran that disco was pretty creepy, but what startled me the
most was that the moral of the story appeared to be "No matter
how big you fuck up, or how many lives you endanger or innocents
you almost slaughter, as long as the property damage caused
shit-tard magic is less than $500 Million... then you're
okay with us." That's about when I started rethinking
my whole magic-kick that I was trying to get into... If something
like what I just witnessed could happen to my depressing
and dingy world if magic existed, then I did not want to
be the moron responsible for dooming humanity to an eternity
of kitten hugs and androgynous discos.
we began watching some MTZ Real World rip-off
that featured this little kid who had to make it on her own
in a strange town
for an entire year by using only her weak and pathetic magics
and her stringbean of a cat. *Sigh*... If this was anything
the real real world that ungrateful little turd
would have been in the gutter praying for week-old waste
taste like rancid worms within a couple of days. You just
know that the producers set up the whole scenario and got
job in the bakery and probably even paid for that boyfriend
of hers too. Don't delude yourself. Who else other than a
professional gigolo would waste that much time on a magical
girl with a princess complex?
The Beast-Serving WOLFMAN
Head bang! Kill some dogs! Feel the pain! Three shows about
the occult in one weekend?! Hells yeah! Who gives a Satan
shit if two were all fluffy fluffy, love is good, shiat?!?
They promoted witchcraft and worshipping the Devil. That's
all that matters. Let the little kids run around trying to
fly their brooms like good little witches and warlocks by
chanting to the dark lord in ancient Etruscan. They'll be
chained to black magic like my friend Garry to his bitch
wife in no time! Hell, that's the only reason I've let that
Harry Potter author live so dang long...
She corrupts more minds with worm-eaten evil in a day than
I could ever hope
to do in a lifetime of blood-lettings and involuntary maggot-feedings.
Long live the Beast!!